Questions to ask before/when buying a 1985 MB 300D

I am looking at a 1985 MB 300D. Problem is that it's located 300 miles away from me. The ad sounds great (single owner, low mileage) and the photos look good. What would be helpful to me at this point is a list
of specific questions that I could email to the seller before actually flying up to look at test drive the car. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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1. Is there any rust or rust repairs in the rocker panels, behind the wheel wells or underneath the doors?
2. Service records with oil/filter changes at least every 5000 miles?
3. When was the timing chain replaced?
4. Regular valve adjustments?

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Get the VIN# to see if it was ever wrecked or has a salvage title.
Rust?
Interior quality?
Maintenance and repair history for last ??K miles
Engine oil & filter every 5K miles, valve adjustment every 15K miles, transmission fluid & filter every 30K or 35K miles as well as engine fuel and air filter. Brake fluid and coolant replaced every 2 years. It won't be this good but something along this schedule would demonstrate reasonable maintenance, IMHO.
Why is the car being sold?
If in doubt about the engine have its compression tested by a M-B shop, then you'll know how much life remains.
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There are no questions you can ask because sellers of used car are almost always liers. You need to have somebody who KNWS THAT MODEL OF CAR check it out for you.
There was a 300D on ebay with "70K miles". CarFax said in 1992 it had 130K miles. Believe nothing.
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Tom) wrote in message

I just bought an '83 MB 1500 miles from home (I posted here about the experience). Believe me, you cannot believe anything you are told or emailed. Set up an appointment with a local shop, make the six hour drive there and YOU take the car to the shop and have them evaluate it. To find a shop you can do a google search for the city the car is in and see what comes up on the MB or car groups. Make the dealership the last resort. If you are a mechanic of any sort, pack your own tools and do it yourself. If the seller balks at anything resembling an inspection, run like hell in the other direction. Other cars will come your way.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (PT in Oregon) wrote in message

Thanks..that is very good advice. It sounds like a good deal but it's always best to be sure when one is investing a good amount of time and money.
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1985 was the last year of the 123's and is considered by many diesel lovers as the year to own if you want a 123 chassis. We have one, which we bought a few months ago for my wife to drive until her broken arm healed (Our other 300D is a Euro with a manual trans). Her arm has regained its strength, but we've become a permanent two 300D family.
The questions that other listers have suggested are comprehensive. Perhaps the owner can fax you some/all of the maintenance records. The records, if they exist, together with the carfax report, should give you enough information for you to decide to travel the 300 miles. While you're there, check out the bakeries, the book stores, whatever you need to do to reward yourself for your effort.
The listers who warn you against believing the owner's claims about his/her car ... ignore them. I've bought nearly twenty cars over the past forty years, usually with some caution, and I've never felt cheated. Above all, don't fall in love with any car until you've checked it out and put your money down.
Good luck,
Phil
'84 Euro 300D '85 300D

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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Tom) wrote in message

Reading Phil's comments made me think we might be coming off as a wee paranoid. I've been involved in buying cars and motorcycles for a few decades and I've seen more people who are ignorant than are outright dishonest. Either way, you are not getting the info needed for an informed purchase. Trust your gut instinct: Does this person sound like they REALLY know the car? Do they sound like they are hiding something? In this day and age we have a lot of resources available to get information. Why would you not use them? I've been doing my own car work for ages but still would rather pay a trusted garage to do an evaluation before I buy when possible. I think a lot of it depends on how much I stand to loose and how fast the deal has to happen.
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