New Member - New/Used 190D

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Hi Everyone, I'm new to the Group... Very nice to have found you all! I'm in the process of aquiring a 1984 190D. I'm new to diesels, but not automotively inept. (4 other high mileage
vehicles in the stable) Enough about me! The MB 190D is beautiful inside and out. Starts, runs... No problems other than this: Supposedly the previous owner ran the car out of oil! As stated above, the car starts and runs at this point... but smokes (black, I'm told) badly! I've read that this is (always?) caused by an overly rich condition. Could it be that only the valves have siezed, and nothing else? (I haven't SEEN the smoke, to see if it's black, that's what I'm told... and I'm grasping at straws) As stated above; (again) I'm new to diesels, and not automotively inept... but could the diesel fuel itself (being an 'oily' grade of petroleum product) be enough to lubricate the engine, otherwise? This seems a little ridiculous, I know, (If you're thinking the same thing) but I have no expertise in this area. Here's my thought: The owner, seemingly too 'uneducated' to check their oil, and perform all the other routine maintainence (valves); ran the car until it seemed to smoke, run poorly, etc., and parked it. Then the car sat until all the oil was lost due to leakage. (200,000mi - IIRC) Then the last owner, who I will be aquiring it from; opened the hood to see why there was so much smoke... saw the oil level at "0"; and again, parked the car. The current owner knows little to nothing about diesels, either. He bought the car because it's so nice, inside and out. He saw that there was no oil in the crankcase, (do you call it a crankcase, in diesel-speak? LOL) parked it, and is unloading the car, on me. I don't mind! I would love to restore this beautiful automobile to it's former glory; and would truly appreciate any instruction and guidance anyone in this group can give me... You are almost gauranteed to be able to tell me something I don't already know! Thanks to All! Jay
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Why are you wasting time on a 1984 car that has a busted motor?
In 1984 this was just another small, quite underpowered car!
Now it needs an engine.
It smokes because the cylinders are scored causing lots of friction and poor compression. An oil change and valve adjustment won't fix that, and an overhauled engine is too expensive for the car.
That's why everyone is looking to palm this junker off on someone else.
If you must have it pay the guy $1 and drag it away. Find a used engine at a salvage yard and install it.
Oh why am I writing this? The prospect of spending time and money on this wreck is absurd!
What's the hook??????
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Underpowered is relative, but I agree with you about the rest of it.
DAS
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Not many of these baby benz diesels were sold so I suggest you first KNOW where a used engine can be bought and its cost before buying the car. The car had better be a 5 speed manual or forget it; the engine is small so an automatic makes its performance absolutely anemic.
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Just for info that of course that does not apply to Europe, where loads were sold. But I guess the OP is in North America.
DAS
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Yeh, my mom has a w124 200D 5spd and her commute involves some steep and long hill driving and it drives great. On a recent trip through the Rockies the car got 5.5l/100km and absolutely no problem on the mountain passes. Unless of course one needs to be driving 200km/h up every peak.
cp
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Agree. The car needs another engine. There were not many such cars to start with so engine will be difficult to find. Even harder for good with relatively low mileage. The same 2.2 liter diesel (OM601) was sold in 84 and 85 but EGR and some minor changes were added in 85.
The car does not have good power, in American way, but shouldn't be a problem once you are used to it. When the engine performs well, it can go 35+ MPG, an advantage with current gas (oh, diesel) price.
In an unlikely, small, chance, it is the injection pump that needs adjustment/rebuild. That is not a cheap job either ($400+ for rebuild). And when I.P. needs rebuild, the engine usually is not in good shape either.
T.G. Lambach wrote:

