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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1981 300D - Ongoing Project Car (New Vacuum Question)

Ok...I inquired about whether I should get this 1981 300D in another thread and I am going for it. This will be an ongoing thread with issues pertaining to my project. Here is a summary of info thus far:

1981 300D - Cloth interior, no rust, suspension appears to be intact. Dash looks great, odometer shows 47k, but I was assured that it is more like 247k. Interior is pretty good, and trunk area looks perfect.

This car has been parked outside my friend's neighbor's home for at least the 2 years that I have known them. I finally drove over and asked if he was interested in selling it. He said "sure" and we both took a look at it.

The story is like this...His dad was original owner and took immaculate care of the car. About 10 years ago, he gave it to his son (current owner) and he has driven it ever since. Not as a daily driver though. At some point he admittedly allowed his son to drive it and that was probably not the best thing. That was for a short while though however. He maintained it but not as well as his father originally had. About 3-4 years ago he was driving it around and a belt broke. He got it home and intended on fixing it but didn't get around to it. So after sitting for almost 2 years, he decided he had better start it up and at least run it every once in a while. Well the battery was dead so he installed a new one, tried to start it and had some glow plug issue and he didn't do anything with it. So it has been sitting for about 4 years. Up to that point though, there were no known issues. He was very detailed in giving me anything that might be of concern. AND, the first time I talked to him I gave him my business card for my Computer business. The second time I went over, he suggested we work out a trade for computer service, which was my original intent. So I am pretty certain I can get this car for some PC work and $200-$300, maybe no cash as all!! Which leads me to my first question in this project:

A while back the owner went to push the car somewhere else and put it in neutral. Well he put it in neutral but it is locked up. I tested it and it will shift through all gears just fine, and seems light (bushings seem ok). So I need to move the car from his driveway onto a trailer to my house about 1.5 miles away.

What can I do to get this thing to roll with the transmission locked up? What would cause this? Like I said, it shocked him that it locked up because he never had a problem with the transmission.



I am VERY excited about this car project!!
 

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1981 Mercedes 300D
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1,249 Posts
Are you sure it's the transmission that's locked up? Mine was parked for about 2 weeks, and spent part of it buried under the snow. When I finally got it dug out, the car didn't want to move (felt as though it was struggling against something). Turns out, the brakes got stuck to the rotors - with some gentle application of power in forward and reverse, I finally got it to break free.

If the car spent the last 2 years parked, with the parking brake set - it is also fairly likely that the parking brakes are sticking as well.

Have you tried jacking up the wheels and checking each one if they spin freely?
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did not jack them up and test them, good thinking though. The tires are shot so there would be no harm in forcing it. I will give that a shot. Any more thoughts?
 

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1983 Mercedes 300DT 301500 miles
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191 Posts
I vote for stuck brakes too. My 300D was sitting outside in the winter for 2-3 weeks and when I went to drive it the brakes were stuck so bad that it made a bad clunk noise when I first took off and then for the first 10-15 miles every time i would hit the brakes they pulsated but then it evened out.

Put transmission in neutral. jack every wheel and make sure it turns freely. In worst case spray some wd40 at the brake pads because they will be like welded to the discs. If you do spray wd40 on the discs to get the brakes unstuck make sure you wipe it off after that or the brakes wont work very well.
Maybe you could also just remove the wheels and tap with a hammer on the calipers to free it up.
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UPDATE

Ok, purchased for $300 and put on a trailer and took to my home 1 miles away. I gave it a bath the first day and I just got around to messing with the engine. The belt from first post still needs to be replaced (I will replace all of them). I did get a charge on the battery and it turned over. The glow plug light did not turn over however. I have yet to search the forums on this. Ill get more info soon, in the meantime, here are some photos:

Before bath:



After bath, still needs another bath and wax:


Engine before:



Things I need to address:

Two of the doors have rust like this, what is the best thing to do about this? I plan on resealing all of the doors very soon.
 

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1979 450SEL (On The way), 1980 240D, 1985 300D Turbo, 1989 300E 24v, 2004 C230 Kompressor
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54 Posts
What the hell was on that engine? That looks nasty whatever it is!
 

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1981 Mercedes 300D
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1,249 Posts
Looks like it cleaned up fairly nicely.

I've got a few rust spots on my car that I've treated with Corroseal. I've had good luck in the past with that stuff, it does a pretty good job at stopping rust.
 

