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1985 Mercede Benz 300D Turbo
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Last year, my son gave me a black 1985 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbo with leather seats, sunroof etc. as a gift. He was the second owner, the original owner was a little old lady living in Pittsburgh who babied the car and drove it to the store and back (classic story). When she died it had 70,000 miles on it and her grandson sold it to my son, . He drove it cross country to Los Angeles, but because he travels internationally 10 months out of the year he decided to give it to his mother as a gift. At the time it had 75,000 miles. There were some electrical problems which were fixed but then it developed a terrible noise and we stopped driving it. I checked the oil and it looked like it ran out (the indicator had not given me any warning). I have it at a repair shop (supposedly reputable) and the mechanic checked the rocker arm (to see if it was something simple) and now he says he needs to pull the engine, and said given the mileage it might be worth repairing by putting $2600-2850 to repair, if it is more major he recommended a rebuilt engine costing $3500-4,000. I am torn as to what to do, invest money to repair the engine (and the oil indicator light!) or sell it to someone who can nurse it back to health (and if so what would it be worth). Advice is welcome!
 

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1989 300E
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702 Posts
I highly doubt it actually costs that much, Ms. Carol. You can get a used engine in decent shape anywhere from $500 - $1,500. If he's going to charge that much for repairs, and you can find a different engine for replacement, why not choose the latter?

I do know that people have been known to drop bank on these cars before...but...I dunno, maybe I just got lucky with my mechanic and his prices, but seems like a ripoff to me.

Source another mechanic.
My suggestion? Talk to this guy: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w123-e-ce-d-cd-td/1608458-special-thanks-dieselkraut22-garrett.html
 

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1981 W123 300D non turbo, 1992 190E 1.8 <=> 2.0
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6,561 Posts
Last year, my son gave me a black 1985 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbo with leather seats, sunroof etc. as a gift. He was the second owner, the original owner was a little old lady living in Pittsburgh who babied the car and drove it to the store and back (classic story). When she died it had 70,000 miles on it and her grandson sold it to my son, . He drove it cross country to Los Angeles, but because he travels internationally 10 months out of the year he decided to give it to his mother as a gift. At the time it had 75,000 miles. There were some electrical problems which were fixed but then it developed a terrible noise and we stopped driving it. I checked the oil and it looked like it ran out (the indicator had not given me any warning). I have it at a repair shop (supposedly reputable) and the mechanic checked the rocker arm (to see if it was something simple) and now he says he needs to pull the engine, and said given the mileage it might be worth repairing by putting $2600-2850 to repair, if it is more major he recommended a rebuilt engine costing $3500-4,000. I am torn as to what to do, invest money to repair the engine (and the oil indicator light!) or sell it to someone who can nurse it back to health (and if so what would it be worth). Advice is welcome!
I think that the numbers quoted by the machanic are pretty much spot on for intensive good quality work (with machining) on an OM617. It is difficult to tell exactly what needs to be done until you get busy with a micrometer - but if you want it to last then it will cost this kind of money to get it fixed.

I personally see little point in not spending that kind of money if you actually want to keep the car. Bunging in a second hand engine (of unknown quality) is going to take away the charm of the low miles and the feeling that you've got a "real nice one". If you had to get the car going because say the big flood is coming and it is the only way to get to higher ground then sure I'd then say that a second hand engine would be appropriate but if you want to carry on driving a nice museum piece then I reckon you'll need to spend the money to do so. In most cases you get what you pay for...

...only you can say if it is worthwhile to you.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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163 Posts
I have it at a repair shop (supposedly reputable) and the mechanic checked the rocker arm (to see if it was something simple) and now he says he needs to pull the engine, and said given the mileage it might be worth repairing by putting $2600-2850 to repair, if it is more major he recommended a rebuilt engine costing $3500-4,000. I am torn as to what to do, invest money to repair the engine (and the oil indicator light!) or sell it to someone who can nurse it back to health (and if so what would it be worth). Advice is welcome!
I'll make a couple of points no one else has made yet. You seem a little suspicious of this mechanic ("supposedly reputable")--so why not get a second opinion?

Next point: Assuming it really does need that much work, I agree you should get it done by a reputable garage (ideally a specialist in old Mercedes). The question then is, how would you feel about the resulting car? Is it in great shape otherwise? Very low miles? If it's a good car otherwise, it's worth that investment. If it feels like junk to you, probably not.

Jim
 

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1985 500sel konig special widebody, 1979 slc, 1992 300sl
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232 Posts
get a used engine! any tech can swap out the motor, its very simple and easy to find!!!
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,338 Posts
I had a similar problem back in 2001 with out 1985 300D.

The engine had been ruined by an oil change jockey dropping the air cleaner nut into the air intake (and turbo). The upper part of the engine was totally wrecked.

At that time the car had done 200k miles. Body was not bad but not perfect. We were told it would be worth $1000 as-is.

We found a couple of used engines. The one we used cost $2300. A used turbo cost $300. Shop rebuilt the used engine - new cyl liners, pistons, timing chain, rebuild cylinder head etc etc. Ended up costing C$6810.

We still have car and spent another $3000 about 5 years ago on paintwork.

We have put about 60k miles on car since rebuild over 11 years. Probably spent $11k in total, so $1k per year. Less than depreciation if we had bought another car?

Right now, we have some rust in structural area and wondering if we should spend more on car. But we probably will! We have owned it for 22 years.
 

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1985 300D Gone 1985 230CE Perfect, 1984 300TD Driver, 1981 300TD Bad engine
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1,418 Posts
Could you describe the terrible noise?
 

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1985 380SE
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1,939 Posts
Get in touch with DieselKraut22 (Garrett) here on the forum. He has incredible knowledge about these cars and he can probably find a good replacement engine for you. My advice is to revive that car. You have one of the few remaining ones with low mileage like that!

Keep in mind, these cars run anywhere from right about 15 to 30 lbs (1 to 2 bar) of oil pressure at operating temperature when idling. When above idle speed (I'd say around 1,100RPM) the gauge should peg to 45 lbs (3 bar) and stay there until the engine returns to idle speed. You should not see that needle drop while the engine is under load.
 

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1977 W123.123 1995 W124.034
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Get in touch with DieselKraut22 (Garrett) here on the forum. He has incredible knowledge about these cars and he can probably find a good replacement engine for you. My advice is to revive that car. You have one of the few remaining ones with low mileage like that!

Keep in mind, these cars run anywhere from right about 15 to 30 lbs (1 to 2 bar) of oil pressure at operating temperature when idling. When above idle speed (I'd say around 1,100RPM) the gauge should peg to 45 lbs (3 bar) and stay there until the engine returns to idle speed. You should not see that needle drop while the engine is under load.

Just what I was going to suggest. He knows his stuff.
 

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Brown 83 300SD I have a few other projects before I get to her!
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1,845 Posts
Have you tried just filling it back up with oil & see how it runs? I think I'd do that first. Hopefully you have not spun a bearing or something of that nature.

But if needed, I too would get it fixed, esp living out in Cal, this car could easily last the rest of ones life!

Agreed, get Diesel Kraut on the case!
 
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