old car - long trip - bad idea? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Jan 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
old car - long trip - bad idea?

After reading the two-part story in The Star about the 1968 250SE driving through the "lower 48" last year, I'm more enthused than ever about doing something similar inn 2010.

I've posted here before about this, but want to ask this simple question of those who have experience with these cars:

If I'm lucky enough to find an early 1960s 220/230 in good mechanical condition, and if have an MB mechanic check it over and "do what's needed" to make it fully roadworthy ... is it foolish to attempt the long drive in an almost 50 year old MB?

Am I likely to find myself in the middle of nowhere with a broken axle, cracked suspension, blown rod, cracked block, fried gearbox, etc. because it's an old car?

Any car, regardless of age, can have a problem on a long trip. But is an older MB likely to have a failure which would cost a fortune to repair due to extremely high parts and labor?

Any comments or thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks.
Tom
NutmegCT is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 07:15 PM
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Sep 2008
Location: Prince George, Canada
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well nothing is going to happen on a long trip that won't happen on shorter trips imo.

It is a risk though because of the fact that you can't just tow it home, what i would do is have a back-up plan, ie have enough money kicking around to be able to stick the car on a car carrier and get home by other means.

I had a 1967 200 that i drove as my daily driver for at least 4 months and never really had any major problems, i had some small issues, but nothing that i couldn't fix in myself, and nothing that would have cost too much to replace had i taken it to a shop. So that kind of gives you an idea as to how reliable these cars can really be.

With that said, i personally wouldn't do it unless i knew my car was in very good shape, it kind of helps if you have some mechanical knowledge so that you can gauge on your own how long-distance-worthy your car is.
ebouwman is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 08:21 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
Date registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
If the vehicle has been gone over and repaired by a "competent" MB mechanic you shouldn't have a problem. If you do, it's not likely to be a major problem, IMO. Several years back I was driving my (now my son's) '67 250S from Idaho to California. In the middle of the desert I started hearing a valve noise, that soon became very loud. I shut it off, used the factory tool kit that came with it, removed the valve cover and found a broken rocker arm pivot ball (adjuster). I removed the broken part, put the valve cover back on, removed the spark plug from that cylinder and proceeded to drive to beautiful Winnemucca, Nevada. Of course no MB dealer and no one that could get parts, or even knew what I was talking about. I ended up driving it on 5 cylinders (very loud) to Reno where a friend lives. I had him gut a spark plug, weld it to a short 1/2 in. pipe and put a lawn mower muffler on the end. This was in case I couldn't get parts in CA, I'd screw the muffler into the spark plug hole and drive it the 400 miles home with the muffler quieting it down. I'd already driven it about 220 miles that way without a problem. Anyway, I rented a car to CA, and while visiting I bought the parts from an MB recycler, and then returned to Reno. I had to buy a few tools, did the repair and made an uneventful return to Idaho. My point is they're basic automobiles, and relatively easy to work on, if you're mechanically inclined. Try doing almost any repair yourself on a newer car, or in many cases, find anyone (including some dealers ) that are capable of fixing them. Good luck and I hope you find one and make the trip. Sounds like fun....I am jealous.
mbbuff is offline  
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 08:31 PM
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Sep 2008
Location: Prince George, Canada
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good story mbbuff, i always roll around with a toolkit in my car for anything that may happen, though i've never actually done something like that at the side of the road :lol:
ebouwman is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 08:41 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
redlaser's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2009
Vehicle: 1990 300 SEL...2000Ford Fairmont
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to redlaser
Take some short trips around your locale and see/hear the reaction from your old Benz...change the plugs..read the maintenance manual....give it an oil change (engine and transmission) and get used to the current set of noises so u can identify new ones..your stress levels will rise on that long trip so be prepared...luck
redlaser is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 11:06 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
MBeige's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: W-1-2-3 Go!
Location: California
Posts: 16,104
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 200 Post(s)
If you know the car inside out, and you have confidence in it, then by all means, plan it thoroughly and have back up plans to be on the safe side. It's part of the Mercedes Benz experience. I've driven my 300D to various places, but nothing like cross country. Was prepared for every possible scenario, but did not even need any of the tools or parts I brought along with me.

Others have gone from Florida to California in their cars. Somebody also has gone from Kansas to California too. Both times, both cars came back to their origin safe and sound.

Visit 300td.org, Jurgen has a w123 300TD (wagon) that he has gone on many, many, many expeditions with in and around Europe and Africa. (I know it's too much w123 examples, but the principle is similar)

MBeige is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:49 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Ed Mclass's Avatar
 
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
Location: Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Posts: 1,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Carry an extra fanbelt! You can't always find the correct one on the road. Check out the photo on page 80 in THE STAR for a couple of road warriors from 40 years ago. Also a hansome young owner of said finbacks!
Ed Mclass is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:19 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Grubeguy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,110
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
I took my '73 280 from San Diego to Denver recently. It's also gone from Denver to Monterey, Monterey to San Diego, and all over the mountains of Colorado. If you're really worried about it, replace all the hoses, the belts and do the major tuneup stuff.

For the engine, complete a leakdown test and compression test, and check the valve clearance and timing chain. For the transmission, change the filter and fluid.

What kind of trip are you looking to do?
Grubeguy is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 01:02 PM
BenzWorld Extremist
 
Eirik 400 SE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2008
Vehicle: 1973 W115 200 /8
Location: Norway
Posts: 895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Two things..
First: Make sure all fluids are fresh. Especially brake fluid, cooling with thermostat, and of course all oil and filters..
Second : And most important! DON'T drive around in 60+ mph.. Your car was built in an era where normal speeds were closer to 40-50mph on long hauls..
So it's better to drive 1000 miles in 40mph, than to drive 400miles in 60 and then need to send your car home on a hauler..

1991 W140 400 SE - SOLD !!
1973 W115 200 -For sale as project.
Eirik 400 SE is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:57 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Grubeguy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2006
Vehicle: 73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
Location: DC Area
Posts: 2,110
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Send a message via MSN to Grubeguy Send a message via Yahoo to Grubeguy
???? I'm not sure about the 40-50 thing. These cars were built to run on the autobahn. Running at modern speeds wouldn't do anything to the car at all...
Grubeguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Vintage Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    ATF Flush- Bad Idea??? sbou101 W140 S-Class 21 01-18-2007 06:46 AM
    long post! pre-filter stays almost empty,must take long trip tomorrow! vtharpe W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 8 05-22-2006 10:13 AM
    war a bad idea DEATHERAGE Off-Topic 49 07-19-2005 03:56 AM
    A bad idea! Siphoning fuel from my ML... Number400 W163 M-Class 4 09-23-2004 11:37 AM
    Good Idea, or Bad Idea dasboost W202 C-Class 0 03-10-2004 08:07 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome