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2001 VW Golf TDI
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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking seriously about picking up a 1980 Mercedes 300CD I looked at today, but know nothing about them. I currently drive a 2001 VW Golf TDI (currently with over 220K miles!) so I'm not new to diesels, just to Mercedes-Benz.

Haven't talked to the owners, or even heard it run yet, but it looks pretty good. Nice exterior, good paint (yellow, maybe a little faded), no dings or dents. Glass good. Interior looks great from what I could see through the windows. Seats are good, clean and looks to be well taken care of.

It's been for sale for awhile, however (maybe because it's a diesel?), and they want around $2700 for it.

Questions are, assuming it runs as well as it looks:

Worth the money?
Problems I might want to watch out for, or ask about?
Expected mpg's?
Worth anything as a collector's item?
Parts availablity and cost of repairs?
Anything else I should know?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff in Texas
 

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90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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1,574 Posts
300 CD

Production numbers were low, but for many reasons it has limited collector status. Only 1,770 units were produced in 1980. The car weighs 3,390 lbs, not a lightweight! Top speed in the 93 mph range. 21-22 mpg with a 21 galon tank. The economy and the safety would be the two big reasons to consider this model. The price is not unreasonable. Expect to pay more for maintenance on items like rubber parts, hoses and belts as these will wear out,less on the engine as it is a Diesel. How about the transmission? Lots of parts new and used as they are the same as on all 300 Diesels in the 123 series.
 

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82 300D, ISU Formula
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225 Posts
220K Miles How the heck did you do that?

Fleet car maybe? Traveling Salesman? Wow that many miles in 2 years....
 

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2001 VW Golf TDI
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Discussion Starter #4
Re: 220K Miles How the heck did you do that?

Fleet car maybe? Traveling Salesman? Wow that many miles in 2 years....
I was a medical courier up until the end of June. Put about 400 miles/day on my TDI. And you know what? The only thing to go wrong has been the driver's side seat belt. That's it! Still gets 45-50 mpg, and there's not a scratch or door ding anywhere on the car (thanks in part to a bra).

As for the 300CD...I was hoping for a bit more than low twenties for mileage. Had something come up today and couldn't talk to the owner. Will try tomorrow.

Jeff in Texas
 

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Mercedes Diesels
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145 Posts
$2700 is very reasonable for a coupe. Look at the front end with car. Pricey to rebuild. I...

$2700 is very reasonable for a coupe. Look at the front end with car. Pricey to rebuild. It is collectable for a 123 Mercedes. They just don't go for the prices of 60's and 70's classic american cars.

It is a great DIY car. Many parts in Texas pick ur parts. Also good cheap parts support on line.

As for low 20's MPG, you will certainly get that, maybe mid to high twenties if everything is really good shape, and you do not spend to much stop and go,
flooring it etc. EPA claims the higher end.

If you want to go for higher mpg's and an SD will do a little better. I like the safety of Mercedes steel, and will give up some mpg's to get it.

If it is in really good shape it is a steal at $2700.
If it has a worn but not shot front end, quirky trans,
needs alot of small items maybe not. Look for many plusses such as great paint and overlooked seats that have good stuffing, and R12 cold air. You might get it much cheaper if there are many minor things wrong.

I have a gas 78 280CE (Gas) 123 coupe in my collection, fun to drive and many complements. Could do without the low premium gas mpg's though. Strongly]
prefer diesels for heavy use.
John Gregg
 

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'83 300SD Turbo
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77 Posts
I paid $2500 for this.

[img]http://images3.fotki.com/v26/photos/6/61871/288890/benz3-vi...


I paid $2500 for this.



213K on it when I got it 3 months ago. Resealed the steering box,replaced the tach amplifier,repaired a small fuel line leak and will replace front & rear brakes soon. Other than that the only problem is inoperative cruise control. My best average so far was 26.3 mpg and a low of 22.4 mpg (a/c running & pushing 75-85 mph)
 

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2001 VW Golf TDI
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm bumping this back up due to the fact that the topic car is again for sale. It vanished right after I posted the original message, so I assumed the car was sold. But it showed back up, this time at a price of $2250!

Anyway, what I need to know about are any "known issues" concerning 1980 vintage 300CD's. The car has 198K miles on it, but looks very nice. Good interior/seats/dash, body, glass, etc. Looks well taken care of. Left message for the owner to call, but need to know what to ask about. Any "typical problems" concerning these cars that I should ask about? TIA.

Jeff in Texas
 

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The two most common possible problems are the climate control and cruise control. The climate controls up to 1980 were known to cause problems, namely the servo unit under the hood (black box with lots of vacuum lines). They were "improved" in 1981, but I have heard of problems with those too. And the cruise controls almost never work, which in most cases is due to a faulty amplifier unit. Ask whether the air conditioning works, another common problem with any car that age. Sometimes the steering will have excessive wear, indicated by more than a 1/2" free-play at the rim of the steering wheel. Other than that, check the operation of the usual things: power windows, sunroof, power antenna, etc. Also check for rust around the wheel well lips, rocker panels, and front fenders. The front seats have also been known to break down (they have never been known to be extremely comfortable in the W123 body), but have heard of people rebuilding them.

The engines will last 300,000 to 400,000 miles if properly cared for. Parts are easily available through aftermarket dealers and Mercedes-Benz, even most coupe specific parts. If not available through aftermarket, chances are Mercedes still has it available. Most people prefer the turbos of 1982 on, but in Texas you will likely be satisfied with the normally aspirated 1980 version. Plus you don't have the added complexity of the turbo hardware.

$2250 does not sound like too bad of a price if it is in good shape. If you are not mechanically inclined, I would have a good mechanic knowledgable in Mercedes inspect it for wear, especially the front end.

Good luck.[:)]
 
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