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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I recently viewed this 1980 Mercedes SD. It is from a private seller and he is asking a firm $2995 for the price. I test drove and viewed everything today and here are the pros and cons.

Pros
-Very few miles for the year (<112k)
-All gauges including odometer work and owner assured me the mileage is correct.
-Interior looks great
-No cracks on the dashboard
-Engine sounds beautiful on the idle


-Unique paint color which is in good condition (besides collision damage)
-Sunroof works
-Only 3 owners


Cons
-During acceleration on the highway there is a high pitched rattle that sounds similar to a jangling of keys
-Damage from collision on the driver side rear door/frame
-Owner told me the repair for the collision was done with body putty which I have heard is very bad
-Salvage title
-Heater/AC blows air, but can neither blow warm air nor air conditioned. Possibly the climate control unit?
-Some of the doors are "sticky" or hard to open
-Passenger side window does not roll down

What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More pics

In addition on the cons list there was some water in the trunk. When I asked owner about it he said that he didn't think that it leaked, but he washed the car last night. Even if you wash this car, water should still stay out of the trunk. He made sure to close the trunk quickly after I noticed this water.
 

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1996 E320, 2005 Toyota Camry
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?

When a seller tells you or this that (without evidence like bills, etc.) and tries to cover up for the water leak, you'd best walk away from this one. The water in the trunk COULD be from a leak in the window seal---bucks to replace. And you'd better look carefully under the carpeting, front and rear, both sides, because you may well find more evidence of water leakage---all require bucks to repair. I'd keep looking elsewhere if I were you. Sorry to disappoint.
Hemersam
 

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1980 300SD, 1987 300SDL, 1973 280SEL, 1995 C280
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That is a nice looking interior. Like the paint color too. At first glance that price doesn't seem to far out of whack for a W116 SD with that few miles on it. However, I would be concerned with some of the issues you mentioned and would be hesitant to pay that price until I could determine more about them.

The high pitch noise during acceleration could be the turbo telling you it's about shot. Certainly rebuild-able, from about $100 if you buy a kit and do it yourself or $400 or so to have it done by a shop. Unlikely a turbo with 112k on it would be kaput but you never know. A quick check would be to remove the air cleaner and intake to the turbo so you can take a look inside at the vanes. Is there a lot of oil in there and what kind of lateral movement is there when you wiggle the shaft? Should be very little. If the turbo is shot I would be suspect of the mileage claim and seek to verify if possible through Carfax history. Early turbo failure could also be a sign that the oil was not changed regularly. Then again maybe the noise is something else.

Heater not working is most likely due to a failed servo (the item being pointed at in the photo). To replace this with a quality rebuild with an aluminum body will cost around $600 and count on another $125 or so for the ACC amplifier that should be done at the same time.

AC not working could be any number of things. Bad compressor, low charge (means a leak in the system), bad push button in the center console. Anywhere from a few bucks to several hundred dollars to fix.

The water in the trunk could be due to a bad window or trunk seal or it could be as simple as the drain hose from the fuel door having come loose. If the water is just in the well on the passenger side take a look at that drain hose. Cost of repair here could be from free to a few hundred for new seals.

Sticky doors are probably from lack of regular use and can usually be remedied with some lithium grease or other lubricant on where the pins mate with the body.

Window could be a bad switch, bad motor or broken wire. If you hear the motor running but the window doesn't move then the likely culprit is the window regulator. Switches can be found pretty cheap but motors and regulators are pricey, several hundred dollars pricey.

You didn't mention the suspension but I recommend you give it a thorough look before making a decision. Lots of money to be spent under there if it hasn't been maintained.

What kind of maintenance records does the seller have for the car? To me that's important especially when one is presented as a low mileage example such as this. If there is a good history on paper it's usually not to difficult to confirm mileage.

Good luck with it and let us know what you decide.
 

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No go

Thank you Beverly and Ether for the replies. I think because the seller was not forthcoming with the salvage title information and the leak in the trunk he was quick to shut it is not a good buy. He wants almost 3k for the car and it sounds like I would be spending close to that if not more just to fix it.
 
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