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1984 300SD
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After purchasing my 'new' 1983 300SD in Phoenix and driving it home via the Los Angeles area, here's some insight so far:

1. She ran like a champ from Phoenix to LA.
2. Noticed a little clicking the second morning just after starting so got a tune up (including valve adjustment) in LA - no more clicking!
3. Appeared to be 1/2 qt low on oil initially and only used an additional 1/2 qt for the whole trip. This seems reasonable to me for a car with 200,000 miles - your thoughts?
4. No oil leak spots detected after parking overnight so she doesn't leak any oil.
5. I simply can't get over how nice it is to drive - she seems designed for the freeway!
6. She does need paint due to some oxidation. What can I expect to pay for a good paint job?

And last, but not least, I LOVE MY 'NEW' 300SD!!!! Can't imagine going on another road trip in anything else!
 

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2016 E400 4Matic Sedan
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610 Posts
Shawnna, glad to see you found the car you like. But keep in mind it is more than 20 years old and they will have minor problems here or there.

In my experiences, buying the car is the easy part and the maintainence is much harder and costly. Just to change all filters and fluid would probably run you $500 DIY.

The good news is that you have come to the right place. I would say I saved a minimum of $3000 from information learnt on this forum. The bad news for me is that I did put in about $2000 to get mine to a decent condition.

Good luck
 

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87 420SEL, 89 560SL, 92 300TE
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62 Posts
Welcome to the wonderful world of 126s, Shawna!

I'm glad you're happy with your car. These are some of the finest automobiles ever built. There are very few feelings like driving your "new" 126.

Your oil consumption does not seem unreasonable to me. I would have the engine checked by an experienced MB diesel type, but 1/2 quart in several hundred miles seems pretty normal for a 200K car to me.

Don't give up on your paint just yet. I obviously have not seen your car, but you would be amazed at what a good detailer can fix. If you want to do it yourself, check out the "body clay" that most of the auto-parts stores carry, or the polishing materials and tools at http://www.griotsgarage.com. Some of this stuff is not cheap, but compared to a $4000+ paint job (which is around the bottom end of the going rate to prep and paint a 126 properly), it looks like a positive bargain. Also, these cars have far better paint than most other cars, so it will take more abuse and still be repairable.

These cars (gas or diesel) are really at their best on the long highway/freeway runs. They can run at high speeds (100+ MPH) all day long, which very few cars can really do. I've set my 420SEL up as a "road-tripper" by adding GPS navigation, a stereo with AM/FM/XM and a 10-disc CD/CDR/MP3 changer and an input for my MP3 player, a rear-seat DVD unit, gooseneck reading lights in the back seat, ionic air purifiers, etc, etc. It has become my favorite escape to just point the car where IT wants to go and drive. The GPS makes sure I'll be able to find my way home, and everything else keeps us comfortable and happy while we're out and about. I was "showing-off" my stereo to a couple of friends a while back and when we were done I said, "okay, let's go into the house now." One friend replied "Why? It's more comfortable here in the car!"

One other thing... you love your car now, but just think about how much you'll love it when you take care of any and all issues, and the car is looking and working as it did when it left the dealer's showroom... THAT is why we spend these absurd amounts of money, time and energy on these cars.

Have as much fun as possible with your new SD!

-Robert
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
Your OM 617 needs to have its oil changes every 3000 miles. Dino oil is fine – you can use synthetic – but I think the engine benefits from the new oil and filter with the frequent change schedule. Your fuel prefilter can clog at anytime as quality of diesel fuel varies greatly. Fuel filters usually come in a kit with three prefilters to one main spin on filter. Generally the pre and main filters are good for 15,000 miles, but as noted you may need to swap out a prefilter way before that if it clogs. I’d recommend an air filter change once a year and transmission and ATF change every 36,000 miles, the same for the p/s fluid and filter and coolant. Use only MB coolant. Diff oil is good for 100,000 miles. The brake fluid should be changes once a year. Every 15,000 miles the valves should be adjusted. Replace the glow plugs every 24 months. The plugs can be checked with an ohmmeter for excessive resistance, resistance should not exceed .5 ohms. Use only OEM parts.

