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Looking to purchase a 300 SDL
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first post and I want to say thank you to all who post here. I have learned more from this forum than any other Mercedes website. :thumbsup:

Here is my situation. I currently own a 2001 Nissan Xterra. Very reliable but with gas at 3.57 and only 17 MPG this is not the most cost effective car to own. I do not see gas going down significantly in the future. In fact, it should only go up at a faster rate. Since 2001 gas prices have increased 319%!!!

Here are my needs:
1. I need a car that will get better mileage and be as, if not more, reliable. 2. I am also in real estate, so I need a car that I can take clients around town.
3. SAFETY. Family man here with young children.
3. If gas/diesel gets outrageous, it would be nice to have an alternative fuel source, i.e. bio-diesel or veggie oil.
4. I typically drive a car into the ground before buying another. I need a car to last atleast another 10 years.

I have ruled out hybrids, too expensive, and the battery is more expensive than a new engine. :eek: Other than gas there are NO other alternative fuel gas stations in Delaware. High fuel efficient gas cars, i.e. Toyota or Honda are gas and cannot convert to another fuel source easily if gas gets outrageous, which it should within 3-5 years. Also their mid size cars get only 25-27 MPG. Pretty much I am left with diesel which can easily convert to alternative fuels if the need arises.

Here is my questions concerning 300 SDL that I could not find answers to by researching:
1. Is this the better car than a 300D or SD in terms of my three criteria? I do prefer the looks of the SDL over the D or SD.
2. What type of gas mileage can I expect to get? I drive around 11,500 miles annual and most is in-town driving. I live 4.5 miles from work and most showings are within a 15 miles radius of my office and consists of two lane roads with 50 MPH speed limits.
3. I am looking at the years 86-87 and most of them have over 200K miles. Is this a reliability problem? Any car I purchase will have a PPI done, and have a complete maintenance history as I can afford.
4. Am I missing any other cars that my be better and more reliable? I have tossed out the VW Passat as being too unreliable.

Thanks for the information.

Delawarejones
 

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82 500SEC
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Just a thought, If you want it for 10yrs, i think the easiest solution will be to get a new car, a E350 Blutec or something. they give out, what... 40mpg?
Since you said you have young children and stuff, you might mot have time to work on a car, the new car will have a warranty etc...

Check the FAQ sticky, and the SEC buyers guide, a lot of the items will be of concern with a SDL too.
 

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the years you're looking at for mercedes diesel engines were probably the last few years that mercedes made their ultra reliable inline 6 diesel engines (never liked new v6's). to me personally, mercedes diesel reliability post-1987 really went down a little. usually pre-1987 mercedes diesels are the ones you should be looking for. although very hard to find in decent shape, reliability should NOT be an issue if they were/are very meticulously maintained.

the w123 300D TD is the smallest body of all the cars you're in the market for. i can personally vouch for that body style and it's reliability for my family's had a history with those w123 diesels.

i generally agree with the new car, but i don't think anybody has converted them to biodiesel yet.

have a good one,
allen
 

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Looking to purchase a 300 SDL
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a thought, If you want it for 10yrs, i think the easiest solution will be to get a new car, a E350 Blutec or something. they give out, what... 40mpg?
Since you said you have young children and stuff, you might mot have time to work on a car, the new car will have a warranty etc...

Check the FAQ sticky, and the SEC buyers guide, a lot of the items will be of concern with a SDL too.
I read both of those prior to posting, but currently cannot afford a new E350. Basically I do not want a car payment. I like having two cars free and clear.

You do bring up a valid point, though. Do 300SDLs require a lot of repair outside of routine scheduled maintenance?

Delawarejones
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the w123 300D TD is the smallest body of all the cars you're in the market for. i can personally vouch for that body style and it's reliability for my family's had a history with those w123 diesels.

allen
How is the leg room for the 300TD in the back? Any better than a Camry, Accord or 300 BMW series?

Delawarejones
 

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How is the leg room for the 300TD in the back? Any better than a Camry, Accord or 300 BMW series?

