The short description:
206,000 miles, 623H light beige exterior, Palomino interior, lots of mechanical restoration, cosmetically nice original, daily drive, located in the Pasadena California (Los Angeles) area. Rebuilt/replaced Transmission, Self-leveling rear suspension, front/rear brakes, front suspension, tires, wheels, A/C, windshield, radio, antenna, switches, radiator, fuel lines. Documentation on all of this. $12,000+ invested in the car over 3 years of ownership and it drives just great. Clean CA title in my name. Looking to get $8000 – send email via the forum or call me at (626) 408-2369
Pictures here: http://photobucket.com/Mercedes300TD
The long description:
I purchased this Mercedes wagon about 3 years ago when it had 170,000 miles. As a Mercedes enthusiast I had looked at probably 10 different wagons before I selected this one. I selected this one because the interior, body and overall mechanical condition was betters than the others that I looked at. It also seemed like a more “honest” car than the others.
The paint is very original, meaning it has little dings and places that need touch-up. It is not a show car of original paint or anything of the sort but it is quite presentable and has absolutely no rust anywhere. I do not think that the car has ever lived in a state other than California and it was originally sold in California. The interior is very good original. No tears to the seats or vinyl and couple of very minor cracks on the dash. Near perfect wood and excellent carpets. More typically a wagon of this vintage will have a severely cracked dash, damaged B and D pillars, a severely cracked center console wood panel, sagging seats, etc. This car has none of those issues.
When I purchased the car I did so knowing that the SLS valve was bad and that the rear suspension did not work properly. The car also had problems with the vacuum locks, the air conditioning, and was dented slightly on the left front fender / driver’s door area. I think I paid $4300 or something like that.
After buying the car I repaired/replaced the following:
1. Rebuilt the SLS valve, replaced both accumulators with new ones. The SLS works wonderfully.
2. Tested and replaced vacuum fittings/actuators as necessary to cause the central locking to function.
3. Replaced driver’s door and left front fender with same color good used ones from a salvage yard. The color match is pretty good, certainly better than if I had part of the car re-painted. Replaced all of the door limit mechanisms so the doors actually stay open when you open them.
4. Replaced chrome Bundt wheels (that were in poor condition) with lightweight aluminum 6” x 14” Mercedes wheels that take the Mercedes full wheel cover. These wheels weigh 11 pounds each, as compared with 13 pounds for a Bundt wheel or 23 pounds for a steel wheel. I acquired matching hubcaps and the car looks great (you can say great because you've already disclosed the overall condition) with the aluminum wheel/hubcap combination. This combination gives the wagon a unique looks and makes it stand out from other 123 wagons. If the prospective buyer is not interested in the “hubcap look” or the aluminum wheels, I can provide a set of nice condition original style (not chromed) Bundt wheels with appropriate tires instead. It would be my preference to KEEP the aluminum wheels and tires. The tires are near-new Michelin Harmony tires, size 195/70/14 (the OEM size).
5. Replaced the terrible aftermarket stereo with a period correct Becker 1480 stereo. Becker Autosound in New Jersey added an MP3 input to the stereo so there is an input jack for MP3 or iPod. This stereo was installed with a salvaged factory wiring harness that re-implemented the center console fader switch that had been bypassed by the previous owner. Front aftermarket speakers were replaced with appropriate Becker speakers removed from W124 wagon rear doors. Rear ceiling speakers are still aftermarket and draw too much power. Stereo will sound better when rear speakers are downgraded back to stock!
6. Added two illuminated 12-volt cigarette lighter style power ports on a separate circuit. The power ports are located inside the glove box and on the front passenger kick panel and have an OEM look. These are on a separate circuit because the laptop computer power supply seemed to want more power than the regular cigarette lighter circuit wanted to provide.
7. Rear non-functioning OEM power antenna replaced with new Hirschman “replacement” antenna. It does not look exactly the same but it was the only alternative I could find. I have core Hirschman antennas if someone wants to construct a working wagon antenna out of a broken wagon antenna and a working sedan antenna. These parts will be included if the buyer so wishes.
8. New OEM floor mats on top of factory carpeting are about 1 year old and in excellent condition. Factory carpeting with rubber molded backing is in very good condition.
9. Driver’s center zebrano console has been replaced with a pretty good example. I have also had an additional center wood console panel that is restored to show condition by Madera Concepts wood restoration in Goleta California that I have not yet installed.
10. Power window switches have all been replaced with new OEM switches.
11. Air conditioning has been repaired twice at a cost of over $2000. Repairs include replacement of hoses, compressor, dryer, mono-valve, and a rebuilt control unit. Unfortunately the repairs included conversion to R134a. The air conditioning blows nice and cold, but it would be colder with R12. These repairs were performed by Mr. MB Motors in Reseda.
12. Front suspension has been re-built at a cost of $1000+ by Mr. MB Motors in Reseda.
13. Automatic Transmission 722.416 was rebuilt within the last year by Sun Valley Mercedes (now located in Van Nuys) and is under warranty. I think the cost was around $1600. The transmission shifts excellent.
