Date registered: Oct 2011
Vehicle: 2001 CLK 320 Cab., 1989 300SE, 1980 300SD
Location: Seattle, WA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Welcome. I'm fairly new to the boards, however have a great deal of experience with older diesel Benz's. They are sturdy old crates, and the W123 is as comfortable a car as I have ever owned. My old W115 (a '74 240D) lasted just shy of 300k before a Suburban blundered into our path... WE WON.
Your question should revolve solely around the remaining "utility" in the vehicle. The complaints you mention are all common for this model and have cheap fixes (except the rust & that weatherstripping). Furniture tacks will fix your headliner, a dash cover will cover that ugly dash.
Have a local specialist look it over... almost everything rubber will fail on a 35yo car. Other things may too... the timing chain, fuel pump, rear end, tranny, etc. Do you have the time & space to work on it yourself? If so... then you have truly discovered a not so well kept secret... those vehicles are about as complex as a toaster and tough as a tank. Working on it yourself is well within the skill of the average joe- but GET THE FACTORY SHOP MANUAL! (NOT a Haynes or Chilton guide. Period. You will not regret the investment- it's illustrated and pretty damned thorough.)
How much money is it wise to put in it? Well, you can keep one of these going with used parts for CHEAP (I drove my 240 in college). Few of the parts cost much used, as these things are a dime a dozen. Fix the small stuff yourself, turn the big stuff over to your mechanic. For a couple g's, you can have a safe, comfortable, unique ride for a few years. (That's like 6 payments on a new car?!?)
I do not believe that Aurora Auto Wrecking (used MB parts specialists. 92nd & Aurora, 206 524-8700) is stocking 123's anymore, if not, online sources are plentiful. If u need a Mercedes mechanic on the north end, try GP Automotive near Alderwood (524 132nd St SW Ste 109 Everett, 425 742-5838).
Again, welcome. Post a picture of the old girl... I really kinda' miss mine, just may pick up a later model TD someday...!
A fello noob-
2001 CLK 320 Cab., 123k mi
1989 300SE, 164k mi
1980 300SD, 169K mi
1982 300D-T, 140k mi (Sold)
1974 240D, 284k mi (Gone to the great junkyard in the sky)