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85 300GD 83 300TD
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1979 through 1985 240GD and 300GD models were brought in by individuals. It is now possible to bring into the country '79 an '80 trucks because they are 25 years old. There are a few later model diesels but the door was closed on grey market around '86 or '87 I think. Europa started importing in the '90s but I don't know how many diesels they brought in. Perhaps others can comment.

-Dai
 

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1985 300GD LWB 5 Speed
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1,079 Posts
Diesels are still in production, I believe, but these do not come to the US. The 463 can be either a 400 or a 270 diesel. The 461 seems to always be a diesel (270cdi), but other engines may be obtained. I recall someone here offering numbers of each model of G that came to the US. It would be difficult to know about pre-Europa imports. Mine 1980 has registration documents that start in January of 1981. It must be one of the first ones to arrive here.
 

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300GD 500SL 300E
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232 Posts
I think that the 3.5liter desil was once offered, not in the US though. It that correct comments anyone...
 

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Europa G500, 1983 280GE
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338 Posts
I think Norm Keiser at www.keisermotors.com has been bringing in some late model 463 series G-Wagens. You may want to check his web site or email him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the excellent info!

Well I’m smitten.

It’ll be about a year before I'm ready but this looks like a fine example of a 300GD

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4523276428&category=31854

Comments?
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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978 Posts
This truck has no side marker lights. The condition of the paint on the underside of the hood might indicate rust issues under the truck. Beware of new undercoating and black paint. It looks very straight and cared for, the alloy bits on the engine look like the truck has been garaged and not left out a lot.

-Dai
 

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2000 G500 NMLE
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6,982 Posts
Lebenz - 2/2/2005 2:03 AM

Thanks everyone for the excellent info!

Well I’m smitten.

It’ll be about a year before I'm ready but this looks like a fine example of a 300GD

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4523276428&category=31854

Comments?
This is at least the second go-round for this truck on Ebay; and it was discussed quite a bit here on its first go-round. As I remember, there was some questionable "stuff" about this one - mpost important is an apparent lack of Federalization. New paint job = What's underneath it?

It's located very close to where I live and across the street from one of my customers. If anyone wants me to take a look at it for them, contact me by email; and the freshly painted frame makes me wonder even more about what it was intended to hide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I saw some references to the G on some other sites. Apparently it sold at some time in the recent past but the sale didn’t go through.

In addition to rust and accident related damage, is there any reasonable way to a thorough PPI a 25 year old G? Or is the wisdom to give it a good looking over and take yer chances at that point.

Knowing the least expensive MB will most likely be the most expensive to maintain, does anyone think there are one or 2 owner models around with service history?

Also I've heard these are pretty pokey on the hiway. My primary use for this will be to drive it for a 70 mile (each way) commute up and down mountain roads. Will this go 65 to 70 MPH up hill?


Dutch, that's a really nice photo! Even though i'm a year out, thanks also for the offer to review!!!
 

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1985 300GD LWB 5 Speed
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1,079 Posts
Lebenz,

I see you are from Seattle. I am 65 miles south of you. It might be worthwhile to chat about which G model and engine would be the best for your planned use. You can send me an Email with your phone number and I will give you a call.
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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978 Posts
The standard 300GD 1985 and earlier will do 65 to 70 on the freeway. My SWB '85 tops out at 75 to 80. It will not do this uphill and very steep uphills are slow. My truck likes 65 mph. This is with the 5 speed manual transmission and stock tires. There are fewer diesels than gas models in the US but they are out there. Converting a gas to a diesel is possible.

-Dai
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thomas,

Thank you for the generous offer of your time! I’m content to learn more about the G wagon from the public realm. I also know some folks who work at the local MB dealership and who’ve helped me with some research related stuff before. The folks at the dealership offer their assistance as kind of a fringe benefit for taking my cars to them for services.

Also, it is cool that there is a contingent of folks from WA here. Perhaps we can have a GTG in spring?

So from what Dai says, speed isn’t exactly part of the deal. How about towing capacity. Anyone know how much weight an 85 300GD LWB can pull behind it?

Thanks again for all the great feedback!
 

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BenzWorld G Class Host
2002 800RMK
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1,518 Posts
LeBenz...now that is a moniker I recall from another MB site[:)] Nice to see you at the best source for the G!

