Lots of 1982 240D Questions - Novice Owner, PLZ help me!

I'm a 17 year old highschool student. I bought an 82 240D (automatic transmission) with 190k miles on it about a year ago for $1000. The local mercedes mechanic had a look at it before I bought it and said
it was mechanically excellent, but needed a general service done to it. I bought the car and stripped down the interior. The door seals were leaky and water had mildewed the carpet and a previous owner had obviously been a chain smoker. I got the smell out, and intended on restoring the interior first then fixing up the exterior with a new paint job (note: i am a highschool student w/ a aprt time job paying my own gas, insurance and other expenses). I've finally built up some finances to begin doing major work to the car and with christmas coming soon should have even more.
Question #1: Where can i get free or cheap information on the layout of the vaccumm system? How complex is the vaccumm system? Has anyone ever completely overhauled the vaccumm tubing before? I've bought 2 different books, subscribed myself to every catalog i can find, and i can't find anything. I had to take the doors apart and cap off the automated locks (my fuel door was being stubborn and i was costantly having to use the release valve in the trunk)
Question #2: Where can i find inexpensive reliable parts? Money is very tight, and I need quite a few parts mostly interior things like door seals & a trunk seal.
Question #3: Drivers seat. The seat is getting very worn out, is there anything i can replace other than the entire seat itself?
Question #4: I have noticed a very strange occurance with the suspension. When i put the car into drive the rear lowers a noticable 2+ inches. When i put it in park, neutral or reverse it rises the oppisite. Experimenting with this and shifting rapidly from drive to neutral makes the car appear that it has a lift kit like that youd see in a rap video. Is this natural or is something completely messed up with the car?
Question #5: From what i've been reading everyone drives the manual transmission version of this car. My car has a very strange arrangement of gears, one marked as S right below drive. I was told this gear was for vertical climbing up hills, and in use seems to work well doing it. Is that the true purpose of this gear? What top seed should this gear encounter?
Question #6: ANY tricks or tips you may have about this car, like for cold weather or hot weather, please share them with me.
Any help would be GREATLY appriciated.
Thanks, Mitch Knight snipped-for-privacy@spis.net
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A project.
Relatively cheap parts are found at salvage yards - generally 50% of new.
Vacuum system is composed of several subsystems: power brake, engine shut down, door locks and climate control. Vacuum leaks often occur in the door locks and a vacuum leak will prevent the engine from shutting down. In that event open the hood and press the STOP lever on the throttle linkage.
Driver's seat can be rebuilt with a new pad and a new cover - Tex or Leather.
Yes the read rises or falls but 2"??
Transmission is 4 speeds but your car starts off in 2nd by default. At a full stop put selector in L and start off - that's 1st gear, shift up to S and immediately back to L to hold it in 2nd gear, then shift to S for third and D for 4th. There are small red marks in the speedometer to indicate the recommended maximum of each gear.
Cold weather trick is to start the winter with a good battery.
This is a nice car for local use and freeways too, once it gets going. You just need to recognize that acceleration is marginal and not take chances cutting into fast moving traffic.
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"T.G. Lambach" wrote:

