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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Raleigh, NC!

I'm a 21 yr old engineering student at North Carolina State Univ. in Raleigh, NC. I just bought my first car and it happens to be an '81 300D!

I found it on craig's list for sale by a fellow who compiled two 1983 300D's and this car into one machine 15 years ago. Some time ago his daughter hit a curb and blew out all four tires so rather than continue to deal with it the guy put it up for $400.

Getting it home was quite the adventure, which included buying two sets of wheels with tires, an assortment of lug bolts, and some low-tech (eyeballs and guess-and-test) driveway alignment.

Now she's in my driveway and there are many things I want/need to address.

First issue is the engine noise and vibration. I need to update the rack damper bolt - where can I find one for cheap?? The fellow I bought the car from said I could get one for $5 but that does not seem to be the case.

Will this work? Rack Damper "Pin" on eBay

It's a lot cheaper than this: Rack Damper "Bolt" on eBay

There's a lot of vibration-absorbing rubber missing around the hood as well - I'm hitting up Martin's Import Salvage later today for some stuff that I think that will help a lot.

Motor mounts will be addressed later if the need arises.

I will also be cleaning the ALDA circuit as per these instructions: Mercedes ALDA boost system service

I'd also like to clean the engine bay. There seem to be a lot of conflicting opinions on the best method. I've ordered a steam cleaner but I've read that it can be harmful to electrical components. If that's the case I'll just Simple Green it.

I'm also curious about fuel additives - I've read that SeaFoam can clean up "useful" gunk on seals and create leaks but I'd like to run something through to clean up the injectors, etc. I've also read a bit a bout running H2O through the engine to remove carbon but that sounds risky!

I'm also quite concerned with the low-end power. I have to put the accelerator to the floor to get the car to move anywhere from a stop and keep it there until the turbo kicks in. Once the turbo begins to whine then I'm very satisfied with the power. Are these cars normally that sluggish off the line? If it was 1981, would I have to floor the pedal?

Anyway, I figured I'd start a thread so that people can watch me progress, offer advice, and maybe learn some things. I promise that I will adorn the thread with pictures to hold interest. Right now it's 6:30 AM and too dark.

Cheers! -Max
 

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1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo Diesel
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congrats on the new purchase. you will probably want to do a valve adjustment as well. i'd flush and replace all fluids (oil, power steering, coolant, transmission and rear diff). most of these have filters that go with them as well. cheap insurance as you never know what the previous owner did.

as for a good way to clean the injectors most people would say pull them and have them serviced but i personally would start with a diesel purge (lubri moly). it's cheap and works pretty well. you can have advanced auto special order it for you or they may have it at your store (ask for SKU#7080134).

good luck, post some pics

Andrew
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm about to go out and clean the ALDA circuit now just for something to do.

The fellow I bought it from was quite knowledgeable and meticulous. He just had the valves adjusted and oil changed. I'll do a diesel purge pretty soon I think.

Pictures may have to wait due to the rain - at least it will wash the pollen off!
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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Congrats and welcome Max.
I'll second amcates advice.
We'll need more info to accurately diagnose.
That rack damper pin, is not. That is for the idle adjust. That bolt, the correct item, does not come apart. You might as well go with a new one, if you need it, try adjustments first.
Describe as best you can the vibration, to include if this happens on a cold engine, or just after it warms up.
Clean up the ALDA as you mentioned.
Check autohausaz.com for parts and filters.
Once you do a purge, and I recommend this for engines you're not aware of the quality of fuel used, see if that makes a difference, otherwise, pull the injectors and have them tested.
Also, after new fuel filters, do this AFTER a purge, check the primary, clear inline, filter frequently for any "crud".
Keep us posted.
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #5
Ok some shots:







Just finished cleaning the ALDA circuit. The longer banjo bolt was about 40% clogged. I think I may have noticed a bit more oomph but that may be wishful thinking. I still had to put the pedal to the floor to accelerate moderately from a stand-still.

There is one concern about the ALDA circuit though. On the dieselgiant instructions it says that the hose should go from the intake to the switchover valve and then to the ALDA unit, however mine goes directly from the intake to the ALDA. This does not seem stock, but I could not find the switchover unit anywhere. Insight?

The motor idles very near 750 rpm and hardly fluctuates but the whole car shakes like a paint-mixer. It quiets down a little bit at operating temp. but not much. However, under acceleration everything is smoooooth.

I think the issue might be the mounts as they are smashed much narrower than I think they should be. Are junker mounts going to cut it or should I drop some dough on some new ones? Are they expensive? How important is the shock? I had a hard time getting pictures of the mounts but picture a ham-and-cheese sandwich hit in the middle with a sledgehammer. That's what the mounts look like.

I've uploaded a video on YouTube of the engine noise with the hood open and closed. The rattle is actually worse with the hood down and latched but it's hard to hear the difference in the video. Watching it in HQ will help a bit.

