Date registered: Nov 2008
Vehicle: 1981 300TD 310k--1966 230 165k--1970 280se 172k
Location: Ohio City, Ohio
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
I'd reckon the most important thing to look for is rust, especially in the rockers and undercarriage. Check over the headlights and in the spare tire wells in the trunk. Door bottoms, too. Windshield seals may be deteriorated and cause leaks into the cab as well.
Jack up the front and wiggle the suspension at 12/6 o'clock to check the kingpins for play and at 9/3 o'clock for tie rods and general steering looseness.
See if the heater core is leaking or has been bypassed. Do a simple engine health test by loosening the oil cap while running and see if the cap dances around. Or better yet, get yourself a diesel compression tester and do a compression check. Black smoke out the pipe is OK (can usually be adjusted out), blue smoke is bad.
Brakes are front disc/rear drum. The rear shoes are no longer available so you would have to have them relined if they are shot. When were the rubber lines last replaced?
Most parts for the mechanics are readily available online or from the Classic Center. Trim and interior are harder to find and generally cost a bunch. Consider how well the car has been cared for. Are there maintenance records? If it's been neglected, you will spend a lot of time and money sorting things out. Better, IMO, to spend more upfront for a well-maintained finny, especially if you need it to be reliable.
That being said, the w110s are wonderful cars to have and drive.
P.S. Maybe Squiggle Dog will chime in. He's been all over his '68 200D.
1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
Last edited by carpenterman; 07-21-2011 at 11:51 AM.
Reason: more info