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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #1
About to buy a 1982 300D Turbo Diesel with 152k miles, good deal?

The car has had 2 owners and always been garaged except for the last 2 years. Guy lost his house and is now living in an apartment complex. The current owner hasn't had it registered for the last 3 years and therefore hasn't used it. He warms it up once every two weeks and takes it for a 5 minute spin around the community. The car is as original as can be.

-The interior is pretty spotless except for the driver seat. No cracks no wear... none of the owners had children get into the car.
-The AC blows hot air (but it blows)
-There is some minor rust around the bottom edges, very minor
-engine and tranny are good
-original wheels
-paint needs wax & buff, it has that white powder on it (the car is a mild yellow)

price is $2000, but i'm only giving him $1500 and gun i own that he wanted... a H&K USP 9mm... brand new retails for about $850... its used so I settled for "$500".

Is this good or not assuming the price is $2000
 

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If the engine and trans are good (for sure!) than it's worth the 2k, asuming the rust isn't over the edge. These old mercs rust in odd places. Check the rear window seal, and in the trunk, floor boards, etc.

With a good engine and trans, they're basically unstoppable. It would definitely have perked my interest if I saw it on craigslist or the like.

Dave aka Ghan
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #3
Ghaniba, thanks for the reply... rust is not an issue on this car... The rust that is there is basically from the age (28 years) more than the neglect and is minimal from what I can see. I'm getting ready to close the deal this weekend and will hopefully post some pics then. I already have a mechanic lined up here in central Florida who is a local Benz Legend for these older 1980's mercs.

It shouldn't take too much to get it in good running condition, most likely a tune up and some A/C work
 

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Yeah! You know, cap, rotor, plugs & wires... oh wait... ;) I've really enjoyed tinkering with these cars for the past couple years. I wish I found'em sooner. I drive one as my current daily driver on my commute to work, putting on over 100 miles every day, just to work n' back. I generally do 45-60k miles a year, so they add up quick and have saved me tons!

Dave aka Ghan
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #5
there is one thing I just remembered... the dash board isn't lit. The speedometer works fine as far as "miles per hour" as well as the odometer, but the dash "backlight" isn't right. Hopefully it's something simple.
 

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'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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there is one thing I just remembered... the dash board isn't lit. The speedometer works fine as far as "miles per hour" as well as the odometer, but the dash "backlight" isn't right. Hopefully it's something simple.
Might be a fuse. It is a good idea to change ALL the fuses. They tend t gte brittle and break at just the wrong times.

If it is not the fuse, it is probably the dimmer rheostat - twist it back and forth 50-100 times and it may just start working again. Other wise, pull the cluster and short it out - it doesn't help anyway.
 

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Other wise, pull the cluster and short it out - it doesn't help anyway.
That's not true! It helps lots! It can change it from a tiny dim birthday candle to absolutely no chance to see the gauges at all!

(Yeah, it's pretty useless, fuse & rheostat, I agree completely)

Dave aka Ghan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
not sure what you guys mean... what does it mean?

"pull the cluster and short it out - it doesn't help anyway"????
 

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Sorry - Basically there's a twist dial (one of two, one does the clock, the other does this lighting) - turn it a bit to see if you can get the little rheostat working.

If it doesn't come to life after crankin' it back and forth a billion times, you can simply jump a wire from one post to the other, and the lights will be on as bright as they can be, bypassing the rheostat completely.

This is a general failure item most people have seen. I personally haven't had a bad one in either of my cars, but I've read it time and time again on this forum, so I'd bank on it without question.

Dave aka Ghan
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #10
@Ghaniba, thanks for the explanation...

I can't wait until I bring this puppy home. I'm hoping that the cost to tune it up and get it in good running condition aren't overwhelming.
 

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These cars are really interesting in that way... Some people can run them forever putting nothing but the cheapest money at them - while others, replace everything, sparing no expense, and it's up to each individual to find that happy spot for them and their wallet.

I have found I actually prefer to put more $ into it, because I like it. I let my GF drive mine for the week - We lent her 2005 Subaru 2.5RS to a dear friend who's father passed away. She had it for a week, and my girlfriend really enjoyed driving my merc.

Her words:
"There's just something about it - It's not fast, it's not amazing on gas, but I get out, close the door and it makes that solid clunk sound and I can't help but look back at it as I walk away"

She's a keeper. ;)

Dave aka Ghan
 

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$2000? Seems high for no AC and no way of knowing if its just a just in need of freon or if there is a real issue. If this were a a conventional car where its pretty straightforward to troubleshoot the AC Id say go for it but IMO no way. There are several parts that make up the AC system costing over 150 on the low side. True its doubtful that all have failed, but have him fix it, then give him $2000. My 77s AC blew cold on the test ride before I bought it. It has a leak, but I can deal w that and I didnt pay $2000.

