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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, i'm a college-bound student living in Central Florida, and i'm having a bit of trouble deciding just what kind of mb to purchase. I'm quickly becoming an obsessive nut about these things, mb's in particular, and have been a diesel fan for quite some time. As such, i've looked at and read all I could on the internet regarding the various mercedes diesel configurations from 1980 up to '91; now I thought it was time to throw the question out there to some folks who may have actually been there and done that, as it were. I'm looking for a good combination of acceleration (I realize these diesels aren't going to be lightning off the line, but I don't want it to be slow as mud either), reliability, and maneuverability. I've looked at both the W123 and W126 models and rather like the 300SD and 300SDL in particular, but any feedback on earlier models, say the 300D, would help as well. Thanks !
 

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1984 280SEL AMG
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701 Posts
Try one of the turbo diesel modles, I've been looking for one for ages, but it seems their are none within my price range. Tho I did pick up a nuce 280SEL AMG Euro. But, Yea, turbo diesel will be what you want, better pick up than the natral asperated diesels.
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
I say an 84 or 85 300 SD with the 5 cylinder engine (OM 617). I know the six cylinder engine (OM 603) is better, smoother, and more powerful but when it comes to durability and ease of maintenance (what little there is) you can’t beat an OM 617. The first generation w126 chassis is more modern than the w123, it is safer, more comfortable, and less prone to leaking. I believe the 81 to 85 300 SD the best all around diesel DB produced.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Was the 603 ever offered in an SD model? All i've ever been able to find it on was the longbody, and though they are very nice, they're also very huge; maybe not the best for a campus environment. I have however heard nothing but good things about the OM 617, (will run buried 500 feet beneath the surface of Mars after 800,000 miles and three nuclear explosions, etc), and hearing it here seems to support the various reviews and things i've been looking at.
 

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1991 300 SE
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No, the 603s were only in the SDLs for the second generation production runs starting in the 1986 m/y. They were built in 86 and 87 ending up with the ill-fated 3.5 L engine in 1990.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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jdc1244a - 3/12/2005 10:22 PM

No, the 603s were only in the SDLs for the second generation production runs starting in the 1986 m/y. They were built in 86 and 87 ending up with the ill-fated 3.5 L engine in 1990.
The 603s were in a SD model, the 90-91 350SD, they were in that ill fated 3.5L form.
-Joe
 

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1985 300sd
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445 Posts
603 is the engine code for the 3.0L inline 6 found in the 1986-87 300sdl and 1990-1991 350sdl (just with increased displacement)
 

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1985 300sd
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If maintenance and repairs is your biggest concern, which I completely understand, being a college student, I would recommend going the route of the w123 300d. Although I love my 1985 300sd and my 1986 300sdl (when it is acting right, of course), if I had the choice, which you now have, I would have gone the route of a 300d, simply because the parts are more readily available for less money. And it has the great 617 engine too!!
 
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