Contrary to most internet boards the G group is safe and sane[;)] I have willingly met quite a few group members and never found a bum in the group. I would take up Thomas on his offer and maybe hit him up for a ride and a look at his diesel G. That is by far the most telling way to experience the G, first hand.

Speed and towing are not the forte of the diesel powered G. I think the 300GD has 92 hp, the truck wieghs 5000lbs+ and is shaped like a brick. The drivetrain is likely rated for a 7000lb tow but only if you have a lot of time.

Europa never really got into importing the newer diesels. When I bought my first G from them 6 years ago they had done one 463 at considerable expense. Norm Keiser has done a few 463 diesels but again you pay a premium for them, especially in todays market. The only 463 diesel I would consider is the 300G turbodeisel of which I know of three in the US.

Just curious but, why a diesel?
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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978 Posts
RE: why a diesel?

No sparkplugs or wires. No electronic ignition. Adjust the valves once a year and keep the fuel clean. Buy a set of glow plugs every 100,000 miles or so. 300,000 to 400,000 motor service before a rebuild. Better fuel economy. A choice of fuels, biodiesel or vegetable oil. Exhaust systems that last the life of a motor. Torque where you need it. Mechanical reliability. User serviceability. No computer. No error codes. No errors. You can hear them so you won't be run over in a crosswalk. The car talk boys know very little about them and hate them. In a solid Mercedes (G) (123) (126) chassis a million miles is not unrealistic. They are cool.

-Dai
 

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BenzWorld G Class Host
2002 800RMK
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1,518 Posts
RE: why a diesel?

Not sure what is wrong with electronic ignition, plugs and wires? Those things last a long time these days. Even on the old models if OEM parts are used they last a looong time. So you change plugs and wires ever five years. Gas engines in MBs will easily go 250K and are cheaper to rebuild, another wash in my book. Better fuel economy buy right now diesel is 30 cents a gallon more expensive than gasoline. Sure you can do bio or veg oil but they are not much of a benefit if you stray from your source often. Stainless exhaust systems last an awful long time as well. Back to splitting hairs, not much of a real benefit. The 300GD has torque? MB gas engines are very reliable, and very servicable, the old ones have no computers either. The last few points I can not dispute[;)] I just think that for most folks the 150hp 280, 170 hp 300 or 210 hp 320 is going to be a better overall choice than the 92hp 300D engine. The minor up sides of a 300GD wouldn't be enough to overcome having to push the truck over the 10,000 ft passes in my nieghborhood[:p]
 

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406/280GE/240GD/G320
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Having now owned a couple of both, diesel and petrol early G's I have to agree with DAI.

The 280 motor is a great engine, no doubt one of the most free revving, and easy to work on motors that is petrol. It will go a good 180,000 miles before needing top end work if you keep your valves and timing chain serviced well.

But that being said, the diesels are just so much more simple. And running Biodiesel is a great thing to be able to do in my opinion. I've put thousands of miles on G's with biodiesel, getting about 32mpg!

My 280's at best get 15 mpg. MY LWB 280GE got about 10mpg, but it did have large tires.

Also the petrol motors seem to get a bit worse as they get older, and also have fuel injection, warm up regulator, and all that other junk to deal with. They also run weird at different elevations and need to be retuned. Diesels do not.

Diesels don't need batteries, alternators, wires, nothing but some veggies, some oil, some air, and an open road to cruise.....

for those who only use their early G on the street, well, I suppose i can understand wanting to get a bit more accelleration, but the 280 has to be really wound out to be in its powerband (not that its bad for it), you can run those at 5000 rpm all day long if you need to.

The 6.17 gears and the 5 speed, or the 5.33 gears and the 4 speed are the only way to go in my opinion with the 280 motor.


-mike
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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I think the 617A turbo motor would be perfect for the heavy G and will run with good power at high altitude. Over 120 Hp. This motor in our TD is unbelievable at those altitudes. I look forward to Dave's test report of a turbo transplant in a G in your neck of the woods. My naturally aspirated 300GD doesn't run out of power in very steep off road situations in low range. It is on the road on steep climbs where it feels like a Fred Flintstone mobile. When my G fund is pumped back up I have a turbo motor to rebuild and install in my truck. The diesels are incredibly reliable and make sense for a serious off road vehicle. It is possible to start them with non functioning electrics and they will continue to go until they run out of fuel. The fuel is much safer to carry. They get you home every time. I'v been driving them and maintaining them for over 20 years so I'm just a little biased.[;)]

-Dai
 
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