I Need help whether to by '82 M.B. 300SD

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I am new to the older MB diesels, I was a diesel mechanic on larger trucks for five years so I am familiar with the ruggedness of the diesels, but I am curious about how these cars are for day to day
driving. I am looking at one that I found that is in very good shape. It is an 82, 300SD with 92000 original miles on it. In and Out the car is very clean. The owner tells me it has been his church on Sunday vehicle. Sounds to good to pass at $6000.00. Is this a decent price for a vehicle like this?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks P~
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That's too much money to spend for an 82. I'd suggest you keep looking.
Since you know diesel, don't be afraid of high mileage cars. Look for as new as you can.
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These old five cylinder diesels are all cast iron and about the most durable engines available. They're simple and easily maintained by DIY. Their oil and filter ought to be changed every 5K miles and their valves adjusted (cold engine adjustment)every 15K miles. Parts are widely available - to rebuild everything, even cylinder liners if that's what's needed. I've owned an '80 300SD since new and its been a fine car and is great for local driving. You should know, however that the 120 HP engine is somewhat limited on long hills and passing situations. It's not a "hot rod".
As to the price - seems a bit rich but if you reeeeally like THIS CAR vs. any 300SD it's worth an offer. Leather seats? Sunroof? Clean CARFAX? At this age the prices are highly variable, mostly condition dependent. You description suggests a buy and drive car rather than a buy and fix car and that's worth some $$ in my opinion.
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It is definitely buy and drive. My understanding is that the owner bought it in Florida, in '02 with 68000 miles. That means that in 20 years, someone only put 68000 miles on this baby. A couple thousand miles were put on the vehicle while driving it out west from Fla., the rest have been local miles over the last five yrs. I do not foresee any work needing to be done on this vehicle for at least the next couple of years. I would certainly do a valve adjust and oil/filter change upon taking ownership. I am just curious if I'm in the right ballpark. Everything I have seen about these cars shows that they are wdll loved by the people that have them!
pictures:<br> <a href='http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm ? fuseaction=viewImage&friendID1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01910' target='_blank'>interior</a><br> <a href='http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm ? fuseaction=viewImage&friendID1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01924' target='_blank'>Exterior 1</a><br><a href='http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm ? fuseaction=viewImage&friendID1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01945' target='_blank'>Exterior 2</a> If the links don't work just cut and past to see them.
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pics again.
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01910 http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01924 http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01945'
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pictures again:
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01910 http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01924 http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID 1560529&albumID=0&imageID%01945
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Drive it. See if you're satisfied with the power, that's what can't be changed or fixed.
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On Mar 1, 9:16 pm, "-->> T.G. Lambach <<--" <"T.G. Lambach at NoHamorSpamcomcast.net"> wrote:

I definetely will, I am meeting with the guy on Sat. any suggestions to check for other than the typical stuff? oil leak, bad power, electrial issues.
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Dear Sir,
We are manufacturers of all type of cylinder liners,ci rod, bushesh & sleeves having state of the art manufacturing facility with skilled manpower to meet any specialized and customized requirements of our customers beside the standard needs of the industry. With over 25 years of expertise and willingness to respond in tune with the industries demand has been our hallmark and reach out timely with quality material has been our strength. Having said this it would be prudent to add that we are looking at overseas market as the thrust area now and for foreseeable future .With this we request you to revert to us with your requirements which we would be keen to serve.
Thanking you and looking forward to receive your communication at the earliest.
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Nah it's overpriced. To be worth tha much it'd have to have had front and rear suspension rebuilt, all new brake hydraulics and every little switch and bulb (7 in the interior) ought to be working.
Sure the engines last forever, but the rest of the cart is 25+ year old and lots of (expeenive) bits need replacing - door seals, vacuum lines, blah blah blah etc.
But at end ofthe day even if you overpay you'll love the car to daeth.
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On Mar 2, 8:45 am, snipped-for-privacy@news.vrx.net (Richard Sexton) wrote:

It sounds somewhat overpriced to me too. Of course, there are a number of factors to consider. Like how bad you want this type of car, where you are located, how many excellent condition ones are available where you live and how much time you want to spend looking. For example, if you live in the northeast, it's harder to find one one of this vintage in excellent condition because of the hard winters. Many are shot from rust. If you know and trust the history on this one having been in FL for 20 years, that's a plus. It also has low miles. You could likely find a similar car in CA, or FL, for significantly less, but unless you happen to be going there, doing the deal isn't practical.
As others have pointed out, there are components that fail due to age too, as opposed to just miles. Like vacuum lines, seals, AC components, rain leaks, etc. I think you will likely get excellent service out of a car like this, but you can expect these type of things to surface. Being able to do a lot of the work yourself is a big plus.
An Ebay search of completed listings is one reference to give you an idea of what similar cars are going for. If you really like the car, I'd start by offering less. You can always go higher.

