Originally Posted by Mercedes Lover
If you have nothing nice to say please refrain. I want your honest opinion, I am being up front with you all. Based on everything I just described is it worth restoring this 240D or would you recommend I sell it and go look for a better example once again?
"Driving?" Yes. Don't forget to enjoy the car as long as it is safe and reliable.
- make it stop
- make it go
- make it nice
Now for my typically way-too-long post...
I am not seeing anything major that the 240d needs here. There is a huge difference between surface rust and rot. With the trunk setup, I recommend starting with a wire brush on a drill and slowly attack the rust and hope that you don't find any rust through. You want to get the loose stuff out of the way so you can then treat the rust with cleaning elements like POR-15's marine clean and phosphoric acid treatment before encapsulating it all in the rock hard POR-15 primer. It may be worth looking hard under the vehicle and maybe removing the gas tank to assure you don't have any rust through or rot. Because if you do, you will want to treat the underside too, and probably add some fiberglass to your POR-15 treatment. I can't imagine that you will end up with anything more than pinholes in there. But you know this northern car better than any of us on the forum. The fear with rust is that you only found the tip of the iceberg and there is more somewhere else. As long as this is isolated, it is definitely worth stopping the rust in its tracks and making this a 100% rust free car. If it's got rust elsewhere and you just want to get a few years or another decade out of it, then "screw it", and drive and enjoy. Trunk and floor rust normally becomes a problem when water or exhaust fumes start coming up from below.
When I look at the picture, I can't see anything more than superficial surface rust. Just make sure you eliminate the source of the water getting into the trunk. Keep the seal clean, and check around the tail lights.
As for everything else, it sounds like routine maintenance that every car will require. It will cost thousands for you to pay a mechanic to do these things, but with the right tools and plenty of time, you can fix all these on your own fairly cheaply. Keep in mind that unless a car comes with records of these jobs being done, every w114/115 or r/c107 with this style suspension is going to need these subframe and control arm bushings. If you don't replace them the ride is going to be bumpy and loud. When you replace them, the shocks and anything else like the control arm ball joints and steering components, you get a car that drives almost like new. I redid the entire front end and rear shocks on my 1973 450sl for about $1700, which was a friends and family rate on the labor and parts at cost at my mechanic. The whole front subframe (read "axle") came off the car, which was not something I planned for on my $4700 car, but I don't regret it. The ride was so vastly improved. Just next time, I will do it myself.
I know this post is ridiculously long, but there's one more piece of information I need to add.
The subframe lesson I learned on the above car made me realize, that ANY old car is going to need a LOT of work in time. Even if the work was done 1000 miles ago, but 10-20 years ago, the rubber is going to need to be replaced. Rubber ages with time, and these MB have a lot of rubber. So even though you might treat a car like a trailer queen, it will still need all the same work as a driver in time. They ALL need the work if not recently done, tens of thousands of dollars of work over time.
Why dump all that work and money into a car that will never be worth much of anything
(like my first MB, a reconstructed title absolutely beautiful 68,000 mile 1973 450sl)? If I'm going to do all this work to a car, it might as well be one that is going to be special and worth a significant amount down the road.
That was my philosophy, which lead to my search for something other than my first mb. After five years, I feel I have two special cars that I got for $8000 (450slc 5.0 custom conv.) and $4200 (280sl 5-speed), both needing significant work, which is fine. I know they all need the same work in time. They were both great deals IMO, and I was very lucky to find any good or desirable cars in those low-ends of the pricing ballpark. You are rarely going to find an amazing car for less than a single paycheck of many collectors.
You have some low-dollar fun there. Enjoy. Do what you want with them.