BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jan 2005
Vehicle: 1976 240D
Location: South East Michigan
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RE: Considering 75 240D purchase
I've got a 1976 240D. That was the last year that they made the 240D with the W115 body, the body and engine that would be in the 1975 240D that you're looking at. Remember the "W115" because 90% of the parts and information you'll find regarding the 240D will be for the "W123" body.
Yes there are parts available for the W115 but you'll have to search a little harder. The internet really helps, I've found 2 or 3 shops that I like to deal with. I don't think the engine was used in other vehicles, the 240D simply means 2.4 liter diesel. Most of the W115 and W123 bodies had the 300D engine (which you can transplant into the 240D body). Later years had a turbo diesel engine, and I've heard of people transplanting those as well. Most of the comments I've heard and read about the 240D aren't necessarily negative, just that it lacks power compared to the 300D.
My 240D is still in my garage on jack stands. I made the mistake of buying it off eBay so I didn't get a chance to look it over first. So here's what to look for:
1- RUST. Along the wheel wells, the bottoms of the doors, the door sills, the trunk lid, inside the trunk. Bring along a blanket and a flash light so that you can crawl under the car.
2- Diesel's this age smoke, so don't be alarmed if you see some. A lot you should worry about.
3- Run the engine with the oil filler cap loosened. Check to see if it tries to jump off or really rattles around. If so then there could be gases leaking past the compression rings on the pistons, called blow-by. While not fatal for an engine it isn't a good sign.
4- Watch to see how well the car starts. This can tell you how well the glow plugs work. That year's model had a series style glow plug, like the old Christmas lights. If one goes then none of them work (you can upgrade to better ones though).
5- Drive the car and see how well it shifts. The shifts should be smooth (oops, you're looking at a manual transmission so never mind). The car should ride VERY smooth though.
6- Check the brakes, how does the pedal feel? If it's hard then you could have a problem with the engine vacuum pump (that's the problem I'm currently working on with mine). People may tell you to see how quickly the engine turns off to see if the vacuum pump works, but that doesn't apply to the W115 body. I don't know another way to check the vacuum pump other than the brakes.
I can't think of much else but I'm sure you'll get more pointers on this forum. If the body is in good condition then you can't go wrong at that price. A rebuilt engine will cost you around $3000 if worse comes to worse.