When is it time to say goodbye?

Der Klunker nee Pimpmobile, is a 1981 300SD, which we bought for $1,500 in 1999. We never should have bought it as everything that could go wrong did go wrong or was already wrong. But hey! We are not the first
to throw good money after bad.
Over time the old girl got an all new suspension, even new rims (to replace the pimpmobile rims she came with), air conditioner, engine, transmission, etc., etc. We have driven her to Canada ands to Florida and she always got us home while driving like a Mercedes should.
Yestereday I took her for her winterizing maintenance. One item that had to be replaced is a cross member just aft of the front suspension and under the transmission. It was rusted clear through. Both sides of the trunk on either side of the spare tire well are rusted through, which we discovered when stuff started falling out of the trunk onto the road. The bottom of the body side rails on both sides are very severely rusted. I have visions of us driving a Flinstones jalopy, our feet on the road under the car propelling us.
She's good for the winter when little driving will be done, but I am wondering if the rust may become a safety factor. This car would never pass inspection in Europe though New York has no problem with it.
Is it time to say goodbye to this faithful old Klunker into which we have already poured ontold amounts of money? How best to deaccession her? Call a junkyad and have her towed away? Part her out? The engine and tranny are still good for many years to come, as are some of the other bits and pieces.
We have no idea what the mileage is, by the way. The odometer said 150K. But during a repair it was found that at some point a new odometer had been installed that came from a car several years newer. Today it is just shy of 200K, meaning we have put only 50K on it in eight years.
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Sell it as a parts car - with many recently new parts.
I hope you buy another Benz, hopefully one without such a tough prior life!
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I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. And of curse I would only buy another MB -- preferably a newer 300SD. That is one hell of a car. I will check out that makeover site. Can't hurt. But I have also been reflecting on what it would cost to move all the good parts to another car, and not all of them would be easily moveable. Such as the entire suspension and steering box, all of which was rebuilt with new bushings, etc. Rusty Der Klunker may be, but she still rides and drives like a dream.
The cross member was bolted on and was replaced with a used one. The old one was rusted clear through.
Not easy for me to do my own work. We live in Manhattan on the 21st floor and park the car on the street. Any work done has to be done by a garage at rates up to $125 per hour. The work just done. which was valve adjustment, winterization and replace the cross member, cost $711. I almost never get out of a garage for less than $500.
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Slight deviation of topic but $125 per hour is peanuts, in the south of England the rate is £95 per hour plus 17.5% vat which is £111.62 or $223. Makes Manhattan look cheap lol
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<SNIP> .... England the rate is £95 per hour plus 17.5% vat which is £111.62 or $223. Makes Manhattan look cheap... <SNIP>
And makes anyone that pays that look like a sucker. Talk about strong motivation to learn a few things about working on your own car, and finding someone with a yard or garage to use. I have a pretty good paying job and live comfortably, but unless someone is the absolute guru on my car and is the only person capable of fixing a particular problem correctly, or tuning it up correctly (which is not the case for these cars, but may be for an exotic.) I would never pay that since it is a sizable chunk of my daily earnings blown in the span of an hour.
I think that the real issue here is that paying any sum of money more than peanuts would not be worth it since it would take many many hours to transfer everything of value from one car to the other. All the suspension and driveline components would be at least two days worth of work. If seats and stuff like that also go over, it could take the shop an amount of time equal to the value of a much newer car. I'd imagine that a well equipped shoop could actually swap the driveline with about 7-10 man hours of work. However, I'd bet that the hours that they charge, as set by the labor manuals would be much much higher.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

do the work myself. Manhattan doesn't take to shade tree mechanics working on the public street. If you leave a car in the garage after the work is done, you incur hefty charges. Nor of course do I have the tools, and I learned a long time ago that the cheapest way to get something done right is to hire the guy who knows how to do it and has the tools. For even what seems to be the simplest job. (You reading Mr. Lambach?) Any car with a blown engine of the same vintage that has no rust, no dents and a clean interior still has a quarter century old suspension, etc. So we will just keep driving the mechanically only 30K-old Klunker until the body rusts out completely and collapses around us.
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Only because the USD has dropped to 2 per pound.
Wasn't that expensive in US dollar terms when it was GBP 1 = USD 1.20 or even 1.50, for example.
In general the UK is considered fairly expensive by outsiders, though some of that is coloured by high hotel and eating-out costs in central London, which is where most visitors go.
DAS
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Yes! Find one with a blown motor, and swap yours into it.
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Submit your story to http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/pimp_my_ride/series.jhtml#bio read T&C first at http://www.mtv.com/sitewide/mtvinfo/user_content.jhtml
You may get a makeover.
DanlK www.collectibles.fyis.org RSS Feed Subscription @ http://tinyurl.com/38qpt9
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It sounds like a great supply of good parts. I will trade for an 81 datsun 4x4 pickup? You may want to buy a worn-out car with a good body in California or Georgia, drive it home and start swapping parts.
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All these ideas -- such as transferring the motor (which will last a long time) to a newer body -- are well and good if you have the time and energy.
Flog and buy another one, as suggested by © 2007 T.G.Lambach sounds like good advice to me, unless you get that free makeover, of course...
DAS
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I have a 1981 300SD that has a perfect body with no rust. I'm in California. The interior is rough around the edges and it needs brakes and has a transmission leak.
I'm going to put in on Craigslist and see what I can get for it. (I got the 240D of my dreams instead.) If you're inclined to swap your mechanical and some interior parts into might be a perfect bet for you.
Let me know if so.
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I have the philosophy that anything on a car can be fixed... Except bad rust.
When I bought my Mercedes that is really the oly thing that would have been a deal breaker when I went to look at it. I have the ability to fix virtually anything else myself, and there are several of them in junkyards within a 45 minute drive. Rust though spells the end for me. I've fought that battle with a '75 2002, and I lost in the end.
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I would keep it... or swap parts into newer better body. No way to junk yard... no...
Rust in the trunk is typical of W126 no matter which car you get... easy to repair or replace by body shop.
Crossmember... not sure which part you are talking about... if it is bolted on like the tranny one... just replace it with another one from junk yard.
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