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Can anyone tell me what is the common services/maintenace required on a 1983 300CD. I'm looking at one to purchase as a commuter car (it gets way better milage than my Expedition). I have friends with MBZ diesels and know how well built they are, but I've read lots of posts on expensive maintenance....is this stuff that is DIY or stuff that the mechanic has to do.<br>
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I'm looking at an '83 300CD with about 160k miles and plan on checking all the svc records and having a mech check it out before I buy. I typically do all my own maintenance on my cars (with the exception of auto trannies...ugh.)<br>
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Any feedback is appreciated. Been reading the posts here and this is a great forum...<br>
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Thanks,<br>
JD
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I would say that maintenance is cheaper in 123 diesels than most cars. Most parts are inexpensive and the car is pretty much bulletproof. I wouldn't give it a second thought.<br>
 

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Thanks for the info....can anyone speak specifically to trannies. I've heard that when they go, they are $$$$ to fix. Any signs to look for when driving the car? What is avg $ to rebuild or get a rebuilt/spare?<br> <br> I've also read about the vacuum box and adjusting it for the tranny as well as cables (I'm guessing there is a kickdown cable). Are these adjustments fairly easy to do?<br> <br> Want to make sure I'm not buying myself a money pit. If I can keep it for a year or a little more that I'll be commuting with no problems and sell, I'll be really happy. (Of course after reading all the posts here, I may just want to keep it :)<br> <br> <br> Thanks to everyone in advance,<br> JD
 

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I have a W123 1983 300CD turbo diesel.<br> <br> Mine has 464,400 miles. I got it at 454k from a lady for $1600. I like to keep everything in tip top shape, so I do a lot more fixing of stuff that doesn't really need to be fixed.<br> <br> Apparently my tranny was rebuilt 80k miles ago so that means it went 350k+ with no trouble I would assume. Since I bought it, I put in a new radiator, new hoses, belts, a new AC compressor, drier, etc, so basically my AC is ice cold. I did ball joints, and a lot of suspension components because mine has a lot of miles. However, my steering box is starting to show signs of getting old.<br> <br> A car with as few miles as you say it has, it probably doesn't need to much. I'd say to do the basics, change the tranny oil and filter, change the engine oil, do the brakes, change the coolant and hoses. That way you have a benchmark for service that you have done.<br> <br> Since I have done all that stuff it doesnt need much. Sometimes the coupe rear window regulators break and those are about 120 dollars. Mine broke, so I just leave the windows up. The next thing that I have to do is get new door/window weather stripping because water leaks into my car into the back seat feet area.<br> <br> Those are all the problems that I have dealt with. Im sure with a car in better shape than mine, so you won't have to do a lot of what I have done for a while.<br> <br> Upgrades<br> Euro lights(if you get the ones with vacuum adjust you will have to plumb that too)<br> E430 copy rims with tires( they look good)<br> I had lorenser rims, but the chrome was peeling, so It wasnt worth 1200 to fix them.<br> <br> I bought a 1982 300D turbo that was blown up and i keep it at my house if i need parts..lol<br> <br> My car leaks oil, but if a diesel doesnt leak its probably going to blow up. that is what i think. Also, buffing the factory paint makes it look really nice.<br> <br> If you want to know anything else, please ask.<br> <br> Austin<br> [email protected]
 

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There are some issues with the transmission usually after 250,000 to 300,000 miles. The new automatic transmission is avaialable at most dealers for a substantial discount with a warranty as well. The labor is not cheap however. The filter should be changed and new fluid added if this has not been done in awhile. The 300 D transmissions are strong if serviced regularly.
 

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Thanks guys for all the info. I ended up passing on this one. Drove it today and wasn't impressed. 1983 non-turbo, no service history, and broken odometer that read 27,000 miles. Non-wokring cruise, non-working sunroof, and I didn't even get around to checking the other power acc. Current owner only has had it for about a year and claimed that it had about '100,000' miles on it. Engine ran a little rough and didn't kill smoothly (vacuum problem pherhaps). Also noticed the 1st shift of the transmission to be jerky and the steering had a good bit of play in it.<br> <br> Probably not a bad car for someone who has the place and the time to work on it, but wasn't for me to take a chance on.<br> <br> Exterior was really nice - palamino yellow with beige MB-Tex interior. Interior was a little rough. Anyway, if anyone is interested the car was listed in the Houston Chronicle and they guy was asking $3600.<br> <br> Thanks again to all who posted to my question....The quest continues for another diesel. Still looking for a 123 although I'm now also considering an '87 300D with 105k on the clock.<br> <br> JD
 

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buying a 123 diesel

JD, I can't emphasise enough how good a decision you are making. <br> <br> One piece of advice however, don't look at this as a car to get you by for a year. That way if you do have to throw money into a transmission or motor or something, you will make back the money in fuel savings in no time! They are very reliable and if maintained will last you years more, even though we're talking about cars that are 20 odd years old. When you're buying it, make sure you have the compression checked. Low compression not only loses power, but will also make for hard cold starting in winter - try to get one with at least 320 psi with no more than say 20-30 psi variation between cylinders. Don't be put off by smoky vehicles, often new injectors or rebuilt injection pumps can solve the problem of a very cheap smoky car (compression will confirm whether it's worth putting money into).<br> <br> As you can see on my profile, I currently have 2 diesel Benzes. I have never owned better cars in my life and while I can get access to them will always buy them (I'm assuming you've heard the ridiculous Californian idea to ban diesel cars - sort of goes hand in hand with their push for electric vehicles, which they don't have the electricity capacity to handle - but that's another story).<br> <br> If I have any advice for you, it would be to not buy a non-turbo version. Don't get me wrong, I love my 240D, it is probably the most reliable car ever built (and the millions of taxi drivers around the world still driving these are a testament to their reliability) - *but* it is the most gutless car I've ever driven, with your foot flat to the floor you'll be lucky if you can pull the skin off a custard tart. If you can afford to buy a post 1986 model, they came with a new motor (as per the one in my 190D) which was much smoother, quieter and more powerful than the earlier versions. Infact, with the exception of the slight ticking at idle, you wouldn't even know my 190 was a diesel. It's fast, quiet, smooth and it can beat many petrol engined cars off from the lights (and it grooowwwwls when you put your foot down!). Obviously there is a down side to having a turbo, and that is, when the turbo dies, pull out your credit card (you'll be needing the platinum one).<br> <br> Hope that's some help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought all 1983 300CD's where turbocharged? Maybe the guy swapped a non-turbo 300D engine for his blown engine somewhere in the past.<br> <br>
 
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