Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get a larger diesel sedan so I am looking at a 300SD and not a 300D (not interested in the 300SDL or 350SDL). I just sold my 82 300TD wagon last year, so I ma familar with the W123s.

I like the style of the W116 300SD over the W126 300SD. I have access to a 1979 W116 that appears to be in great shape. If a W116 is in good shape well cared for, is it worth the trouble, or should I just look for a W126?

I know that there were many improvements going from the W115 75-76 300D to the W123 300D, and that the W123s have proven to be much more reliable and did not have the scary repairs like the heater blower on the W115. My question is how does the W116 300SD compare to the W126 300SD? Other than the fact the W116s would obviously be older and greater potential for rust, what are the major "gotchas" for the W116s?
 

·
Registered
'80 500SE AMG '80 300SD '78 450SLC '00 Passat GLX Wagon
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Alanetworks - 2/12/2005 5:24 PM

I want to get a larger diesel sedan so I am looking at a 300SD and not a 300D (not interested in the 300SDL or 350SDL). I just sold my 82 300TD wagon last year, so I ma familar with the W123s.

I like the style of the W116 300SD over the W126 300SD. I have access to a 1979 W116 that appears to be in great shape. If a W116 is in good shape well cared for, is it worth the trouble, or should I just look for a W126?

I know that there were many improvements going from the W115 75-76 300D to the W123 300D, and that the W123s have proven to be much more reliable and did not have the scary repairs like the heater blower on the W115. My question is how does the W116 300SD compare to the W126 300SD? Other than the fact the W116s would obviously be older and greater potential for rust, what are the major "gotchas" for the W116s?
I love my '80 300sd but there are a few problems. Rear window leakage saeems to be worse in these than in the W126 but that could just be my car. The climate control system is terrible and you would be missing some options like power seats. Also depending on the milage you may need to see if the tranny has been rebuilt. Everything I have read says they tend to go after 250K miles and sure enough if mine didn't just sort of blow up around there. I have also had trouble with the vacuum locks but I'm not sure it's any owrse than a 126. Other than that however I have had to do very little to my SD. Mostly things just sort of wear out because it's old, to be expected. Also I believe the 126 is a 6 cyl non turbo model instead of the 5 cyl turbo of the 116, someone else might know if it makes a difference. I have no complaints about the performance of my SD considering what it is. Not the forum to admit this but I too prefer the 116 body[:I] Unless the 126 is or looks like an AMG model that is.

John
'80 500se
'80 300sd
 

·
Registered
1991 300 SE
Joined
·
18,534 Posts
The 126 is a much more modern design than the 116. The 116s were fine cars but have more in common with the 123s (or the other way around) which is ironic since you don’t want a 123 300 D.

The 81 to 85 126 300 SD would be the way to go, imo – it has the same engine as the 116 300 SD, all iron 5 cylinder turbo (OM617) and a better looking body on a more modern chassis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[/QUOTE]

I love my '80 300sd but there are a few problems. Rear window leakage saeems to be worse in these than in the W126 but that could just be my car. The climate control system is terrible and you would be missing some options like power seats. Also depending on the milage you may need to see if the tranny has been rebuilt. Everything I have read says they tend to go after 250K miles and sure enough if mine didn't just sort of blow up around there. I have also had trouble with the vacuum locks but I'm not sure it's any owrse than a 126. Other than that however I have had to do very little to my SD. Mostly things just sort of wear out because it's old, to be expected. Also I believe the 126 is a 6 cyl non turbo model instead of the 5 cyl turbo of the 116, someone else might know if it makes a difference. I have no complaints about the performance of my SD considering what it is. Not the forum to admit this but I too prefer the 116 body[:I] Unless the 126 is or looks like an AMG model that is.

John
'80 500se
'80 300sd[/QUOTE]



Thanks...these are the kind of things I wanted to know about the W116.

Rear Window – I am assuming you mean the window over the trunk? Is it the rubber seal that goes bad? While on the subject, how about the rest of the rubber? I had to replace a lot of the rubber on my ’82 300TD, but it had been stored for a long time without use prior to me.

Climate Control - This is a Big One for me. I live in Florida and a good running A/C is mandatory. [:(!] What are the problems you have experienced with the climate control? Have you had to replace everything, and what were the costs? Did replacement fix the problems? The A/C went out on my 300TD and I was quoted $2500 to do everything; that is why I sold it to a Canadian wintering in FL.

Power Seats - Not a problem, I am 6’3� so my seat is usually all the way to the back. Plus I would think the power seat motor equipment would be just another thing to have to replace at some time.

Tranny – Did you have yours rebuilt, or did you find a rebuilt one? What options did you have in fixing this issue?

Vacuum Locks - I had the same problem with my 300TD. I disconnected the vacuum line to all the doors (using manual locks for a year) until I could replace the bevels.

Suspension – How much work have you done on the suspension; I eventually replaced the whole front end on my 300TD. When the rear hydraulic self-leveling system started to go (at the same time as the A/C) that is when I threw in the towel. The W116 has pneumatic shocks in the rear, correct?

Anything you or anyone else can throw out for W116 would be appreciated. I know this is W126 forum, but they don't have one for W116s. I am hoping someone out there might have had both a 116 and 126 and can speak to the differences.
 

