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1978 300cd
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
This is my first post. Sorry it is so long. I have spent many happy hours reading your messages. I have a 1978 300cd. The car is in great shape. I just put new shocks in. It is my daily driver.
I drove it during the recent nor'easter in the NY area. I hit one large puddle but did not go through any deep water. The following day I thought the car was a little sluggish. I brought it to a quick lube place to change the oil (Castrol Diesel).
A few days later I brought the car to a Mercedes mechanic in NJ. He was going to do a valve adjustment and general tune-up. He noticed the oil pressure fluctuating at idle. He looked inside the radiator and saw foam / suds. He thought the quick lube place had put washer detergent in there. I was alarmed at this but I thought all would be well after the tune-up. I was to bring the car back in a couple of days. The car was not accelerating as well as it had and then I heard a noise which scared me to the core.
Anyway the pictures below show the result. A rod through the side of the engine.
My question to you all is what do I do now?
Does it pay to put another engine in there?
Would a turbo engine be much more difficult / expensive?
Should I try to sell it as is?
Do you think I can prove any liability with the quick lube place?
Many thanks in advance
J.
 

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Super Moderator
89 Mercedes 300E, 91 Mercedes 300CE, 71 BMW turbo 2002, 73 BMW 2002tii, 85 BMW 635csi
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18,599 Posts
Since it's a coupe,yeah,replace the engine with a turbodiesel and be on your way.Couple members here may be able to point you towards a good mechanic.
 

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89 Mercedes 300E, 91 Mercedes 300CE, 71 BMW turbo 2002, 73 BMW 2002tii, 85 BMW 635csi
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Since it's a coupe,yeah,replace the engine with a turbodiesel and be on your way.Couple members here may be able to point you towards a good mechanic
 

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83 500SEC, 84 300TD, 86 190E 5.0 M113, 87 300D, 01 CLK55, 02 C32, 02 C320T, 03 C320T4, 03 E55
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2,600 Posts
ingesting the water probabaly bent the rod a little, continuing to drive on it and push the car caused it to break.
 

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1986 300E, 1978 280CE
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68 Posts
do not think you can prove liability...

especially since someone else worked on it after the quick lube...

but get a 617 turbo replacement and enjoy a peppier daily driver.


(I might try JB Welding a cover over the hole and driving it till it quits altogether, but I like tempting fate)


John
 

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1984 300TD
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60 Posts
pull an oil sample- send it in blackstone labs does one for about $20. this will tell if the oil was at fault. get your indy mechanics opinion in writing if he thinks it was the quick lubes fault. call the regional manager of quick lube place- they carry and frequently use insurance for this.

If you really like your car, dont ever take it to one of those places. it will last a lot longer.
 

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1978 300cd
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everyone for your input. I love the car. I have a few questions?
1. What is the car worth as it sits now - blown engine - good body - good interior - new shocks?
2. What should an an engine and install cost?
3. Is the turbo a more difficult install and will I need a new exhaust (present engine is non turbo)?
4. I have the slower tranny. Should change that while I am at it?
5. Should I listen to my Father who says I will be throwing good money after bad?
6. Does anyone know a good mechanic and engine supplier in the NYC area?
Thanks
 

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johnhef said:
ingesting the water probabaly bent the rod a little, continuing to drive on it and push the car caused it to break.
Strong possibility. Proving the lube place did something wrong is not going to be easy. Unless they did something obvious it may be a non-starter. I second the recommendations of finding another used engine and putting that in. Turbo or non-turbo is up to you.
 

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One poster mentioned water getting in the engine, bending a rod. I doubt enough water could get past the air filter to bend a rod. You would need to get the water about as high as the air intake to suck enough water in to bend a rod. So I doubt there is a connection there.

The fluctuating oil pressure might indicate a problem with the oil lubricating system of the engine, which could cause a rod to get starved of oil and thrown. Did the lube shop install the oil filter correctly? I'm not sure about the foaming in the radiator. Foaming could be an indication of a blown head gasket, unrelated to changing the oil.

Installing a used non-turbo would be a piece of cake with no changes (other than linkages which you have). Installing a turbo would require a larger exhaust system and installation of the overboost circuit. From what I've heard, the turbos had a beefier transmission too, but not sure if the non-turbo transmission would be damaged by the extra power. The early models also had a different throttle linkage and transmission kick-down setup, and this may interfere with the turbo components, requiring a little custom fabrication to get everything hooked up. The glow plug system is also different (loop versus pencil), so you would need to update all the circuitry. There's nothing wrong with a non-turbo if you want to go that way. Nobody should be in that big of a hurry anyway.

As for price, check Mercedes parts suppliers for rebuilt engines. One such place, Adsitco, has rebuilts for $3600 plus a $600 core, but I think they are high on all their stuff. You can probably find a good used engine for a few hundred dollars. Start searching the web. As for the value of the car, check Ebay (which I think is top dollar) or local ads to see what they are bringing in your condition, and then make the judgement whether it is worth fixing. Or if you really like the car and plan to drive it, spend the money and enjoy the car. A nice coupe will always have value.
 
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