Need advice on a 1973 220D for sale... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: 1982 300D Turbo 375K miles/ 1978 280CE 145K miles
Location: La Jolla, CA
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Need advice on a 1973 220D for sale...

Good evening!

Been having lots of fun playing around with my 280CE, but still regretting not picking up a Diesel when I could. Found an ad today that raises eyebrows (potentially in a bad way);

1973 Mercedes 220D (not running)

As the seller writes, the car won't start up, and since Diesels are not my forte, I'm wondering if the problem(s) might go well beyond a simple starter i.e. why didn't he try to replace that if he has other money tied up into the vehicle. Glow plugs, perhaps? Those shouldn't be a problem, but like I said, I have a working knowledge on how a diesel engine operates, not a technical troubleshooting background. If I decide to check it out, I'll inspect it thoroughly, and it appears as though the owner is either active duty or retired military from the windshield sticker; I'm usually pretty good at sniffing out the BS from fellow Sailors!

Any advice on how best to proceed would be welcomed as the price is right but I am leery of picking up something that will take countless thousands to get roadworthy. Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 08:40 PM
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Date registered: Feb 2011
Vehicle: 1973 220D, 1988 300SEL, 1991 300TE
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Impossible to say for here. It could be as simple as a bad glow plug (they were wired in series). Bad starter, clogged fuel filter - or something way more serious.

Can you find a good mechanic near by? Can you buy it on approval - tow it to the mechanic see what someone who knows these cars says. Tell the mechanic you don't want him to spend more than a hour trying to get it running.

Good Luck,
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: 1982 300D Turbo 375K miles/ 1978 280CE 145K miles
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Thanks, Frank; alas, it was gone by the time I called. In the meantime, I'll keep my eye out for a good diesel candidate (and heed you advice if I see one with some "difficulties").
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 01:15 PM
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Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: 1962 W111 220SE Coupe
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Originally Posted by FCC2008 View Post
Thanks, Frank; alas, it was gone by the time I called.
This may not be true in this instance, but that's one of the risks with posting a car for review on the forum. While only a couple of replies were made, at the time I wrote this, 329 people had viewed this topic, any one of them could have purchased the car. If it's a car you really know is great or especially cheap, you may want to speak in general terms or ask for someone to PM you if they have specific knowledge on the model you're seeking. This is less true with high dollar cars but I see cheaper project cars disappear all the time after being posted on a forum.

I realize sometimes you really need advice on a specific car or it's problems, but if it's really a "catch" you can have it inspected locally. When I was seeking out my coupe I was very general with my questions because I knew it would get bought out from under me. It actually did, but that was more coincidence than anything, but the buyer never followed through so I was able to claim the car.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:40 AM
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Date registered: Oct 2012
Vehicle: 1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D, 1986 SDL, 1982 SD
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My late $0.02, Stay away from any diesel that does not start. It could be as simple as a dead battery, but you can find that out by toting your own battery to prove the veracity of any statement of dead battery. Starter failure with a known good battery will be no spin up. Glow issue will be obvious from failure of the indicator to light. Older toaster glow system would show on dash as well as under the hood with failure to heat.

Seized engine, bad head gaskets, coolant in the oil, garbage fuel, clogged filters. The list goes on, and downward from that point.

One way to bypass dead starter or other minor issues is to push start. If it is electrical, then the push start will get her to light off. No fuel or seized will not let it run.
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