With your current mileage you’ll want to check the flex discs, propshaft bearing, and rear axle assembly. Engine and tranny mounts should be inspected along with the subframe bushings, front-end components, and steering box. I’d also check the belts and hoses for wear and replace if needed.

You should check the oil at every fill up – check with the engine hot. Check the tranny fluid once a month with the engine hot and running, run through all the gears while parked before checking, check on level ground with a chamois or your finger, do not use cloth or paper.

Keep the exterior clean as much as possible, especially the undercarriage as these cars are prone to rust.

The first generation 126 diesels are very easy to own. If cared for properly your drive train and chassis will last another 300,000 miles – both the engine and transmission are able to do this with out a rebuild.
 

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93 190E 2.6; 82 300 SD Turbo
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1,678 Posts
jdc,
I have a question reguarding the fuel filters: I to own a 300SD with he om617 engine. If my filter hasnt been changed in a while would my mpg go down? Would my car still run even thou the filter is clogged? If it is clogged now, i dont imagine it being fully cloged because she runs and everything... Just a question. Im taking her up to get a tune-up and some other service sometime this week.



Kris
 

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1985 300sd
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445 Posts
jdc1244a - 4/24/2005 2:08 PM

Your OM 617 needs to have its oil changes every 3000 miles. Dino oil is fine – you can use synthetic – but I think the engine benefits from the new oil and filter with the frequent change schedule. Your fuel prefilter can clog at anytime as quality of diesel fuel varies greatly. Fuel filters usually come in a kit with three prefilters to one main spin on filter. Generally the pre and main filters are good for 15,000 miles, but as noted you may need to swap out a prefilter way before that if it clogs. I’d recommend an air filter change once a year and transmission and ATF change every 36,000 miles, the same for the p/s fluid and filter and coolant. Use only MB coolant. Diff oil is good for 100,000 miles. The brake fluid should be changes once a year. Every 15,000 miles the valves should be adjusted. Replace the glow plugs every 24 months. The plugs can be checked with an ohmmeter for excessive resistance, resistance should not exceed .5 ohms. Use only OEM parts.

With your current mileage you’ll want to check the flex discs, propshaft bearing, and rear axle assembly. Engine and tranny mounts should be inspected along with the subframe bushings, front-end components, and steering box. I’d also check the belts and hoses for wear and replace if needed.

You should check the oil at every fill up – check with the engine hot. Check the tranny fluid once a month with the engine hot and running, run through all the gears while parked before checking, check on level ground with a chamois or your finger, do not use cloth or paper.

Keep the exterior clean as much as possible, especially the undercarriage as these cars are prone to rust.

The first generation 126 diesels are very easy to own. If cared for properly your drive train and chassis will last another 300,000 miles – both the engine and transmission are able to do this with out a rebuild.
No car needs OIL changes every 3000 miles, give me a break. jdc1244a, I would think that you of all people would know that the 3000 mile oil change thing is a SCAM, that America has bought into. MY Mercedes-Benz Owner's Manual for the 300sd turbo diesel recommends oil changes every 8000 km/5000 miles, so why would I do it every 3000 miles. READ your manual to find out how often to have your oil changed, don't feed into the Bullsh#t. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. And replace glow plugs every 24 months?? Do you work for Mercedes at a dealership or something?? That is the most over cautious recommendation I think that I have ever seen. I had had to replace my glow plugs ONCE since we bought the car new in 1985.
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
As the filters are fairly inexpensive and if you don’t know when they were last changed, I’d start with a clean slate and change them now. If you’re experiencing a rough running engine, poor acceleration, and poor mileage, it is possible the prefilter is dirty but not clogged to the point of stalling. If the engine were running fairly well otherwise but not getting good mileage, I’d check the valve lash, ALDA adjustment and the air filter.

Last November I had a prefilter clog to the point where the engine would not start. This February the ‘new’ filter clogged so badly the engine had no power and stalled. I always carry a prefilter with me in the car.
 
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