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Well, since the general opinion seems to be that it is too high priced, any suggestions as to what may be a good offering price then? I have looked around here in UT, and there are a couple of other vehicles of this general make, and yes, this is the highest priced of them, but it also seems to be in the best condition. I don't necessarily mind spending a little more if the vehicle has no major issues, and the body is solid. The other cars seem to already be pretty heavily showing their age. As I said, I will be driving it Saturday. I am not a pushover on looks though, if the engine lags, hesitates or if multiple things seem to be braking or near braking I will easily pass on it. I don't want to be stuck in a glorified VW; changing hoses, chasing electrical ghosts, and nickle and dimeing myself to death. I have been down the beetle road and don't intend to visit it again. I am of the DIY variety, and want a car for my wife that I can do the work on and be able to get some good miles out of. She wants something solid to protect her and our three little ones. She can't stand the "plastic cars", as she calls them, today. P~
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You are on the right track about protecting your family... solid car and something you can fix. Replacement parts are very affordable online and very easy to maintain.
Yes, do as you said... test drive it. and as you need to remind yourself that this car is 25 years old. You could buy much newer diesel MB for not much more. Sometime you can buy 1996 E300D for 7500 to 8000... If you got friend in dealer and dealer auction, you can get them much lower.
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low mileage it is 25 years old and all the rubber, fabric, springs, suspension will be a bit tired. We bought an SD300 1981 model and believe me we know. It was no bargain at $1,500 though it is a great car now despite looking like a junker. We have no idea what the mileage is on our car, which we have now owned for seven years. The odometer was switched with a later one. (Make sure the odometer is the one that came with the car.) Now, you are not supposed to do all this, but we rebuilt the suspension and steering, changed out the engine and tranny, new exhaust system, new AC, new radiator (somebody had put a gas engine radiator in the car). Rebuilt sunroof and most recently put in a new ignition lock after the original locked up and the car had to be towed to a shop for the new one. $800+. But that car rides and handles like no other I have ever owned, well, almost. It's not a sports car. My old Sunbeam Alpine was.
In sum, find a really clean car for about $4,000 on which the suspension and steering were recently rebuilt and the engine and tranny look good.
1981 300SD "Der Klunker"
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A 300SD is a fine choice for your family and you seem to have a good handle on what needs to be checked but don't overlook the CARFAX, if only to know about its history. (I'm always suspicious of FLA cars.)
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Thanks to all of you, I will post as soon as I have driven it, in case any of you are interested. I may bring my camera, so I can document it to look at while I decide.
Trader4 - I took your advice and did an Ebay search, for the 81-85 diesels, (I prefer the idea of the older models for the Solid Iron block), and found that all of the less expensive ones were rusting out, or had at a minimum 180,000+ miles on them. I understand that time takes it toll, but I don't think as badly as miles. All the ones that I saw that were in comparable condition were being asked at near or greater than the price of this one.
Anyway, I'll get back on here when I know more. Thanks again! P~
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When you drive it, make sure the odometer works. That is one problem many of these cars have. Not an expensive fix for a DIYer but you could be in for more other problems than you would think.

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snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com says...

More than that, make sure the odometer is the one that came with the car when it was built. It's not hard to take an odometer out of a low-mileage wreck and put it in a high mileage car. Also, though it is hardly critical, see that the tachometer also works.

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Hi everyone, I checked and drove the car this weekend. The short story is that I am not going to get it after all.
The longer version is this. The vehicle is immaculate. There is no doubt to me whether everything on the car is original, and yes the odometer works. Every switch and light and toggle in the cab works with the only detraction being on the sun shades. The little plastic covers that go over the mirrors are broken, but are still with the car. the rear passenger lights and cigarette lighters work. The sunroof is tight and seals are in very good condition. No tears in the power seats, which also work perfectly. The engine makes no more noise than a typical diesel, and has good power.
So why am I passing on this vehicle? Well the only defect I did find is in the front suspension / axel. I'm not sure what the root of the problem is, but I suspect it to be either bad bal joints / tie rod ends, or a wheel bearing going bad. When I step firmy on the very sensitive brakes, the front end gets a major case of the shakes. Also when turning out of a steep driveway onto a flat road I got a big creak and thud from the passenger side. Neither of these is noticable while driving regularly. I wouldn't mind taking this project on at all if I were looking for a vehicle just for Sunday driving or collecting. But since I'm looking for a car for my wife, hers was the biggest input into it. While driving it she said she got the "VW flashbacks" with all of the mechanical controls general feel. I think both of us are a bit jaded and don't want to end up haveing to always have to repair something.
So that's the long and the short of it. If anyone's in the Salt Lake City area and looking for a really really clean MB 300D let me know and I'll get you the contact info. He is willing to negotiate, and is a very friendly guy.
Again, Thanks for all of the great advice! P~
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so let me get this straight. You were hoping to find a really cheap luxury car that is 25 years old in great condition... don't we all :-)
cheers, guenter
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