New to forum and Benz. 1981 200D - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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New to forum and Benz. 1981 200D

I have an opportunity to buy a 1981 200D with 11,000 original miles. It is from the original owner. He wants $6,000 firm. It has never seen a winter and was always kept indoors. I am looking for a cheap, solid, daily driver that gets good gas mileage. I have owned plenty of 1960's-1980's classics but I don't know anything about Benz. My questions are:

1. What should I look for when looking over the car?
2. How will this car sitting since 1983 impact things such as hoses, joints, bushings etc.?
3.will it make a reliable daily driver including winters? I would put studs on it.
4.Does it really only get 23 MPG?
5. Anything else you want to add?

Thanks in advance in helping me potentiality getting hooked on a new brand.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 10:26 PM
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Vehicle: 1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D
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IS it a Grey Market car? Should be a 240D, not 200D unless it was imported. Probably not 200, as it would have to be federalized. Maybe came home with a soldier.

First good question for you -- would you purchase a car with the same issues from a class of car you are familiar with? Classic car that sat for 35 years.

Next, fill out your profile so that others who may be near you can point you to a reliable shop that deal with old Mercedes. You should also join MBCA so that you have access to tech events and meet other benz owners who can assist you.

Why was it sitting since 1983? All the rubber will be junk. Best to get it up in the air and be ready to do a full rebuild of at least the fuel lines if not the suspension. 35 year old rubber is not safe to drive around with. Most of it would have been replaced at least once by now had it been on the road.

If the car is automatic, these things are prone to not being able to get out of their own way. A stick shift will allow you to get more power where it needs to be when you want it to be there. The standard joke about the W123 240D is that you get more bugs on the rear window than on the windshield at highway speeds. IT is a heavy car with an under powered engine that does get very decent mileage. You could expect around 29MPG highway, but it would take minutes to get to speed.

I have not owned a W123, too ugly for my taste. There are a great number I have dealt with at PnP. There is some rust areas, mostly floors and such. A car that has gone nowhere for ages should have no rust at all. Given the miles, and stored inside, you should expect to find this thing looking as fresh as the day it was delivered. No paint issues, no rust, all records, tool kit, first aid, everything almost like new.

IF the car is almost showroom, you can expect that his asking price is reasonable. A diesel benz would be expected to fire up fairly quickly with a fresh battery and fuel. These things are built like tanks and come back to life more reliably than Zombies. I am at a loss though as to why it was not driven for so long. Must be a massive problem to sideline a car like this.

If you do purchase, the standard full fluid and filter change out will need to be done. The fuel tank may also need to be removed and cleaned, as the fuel tends to be a great breeding ground for algae. That will have plugged lines, filters, and more. Best to just drain and start with new fuel after tossing in a biocide. Drain the injection pump and install fresh oil, crack the hard lines and make sure you get fuel to the injectors (the hand pump should create enough pressure that the lines will drip at the injector head if you loosen them).

Citric acid flush of the cooling system would be good. Replace with Mercedes Coolant, not the green garbage. The coolant is formulated to work with the variety of metals in the engine and prolongs both engine and radiator life. Zerex G-05 is a comparable replacement to the Benz coolant.

If you are doing winter driving, you should install a block heater so you can light it off in the cold. Takes about 90 minutes to get hot enough that the fluids flow well. You will want to dilute the fuel during winter with kerosene so it does not gel in the lines or filters. Fuel does recirculate and eventually gets warm enough to flow fine, just the first 15-20 minutes on a cold morning you might plug filters with cold fuel. Winter driving in salted areas does require that you do a thorough job of undercoating the beejeezus out of the car. Salt and gunk will start rust in places you did not know were on the car. Some people do a spray of engine oil to the underside in fall to defend against rust. A few have been known to install underside wash systems to flush salts away when they get home.

Given all the caveats, these are great cars that do last for almost ever if taken care of and shown respect. They were superior daily drivers when new, and have a very loyal following to this day. This model is well known to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles and to be extremely reliable year round.

I am just very confused as to why it was only driven for two years and then stowed away.

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 #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Redghost,

Firstly, thank you so much for your thorough reply.

Asking me to think of whether I would buy a 35 year old car that I am familiar with as a daily driver is a great suggestion and helps me to put things in perspective. As a daily driver, I guess I would if I didn't have to rebuild all of the rubber throughout the car.

The car is at an import dealer that buys mostly various auction cars. They do not have a particular specialty and most of their cars are high mileage POS's. They claim that this car is a barn find and have the documentation showing it was imported from Italy. It is infact a 200D and it is a 4 speed manual.

They do not know why it was not driven much.

I have not seen it in person as it is almost two hours away. I have spoken with them and they said they got the car last year and went through it and just recently changed the slave cylinder. They claim it is tight, looks beautiful and needs nothing. I did find an old d by them from last year and they were asking 10,000. So none has picked the car up at even 6. Granted it is located in a rural town with very little population within 2 hours around it.

I am a little concerned about the amount of time you say it will need to warn up in the winter. Are the times that you described with a block heater? What if I stay overnight somewhere and there is no way to plug it in. I don't mind the nuances of older cars, but having to dea with gel in my lines and hard starts might be a deal breaker.

I will PM you the link so that you can see the ad and pictures. The engine bay does seem to be greasy for the miles, but the pictures aren't great and maybe this is typical for an older diesel.

Thanks again, your reply was very helpful.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 09:47 AM
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Way overpriced for the car. The 200D in a W123 would be anemic on its best day. Forget about going up any kind of a steep hill or passing cars at highway speeds. Using the A/C? It'll be like attaching a trailer to the car.

For a curiosity piece and if it is as good condition as they claim, I MIGHT pay $2k if I didn't have any other use for the money.

22-25 MPG is about right on the car. That poor lil 4-banger will be working its heart out moving the sled.

Get a 240D or 300D instead.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 04:55 PM
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Having seen the listing, I would not blink at paying almost what they want. This is a showroom condition collectible. It would have fine ability to perform as a daily driver as long as winter salts were fully flushed after every drive.

The OM615 is a bit underwhelming, but mated to the 4 speed stick, this will be able to make it up hills with less velocity loss than a slush box 240D. If Dpinlee uses the tow hook, that may have a negative effect on hill climbing.

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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