proud new owner, I think?

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Hi folks I've been perusing this sight for a while now, and your enthusiasm and passion for these cars is contagious.
I just bought a 1980 300D. I am going back and forth from being exited
to a feeling of dread that I made a mistake.
I bought the vehicle sight unseen on ebay ( a little crazy I know) but I have been looking locally as well as online for about a year and have watched the prices of the 1980 to 85 diesels go up pretty dramatically. And I have bought a couple of other cars on e-bay (none this old) and have had good luck so far.I'm pretty sure if all is as stated by the owner that I got a good enough deal to take a chance.
this is the link to the vehicle http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item 0020428987&sspagenameME%3AL%3ARTQ%3AUS%3A1

problems besides a non working A/C and a non operational passenger window. I am thinking about flying out to California from Chicago and driving the car back.
What questions should I ask now of the owner, and what should I have checked out specifically when I get there as far as mechanicals to ascertain whether or not the car can make such a long cross country trip?
Does anyone know of an honest MB mechanic in Sacramento California I can take it to?
I am new to diesel Mercedes cars but I am a fairly adequate diy kind of guy. Anything in particular to look for in the non turbo 1980 300D, besides sluggish acceleration :)
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Wow... a thousand buck. That is a bargain for rust free car. I would let a MB diesel mechanic check it out before your ride back to Chicago. I'd buy some fuel filters, jumper cable, essential tools to carry with me on the road. AAA would be great too... don't forget that MB road service is free for minor things... but repair on the road cost money.
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For a $1000 you can't lose. Just remember to change and check all fluids (if not already done so) before driving that far
cp

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item 0020428987&sspagenameME%3AL%3ARTQ%3AUS%3A1
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You may find that having it shipped to you is cheaper (and safer) than you traveling to Sacramento and driving it back to Chicago. About $1,000 +/-.
You know squat about this car and it's a long drive. One break down and the $1,000 truck shipping looks pretty good.
Trucking is by vehicle size and whether the car will be inside or outside. Prices can be a bit, not a lot, "flexible" so don't take the first number thrown out.
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T.G. Lambach wrote:

Good point...but at about 1000.00 shipping which is what I paid for the car, vs. 125.00 for the one way ticket to Sacramento plus travel expenses. I'm thinking if a mechanic gives the O.K. it may be worth the risk. I would love to know if anyone knows a good independent MB mechanic around Sacramento, Or should I just have a dealer look it over? If someone in the know looks at it and tells me its risky I can still have it shipped,and fly back.
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Congratulations! Relax and enjoy the car. As somebody else said, for a thousand bucks, you can't go wrong.

Why don't people fix stuff like that when it breaks? I've never understood why some owners surrender to entropy and let malfunctions accumulate on their cars like that.
I'd seriously recommend that if you do decide to drive the car home rather than having it shipped, you bite the bullet and have the air conditioning fixed first -- especially at this time of the year. Even if it weren't summertime, A/C would keep the noise level down inside the car, reducing fatigue, and prevent your being beaten half to death by the wind. W123 aerodynamics are such that the cars aren't terribly comfortable with the windows open at freeway speeds.
This would be a logical opportunity to have the air conditioning system converted to R134A refrigerant.
I'd also check the cruise control and fix it if necessary, since it'd be really nice to have on a long trip. That's particularly true in the case of a nonturbo car, in order to maintain freeway speeds more easily.
Cruise control is a weak point with these cars. The culprit is the amplifier, a silver metal box inside the dash just ahead of the driver's left knee. (Replacements cost $200-300 but are plug-and- play.)
Geoff
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Pussy :-)
The cruise control is the last thing I'd be worried about. Hard suspension parts, hoses, belts, fluids, brakes, that's what I'd be more concerned about. Inspect and replace as required.
The CC amp, when it fails, is 99% of the time a broken solder joint and the usual repair is pull the unit, resolder EVERYTHING then stuff it back in. That usually fixes it.
I've never bothered to fix mine. I like cramped foot syndrome :-)
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Richard Sexton <See http://rs79.vrx.net for address> writes:
[cruise control]

Feh. :-)

Absolutely. But the guy said he was going to have the car looked at before hitting the road, so I took it as a given that those items would be attended to first and foremost.

