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post #31 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Fonzi View Post
Read more carefully. Your home brew biodiesel is the recipe for disaster. Take a "cherry" 40+ year old car and start running it on crap. Maybe do that with a cheap w123, but seems like a sin for a Cherry w115.
Amen.

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post #32 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 11:34 AM
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Lover,

Your described needs in a W115 and level of mechanical involvement result in investing a significant amount of cash up front to deliver the quality of vehicle you desire.

Most of us will happily scrounge a salvageable example and wrench the fuck out of it (saving excessive labor fee) to improve the car to a point we can live with it. Your example would effectively be a new car that is 40 years old. These models have a host of issues that are expensive to rectify if one does not swing his own wrenches and religiously visit Pull a Part yards. The bulk of owners on list enjoy dicking around with less than perfect cars and garner a ridiculous amount of pleasure in improving them. We buy them cheap and learn what makes them tick and how to fix what is busted. If we get good enough, we may move up to a more complex or refined example that allows us to not have to repair the thing for more hours than we spend on the road. BUT, we already know and are comfortable in getting under the hood to fix as needed.

Generally, the stuff on the market nationwide is of the jalopy variety. The things have noxious amounts of rust, no matter where they lived. There are multiple system failures that need attention, from electronics to mechanical and anything in between. A car in Cherry condition (#5/#6 in valuation charts) will not need anything other than thorough detailing and fresh fluids/filters/bulbs/plugs/pads/fuses and wires to drive.

I snagged a running 220D off fleaBay for $117. I spent eight years wrenching the crap out of it and about $5k in parts until she ate her pistons. The question at that point was do I spend $3k on a rebuilt engine … and continue hemorrhaging cash to bring her along on a path to restoration, or part ways. I still needed a full repaint, fresh body/glass seals, minor panel welding, and a few expensive parts only available on the european secondary market. As she sat, she was a $300 scrap metal car, even with all the fresh rubber and parts.

For the complete investment I had done, I could have purchased a very fine example that did not have deep rust, a fresh interior, good paint, and may still have some issues that would turn out expensive to remedy. If you have the large sum of cash burning a hole in your pocket, go for the best example you can find. Inspect the car extensively prior to arranging a PPI ($300) then use the list of flaws the mechanic finds to dicker with the seller over price. You can probably find something that meets your needs for $5-10K. You could also find an R107 for the same cash. Walk away from any car that has an issue that you, yourself, can not remedy. Paying somebody to fix it for you is a waste of cash and devalues the car twice what it would cost to fix.

just my $0.02

Clay

74 450SL - Froggy
'02 s320 - Victor
'76 300D - Voldemort
'95 E300D - Cleo
'72 220D - Gump
'87 300SDL - POS SDL

92 300SE - #1 boys ride
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post #33 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, do indeed love the junkyard. Just looking for one with no rust. Other than that I am more than happy to learn to tinker. Just need a lift, right tools, and to dive right in. Thanks for the advice.

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post #34 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 06:42 PM
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Four jack stands and a floor jack to get it about 24" off the ground. Ramps work well too. Harbor freight has good disposable tools you can use for a few years while you slowly build a better kit. Get a metric socket set, open end wrench set, screw drivers, BFH, can of Kroil, five gallon bucket, plier set, and adjustable wrenches.
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Clay

74 450SL - Froggy
'02 s320 - Victor
'76 300D - Voldemort
'95 E300D - Cleo
'72 220D - Gump
'87 300SDL - POS SDL

92 300SE - #1 boys ride
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post #35 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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What's the highest mileage W115 you would consider buying. Is 220,000 a bit much? Heard these cars can last 400,000+ properly maintained. Would you go for the higher mileage in better condition over lower mileage in worse condition.

Call me Ben! Formally "Mercedes Lover"

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post #36 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercedes Lover View Post
What's the highest mileage W115 you would consider buying. Is 220,000 a bit much? Heard these cars can last 400,000+ properly maintained. Would you go for the higher mileage in better condition over lower mileage in worse condition?

I think most likely you are going to run into rust issues with higher mileage w115. Plus, unless meticulously documented, a w114/115 5-digit odometer isn't going tell you whether it is 20,000, 120,000, 220,000 or 320,000.

Your question "Would you go for the higher mileage in better condition over lower mileage in worse condition?" Can not be answered without details.

How about this?...

Forget about the mileage. Your budget can't afford to worry about mileage.

BUT, stop avoiding low mileage cars too.

Go drive some cars.

Drive a w123 diesel.
Drive a w123 gasser.
Drive a w124 diesel.
Drive a w124 gasser.
Drive a w114.
Drive a w126 gasser
Drive a w126 diesel.
Drive a w116 gasser
Drive a w116 diesel.
Drive a w108 if you can.
Drive an r107.
Drive a c107.