Delawarejones
If you're talking about the w123 300d turbo then it's pretty much like a 3 series Bimmer.


If you're talking about my w124 station wagon, then yes. There is PLENTY of room in the back. I stand around 6'4" and have a pretty decent amount of legroom in the rear with the front seat being around the middle position (middle position provides adequate room for both the front and the rear). I also have the 3rd seat option which allows me to fit 7 people in my car! :thumbsup:

Self leveling rear suspension works perfectly in case you're wondering.

I bought my car for $1000 with 52,000 miles on it in 2003. All it needed was an oxidizer recall to be repaired which was NO COST at the dealership. Now it has a little over 110,000 miles on it and it is running quieter then some of the gas cars we have driving on the streets here in Chicago. Just the typical repairs - ball joints, wheel bearings, new tires, oil changes. To be quite honest with you, I think thats everything I've done to the car these past 5 years. :)

have a good one,
allen
 

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1987 300SDL
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If you find an '87 300SDL with around 200k on it for $5-6k then buy it. Took me 3 tries to find one (first was a '76 300D with too many problems, second one the guy sold before I could get out to look at it, third try I told the guy to hold it and I was probably going to buy it and did).

Whereabouts in DE are you? The first one, the '76 was local to me, and the second two were in south Jersey. I see ads for dealers in Philadelphia with these but I'd rather get it from a person than a dealer. FWIW I found the person on Autotrader.com, but craigslist works too.

The S means S-class, D means diesel and L means long wheelbase. I think the L is the "Diplomat" model? I'm not sure. If you're taking clients around in it it's a beautiful car. I had customers compliment me on my car (even let one of them drive it :), he said he never drove a Mercedes before). PLENTY of legroom in both the front and back seats. The seats in the front are adjustable, you could have someone 7' tall not have a problem with legroom in one of these.

Anyway, I got one last Monday and love it. You may have to put small work into it to make it really shine, but I don't have anything major to work out with it. Just some switches/instruments in the dash and probably a few vacuum lines and then normal maintenance as Bigraven describes and it'll run really nice.

And for lasting you, well, try to find a lot of complaints on this forum ;)

Good luck with it.
 

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MERC v126 300SDL & w126 280s
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Hi
i bout a 300sdl about 6-7 months back......it had 70k on the odo.....the main problems i have faced are:-
1. put in new suspension
2. repaired the front..rear brake calipers
3. Changed engine oil....all filters
4. Had the AC serviced

The car returns 35 mpg in the city....40 mpg in the highway...after doing all the above iv driven the car about 1500 miles....it drives perfectly....
the sdl is a good car for a family.....with lots of space...and...it is built like a tank

I think u should look for a car with less miles and a full service history.
And trust me when i say this.....once u get this car.....u wont like to drive any other car.....they dont make cars like this anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whereabouts in DE are you? The first one, the '76 was local to me, and the second two were in south Jersey. I see ads for dealers in Philadelphia with these but I'd rather get it from a person than a dealer. FWIW I found the person on Autotrader.com, but craigslist works too.
Thanks to all for your responses so far. They have been very helpful. Bumping for more responses.

Hey, Christo: I live in Milton Delaware. I will be stopping by the Milford dealership this week to see if they can help.

I have been looking at craigslist, autotrader, cars.com and eBay.

What kind of gas mileage do you get?

The car returns 35 mpg in the city....40 mpg in the highway...after doing all the above iv driven the car about 1500 miles....it drives perfectly....
the sdl is a good car for a family.....with lots of space...and...it is built like a tank
Thanks Merc for the response.

Delawarejones
 

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1987 300SDL
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try to keep it in good cond, alright? with these cars getting rarer and more expensive it breaks me heart and soul to see one junked or improperly maintained....
 

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1982 240d 211k miles
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I just picked up my 300SDL it is a wonderful car! I have not drove it too much because I'm waiting on ordered front end and AC parts. But I let my GF drive it to Orlando 115 miles round trip and it didn't even move the fuel gauge. I am going to be checking the mileage once I get the parts installed and aligned.
 
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