1979 300sd 116 chassis

Am thinking of buying a 1979 300sd 116 chassis. What should I look for? What problems does this model have? Anything at all would help. j.

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In order of importance: 1. Rust. 2. Rust. 3. Rust.
Bill Ditmire Ditmire Motorworks,Inc. 425 White Horse Pike Absecon,NJ 08201 http://www.ditmire.com 609-641-3392
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This model had the Chrysler designed climate control servo. They are hard to keep running unless you get an aluminum one from Performance Analysis. Many parts are getting expensive for these cars.
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I've owned an '80 300SD since new, fine car, comfortable to ride in, great visibility and simple enough for a DIY owner to maintain and repair.
Rust and the climate control are the '78 - '80 116's problems. Rust is obvious, either it's rusty or not. The climate control is very complicated and expensive to repair so as these cars lose value some owners try DIY repairs which only make things worse. So if the climate control is busted don't let someone tell you "Oh a new fuse will fix that." The cost to make it work could be as much as you're about to pay for the whole car!
The engine makes 110 HP and is good for 250K miles if reasonably maintained. It should have its oil changed every 5K miles and its valves adjusted every 15K miles. A diesel's internal condition can be checked by a compression test, a worn engine will be difficult to start in cold weather so have the compression checked if that's a concern.
Most of the cars that you'll see are nearly over the hill - shabby interiors and lots of miles - be patient if you want a good quality car, they DO appear from time to time and if that's what you want go for it. I wouldn't ignore the '81 to '85 300SD, if only to avoid the older car's complex climate control, otherwise same size and drive train but more modern body.
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The climate control system is not that complicated. It's just a poorly designed system with a plastic servo with electrical switches, a motor and water valve. Usually the housing containing the water valve breaks but I've had the geartrain in the upper portion of the servo break also. George Murphy at performance analysis has been selling rebuilt servos with a new aluminum water valve housing. I've been using one of these in my 1980 300CD for years but I've still had to replace the upper part of the servo another time or two. I have lots of spare parts from all the servos I've purchased through the years.
Have you considered buying a 126 body 300SD instead of a 116?
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The turbocharged diesel engine in the 300SD produces 120HP.
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Right, starting 1980 when its cam lift was increased, 110 HP prior to that.
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