I find it's nice to be able to move around a bit, maybe lift one asscheek and then the other, in order to facilitate circulation. Not having to keep my foot on the accelerator makes taht easier.
Geoff
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"Only through suffering can we achieve perfection" - Checkov :-)
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Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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Richard Sexton wrote:

Thanks for all the great advice EVERYONE. Its going to make owning one of these cars that much more satisfying knowing there is such a passionate and knowledgeable owners group out there.
I think I'm leaning somewhere in the middle as far as pre-road trip maintenance. I can deal without air conditioner cruise control etc, I'm hard like that :) Not that I wouldn't like to have it. But I'd rather Have the time to work it out myself, or have my mechanic here work on it after I know a little more, at Midwest labor prices as opposed to California ones ( Big difference) I'm a bit leery of just handing my car over to a mechanic I don't know in a strange town and just have him fix everything that could possibly be wrong. I'm more worried about the Major break me down in the middle of nowhere stuff.. Belts, Hoses, fluids.....AAA?
I'm thinking I'll have the fluids changed, compression test done, valve adjustment, hoses belts replaced as needed and hope for the best. Any advice on an honest mechanic in the Sacramento area???
Thanks again everyone.
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I would take to MB dealer in the area...saying that you plan to purchase the car and want it inspected. Make appointment before you go... or see if they can squeeze you in.
Change oil would be the first thing to do... top off all the other fluids... you can top the fluids yourself or let a lube shop do it for you...
Inspect the hoses for any soft spots... if yes, buy the hose at local autozone or something.
Check the belt see if they are worn... like belt is below the rim of the pulley... or ripped or cracked badly... if not, I think you will be fine, pick up spares at autozone too.
You definitely need AAA Deluxe.
Bring some motor oil, some anitifreeze, water, and spare tool kit... buy locally at autozone...
Other than that, I wouldn't worry unless the dealer tell you so....
No need for compression test done at Sacramento.
AC... you can try to charge it up yourself with a kit if you want to...
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Tiger wrote:

Thanks Tiger..
What do you think is the best model specific manual I can bring on the trip..Any specific advice on tools to bring?
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MB service manual ia the best... but in short time, maybe your local library has Haynes manual for you to borrow... W123 manual.
Basic tools... socket set, screwdriver, pliers, etc. Paper towels, hand cleaner, glove...
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I've used Haynes manuals for years, for several different cars. They're my favorite among those from the common publishers (Chilton, Clymer, etc.).
Maynes manuals are sold in the parts department of my local M-B dealership. Don't know whether that's usually the case or not. If not, the nearest Borders & Noble ought to have a decent sel- ection of them.
I have the manual for the W123 diesels, which I no longer own one of. Sadly, there doesn't seem to have been a Haynes manual written for the *W124* diesels. Sigh.)
Geoff
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Geoff Miller wrote:

My w124 manual has diesels in it. The 200, 250 (2.5 l) and 300 (3.0 l).
I think it's based on models that were sold in Britain. (It's talking about C to K registrations, nothing bigger that a 320, though)
Ximinez
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The Spanish Inquisition wrote:

That should have been 'my Haynes w124 manual'...
Ximinez
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and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....
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FYI K-reg is 1993 (Aug 92 - Aug 93 to be precise). I have a K-reg 190E...
DAS
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Geoff Miller wrote:

Yes, there is one, BUT, you have to order it from Haynes. It is British, and will run 45 bucks after shipping (I know, cause I got one for my 89 300E).
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     be forwarned though, there are errors. I did look at a Haynes just recently when removing my rotor.... they had the procedure correct, but in a mixed up order...... would have confused a novice for sure
cheers, guenter
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Guenter Scholz wrote:

The layout for my 2.5 engine has two fuel filters and no oil filter. Go figure...
Ximinez
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