'87 300 SDL Quandry

I've just purchased a beautiful 300 SDL that was well cared for by a friend of mine who was the original owner. The front seats have had sheepskins on them since the day she took delivery so the interior is
unbelievable for a car its age... no cracks in the dash or trim, etc.
The engine has 129K and has been serviced every 5K. No leaks to be found, lots of new parts over the past few years including a rebuilt tranny that is tight but smooth. The only concern I have is that while going through the service records, I found that 3K ago, her mechanic noted that turbo boost was low and that it should be "replaced at a later date".
The car seems to have adequate power but not like a V8 as some people have compared the engine to. I was told by a Mercedes mechanic that MB warrants the turbo for the life of the car and will replace it at no cost if it was damaged by a faulty soot collector. He recommended bringing it into their service dept to check it out.
My first question: Does anyone know a way for me to determine this without taking the car to the dealer?
Second question: Although I love everything about this car, I'm thinking that it isn't the right car for me since my business requires hauling boxes of equipment and a handtruck! I originally fell in love with the idea of 30mpg for all of the driving I do, but I've come to the conclusion that the car is too nice to ruin by my using it inappropriately. I would rather see it go to someone who would give it the respect it deserves! So where is the best place on the web to advertise it so it is seen by that person?
Thanks for reading, and sorry for the length of the post!
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The soot oxidation trap is, or was, a large can mounted above the exhaust manifold at the right rear side of the engine.
M-B offers a free straight pipe retrofit if your car still has the trap.
Turbos usually last the life of the engine which should be about 250K to 300K with good maintenance. I've never heard of a "weak turbo"; it should produce about 10 psi at 4K rpm. The turbo's pressure can be adjusted at its "wastegate" or pressure relief valve.
You should know that this fine engine should NOT be overheated or its head gasket or even its aluminum cylinderhead will crack. So be sure the cooling system is in good condition - clean radiator, working fans etc. and don't charge long hills on very hot days - take it easy.
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Thanks T.G.
I have a straight pipe where the trap used to be so I guess this has been already taken care of. She replaced the radiator 6K ago so the cooling system is in great shape.
Is there a way for me to check boost pressure and adjust it myself?
Thanks again!

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Somewhere on the intake manifold is a pressure safety switch which can be removed so a METRIC threaded fitting can be screwed in for a pressure gauge. You should obtain the exact boost specification - may be someone in this NG knows it. The test is done while driving the car so the gauge will be inside the cabin. The engine should be under load - acceleration so this isn't something done in your garage (or probably in your mechanic's garage). Adjusting the wastegate depends on the turbo, some are easily adjusted from the outside others are difficult, not to get apart - that's always the easy part - but to get back together. So think about the whole job before starting to do anything. Remember, it runs now.
I'm a bit troubled that this car needed a new transmission before 130K miles. These boxes usually last much longer. Are you sure of the car's mileage? Or, perhaps was the owner "sold" a transmission?
Finally, to sell the car, try this NG but describe it and its location, try nearest big city newspaper classified. These are well regarded models by diesel fans but they too recognize it's a 20 year old car so be fair about the price.
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-snip-

Point well taken.

After looking back through her work orders of the past 14 years, it appears that she could have been "sold" a number of repairs she didn't really need. The trans could very well have been one of those things.
Thanks again for the feedback!
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Prese should be .9 bar, overboost protection valve vents wastegate at 1.1 bar.
A bar is about 14-15 pounds or so. If you get it closer to there than the 10 these things always seem to be at, you'll be fine. 14.1 - 15.1 or in that range..
You'll probably need totweak the alda too so you have enough fuel now that you're getting the factory specified boost.
http://engine.mbzarticles.org/diesel /
Don't EVER overheat that engine. Overheat a 5-cyl and you may be perfecty fine. Overheat one of these aluminum headed 6's and you may crack it that one time. These cars really ought to come with loud alarms that go off when the coolant gets too hit.
There are NO good used heads and a new head is over a grand.
Great cars other than this. Drop a 5-cyl motor in when the head dies...
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Never a truer word spoken.

Lies! One of the best options is to grab a used head from a S350 3.5L 603 that threw a con rod. Not only are those heads the "updated" design like the later 3L offerings, but they can be had for $700-800 used and complete. I know several people who have done this without problem, but the one guy who bought a new "updated" head for one of his 300Ds and one used 3.5L for the other had huge problems on... yep, the new head.

And give up speed? Hows about replace the head and get a Mosselman intercooler... and motor on indefinately at 130mph.
-Mike
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Huh. Now that's good to know.
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Where are you and your 300 SDL located, and what are you asking for it?
Are pictures of the vehicle available?
- Bill '66 912 '74 240D

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The car is in the Napa Valley. It has been a California car since sometime around 1992 or 1993. It was originally delivered new by Benson Motor Cars in Maryland on December 23, 1986.
I was thinking about listing it for around $5600 but after going for a drive today, my wife thought that maybe I should reconsider selling it. The work thing and the idea of hauling my equipment in it still bothers me though.

I'll be taking some in the next day or so. I'll email them to you when I download them. I should have taken pictures of the front seats today but I didn't think of it. I just installed new sheepskins to protect them. They are about as close to new condition as you can get. They are beautiful!!
1987 300 SDL 1988 Audi 90 Quattro 2003 Passat 4Motion
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please send some my way as well :-) cplas @ telus . net
thanks, cp
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On 1 May 2004 21:43:00 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@napavalleyphotos.com (Earnest) wrote:

If you ever change your mind and are looking for a 30mpg ride, you might want to looked at a 300SD with the 5 cylinder rather than the 300SDL with the inline 6. The SDL will get you only about 22mpg.

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snipped-for-privacy@napavalleyphotos.com (Earnest) wrote:
[ pictures of 300SDL ]

If the car is still available, I'd be very interested in seeing the pictures as well. ( snipped-for-privacy@netgate.net)
Thanks, Geoff Miller Boulder Creek
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