Trading when down == up (diesel)

I'm selling my 97 e320, but only for the sake of household expenses. The car that I'm checking out tomorrow is a nice '91 300 diesel. It's at a pretty fair price, and it should be a fiscally sound
venture. My question relates to veggie & diesel: What is the best method for this vintage engine? -- Fuel modification or vehicle modificaiton?
(I'm wanting a modest $6000 for the 97, if anyone is interested.)
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Maybe I'm missing something, but if you have a 97 E320 that is well maintained, that you know at least some history of and is in good shape, I don't see how your're going to come out far enough ahead selling that and buying a car that is a 91 diesel. For the couple thousand diff in price, you wind up with a car that is 6 years older. I guess if you're going to collect used veg oil for free, then it could work out if you drive a lot. But one major unexpected repair on a 16 year old car, and you could be in the hole.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Amen. I think you stand a better chance of getting upside down. I bought a '92 300D recently for $4000 I have a total of $10,000 in now. Now I *am* kind of picky but the car is gorgeous and runs extremely well. I think it's worth every dime I put into it. YMMV
JD
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I agree. Most older cars I bought do need lots of attention in the first 6-12 months, regardless if I know the history or not. 15-20 years is about the time rubber/seals/plastic parts start to fail. They are not expensive but it sure takes lots of labor. Is it worth to trade down to a car you are not familiar with? It may save on the purchase price but the maintenance cost is increased.
I also agree with that, the veg oil conversion does not do much saving unless you drive a lot and keep the car for many years.
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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It's true some of those parts are not expensive, but plenty are. As an example, on my 80 300SD I recently had some minor water leaks into the trunk. One was the rubber gasket that goes around the tail-light lens. The gasket was still in pretty good shape, considering it's 27 yrs old now, but it was dried out a bit, but not falling apart, just leaking somewhere. The only place you can get it is MB: $75
So, I managed to make do with putting some weatherstrip adhesive on the old one. But, there are many things on these cars that you can't get away with that easy.
I just went looking for a new exhaust system. The only source now for the header down pipe is MB. It cost $180 for the 3 ft section of pipe. Actually, I was very surprised, as I thought that was quite reasonable and got it from Rusty. That's one of those things they could easily charge $300 for and you'd have no choice. Maybe they haven't figured out they are the only source left yet :)
Is it worth to trade

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All these posts confirm it would not be wise to trade down like that. Depreciation on the extsing E 320 would be low now and the insurance cost difference would be small, too, I expect. There is only the fuel cost difference, and I bet that's small, too, bearing your mileage in mind.
Yes, why buy 6 years' worth of extra trouble, so to speak (1991 to 1997)?
DAS
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Cheesehead wrote:

Make sure you have a source of vegetable oil. It's not as easy to find as you might hope; most restaurant use hydrogenated oils which are bad for the motors in both your Benz and your own body.
-tom!
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1997 is a good candidate for WVO conversion... I would not trade that car in for older model. It is not worth the trouble.
Those of you said not worth the conversion? Well, that is up to you. Saving $3 per gallon is worth it for me even though I don't drive much. When is the last time you can spend 25 cents per gallon fuel cost?
Aside from cost... your health is more important as diesel fume is not good for you... green to mother earth... kicking those oil guys in the ass... getting head start into green world... and using your brain and having fun doing the WVO process.
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It seems it would be one hell of a conversion to get a 97 E320, which has a 6 cylinder gas engine to run on WVO.

I drive my diesel about 7K miles a year, much of it on short trips around town. So, assuming I got the WVO for free, and I'd save about $750 a year in fuel costs. That's assuming I used 100% veg oil. Now factor in that to use WVO without processing it, I'd have to do a conversion, putting in another fuel tank and all the plumbing, etc. Then, I'd still hgave to buy some regular diesel and use it until the WVO warms up, which I think negates using it on short trips of a few miles, like to the grocery store. I looked into the kits a couple years ago, and for my car the conversion kit was running around $1500.
Or I could process WVO into biodiesel and avoid the conversion, but I think that requires setting up a chemical processing lab with vats, lye, methanol, testing each source of WVO collected to figure out how much lye needs to be added and the time and effort that goes with it. I'm not sure local authorities would approve of that activity in my home garage or if my insurance would pay off if the place burned down. And what do I do with the waste products? I can't put them out into the street with the trash. I guess you have to pay some toxic waste hauler to take them away, unless you dump the crap in the woods at night.
And with either method, I have to go around town and somehow collect hundreds of gallons of WVO in an 80 300SD.
Factoring all that into the equation, it just doesn't seem to make sense to me.

