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 09-07-2005, 11:09 Post: 116028
Blueman



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 Mercedes Diesels

Most of you know alot more about diesels than me, so I thought I would ask your opinions on a 1987 300SD. The car has 82,000 miles, and I would use it to commute to work in, and hopefully spend less $$ on fuel than I spend on my Dodge Ram Hemi. These cars are rated at 27/33 MPG, and I see many on Autotrader with 250,000+ miles. The owner only wants $4K. I need a car that I can put all my kids in occasionally, so a Jetta (like I used to own) or Civic/Corolla, etc., are out of the question. Any experience out there with what can go wrong with these? I know they are costly to repair if you don't fix them yourself. About the only things I do on my TC45D are change filters, fluids, etc.






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 09-07-2005, 11:34 Post: 116030
denwood



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 Mercedes Diesels

I have asked a mechanic for MB that came shopping at my place what he thought, and he said all good in general. Anything can break. Many have huge miles on them. He even said a couple mechanics drive them where he works. I have a customer who buys new and could buy just about any car he wanted. He buys MB diesels and keeps them for about 500,000 miles. He had 2 the last time I saw him, the old one still going strong but rusting out a good bit. That seems to be what I see here for the older ones.






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 09-07-2005, 11:49 Post: 116031
greg_g



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I have over a quarter million on a reconditioned '85 turbo diesel coupe, and I'm askin' $10K. Mileage about 24/31. 4dr sedans are far far more common though, so $4K isn't unrealistic. It's got the 6cyl, I'd prefer the 5 myself. But there's one real high ticket repair item that you want to be real sure of; whether or not it's got the pneumatic suspension. If no, it's probably a good buy. If yes, definitely have it inspected.

//greg//






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 09-09-2005, 21:24 Post: 116146
AnnBrush



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 Mercedes Diesels

Why does a 1987 vehicle only have 82000 miles on it. Assuming it was actually used in 87 and given we are almost through 2005 that works out to 4315 miles per year. If it was used daily that works out to 11 miles per day, if you assume a daily trip is a outward and return journey that's 5.5 miles per trip. If it takes 2.5 miles to warm up the engine you can safley assume that of the 82000 miles on that engine approximately half (41000) have been run on a cold motor. I wouldnt touch it with a barge pole.






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 09-09-2005, 22:46 Post: 116160
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 Mercedes Diesels

If there was any sense to that logic, one would have to assume you're thinking gasoline engine. The 300SD is a diesel, some of them turbos. 80 degree thermostats.

//greg//






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 09-10-2005, 01:31 Post: 116163
Chief



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 Mercedes Diesels

If time permits; see if you can take a HOT oil sample and send it off to Blackstone. This will tell you VOLUMES about the engine. You didn't say whether the car had a manual or automatic transmision. I would MUCH prefer the manual but most came with an auto. Test drive it from a COLD start and observe how the engine and trans. behaves. If both seem to operate properly; a total fluid and filter change for the engine and trans should see you on your way for MANY miles. If the engine smoke excessively from a cold start until until reaching operating temp; you may have to replace the turbo. The trans is another story, but it if performs well; a fluid and filter change would be wise. Mercedes makes a VERY good automobile and if it has been properly cared for; it should readily drive over 200,000 miles with proper care. I drove the crap out of a 230D went I first arrived in Germany many years ago. This particular car was a loner for all of the newbies like me and it never missed a lick. Chances are that the care you are looking at will out last you unless it has been severely abused.






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 09-10-2005, 07:57 Post: 116175
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The US-spec 300SD was automatic only, and a bullet-proof one at that; good for half a million miles with normal care. The 3 liter five cylinder is too. Not sure about the six. But not all these 300SDs were turbo models. Another common reason for black smoke under acceleration is injection pump timing. But my fuel delivery system didn't need any maintenance till about 175K. After that, just injector tips and pump timing.

I should have mentioned the vacuum system before. 87K is comparatively low mileage, but it's still a 19 year old car. Inspect the rubber vacuum fittings for dry rot. Some of the plastic trim is likely to be brittle as well.

But then again, we're only talking about a $4000 vehicle - aren't we?

//greg//






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 09-12-2005, 07:25 Post: 116262
Blueman



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Thanks to all who responded; someone else ended up buying it, and it was actually an 83. The body was excellent, and it looked like it needed nothing, except the driver's seat seemed worn out. I'm still scared of these due to the high cost of parts, but I'm still looking for the right one!






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 09-12-2005, 08:35 Post: 116264
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You're welcome to contact me about my turbo coupe. I can provide a complete mechanical history, and describe the reconditioning progress to date. Parts prices and availability are actually quite reasonable. Just click on my name to IM or email.

//greg//






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