·
Registered
None
Joined
·
738 Posts
I used to own a W116 450SEL and I currently own a W126 300SD. I know a lot about W116 since I did end up ripping out the interior and redoing it.

Let's start with the engines.

W116 had turbochargers that were optional, W126 did not and I think that is a safety issue. You want the turbo for a diesel engine trying to push a 4,500 + lbs. vehicle!

W116 and W126 engines were almost identical, except, W126 had been modified to produce more power. About 110 bhp for W116 with a turbo and 125 bhp for W126.

W116 is vulnerable to rust from the inside-out due to the factory glue used to secure the padding under the mats and the vents down (I have terrible rust pics if you want). Be very careful with this and with rust hidden by rocket panel spray. W126 had many rust inhibition improvements over 116.

W116 is a very safe car with crumple zones and the passenger safety cell, however W126 is safer. W126 was built specifically to deal with deady frontal-offset collisions - W116 was not.

Both have bullet-proof drive-trains.

W116 has a good climate control system - when it works! The system is very expensive to repair! W126's is WAY more reliable.

W126's will always sell better than W116 - W126 has a cult status position, whereas W116 are not very popular models, unfortunately and for some reason.

I, too do like the W116 looks. I feel W116 has beautiful door handles to open the doors and more chrome. W116 can be beautiful with Euro lights and bumpers. But I like W126's looks too. Many people mistake my 1981 W126 for a 1994 MB.

In my opinion, it all comes down to you. W126 is a more complete, modern and desirable car, but W116 is a rare car that has very classic looks (just get the Euro lights and bumpers hehe). Both models you should be wary with rust - but W116 was very, very vulnerable to it.

Take care and good luck with finding your 300SD!

Tory
 
  • Like
Reactions: jrocco777

·
Registered
84 300D; 85 380SE
Joined
·
75 Posts
that kind of hits on my concern with a W116. don't know the production #'s, but i get the distinct feeling that
reliable used parts (sheet metal, interior as opposed to engine)are more plentiful for the 126 cars than the 116. i could very well be wrong on that, but it's a consideration for me anyway.
 

·
Registered
'80 500SE AMG '80 300SD '78 450SLC '00 Passat GLX Wagon
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Alanetworks - 2/13/2005 5:57 AM

[



Thanks...these are the kind of things I wanted to know about the W116.

Rear Window – I am assuming you mean the window over the trunk? Is it the rubber seal that goes bad? While on the subject, how about the rest of the rubber? I had to replace a lot of the rubber on my ’82 300TD, but it had been stored for a long time without use prior to me.

Climate Control - This is a Big One for me. I live in Florida and a good running A/C is mandatory. [:(!] What are the problems you have experienced with the climate control? Have you had to replace everything, and what were the costs? Did replacement fix the problems? The A/C went out on my 300TD and I was quoted $2500 to do everything; that is why I sold it to a Canadian wintering in FL.

Power Seats - Not a problem, I am 6’3� so my seat is usually all the way to the back. Plus I would think the power seat motor equipment would be just another thing to have to replace at some time.

Tranny – Did you have yours rebuilt, or did you find a rebuilt one? What options did you have in fixing this issue?

Vacuum Locks - I had the same problem with my 300TD. I disconnected the vacuum line to all the doors (using manual locks for a year) until I could replace the bevels.

Suspension – How much work have you done on the suspension; I eventually replaced the whole front end on my 300TD. When the rear hydraulic self-leveling system started to go (at the same time as the A/C) that is when I threw in the towel. The W116 has pneumatic shocks in the rear, correct?

Anything you or anyone else can throw out for W116 would be appreciated. I know this is W126 forum, but they don't have one for W116s. I am hoping someone out there might have had both a 116 and 126 and can speak to the differences.
Rear window rubber is what goes bad. But if it is allowed to leak too long the rear window fogs. The rest of the rubber on the car seems fine, trunk seal might be bad but with the leaking rear window it's hard to tell.

Others have pointed out the flaws of the ACC unit, a bit ahead of it's time I think. There is a kit to convert it manual so that you never need to replace the servo or amplifier but you'd lose the auto temp function, it'd just be AC on when it's too hot and off when it's too cold. I don't like the auto function anyway so I'm looking into doing this.

I don't miss power seats and like you say it's one less thing to go out.

I had a rebuilt tranny put in. Expensive but I also dodn't do much shopping around.

I've done nothing to the suspension though it needs new rear springs. Probably could use front ones as well. Suspension is pretty basic so it's not too bad to fix.

The 110 HP is a bit low according to my info. the '79 should have 117 or 118 i think (mine has 120). Not a racer but enough power so merging isn't usually an issue.

Really it comes down to what you like. The 126 looks way more modern, my 500se could pass for 10 years newer than the SD easily even though it's the same year, and is more refined but I like the sleeker lines of the 116. As long as you don't mind a little more primitive car I can't see how you wouldn't like the '79 SD. Have you tested it? If you want PM or email me so we don't bore the good people here.

And hey, why isn't there a 116 forum anyway[:)]

John
'80 500se
'80 300sd
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top