14. This is a California-equipped car. When other work was being done to the car I had the trap oxidizer replaced with a bypass pipe and the EGR delete kit installed. The car gained noticeable power with this improvement. Concurrent with this repair was a replacement of the intake manifold which had come loose from a broken stud. All of the studs were replaced and the manifold and gasket were also replaced. I do not know if the performance improvement is related to repairing the formerly unknown manifold leak or the deletion of the trap oxidizer. Regardless, the original trap oxidizer is included if desired by the buyer.
15. This car originally had 3rd row seating and second row headrests. I deleted both as I use the car for hauling and the seats are generally folded down. The third row seating is HEAVY and if you are not going to use it, it is just a boat anchor. The second row headrests get in the way if you typically have the seats folded down. I have parts to add 2nd row headrests back into the car should the buyer desire. I do not currently have parts for a 3rd row seat installation.
16. I installed a Curt model 11805 trailer hitch. This is a hitch designed specifically for W123 wagons. It has a 2000 pound capacity and a tongue capacity of 200 pounds. CURT Manufacturing | CURT Manufacturing - CURT Trailer Hitch #11805
for more information. U-haul did an ugly job of installing the wiring for the hitch – an obsessive buyer will want to clean up the U-haul wiring. I have a salvaged OEM harness if you want to replace the botched U-haul stuff. I have never used the hitch and the car has never towed anything. To the best of my knowledge this is the only “correct” trailer hitch for a W123 wagon with US bumpers.
17. Front and rear calipers (ATE) replaced with NAPA rebuilt ATE calipers. Rotors and pads and hoses replaced and everything flushed. Brakes are excellent.
18. Windshield and gasket replaced by GTO Auto Glass in Los Angeles. GTO is one of the few places that will work on old cars that have metal molding that goes in with the rubber gaskets. They spent a long time and did a good job. The glass is not MB but is excellent. The seal is OEM. I replaced it because the old windshield was pitted and I didn’t like that.
19. Rear wiper/washer was working intermittently. Wiring repaired by Mr. MB Motors in Tarzana. Washer works and wiper works on both settings. Rear defroster also works, as does rear dome light. It’s all connected from a wiring standpoint.
20. Steering wheel was replaced with a near perfect one that appeared to have always been covered with a sheepskin cover. I have an ebay parts business mostly consisting of Mercedes parts so when I find something in excellent condition I get it to go on my car. This steering wheel looks like new.
21. Radiator was replaced with a new OEM radiator when the plastic neck broke while driving down the street. The car did not overheat. Replacement was done by A-German Auto in Pasadena, which is a shop I use for oil changes and things that are not important enough to take to Enrique at Mr. MB Motors in Encino.
22. Fuel lines – previous owner stated that fuel lines were replaced with the type compatible with bio-diesel. I have never used bio-diesel, and neither I nor previous owner has ever used WVO.
23. All of the obvious things like oil changes, valve adjustments, fuel filters, and diesel purge have been done.
Here is what isn’t done that would be nice to do:
1. Cruise control works intermittently. I have a rebuilt cruise control amplifier that is not yet installed. This should fix the problem.
2. Seat belt buzzer does not work. I have several replacements to try if/when I get around to it.
3. Passenger side D-pillar interior upholstery has come away from body and is damaged. I have an excellent replacement upholstery panel that is not yet installed.
4. Vacuum locks – very recently a leak developed in the “locked” circuit of the vacuum locks. This means that the system loses vacuum slowly when the car is locked. Result: when you unlock the driver door after car is parked it doesn’t unlock all of the doors. The system does not lose vacuum in the unlocked position, meaning that if you leave the car parked unlocked the vacuum will still lock the car when you try to lock it later. This is a fairly easy thing to fix but I haven’t gotten around to it.
I have accessories that could go with the car, or that I could keep. These include chrome roof rails, European warning triangle, first aid kit, European lights. These are all items that I could put on ebay and sell as part of my parts biz or provide with car to buyer depending on price.
I’m selling this car because my priorities have changed. My 91 year old mother requires more time and I am finding less time for the car projects and the car parts business. I’m down-sizing on tasks in life to focus more on my stuffed horse, and although this car is fairly low maintenance, I see from my lack of resolution on the few items listed on the “would be nice” list above that I’m unlikely to start finding more time to spend with the car. Therefore it is time for someone else to keep and enjoy this car just as I have.
The car is a pleasure to drive and I will miss the ride and the huge space that this car provides.
I have over $12,000 into the car at this point. I don’t expect to recover that, however I would like interested buyers to appreciate the condition of the car and the extensive work that has been done. Having said that, I expect I will sell it in the $8000 range . I’m not one of those “I don’t have to sell the car” sellers. I actually DO intend to sell this car. Buyer interest will dictate the sales price. If no one wants it for $8000 then the market will dictate the price.
50+ pictures here: http://photobucket.com/Mercedes300TD