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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

I just purchased a 1988 300D Turbo (W124) which was imported from Holland to Canada. Because it was imported and is a model which apparently was not released in the US, I am having a hard time looking up the VIN number on the various online resources. It always says the # is not valid but, after checking
on the car itself (ID plate over the radiator) I have ascertained that it is.
Any ideas how I can check it out?
The reason I am concerned is because I think the registration paper may be wrong as it states that this car is a 300TD and, after reading on this site, I think that the TD was a wagon and mine is a 4 door sedan. For this reason I think my car may be a 300D Turbo. Or am I also mistaken or missing something?
Also, does anybody know where I can find an owner's manual, perhaps in PDF format, as the headlight controls (amongst other things) are still a mystery to me....;)
Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Chuck Mora


Premium Member
About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
5,466 Posts
Check under the hood on the engine side of the metal wall ahead of the battery box. The VIN is stamped there.
I've seen several 124s on ebay that had VINs not recognized bu decoding sites and I've wondered about that. I know that the USA was using a 17 digit VIN during the 124 era but I don't know if other countries were. Apparently not. I'd figure that the Russian site among others would realize this but they don't seem to.
Chuck, I just gotta get me some Euro headlamps! Sweet.

94 E320 5 spd conversion
952 Posts
Chuck, congatulations! I have a 1988 300E owners manual (USA) that would cover most (not all) of your vehicle. It would be cheap, let me know if interested.

25 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your guidance folks. Although I am still a little
unsure what I am driving...;-)
I double-checked the VIN and it is accurate:
As you can see it is 17 digits and encoded in there somewhere
is the information about the 300D Turbo or 300TD issue I suppose.
And yes, I would be interested in purchasing the 300E manual
if it will tell me about the headlight control puzzle and could be
handy when other questions arise. Please email me with your
price and we can take it from there.
By your comment about Euro headlights, I assume that is what
I have? I am also curious if the "windbreak" on the sunroof is
standard Benz or an aftermarket addition. It works fine but I am
not certain it looks right. Also is there any way to find out what
paint colour is on the car?
As you can see, I have a lot to learn about this car but am excited
about the process and, every time I drive her, I know it will
be worth the effort.
Thanks again,


1987 300E, 1955 Plymouth Belvedere, 2005 Silverado 4x4
963 Posts
Congratulations on your new ride Chuck
Here is a picture of a Euro Spec headlight switch bezel Picture.jpg
Switch positions are as follow
12 O'clock-OFF
11 O'clock-Parking lights right side only
10 O'clock-Parking lights left side only
1 O'clock-Parking lights both sides
2 O'clock-Headlights
The icons located at 5 O'clock are not positions the switch will turn to, they indicate pull the switch out one click for fog lights and two clicks for driving lights(to the best of my knowledge the driving light position is only on 500Es).The other control to the right of the headlight switch controls the height of the headlight beams. that is a feature that is only available for Euro headlights. hope this helps.

1984 300 SDC, 1983 300 SDC, 1985 300 SD,
70 Posts
Here is the info you requested.

Model 300 D TURBO
Chassis 1241331A813072
Engine 603960 12 017692
Transmission 722317 03 062701
Order 0 8 553 41459
Approx. year 1988
Dealer Netherlands (553)
Interior mb-tex blue (172)
929 nautical blue metallic (с 01.01.1984)
240 outside temperature indicator (с 01.03.1982)

280 steering wheel (400 mm dia.) and gearshift lever in leather trim; on W202 390 mm dia. (с 01.05.1984)

412 electric sliding roof with tilting device (с 01.07.1983)

430 headrests in the rear (с 01.01.1977)

482 harder spring suspension and shock absorbers (с 01.01.1964 по 30.10.1991)

506 outside rear view mirror, left and right, heated (electrically adjustable on the right) (l.h.d.) (с 01.10.1983 по 31.03.1989)
outside rear view mirror, right, convex, taxi export version

570 folding armrest front w202/210 stowage box front with armrest (с 01.04.1970)
front folding armrest w202 - housing at front with armrest

583 electric window lifters (front doors) (с 01.04.1970)

592 heat-insulating glass, all-around, heated rear window pane (laminated glass), band filter
green heat-insulating glass all round, heated rear window, laminated safety glass - tinted strip (с 01.01.1972)

645 M+S tires (с 01.10.1963)

W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
12,745 Posts

" I am also curious if the "windbreak" on the sunroof is
standard Benz or an aftermarket addition."

Aftermarket..... There is a small, but very effective, deflector that should raise into position when the sunroof is opened. It is spring loaded and may need some cleaning if it isn't working properly.

Good Luck with the new ride.


25 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks once again to everybody collectively. What an incredibly
nice bunch of folks and this site has proven to be an awesome resource for a newby like me.
I think I will remove the aforementioned "windbreak" as the smaller standard one works fine and I think it will improve the looks overall. I have also discovered that I do have the driving lights option so it must have been available for models other than the 500E. Actually the VIN info has cleared up a few things but I am dying to know where it was found.
My car also has no badgework on the trunk lid aside from the Benz emblem.
I have checked and it appears to be the original lid, hasn't been the object of any bodywork and doesn't even have holes for badges. Has anybody come across this before? Is it some kind of "stealth" option or what?....;-)
I must admit I like it without the badges and assume that if I were to add them it would be "300D" on the left and "Turbo" on the right?
I also have another question regarding the power band or when the turbo cuts in. It seems to kick in at around 2500rpm which, coincidentally, is around 100-110KPH, the local speed limit. The problem is that when the turbo cuts in it seems to want to accelerate and makes it almost impossible to cruise smoothly at 115-120KPH. The result is that I have to constantly increase the gas pedal and then back off which makes for a jerky ride. Is it possible to alter the "place" where the turbo cuts in or, perhaps more drastic, disconnect the turbo completely? It seems to me that the current arrangement would be ideal on the Autobahn but less so for over here.
Any thoughts?

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