Reliability GD 350 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 09:26 PM
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Reliability GD 350

Hi,

I am new to this very intersting and educating forum.

I would like to ask a few questions about Diesel Gelaendewagens.
I am thinking of getting a 4door LWB Diesel with Automatic transmission as my everyday driver.
Once a week I need to tow a trailer with about 2000 kg total weight.
Can a GD 350 handle this without a major problem?
What are the shortcomings of GD 350s??
What kind of engine life can I expect if the vehicle was always properly maintained?
Should I consider any other LWB Diesel?
It has to be an automatic, though.

Thanks very much in advance for your answers and opinions.

Hans

P.S. Please no "lessons" about EPA and DOT.[:)]
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 11:01 PM
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G350TD Engine

I have a G350TD LWB. It works just fine and haven't experienced any very serious troubles since I bought it in '01. But they say the 603972 engine on G350TD has some premature problems. There are ways to fix the problems, but you will have to replace some expensive parts such as cylinderhead and/or radiator. So if you have some other options, I would recommend you to stay away from G350TD.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 11:23 PM
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Re: Reliability GD 350

Quote:
Hi,

I am new to this very intersting and educating forum.

I would like to ask a few questions about Diesel Gelaendewagens.
I am thinking of getting a 4door LWB Diesel with Automatic transmission as my everyday driver.
Once a week I need to tow a trailer with about 2000 kg total weight.
Can a GD 350 handle this without a major problem?
What are the shortcomings of GD 350s??
What kind of engine life can I expect if the vehicle was always properly maintained?
Should I consider any other LWB Diesel?
It has to be an automatic, though.
The engine is from the construction excellent, but MB made 2 mistakes and it was checked too late, so lots of these engines run into problems.

1. Wrong cooling fluid

At that time MB thought, their fluid is ok, but it was not good enough at the highest temperatures. It cooked a bit. And not enough, it blocked -based on a chemical reaction- the cooler in front of the car, so the temperature went high very fast.

Based on that there was the 2. Problem

the cylinder head, specially the cooling for the 5th and 6th cylinder.

It cracked from too much heat and pressure.

( The weight from the car specially the LWB, is a real killer for Diesels, too and no speed limit at the highway was definetly the ticket for a damage )


The technicians noticed that and they designed a completely new cylinder head and of course a new cooling fluid.

The new head is available. I knew from these problems and decided to do the mods. I changed to the new head, the new fluid and replaced the whole cooling system. My engine was checked completely, it was in great condition and everything was new adjusted. With these mods the - my - car is absolutely excellent, but only because I did that.

Super reliable, absolutely no temperature problems. Power now is excellent for a Diesel, but I have a SWB, this is a big difference here.

After all is done now some month ago and I used the car for a difficult mountain trip, I can say,
it was worth it. All is perfect now.


( Now you know, what to do, when a problem is coming.)

Unfortunately all former MB Diesels are not powerful enough for your needs, in my opinion. The G 350 can handle the 200kg trailer. Another choice is to go for the G300TD with 177 HP, that's a good one, maybe MB's best.
Otherwise I would go for a Toyota with their 4,2 Diesel. This engine is the best Diesel ever made.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 09:02 AM
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G300TD

I personally would stay away from the 350 diesel. The changes Thomas has made to his were quite expensive.

If you must have a diesel G wagen then I would find a G300TD from '96 on. Since you are in CA, I would contact Norm Keiser near San Jose. He is the only source for this rare (in the US) truck. They were never otherwise imported. He has successfully brought in at least two of them recently and certified both for CA. He has a website at www.keisermotors.com

The other option is a gas Gwagen. A G320 would handle the load you need to tow easily. Moving up to a G500 would definately provide enough power.

The life expectancy of a well cared for G is pretty much unknown at this point. So far they seem capable of lasting forever, if cared for. I would also not limit yourself to diesel just based on longevity. The gas engined G's are equally as durable [:D]

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 09:31 AM
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Re: G300TD

Quote:

I would also not limit yourself to diesel just based on longevity. The gas engined G's are equally as durable [:D]
Yes, personally I think, the gas engined G's are much better and outperform any Diesel easily.
Nearly every Diesel - here 130 HP and more - in a G-Wagen needs sooner or later a repair and all the 'saved' money is leaving. Good as the G-Wagens are, their Diesels never hold this standard....
Only exception is the G300TD from 1996 and that one has no real torque and a slow and nervous reaction based on the turbo, but like Brent said, compared to a G 320 or higher .....

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 11:17 AM
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I would go for the 300 model. That engine is amazing. I have an 87 300D Turbo that has ...


I would go for the 300 model. That engine is amazing. I have an 87 300D Turbo that has the same engine. 250k miles and it runs very strong. The compression was tested a few weeks ago. My mechanic things I have an easy 150-200k left on the engine.

The only major thing I have done to the car is replace the injection pump at 240k miles. (but that was my own fault, I ran some gas though it. don't ask)

For towing, well I did pull a Volvo 240 wagen up a hill with it. It had no problems pulling.


03 G500
95 E320
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 11:55 AM
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Timing chain replacement at 100,000 miles


I agree these are great engines. I have practiced, at the recommendation of everyone, including my Seattle parts guy (Abe at MB BMW Parts) that replacement of the timing chain at 100K miles is critical. He sells lots of parts to people who have not done this.

Simple to check the chain and the tensioner if the valve cover is removed.

Thoughts?

Thomas
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 12:24 PM
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Re: Timing chain replacement at 100,000 miles

Quote:

.....including my Seattle parts guy (Abe at MB BMW Parts) that replacement of the timing chain at 100K miles is critical. He sells lots of parts to people who have not done this.

Simple to check the chain and the tensioner if the valve cover is removed.

Thoughts?
[:D] I did it [:D]
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 02:04 PM
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Gut, sehr gut!



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#10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 05:38 AM
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Re: timing chain replacement


Is this general for all MB engines, just the Diesels, or any specific Diesel? And if so critical, why does MB not have a replacement policy like with other makes' belts?

Is inspection enough or do you recommend a replacement in any case?

Allways thought a chain was much less suspectible to damage than a belt: I just had an expensive damage to one of my other vehicles (all service interval were respected!) of over $3k [B)] and I fear it would be twice as much on a G300TD with 24 valves!

Comments invited!

JWM

JW

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