proud new owner, I think?

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A dealership? Bend over and grab your ankles. The M-B dealership in San Jose, Smythe European, charges a preposterous $165 an hour for labor, versus the painful but not extortionate $95 an hour the two independent shops I've used charge. I doubt things are much dif- ferent out Sacto way.
Geoff
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165.00 an hour! I've never even heard of such a thing, The independants out there charge more than the dealers here....I'm starting to re-think this , again. If I have to have any real work done to it there, it will totally kill any cost savings I would have driving it back. Now granted its not totally about the money, I was kind of looking forward to a little road trip, Get a feel for the car...But I really can't spend more than 5 days doing it, figure I can do it in 3 10 hour days, but that doesn't leave much room for sightseeing, much less potential breakdowns.
I think I may be wussing out a little...
hmmm..
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dieselwannabe wrote:

You don't need to go to a MB shop to get the fluids checked and the hoses, brakes, tires, etc. inspected etc. There must be a reasonably priced mechanic around that area that could look into these things for you. I would risk it - though I would buy AA! and pack a lunch, toolkit etc. as so many others have pointed out.
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dieselwannabe wrote:
[high hourly labor rate at M-B dealerships]


Suggestion: Post to the newsgroup sac.general and ask if anyone can recommend a good indepdendent Mercedes shop in Sacramento. Maybe even crosspost to ba.general.
Geoff
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You could always drive it as is. If it breaks down you have it shipped, but frankly, chanced are probbaly not that bad that you'll make it back ok.
And shipping it halfway across the country will be cheaper that shippig it all the way across the country.
But, I wouldn't give up on finding a good inndy mechanic in the sacromento area yet.
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Oh darn it... Just drive it! Have an adventure... just make sure there is always oil in the engine!
Or if you want to do cheap way... AAA deluxe will drive you 100 miles... drop off at each motel... and call another AAA to tow it for another 100 miles until you get home!
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Tiger's right. Sounds like a great adventure. Check that it's not leaking anything, get an extra fusible link, get the tires balanced/aligned, point the car East, and then drive it like you stole it. Don't have buyer's remorse unless it turns out to be a complete POS when you get there.
My 2 cents (which is overpaying),
Josh
P.S. Make sure to post to this NG the outcome of your purchase and journey.
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Yeah, you can do it, Just relax.
Another triumph of man and machine over time and the elements...
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Martin Joseph wrote:

Well guys. after all this discussion I decided to ship it anyway the 450.00 price from DAS was to good to pass up. And the time involved plus plane ticket and gas taking time off work would have been more expensive by far. I still would have liked to do it anyway just for the sheer adventure of it. But the time/money constraints just aren't working out for now.
Thanks for all the great info guys.. I'll keep you posted when I get the car (hopefully in one piece)
Thanks.
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Good point...Kind of what I was thinking too...However
I just got a DAS shipping quote, not door to door, but close enough...for 450.00!! at that price I dont think I can excuse the trip as any sort of cost savings, it would still be fun though.. :)
I can't believe I can ship it for this price...every other quote I got was 1000.00 and up.
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Uh, yeah well, be careful. If you think the company you call is actually the company that ships your car in a covered hauler and treats it with kid glove syou'd be mistaken. Oftentime they subcontract it out to somebody else and there are lots of stories of delayed and damaged cars. It's good to look for recommendations for car shippers - ones people have used and have good luck with. Often these are not the cheapest ones.
Oddly this is one thing Amtrack does well. See if shipping by train is an option for you, it works well in some cases.
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I would want to hang around for a day or so checking the car out before you take it on the road. Any problems would surface pretty quickly and you can still get them taken care of locally instead of on the road. I would load up on extra oil, fuel filters, coolant , misc. small tolls duct tape, wire and then hit the road. Happy traveling

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I can't offer any specific advice not being familair with that specific car but in general you're on the right track. The more time and money you spend while it's there the nicer trip you'll have driving it back.
I bought my 300SD in Atlants about 8 years ago. I had a guy who was familiar with those cars inspect it - he said "tie rods, cam chain, calve adjustment, alignment and all fluids and filters" so I had hat done and the seller damn near didn't want to give me the car back (jokingly said). I had a great trip home and still drive it daily.
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This 1980 has an automatic climate control system that's very complicated. So when you're told the A/C "doesn't work" be sure it's only the cooling that "doesn't work" not the whole system. Horror would be learning that someone had tried to "fix" this system (not just the cooling) and so messed it up that restoration is nearly impossible.
Know that there's a OEM "servo" which controls the coolant flow to the heater, the vacuum to the ducts and the blower speeds. These servos can only be had rebuilt - about $500. Then there's the "amplifier" a circuit board located behind the glove box. The board's solder lines crack and the climate control acts crazy - like sudden full heat. But worse, the servo has a plastic base that can break allowing the coolant to run out and frying the engine. So when you drive keep an eye on the temperature gauge - diesels are quite consistent 80 degree C. runners, only rising on longer hills.
There's a digital retrofit climate control available that replaces all the OEM junk. I installed one in my '80 model and it works well. Made by www.unwiredtools.com and sold by www.performanceproducts.com. - something to consider when you come to dealing with the car's climate control.
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Again, I agree with Tiger (no surprise). If you're a bit of a DIYer make sure you change the oil, oil filter, both fuel filters, fill er up and hit the road. These cars are rather bullet-proof compared to most other 25-year-old cars and the trip will certainly prove what you've bought by the time you get home. Additionally, you'll be able to make a list of things you want to check out once you get home. Don't worry about the A/C since it's just a matter of isolating the problem and taking care of the problem. Same with the cruise control. A/C systems are much simpler than most people think. The only problem where the 300D is concerned is the control system. That can also be corrected, especially if you have access to a local wrecking yard that takes in those that don't quite measure up or are banged up too much to repair. I have both an '81 240D and an '81 300D and they are probably the easiest cars I've ever worked on and I'm talking about '41 flathead V8's to modern diesels. At $1k you're on easy street and can afford to put a few bucks into what may well be one of the best daily drivers you'll ever own. Good luck.
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