I've also uploaded a video of a quick blow-by demo but I'm not sure if I did it right because it looks pretty good :D

Engine noise vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5D0pocv_wo

Blow-by test:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bveK5MXod9k
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #6
I know the wheels make me want to puke a little bit too. Don't worry - as soon as the longer lug bolts come in I'm putting on the 190E wheels:



Some of the spoils of moving the car to my home:



Interior:


 

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1983 300D Turbo Diesel
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Max, welcome to Benzworld, and congrats on your purchase!! Hope you enjoy owning it! As far as what amcates, and Rmac58 said I am totally in agreement with them and they are completely on the money. As far as your rack damper bolt is concerned, do your due diligence and shop the for pricing within reason, but on somethings I wouldnt go "cheapy-cheap". There are somethings that you most certainly will find to be way over priced, and some you will find that are very reasonable. Check different MB suppliers, make sure their prices are fairly close, then go with the best price of the ones you checked. IE, autohausaz.com, mercedessource.com, egermanparts.com, and dieselgiant.com(a good source for maintenance, but I have found him to be extremely more expensive)I have a 1983 300D which has been a learning experience for me as well as before I owned a 1990 420SEL. As I'm sure you know, you get what you pay for. Ok, nuff said. Good luck!!!
 

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1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo Diesel
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1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo Diesel
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just watched the two vids. as for the noise, try putting your hand on the air cleaner and make sure it's not vibrating too much. busted air cleaner mounts are pretty common.

can you isolate where most of the noise is coming from? injectors?
 

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1983 240d AT1993 e320 AT
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Congratulations on the purchase, Max. It'll be a "work in progress" car but sure was a good choice of brand to purchase.

Keep us posted on any progress you do on the car.

PS. I wonder if those 201 rims would fit a W123. I guess spacers would be a must. Why not put on a nicely refurbished Bundts? Those would surely look nice and perfect to compliment your car's period. My 2 cents.
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #12
The 201's stick out 1.7 cm further but otherwise fit fine (as long as you use longer lug bolts). I have a complete set of Bundts (the stock wheels, I suppose, right?) but I prefer the 201's as they are 15 in as opposed to 14 and have a nice sanitary look to them.

I'm also hesitant to put the 14's back on because they might have damage from the curb incident.

Today I will register the car and hopefully squeeze in an alignment.
 

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1983 300D Turbo Diesel
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85 300D, 84 300D, 05 Mustang GT Vert, 11 VW JSW TDI, 95 Del Sol, 88 IROC, 95 Villager, 04 Wrangler
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congrats on the purchase. My silver car was shaking like crazy til I did the motor mounts. Fixed it right up. good luck on finding a cheap rack damper, I need one too, and have been looking for a while. Time to shell out the $70, I guess. Time to watch your vids.

couple things. Your noise sure sounds like a loose air cleaner. Does the tach work? didn't think they put tachs in the non turbo cars. Your cluster is from an 83-85. Weird that he would paint over the manganese brown with a black? bottom half. Brown isn't that bad of a color. lol you got the Coors from bringing the car home? Damn, I need to bring home another one. Enjoy the car, there are plenty of people to help you out. Hmmm, Raleigh isn't that far,maybe I'll have to come down and see it.
 

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money pits of various forms
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2tone. Not in the right colors IMO but certainly period correct hah!

Don't buy anything off ebay. Period.

Autohausaz.com, Rusty @ buy mb parts, MBUSA Classic Parts. Those are the best places for your buck. Before messing with the damper (doubt its the problem), have your injectors pulled pop and spray tested. The rack damper should not be used at all if everything else is correct.

Also check your linkage, that it hits maximum stop on the back of the IP. This is more or equally as important.
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #16
Injectors are off and are getting tested tomorrow ($3 each, can't beat that). Purge ordered - ready to order rebuilt injectors if mine are shot. I'm going to make a large order from Autohausas or RMeuropean depending on final price.

The colors are based off of a Rolls-Royce theme - the previous owner painted it 15 years ago! I think they look great. Wait till I get some shots in the sun with the new wheels.

Definitely will check the linkage. Air filter is solid. Rack damper I agree is probably not the issue, but since I'm ordering a bunch of stuff anyway I might as well get one.

ImBroke take note, Autohausaz has one for $50: Your Parts Search Returned 1 Part(s)

Motor mounts are a must. Can anyone point me to a walk-through on how to install them?
 

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1981 300D
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Discussion Starter #17
Pulled this off a while ago:



I believe it's called the guide rod and it's supposed to be straight. I'm leaning towards replacing it with brand new stuff because it's not too expensive, however if someone here has a spare for cheap I'd be interested (it's the right side - the first wheel to hit the curb). As far as I can tell it's the only bent part but I will need to spend more time looking at that area of the car to make sure.
 

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Congratulations on your purchase!

For the vibration be sure to check the headlight surround. My engine mounts went bad about a month ago and since then I've experienced the same sound. Looks like yours is taped on anyways :p

Best of luck with the rest of the car and hope you get it all sorted out soon! :)
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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Blow by looks okay.
Check under to hood itself to see if it's "resting" on something when it's closed.
The switch over valve seems to have been bypassed, my coupe is like that, no issues in six years of ownership.
 
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