Heres my daily driving 77 300D in a nutshell, and I think I paid too much, wish I did my research...
I have a golf ball sized hole in the pass. fender behind the wheel (salt and not washing it in the winter combined with a clogged drain probably did this)
Cracked dash - common but so what!
Cracked windshield
I need a windshield seal too - heavy rain and I have a drip or 4 on the dash
No auto door locks - I have it narrowed down to the $60 master switch
No dash lights, no big deal, Im gonna jump the rheostat and hope for the best
No heat - havent investigated that, I live in Florida
Broken drivers seat springs - fixable but nonetheless
2 tone "Gypsy" paint job - Im sure when the PO picked it up from paint, it looked fine, then it rained LOL
I need tires
Im not fully confident in my fuel guage
Odometer is stopped - I dont know how many miles it truly has, and it is fixable BTW
Needs injectors
Needs all speakers
Needs a radio rebuild or replacement..but at least I have the original!

However I love it. I also only buy cars like this, unique fixer uppers with potential. This time last year I sold an 83 El Camino..awesome car that also needed work, but not so much work it wasnt street legal and or reliable when I bought it.
I overpaid on this car but I had never ventured in to german cars out side of vintage vw beetles and type3s.
What sealed the deal was that this guy had what none of the others had, records.
I have all paperwork spanning 4 owners and 34 years. Every oil change, glow plug replacement, that paint job, shocks, suspension bushings, rear axles, a new head in a few years back, tires, tires tires, and alot more. This car has was bought in Atlanta, then to Las Vegas, LA, North Carolina, Miami, and Orlando, and now I have it. Thats why I paid the extra 500 more than I planned when I set out to buy a 300D.
But I wouldnt have paid $2000. Maybe Im just cheap
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #13
@Hoobness, you fail to mention how you paid for your car. Anyhow, my understanding is that replacing t A/C compressor is not extremely expensive (around $400 bucks) according to my mechanic.

The current owner has all of his service records (about 14 years worth, since 1996 I believe). The interior is near perfect (no kids). From reading other forums I thought it was a "fair" deal. But I can see where you're coming from and what you mean. I post on this forum what my mechanic says once I take it to him. Wish me luck.
 

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It's always funny how locale changes everything. 2k is nothing to me for a car with little rust. Air conditioning isnt worth the hassle and expense for the few days it'd be nice, here in ct! I think I should hunt my next in Florida!

Dave aka Ghan
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #15
I live in florida where A/C is critical... But at the price point of $2k I wasn't going to walk away from the car. It has so much more to offer than the $2k I'm paying for it even if I have to replace the A/C. It's in great running condition and a super clean interior. Hopefully next week I'll have it checked out... stay tuned.
 

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It's always funny how locale changes everything. 2k is nothing to me for a car with little rust. Air conditioning isnt worth the hassle and expense for the few days it'd be nice, here in ct! I think I should hunt my next in Florida!

Dave aka Ghan
I am in CT as well :)

Luckily I got mine with little rust, and working, for 600,
Actually just got a factory paint job, Pictures when it's done, but I am waiting on bumper pieces from mercedes.

Had some vaccum/tranny issues, tony's auto in manchester was amazing.

And while I payed 600 for mine and got a great deal on bodywork, it hasn't been without issues,

Breaks, calipers (napa has great price!) stearing gearbox was costly. and various other expected things like battery, fuel, filters, and valve cover gasket. but it's almost done, :)
 

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1982 300D Turbo Diesel
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Discussion Starter #18
Well thats my point about my $2k... my mechanic told me that knowing the history is critical and can certainly add value to a car... I have known the owner of the car for about 5 years and ever since he showed me the car in his garage when I met him, we've always talked about it. I recently sold my 2005 E320 and I told him that if I ever got rid of my e-class I would buy his. He used to own a gas station in NJ (prior to moving here) and always kept the car in great running condition until his finances started unraveling here in Orlando. Which is why he simply stopped registering and just parked it. He wasn't selling and I approached him about it.

To be honest, I got that price from my mechanics. Once said 1500 to 2500 the other 2000 to 2500... So the seller and I agreed on 2000. I gave him 1500 and I gun I got a great deal on for $425 but retails brand new for $850. I think its a fair value for both considering he told me to get the price from the mechanics, which I did, and I certainly wasn't going to lie to him over a few hundred bucks to destroy the relationship.

I think there's value to knowing exactly what's been done to the car along with the fact that most parts are in great condition. Most of those $800 cars have had various owners with plenty of unknown issues. To appreciate this car all you have to do is look at the interior which is in mint condition.

Personally, I think buyer and seller both got good deals which is important. The car is road ready. It only needs a tune-up to keep going. I know more things will come up once I start using it more often but that's expected. My budget going forward is about 1200 a year (over 2 years) to get the car in excellent running condition and shortly thereafter a paint job about 2 or 3 years down the road.

So if the car takes about $5000 total in 3 years to get it to look great and have it in great running condition I'll be a happy camper.

With only 152k miles, I think i'll get way more than $5000 out of the car in the long term if I keep it 8 to 10 years, which is my goal.
 

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I've always felt that if I want a car that will run and drive, it'll be $2k. If I want a car that will run, drive and be fairly reliable for a while, $4k. Anytime I break under those numbers, I'm ecstatic.

Dave aka Ghan
 
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