Mercedes Adventures: The Search for the Cherry Diesel - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Mercedes Adventures: The Search for the Cherry Diesel

I am starting this thread to post about my journey in finding my dream car a W115 300D. Only one requirement. Must be rust free. Join me as I search across New England and beyond for the perfect example. I'll be posting periodicly so stay tuned for some german car action.

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post #2 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 02:17 PM
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Perplexing. Have you already purchased one or not? Your other threads seem to imply that you have found one that you are calling yours, but have then started this thread that seems to imply you are still searching. So many threads. It's hard to stay on top of all of them, especially if they are all about the same car.
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post #3 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Maine Excursion

I got a tip of a W115 up in Portland Maine supposedly in good running condition. Was told the oil pan leaked and needed a new window switch, a little TLC and that's that. Those were the only pictures the seller posted and I thought why not? The car was Ruby Red almost maroon and I was determined to make it mine.






After trying to come in contact with the guy for a week he finally replied and to my responce the only time I could make it (Friday morning) was perfect for him. Everything seemed to be working out perfectly. The Mercedes gods alligned to make this happen. Found a garage that would inspect it, I was stoked. Left the house a little before 7am to make it in time. Upon arrival driving over the train tracks the Mercedes started to appear in all it's Red Glory. This was my first time seeing a W115 in person and it sure looked amazing. The interior didn't look half bad either. The guy explained that he can't own the car anymore, that he doesn't have time to work on it.









I thought I really found it. Then I noticed something wrong. The seat was stuck, wouldn't adjust. I looked underneath the rugs and what I saw hit me like an on coming train. RUST! Man it was unbelievable how rusty it was. Almost the entire floor was rotted out. Under the rugs were soaked with all the water trapped underneath. Something that the seller "forget" to tell me on my 3 hour drive up there was both front windows were left open for 3 years as the car sat outside in New England weather. How sad someone would let this happen to such a beautiful car. A serious question I have is why the owner continued to leave the soaked rugs in there rotting out the car? I then opened the trunk to see if moisture was getting trapped inside seeing it was kept outside for 3 years. Sure enough trunk, completely rotted out. The engine was still growling I'll give it that. The owner quickly informed me how "easy" it was for a mechanic or even yourself to weld in new floor panels.









Noticed the seats were coming apart too



At this point I knew already I wasn't going to buy the car. I was pleasantly surprised when the seller told me he had to leave for 25 minutes to run a few errands and left me with the car to test drive. Of coarse the car wasn't registered but who cares, it's Maine! This was my first time driving an older car but it's exactly how I pictured it. No ABS Brakes, now this was a car! Braking wasn't sharp, nice and smooth. Steering was not too sensitive and handled quite well at high speeds. Reached up to 60mph and tested the brakes. Car began to glide to the left and I knew that was a tell tale sign the brakes were starting to go. The noise from the engine didn't bother me at all. Love noisy cars in the sort of way motor heads like a loud bike. You were proud to be driving it, proud that something this old and beat up could still be driving down the road. Testing all the electronics lights worked, wipers did not, didn't even want to try the AC and have whatever mold was in there blow in my face, and radio was pulled out.

Overall I enjoyed my first experience. I may have not come home with a car but I really got a feel for what these Mercedes are all about. I can definitely see myself owning one. The quest to find my W115 continues!

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post #4 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 06:19 PM
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So now that you've driven one, are you still stuck on the concept of it being a diesel?

I've seen worse rust, and if the rust is honestly contained to the floors, you might actually have a difficult time finding one with less rust in the floors. It seems they all rot out in the floors for whatever reason. If the rockers are solid, welding in new floors might not be too bad of a job.

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post #5 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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You really feel this car's worth being saved? When you say this is probably the best you will find I assume you are saying the best you will find in New England. Thinking it needs new upholstery, windshield wipers need fixing, AC and Heat need fixing, new brakes, shocks, transmission pan, new floors including trunk floor, tires, window switch, and transmission is starting to go. I'm just worried some hidden rust will continue to spread after fixing. As I like to say once a rust car always a rust car.

Now, really love the Diesel Mercedes for these two reasons. One is longevity. Diesel engines I've heard are way more reliable than petrol. The pistons in diesel engines are better designed. Really want to own one of the million mile mules. The second reason is I'm going to be making my own biodiesel with vegetable oil, lye, and methanol. Have many restaurants that would be willing to have me collect their oil.

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post #6 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 07:17 PM
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Mercedes Adventures: The Search for the Cherry Diesel

Ahhh... Biodiesel. Okay. I would probably buy one of the $1000-2000 w123 sedans that seem to repeatedly pop up with the conversion already done.

Here's an overpriced biodiesel beater:
http://allentown.craigslist.org/cto/4919727927.html
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post #7 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fonzi View Post
Ahhh... Biodiesel. Okay. I would probably buy one of the $1000-2000 w123 sedans that seem to repeatedly pop up with the conversion already done.

Here's an overpriced biodiesel beater:
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbo Diesel W123
I heard you can run bio diesel in an unmodified engine because the methylene and lye separate the glycerin sinking it to the bottom leaving your diesel fuel on top. Not 100% sure to be frank. Of coarse the W115 would be for the stunning looks. The practical side of me is saying to go towards the W123's for being easier to maintain but not going to give up just yet. By August if I still can't find a dashing example I'll move on.

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post #8 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 08:27 PM
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Ahh... August eh? I'm not that patient. I buy something, learn on it, buy more, buy more, sell one, buy more sell one or two. You get the picture. I've learned a lot that way, but apparently not enough to put one of the dual carb cars on the road. Fortunately, with a diesel you've got no carburetors to worry about. I've never owned a diesel benz though. I've got a Honda Ridgeline to fill the practicality checkbox. I'm not so sure "old" and "practical" fit in the same sentence, especially if you don't yet know how to maintain one. But I think a diesel w123 is probably the closest thing. I think a really good w115 is going to be a rare, and therefore expensive, thing. Just my opinion.
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post #9 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 07:54 AM
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If you remain committed to buying a W115, your best chance of finding one with minimal rust will be in the SW U.S. That would involve a long trip though, and if you do find a pristine example, it will be expensive. If it is just the attraction of a diesel that pulls you, you should expand your search to include W123 and W124 models. Each is a magnum leap in quality, safety and reliability compared to the W115. Don
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post #10 of 285 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollo View Post
If you remain committed to buying a W115, your best chance of finding one with minimal rust will be in the SW U.S. That would involve a long trip though, and if you do find a pristine example, it will be expensive. If it is just the attraction of a diesel that pulls you, you should expand your search to include W123 and W124 models. Each is a magnum leap in quality, safety and reliability compared to the W115. Don

I totally agree with this, but the OP read something that said that the w114 handled better than the w123, and actually compared it's handling to that of a Porsche. I'm not so sure about that!
@MercedesLover that's one reason that having so many threads makes it difficult to keep track of all the information you've already gathered. Perhaps you would like to summarize some of your findings from all your other threads and link to them here with a short description of each thread. (Take a look at what I did in the thread I created after buying my first MB which you can find by googling "rolling restore black lipsticked 450sl". It has become a very handy thread for me to go back to endlessly for information I documented.)

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