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1982 240d, 2007 e350
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2,071 Posts
Looks like the hood pad crumbled onto the engine.

The car is looking a lot better than it did before.
 

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1984 MB 190e, 1978 MB 300CD, 1985 MB 300TD, 1976 MB 240D, 1979 Chevy Truck
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175 Posts
thats the hood pad all dried up! its nasty oily stuff!!!
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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1985 380SE
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1,939 Posts
Wow, cleaned up real nice. Looks great!
 

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1983 300D Turbo Diesel
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1,799 Posts
Wow that car really cleaned up nice!! Good luck with it!
 

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78/82 300D
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5,176 Posts
First thing is this a stick or auto transmission? Your glow plug light not working means bad glow plugs you'll need 5 new ones. You'll have algae in the tank, be prepared with a lot of extra filters. Make sure you change the oil, both fuel filters, return diesel hose's, cigar house, hose on 2nd fuel filter, possible a new air filter, and primer pump. If this car is a stick your clutch slave cylinder on the tranny will be bad and this is why the tranny is froze. You'll also have vacuum leaks, also your turn signals may not work due to a gumed up flasher switch.
 

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1985 380SE
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1,939 Posts
You could also drain the tank, clean it, flush it out, clean it again and filter the fuel, put it back in, prime the IP and see if it'll run. I say this because the filters will keep on getting clogged up if there's still algae in there.
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
...

Thanks for the tips guys!! It is an automatic transmission, and it turned out that the reason it wouldn't roll was because of the brakes. We muscled it and got it to roll, then winched it onto the trailer. I have a glow plug relay, and all new belts on the way from Mercedes Source. Ill probably drop the tank soon.
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Question

Latest question is...Where can I get replacement rubber vacuum lines for the Transmission Vacuum Box show in picture. Can I get replacements or just use standard vacuum line cut to length? I am concerned about standard hose kinking as the ones in there are special.

 

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1981 Mercedes 300D
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1,249 Posts
I ended up using regular vacuum hose. Buy extra, as you might have to experiment with different lengths in order to keep the hoses from kinking.
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Started

OK, I replaced all of those hoses with standard vacuum hoses giving enough length so that they did not kink.

-------------------------------------

I got it started today!! Replaced the battery, pre-filter, and some vacuum lines and bam. Didn't run it long though as I do not have any belts on.

A couple thoughts. I am concerned about diesel that has been sitting for about 4 years. Location is Florida. I think it has a 1/4 tank of fuel or so in it, what should I do about that? Run it through and change filters, or drop tank and clean it out the best I can?

It started and I ran it for about 15 seconds and cut it off. Well, pulled the key out and hit the stop button that is. Looks like I have more vacuum leaks to track down which I barely got started anyhow. I used a bunch of engine cleaner on the engine today and it probably ate away at the already old return lines so they leak. I also washed the hood, clay barred it, Maguire Swirl Remover, and NXT Wax and it looks and feels TONS better. Ill get some photos as I only did 1/2 of the hood for a side by side comparison.

Stay tuned and thanks for helping!!
 

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1981 Mercedes 300D
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Sweet! Good to hear you had it running!

With your fuel - the first thing I'd do is check the clear fuel filter. If it's still clear, I'd go ahead and run on what's left of the existing fuel.

I'd probably go as far as checking inside the tank (it's not hard) - remove the first aid kit box on the rear shelf (couple of screws), then remove the fuel sending unit (I used a big adjustable wrench). You should be able to see down into the tank w/ a flashlight, and you'll also be able to see if there's any scum (algae?) stuck to the sending unit body.

If all is clear there, I'd go ahead and fill 'er up. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the fuel filters at this point, and keep an eye on the clear one for the time being.

I take it that you got the glow plug problem straightened out?
 

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1987 300TD - 1981 300D - 1990 190E 2.6 (Non Running for Sale) - 1993 190E 2.3
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285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
fuel

I changed the prefilter before I tried to start it up. The one I pulled out was clogged and filthy. Is there any concern of the fuel screwing my engine up? Should I add some algae stuff to the tank? After I run the engine a bit and take care of leaks, I will do a diesel purge. Does this sound good or should I avoid doing something so that I do not hurt the engine? After sitting 4 years, I'm a little cautious. Thanks
 
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