Do you really think what fuel you put in your own car is going to affect your health? When you drive down the highway, you're breathing exhaust generated by all the other cars, diesel trucks, busses, etc. Last time I checked, my own exhaust is flowing behind me. I'm breathing what's coming out of the dump truck ahead of me.
And burning WVO generates pretty much the same pollutants as burning diesel, though it does generate maybe 30% less amounts of some of them. But that assumes that WVO is properly processed and burned as completely as possible. I've seen reports that cars just running straight WVO through some old diesel actually produce MORE pollution, because the fuel is too thick, doesn't atomize completely and hence doesn't burn as completely as diesel or a commercial biodiesel mix would. We've all heard the stories of how these cars exhaust smell like french fries haven't we? That should tell you that the combustion certainly isn't complete.
I'm not saying WVO doesn't have a role to play as a fuel. But if you think you're somehow making a big difference in your own health or environmental impact by taking WVO and just putting it into any diesel, I think you're kidding yourself and could actually be emitting more pollutants.
. green to mother earth... kicking those oil guys in the ass...

Consider that there is only so much free WVO to be had. The other part of the biofuels solution is far from perfect. It takes more land, more fertilizer, more water, and with it more run off, etc to grow the plants needed to produce the fuel. And the fertilizer comes from? Natural gas. So, I wouldn't say using VO is a big step into a green world. And if you had to pay true market prices, without subsidies, for any of these biofuels, they still cost more than gasoling at $3.
and using your brain and having fun

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It is not any different to convert at all.
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It's not any different to convert a 97 E320, a gasoline 6 cylinder, which is what he has, to diesel than a 91 diesel? Care to explain?
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OooooooohhhhhhhhhHH@@@@!!!!!! DOH!
For some reason, I was thinking E320 Diesel... like it exist until 2003... DOH! DOH! DOH! DOH!
Put a bucket on my head and slam it into the wall repeatedly.... DOH!
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LOL. I figured that you made that little oversight, and was surprised you didn't catch it when I said it would be a hell of a job to do the conversion on the 97 gas car. The OP's thinking was that by going to the 91 diesel, he'd have a car that could run WVO, which makes the whole sell/buy thing make some sense. Still, if I had a 97 gas MB that was running swell and I had experience with, I wouldn't sell it and buy a 6 year older diesel on the theory that it's going to save a lot of money. If you;re into trying the WVO thing, I can see doing it, but if the primary motivation is $$, I'm not sure it makes much sense. If you happen to buy a lemon, you could easily wind up upside down.
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Yep... if your maintenance expense is low for existing car... keep it... It doesn't make sense to gamble like you said... unless you really know the previous owner.
WVO thing is nice to do and can save money but going WVO is not just a straight shot... you really have to make sure nothing is wrong with the car... because once you switch over... and find out that the car is not running right... you are going have to spend more money. WVO need a good running car... diesel gives you more tolerance.
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How do you use it in your car? Straight, mixed, processed into boidiesel?
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I have bought the kit but have not installed it. My car need to go into service for issues I cannot solve. Don't have enough experience in electronic part of diesel engine...
My friend however who lives in same town as me has converted nearly 2 months now... same kit as mine, Lovecraft. His car is 87 300SDL with 240,000 miles. At first, as recommended by Lovecraft, he was running 100% SVO... new vege oil... and just this week, he ran WVO 100%.
The issue we have with his car now is the mileage has dropped... and we also have difficulty calculating his fuel mileage. With diesel, he got about 25 MPG... and with SVO, he had average roughly calculating about 18MPG... and now with WVO, we are not quite sure but I would say the same...
7MPG drop is huge... but like I said, SVO and WVO is very finicky when just installed and I suspect on this car... his fuel injectors are at fault... worn out.
Other than that, he has zero problem starting car... car ran great... quieter than diesel... everything except fuel mileage.
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http://www.lovecraft.com/
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Tiger, don't do that. We will certainly need your know-how again ;-) Your advise on how to fix the warm up regulator on my 380SE a while ago was right on spot. She now starts like a charm, even this cold (subfreezing) morning. Thanks!
pej
--
Per Erik Jorde

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Thanks Pej... sometime life is whirling around you like Taz... that Tasmanian devil in Bug Bunny cartoons... and you miss something like that... LOL.
writes:

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