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86 300 SDL
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at a 1987 300 SDL with 284K Miles. It looks very,very clean. Some dealer has it and he does not know squat about it. It does look like it was very well maintained. Is this too many miles? This is the 6 cyl turbo diesel. They are asking $2750. These are hard to find, and I really like the color combo. I think I see a "MB high mileage" badge on front and rear? this leads me to believe that it could have been owned by an enthusiast who took good care of it. I'm worried about the high miles, but I know these can go for a long time. Please chime in with your thoughts! Thanks!
 

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1966 200 Diesel; 1985 500 SEL (wrecked); 1991 420 SEL; 1979 280E (Home Market); 1993 190E 2.6
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584 Posts
Nice color. I think you gave it credit for having 1 too many cylinders though. Its not a 6 cylinder, but rather a 5 cylinder 3 litre.

Have it checked out if you are seriously interested in owning it. $2750 is fair if it checks out mechanically and has a good interior.
 

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86 300 SDL
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Discussion Starter #3

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1966 200 Diesel; 1985 500 SEL (wrecked); 1991 420 SEL; 1979 280E (Home Market); 1993 190E 2.6
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584 Posts
Pardon me. That does have a OM603 in it. Not my favorite engine. Perhaps someone here with a ton of Diesel experience can expound on the 603 for you. I personally prefer the OM617 so I won't waste anymore of your time.
 

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86 300 SDL
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Discussion Starter #5
diesel

Oh, no problem. I hope I didn't sound snippy. I appreciate your input very much. This is not the 350 6 cyl "rod bender" diesel. I have read some good things about this engine. I think it was only put in 300 SDL's in 86' and 87'.

Pardon me. That does have a OM603 in it. Not my favorite engine. Perhaps someone here with a ton of Diesel experience can expound on the 603 for you. I personally prefer the OM617 so I won't waste anymore of your time.
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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While the mileage is a bit high, it all depends on maintenance. See if you can find out where it might have come from-- whether any indy shops in the area (or MB dealerships) recognize the car. Even if you can track that down, I'd strongly suggest a compression and leakdown test as a minimum inspection detail. I'd also say that a high mileage award is a good indication of a previous owner who cared (although the car was eligible for the mileage award over 100K ago). If the interior looks good to great, that would also be a good sign, as most cars of that age in miles should be getting pretty tired-looking, especially the driver's seat bolster next to the door. See if the driver's seat still has some spring life to it-- I would say that if it does, then the PO probably replaced the lower seat (again an indication of care). If the tranny checks out solid as well as the engine, then it seems like a fair deal. I love that color too....
 

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1966 200 Diesel; 1985 500 SEL (wrecked); 1991 420 SEL; 1979 280E (Home Market); 1993 190E 2.6
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584 Posts
Wolf, The 86 and 87 300SDL had the inline 6 cyl turbo diesel engine. Those were the only 2 year models of the SDL available back then. I had a 87 300SDL way back in the late 90's though I never had a chance to drive it due to a couple rods hanging out the lower oil pan and thats the way I bought it. But believe it or not the engine still fired right up and would run for a short time, The engine was allready toast. If I remember the car had 290K Though that was along time ago and before I found BW and became a member here. It's strange though I don't know why but I still have pictures of that car. There are times when I am out there working on my 560SEL that I wished I would have kept that SDL but I did not.
No doubt. SD's and SDL's aren't my area of expertise, but I do admire their looks ;)

Most of my Diesel experience comes from 615's 616's and 617's, and the latter isn't my favorite thing to work on. Old 220d's are much more my speed when it comes to Diesel engines. I don't wanna know anymore about trap oxidizers than I already do.
 

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1986 300 SDL
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112 Posts
If the compression checks out, the body is solid, and they don’t know much about the car…walk in with $2,200 cold hard cash and save the rest for fixing the little things that go with an older car. I paid $5k nine years ago with 172,000 miles and never looked back. Absolutely the best $/mile transportation money I have ever spent.

I have an '86 300sdl...312,xxx. Last week put 1,600 fearless miles around the south west, 75 – 85 all day long. I do take a little teasing from time to time from the kids. See in the family the kids have new MB’s, the neighbors too. But none compete when on the open road, much less the timeless look. Think 747, slow on the tarmac, then turbo up for some serious luxury cruising. Reliability…I’ve lost count of how many people have walked up to me and said they whish they had never sold theirs.

Although I have not had any other diesels in my years I have had a boatload of vehicles. From tire smoke’n fast to very conservative. Two doors to SUV's. Foreign and domestic. Hands down this is the greatest car I have ever owned. The ride, the reliability, the looks, and even the respectable all around 23 mpg. Yeah it’s older so I have to tinker a little, and you need to be able to tinker yourself or the shop$ will wipe a guy clean. Yet one Saturday a month (including polish) is about all it takes. And with the BenzWorld help here the fixes are usually very simple…A lot easier then our Honda.

You’ll love the “L” in “SDL” feature when your friends with other vehicles jump in the back seat and say to those in front “hey, you can move your seat way back, I got acres of room back here”. In fact I’m the designated driver for the “Man-cation” golf trips with the boys. They’re all big, two are ex-ball players with very high dollar rides at home. None of us smoke generally. But we all fire up cigars when we leave the wives and ride out of town. Takes a week or so to get the smell out but it is worth it.

The service manager at my local MB dealership has been after me for years to sell him the car. First with 175k, again with 225k, again at 275k, and recently with 310k. Word has it that it should have another hundred / hundred fifty k if I simply maintain it correctly. The way I see it, what’s a few hundred bucks now and then again. I’d be doing it monthly at more $ in car payments.

Bottom line…check the compression ‘cause the heads can be a problem. If the compression is good with 200,000 mile your probably good to go. Mine is the infamous #14 head yet remains rock solid. Be prepaired for the 225k service needs. Valve seals I hear are not to bad, Vacum pump $400, Timing chain $300 shop), Transmissions are around $1500 (our Honda was $3,000), put on new tires + great balance job, and maybe a suspension refresh… So maybe you have $4to $5k in it, big deal. Yeah its good money and you may not be able to sell it for that much, but I sure won't get that $3,000 Honda transmission money back either....and remember…Never, Never , Never, let it overheat and you’ll probably never look back!
 
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