The car is very slow compared to today's standards - manual shifting doesn't improve acceleration much so my advice is to leave the trans in D all the time when driving (except of course when it's _necessary_ to use another setting).
Juergen
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Yes, of course, my tract is to show the new owner how all 4 speeds can be engaged.
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Yes the read rises or falls but 2"??
Should read: Yes the rear rises or falls, but 2"?? (Or does it just seem like 2"?)
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Re: Lots of 1982 240D Questions - Novice Owner, PLZ help me! Group: alt.auto.mercedes Date: Thu, Nov 6, 2003, 3:32am (EST+5) From: snipped-for-privacy@NoHamOrSpamcomcast.net (T.G.Lambach) Yes the read rises or falls but 2"?? Should read: Yes the rear rises or falls, but 2"?? (Or does it just seem like 2"?) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx i had a 84 300SD that did the same thing my 82 does it but not as bad
my 82 240 with the auto trans i don't recall so it was not much i bet.
like the people said its a good car but fast its not so give it time. i always got fuel on freeways on the down hill side. that little bit helps. expect 80 MPH tops with the AC on.
EAR PLUGS may be needed at that speed.
good luck
case
the case, minus a few cans!
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These sources should help get your 240 into top condition. As with any internet vendor, shop, shop and shop.
Salvage Yards:
http://www.mbpartsonline.com / http://www.actionsalvage.com/engine/UsedEngineMercedes.asp http://www.auroraaw.com /
Books:
http://www.tmcpubl.com//mercedes.html http://www.books4cars.com /
Parts:
http://www.epsparts.com / http://www.buymbparts.com / http://www.thebenzbin.com / http://www.performanceproducts.com/default.aspx?referer 26&source=TXX2T3
http://www.adsitco.com /
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thank you all for your help, especially T.G. Lambach. I'm used to the slow acceleration, doesn't bother me at all. i had no idea how the gears were arranged, i played with that this morning and it works pretty well if your trying to get off an on-ramp on a 4 lane.
On all the vaccumm responses, i have another question: My AC compressor is completely locked up (my dad is a commercial refridgeration and climate control technician for wal-mart). I had him help me work with the AC and climate controls. When the ac knob is not set to max the transmission shifts EXTREMELY hard, when it is set to max it shifts very smoothly. I realize the AC is a major component of the vaccumm system. having the ac turned to max has no effect on air temperature (because it doesnt work). I looked into redoing the ac and all the prices on the parts i found were pretty high to say the least.
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I had a local indy mercedes mechanic tell me that one part you don't want to go aftermarket with is the compressor. he told me that after market compressors (for 124 models, anyway) usually don't last more than 3 yrs or so. he quoted me about 450-500 dollars for those. OTOH a mercedes remanufactured compressor runs around $600, and he claims they work just as well and run just as long (10 yrs) as the new mercedes branded compressor ($1200).
also, considering you'll probably be spending a fair amount of money refurbishing your car, you may consider only making necessary repairs, and pouring all the money you're saving into a fund for a new car in a few years instead (or perhaps into a college fund if you're going to have to pay your own way). once you've had a few catastrophic repairs (i.e. ones you have to send to the mechanic), your initial love for your car may wane a little.

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Ok, Mitch,
The transmission's shifts are modulated by a vacuum powered modulator. The principle is the MORE vacuum applied to the modulator the SOFTER the shift. The amount of vacuum is controlled by a (probably white plastic) vacuum valve on the throttle linkage up near the injection pump. At maximum throttle no vacuum is applied and shifts are firm whereas at slow speeds maximum vacuum is applied and shifts are soft. A vacuum leak elsewhere is defeating this system.
Since the transmission shifts normally at MAX cold on the climate control, we can conclude that the transmission and its vacuum system is OK and a bad vacuum leak is in the climate control, except when it's at its MAX cold setting. That suggests a leak at one or another of the vacuum powered duct regulators or when the recirculate control is NOT at recirculate. Remove the glove box for a better view of the climate control box and access to its vacuum lines. By removing one vacuum line at a time, plugging it and driving the car you will be able to find the leaker by this process of elimination.
Perhaps your father can help you restore the A/C before next summer. The compressor is, I believe, a Frigidare R-4 which has METRIC fittings. I suspect a (much cheaper) domestic R-4 unit with SAE threads for its mounting bolts will fit, the issue will be at its freon connections and "O" rings. The old and prospective replacement need to be carefully measured on a bench to be sure the swap will fit. That swap will save you quite a bit over a metric R-4 compressor.
Hope these ideas help.
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Mr. Lambach, Remind me. Which way do you turn the adjustment for the 'softer shift'? Mine is terribble when cold, fair when warm (30 minutes driving).
Chris

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One rule of thumb when driving a 240D automatic for daily use "Drive it like you hate it".
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