At some point, you have to form your own opinions, and make your own decisions. The forum is here for you to bounce ideas off, but not here to tell you what to do at every possible turn.
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post #37 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:12 AM
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Mercedes Adventures: The Search for the Cherry Diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by redghost View Post
Lover,

Your described needs in a W115 and level of mechanical involvement result in investing a significant amount of cash up front to deliver the quality of vehicle you desire.

Most of us will happily scrounge a salvageable example and wrench the fuck out of it (saving excessive labor fee) to improve the car to a point we can live with it. Your example would effectively be a new car that is 40 years old. These models have a host of issues that are expensive to rectify if one does not swing his own wrenches and religiously visit Pull a Part yards. The bulk of owners on list enjoy dicking around with less than perfect cars and garner a ridiculous amount of pleasure in improving them. We buy them cheap and learn what makes them tick and how to fix what is busted. If we get good enough, we may move up to a more complex or refined example that allows us to not have to repair the thing for more hours than we spend on the road. BUT, we already know and are comfortable in getting under the hood to fix as needed.

Generally, the stuff on the market nationwide is of the jalopy variety. The things have noxious amounts of rust, no matter where they lived. There are multiple system failures that need attention, from electronics to mechanical and anything in between. A car in Cherry condition (#5/#6 in valuation charts) will not need anything other than thorough detailing and fresh fluids/filters/bulbs/plugs/pads/fuses and wires to drive.

I snagged a running 220D off fleaBay for $117. I spent eight years wrenching the crap out of it and about $5k in parts until she ate her pistons. The question at that point was do I spend $3k on a rebuilt engine … and continue hemorrhaging cash to bring her along on a path to restoration, or part ways. I still needed a full repaint, fresh body/glass seals, minor panel welding, and a few expensive parts only available on the european secondary market. As she sat, she was a $300 scrap metal car, even with all the fresh rubber and parts.

For the complete investment I had done, I could have purchased a very fine example that did not have deep rust, a fresh interior, good paint, and may still have some issues that would turn out expensive to remedy. If you have the large sum of cash burning a hole in your pocket, go for the best example you can find. Inspect the car extensively prior to arranging a PPI ($300) then use the list of flaws the mechanic finds to dicker with the seller over price. You can probably find something that meets your needs for $5-10K. You could also find an R107 for the same cash. Walk away from any car that has an issue that you, yourself, can not remedy. Paying somebody to fix it for you is a waste of cash and devalues the car twice what it would cost to fix.

just my $0.02

Great $0.02.

And if you want a POTENTIAL investment, I have been very happy with multiple 107 purchases I have made in the last 5 years. None of the seven 107s I've purchased have been money losers. The three w114 cars I have purchased were not losers either, but required MUCH more work than the 107s. Sure, it's easier to change spark plugs in a w114 than a w107, but there's no doubt that the 107s have been far easier to get running really well. Maybe diesel w115 are similarly easy, but I've never owned one. I just know that my next move in the MB hobby is getting the F out of the w114/115 rust buckets. For the amount of rust that is acceptable in a more rare w114/115 (rare because most of these ~1 million shit boxes have been scrapped, as compared to the 1/4 million 107s that are so plentiful because they were well cared for garage queens), a 107 would be scrapped if it had the amount of rust that any of these w114/115 cars have. It is quite ironic that rustier, less expensive w114/115 are being saved while more expensive 107s are being scrapped when in better condition. For example, I parted a running 1972 350sl 4.5 that I got for $450 with no title, the floors were rotted, but so are the floors on almost every w114. It's not a big deal to replace floors, but when you can get more in parts for a 107 than you can selling it whole, that's the decision maker. And that's why you can't lose on a 107 these days. W114/115 parts aren't worth crap. I only got about $300 in parts offers on my 1970 250c coupe. So I just sold it to a recycler to let him do the work. Ironically, even he sold the car whole to someone else. Parting w114/115 just doesn't seem to bring the money.

That's my experience from owning 7 107s and three w114 (including a w114 sedan) in the last five years of living with this obsession, starting out much like you in 2010, with about $5000 burning a hole in my pocket.
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Last edited by Fonzi; 04-14-2015 at 08:16 AM.
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post #38 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, just don't want to end up making the wrong purchase. Possibly in a couple of weeks may make the move.

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post #39 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mercedes Lover View Post
Okay, just don't want to end up making the wrong purchase. Possibly in a couple of weeks may make the move.

I hope you drive a LOT of cars in the next "couple of weeks".
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post #40 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 08:59 AM
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If you can make it this far south for a test drive tour, this guy seems to have several benz you could look at if you make friends with him.

http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/cto/4956796632.html
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