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Ouch! Thanks for the help, I guess! Well, let's start out with... the car is free. Okay, if I can't hook up with a friend for a tow (get it... hook up for a tow? ...and there's the hook, T.G.!) then it will cost me for that. I figure that at the very least, I'll have parts for sale, to cover that expense. Certainly; no one read my post closely enough to notice I said that I had other "high mileage" vehicles... sadly, probably none much better than this, at least when first aquired. Still, the best that I can afford. I guess my next question should be: What options are there for engines? Do I neccessarily have to find a 2.2 from an '84 or '85 190D, or are there workarounds? Does MB change trans bolt locations for every model, or motor mounts? Is the engine bay just too small for any other engine? Everything I've read or heard about the diesel engine says the simplicity of the engine is it's beauty... or vice versa. I'm not particularly worried about the power, the car will go to my 72 year old mother, who probably won't mind as long as it will climb the hills in Syracuse, NY, better than her old Civic did. Well, thanks in advance for anything anyone can offer! Jay
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If you are already commited to getting the car, go with it and see what's what.
Just because of major negative attitude here doesn't mean you won't find a diamond in the rough (or at least a purty rhinestone).
If the previous owner really did run the motor out of oil and it sounds like crap and blows Blueish smoke, the I suggest parting it.
Have you never heard the most expensive things in life are free?
Marty
PS I don't think the "other engines" train of thought is worth pursuing.
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Thanks for the quick reply! Supposedly it was black smoke, but I'll see what's what. I was hoping to find something of a "list" of vehicles which could be used for the donor engine, (if need be) and through a search, found this: http://mercedesshop.com/shopforum/showthread.php3?ti089&goto=nextoldest Thanks again! Jay
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I'm not particularly worried about the power, the car will go to my 72 year old mother, who probably won't mind as long as it will climb the hills in Syracuse, NY, better than her old Civic.
That may be OK in the spring, summer and fall.
What's she going to do in the winter cold when this old diesel won't start?
Or doesn't that worry you either?
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Does it have a block heater? Can she park the car in a heated garage? Both are quite handy, I would imagine.
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There is no reason to jump to conclusions about the condition of the car.
Wait until you get it, and then compression test it, and you will have a much better idea of the internal condition of this puppy.
If you find it's got some life left, TG is of course quite right that you will need to insure the cold start systems (ie glow plugs) are all working well...
I grew up in Buffalo, and while it's not really cold there compared to some places (right captain?), it's cold enough that you will need a proper working diesel if you expect it to start it before spring.
Block heaters and inside parking would help also, but personally if you can't make it work right (ie start without that kind of help), I wouldn't give it my mom.
FYI, my mom drives a 1989 Corolla with 167,000 miles on it. I can't seem to get her to buy a newer car either (lord knows I have tried). It was a west coast car originally so it WAS rust free. it will be gone from rust in another year or two though...
Marty
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Yep. That's the way the Honda is going. But in the meantime, it barely scratches it's way to the top of the hills she needs to climb in her area. I grew up near Buffalo, as well. I've seen the diesel's gel. I'm not sure of the practicality of the car when the cold rolls in, but I do know that my mother has sense enough to understand the limitations of the car. She's no fan of the cold weather, either. She stays there to be close to her family, who will visit her, at her request. Finally, (for this post, at least) I will not pass the car to my mother, or my wife, or anyone else, before all is in good order... This is not directed at anyone in particular, it does seem though, that I've been judged as someone of very little character.
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Aren't there block heaters, anti gel agents, and car covers for this? She doesn't have a regular commute, she just likes to get out, and visit her grandchildren, sometimes.
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If it's free, at least you can get the car first and evaluate how good or bad its condition is. I agree "it needs an engine" but it doesn't mean it needs now. As long as the cold start works fine, you can drive and see. This engine/car is very easy to maintain. It is pure mechanical, no electronic control. As long as the engine runs, the car goes! I once had a fried alternator 50 miles from home, jumped the car and drove it home.
The engine bay is not big. There is a 190E (gas) 2.6 version with inline 6-cylinder, but the radiator/fan/bumper have to be modified slightly to accommodate the longer engine. There is also too much trouble to convert the diesel to gas, so basically the car is stuck with the little diesel. The later 2.5 diesel is 5-cylinder which fits into the engine bay but it has more electronic control. Both 2.2 and 2.5 are not easy to find, compared to the iron OM617 3-liter (which won't fit in this little car).
If you switch to other engine, most likely you need to pair the transmission box, sometimes even the rear axle. I would consider that's too much work for this model. I notice diesel cars recently have increased value (probably due to high gas price) but I don't think it's worth (money-wise) the effort/expensive to do such complete make-over.
Jay wrote:

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Finally! An answer with information. Although I appreciate everyone's opinions, I have plenty of my own, already. I'm sorry to be so short, but I think some of you people should get out more, and away from the keyboard. (and you know who you are.) I'm very aware that my tone has changed as I've gone through these replies, but it seems that there should be some sort of qualification before posting to your little message board... I'm sure I would not have passed THAT test. Thanks and good-bye.
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Jay wrote:

Well, for those that think it doesn't go very fast, here's an interesting link (warning: likes IE!)
http://www.e39.de
mouseover to topten mercedes -> highspeed 91-100
And there we have a 190D (circa. 1988) in 96th place going at 182km/h (113mph) beating a 190e 2.6 in 97th place.... ;-)
This list is supposedly real people submitting pics on how fast they have gone. (Hopefully it's not the driver taking the pics?)
The other links are interesting too. The E55 AMG Kompressor is 8th overall at 321km/h (199mph), and is the 1st merc on the list.

BTW, Jay, do lose your attitude. This is a *worldwide* forum, and the treatment of newbies on this NG are and have been *extremely* civil, compared with most other groups.
Cheers, WS
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Jay,
You asked for opinions on acquiring this car. It was not clear if you had driven it or that it was essentially free. It was described as having been run out of oil and smoking. You said that diesels were new to you. Opinions please.
People see a car and get enthusiastic about owning it. My response was to warn you off this car because it will not easily be put right. And after your time and your money is spent on it you'll just have an old car that was never remarkable, even in 1984.
You know, there's no shortage of used cars out there, so why buy a known bad one?
My comments were well intended and made to spare YOU such a bad ownership experience. There's nothing whatsoever personal, it's only about this old car.
Tom
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And I remember a quote long time ago from this newsgroup: the most expensive Mercedes is a cheap one.
I bought my own 190D very cheap (initially) and paid the price over time. But I bought it not for money, but for my interest (Mercedes & diesel, both my first experience). This little car is probably the one I know most among all the cars I have maintained. Why? Countless hours working on it to correct numerous problems. If I count in my own free labor, this car is the most expensive I have owned.
Tom, you are absolutely right. There is no shortage of used cars. With people crazily buying new cars with employee pricing, we can expect more used cars down the road.
T.G. Lambach wrote:

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