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1989 300SE
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Purchased in December w/ 220k miles in great shape,but have no history on vehicle. Runs great started in cold minnesota winter no problem had it serviced everything is fine or seems to be,does shift hard what could this be? Also anybody with any tips or advice or know of good mechanic in Twin Cities I would REALLY appreciate as I hope to keep the car for awhile, she's beautiful no rust or dents with everything working but cruise control. Any tips from former or current 300TD owners really appreciated. What oil should I use? Thankyou.
 

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90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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Congratulations!

You now own one of the best Mercedes-Benz Diesels made in the 1980's! Your shifting may seem "hard" compared to other cars you have driven, but it may be normal. There is an adjustment available, but I would change the filter and fluid before you make any adjustments. CASTROL 20W/50 is a good oil for these cars and has been my favorite over the past 20 years. Ccheck your owners service book to see what the former owners used when they changed the oil. I would not use a synthetic oil whatsoever! Good luck!
 

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1989 300SE
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85 300 TD

Thanks ED. Did change the gas filter and pre filter the other day am doing oil today now I know what oil.Again it shifts hard changed tran fluid just want to make sure everything is okay. Again am amazed
it's it the shape it's in keep thinking it's just going to fall apart all at once. Anybody know about checking valve clearences? Thanks again.
 

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'02 WRX Blue
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41 Posts
Re: 85 300 TD

Welcome to owning a Benz in Minnesota...

First off, Metric Auto Works and Metric Auto Parts in Saint Paul have been great since I bought my 300d 2 years ago. I've done every normal maintenence thing to my car with their help. They've done the bigger things like front brakes.

If they can't fix it, then you want to try Huber's (sp?) in Minneapolis. They were recommended to me when I started asking tougher questions. I guess they specialize in vintage Mercedes'. FWIW, This Huber's was also recommended by Maplewood Mercedes.

One thing that really changed how my car shifted was checking all the vacuum hoses around the tranny. If you bring it in for oil changes have the place (like Metric) check them for you.

Shane Kullman
'82 300d Silver
 

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82 300 TD
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Congrats on the new car, they are truly on of the best models that MB has ever built. Th...

Congrats on the new car, they are truly on of the best models that MB has ever built. They are nearly bulletproof if they are properly maintained. In regards to oil, I personally would shy away from a 20w-50. Several reasons for this. First off, most 20w-50 oils are only rated for gasoline engine service. If you look on the circle on the back of the oil bottle, you'll see a circle, commonly called the API donut. Look for an oil that carries a rating of at least a CH-4. The "C" stands for combustion engine. The "H" would indicate that it meets a certain minimum set of requirements set by the API, and this second letter changes occasionally and I think that "H" has actually been superceded by the letter "I". At any rate the "4" indicates that this oil is suited for use in a four stroke cycle engine. This is the rating that you need for your diesel, not an "S" rated oil, such as 20w-50's. Second, they are too heavy. You are robbing your engine of power when you use an oil that is too heavy. Personally, I feel that 20w-50 oils should be outlawed. They will kill an engine a lot quicker than an oil that is too thin. My recommendation would be to use like a Shell Rotella 15w-40 or Mobil Delvac 15w40, both available just about anywhere. If you do use a 20w-50, may God help you in that cold Minnesota winter.
 
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