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1980 300D
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Well, my newly acquired title says I'm driving a 1980 Merc Benz, and all badges on the car say it's a 300D. Question is...were there many different options available for the interior amenities?

Reason I ask is that whenever looking at manuals or for parts on the web, schematics and pictures differ from what is in my vehicle.

Ex: Climate control in my car has vertically stacked buttons and everything I can find for a 1980 shows horizontally stacked buttons. Also, the cruise control arm is independant of the turn signal/wiper arm, and everything I can find for a 1980 has all combined.

Many switches appear different but they may have been changed throughout the years. And what is that dial switch in front of the hazard switch (it has a symbol that looks like a crude rendering of a speaker)??

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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1984 300D Turbo
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I have noticed the same with my 1984 300D. The dial is probably the fader for the speakers. Middle plays front and back at same level, roll one way to cut out back speakers the other way to cut out the front speakers. It is supposed to "fade" out the speakers but mine is so old and worn it pretty much just cuts out the speakers after about 5 degrees.

I have seen the bottons for rear dome light, rear defoger, sun roof, and antenna in completly different order, as well as sometimes the hazard switch on the dash and sometimes on the console between the seats. It's pretty strange. There is a russian web site I have seen that if you put in your vin number it will tell you all the options for your car but my vin number did not work [:(]

I did buy a nice 1984 brochure for Mercedes and my interior looks just like it (as far as switch placement and style) so I don't know what gives.
 

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300K300D - 4/21/2005 5:23 AM

Well, my newly acquired title says I'm driving a 1980 Merc Benz, and all badges on the car say it's a 300D. Question is...were there many different options available for the interior amenities?

Reason I ask is that whenever looking at manuals or for parts on the web, schematics and pictures differ from what is in my vehicle.

Ex: Climate control in my car has vertically stacked buttons and everything I can find for a 1980 shows horizontally stacked buttons. Also, the cruise control arm is independant of the turn signal/wiper arm, and everything I can find for a 1980 has all combined.

Many switches appear different but they may have been changed throughout the years. And what is that dial switch in front of the hazard switch (it has a symbol that looks like a crude rendering of a speaker)??

Any help would be appreciated.
I think the 1980 year model was a grey area. Lots of changes happened and transitions were being done to "upgrade" them to the later style ones. If yours is a US spec, there should be a tab on the B pillar. Open your driver door and there's a black tag that should indicate the manufacture date of your car, including gross vehicle weight front/rear distribution, aside from your VIN and other useful info. Sometimes it says it's a 1980 car but in truth, it was manufactured in 1979. Mine is called a 1983 model but it was manufactured December of 1982. Hence, the grey area might affect you alot. See if those sites provide 1979 model items that fit your car. If it is, then perhaps 1979 was the manufacturing date of yours.

If your radio is working, that switch near the hazard switch is the fader dial. Turn on your radio and test it.

Oh and with regards to options, I'm pretty sure the US versions were all clad in amenities like power windows, power sunroof, climate control, cruise control, central locking, power antenna, illuminated sun visors, timed front dome light, and so on...it's surprising to find out that Europeans have manual crank windows, velour seats (which were more expensive!), no sunroofs or manual ones, etc...

Mike, the resistance of these fader switches is pretty high. Newer, digital ones (like in an aftermarket CD player) have their own and you can bypass the fader if you wish. It's also a good spot to install the European headlight adjustment switch if you plan to install one. Fits perfectly.

I have never seen the hazard switch on the dash. Maybe somebody moved them? The switches are almost the same sizes so it's easy to move them about.

Your VIN number does not work because your car is a NA (North American) version. Only non-NA versions work (European versions) on that site.

Hope this helps.
 

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96 E300D
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Someone more smarter than me can say for sure but I believe that in 81 they went to the horizonal arrangement on the Climate control along with a different way of controlling the heat. I think if you check closely you will find that the turn signal/cruise control stalks are independent on all 123's but appear to be together when you see a picture of them. The fader is located on the center consol and sounds like what you are describing.

There isn't too many options for a US 300D, just things like leather versus tex seats. During the years MB has changed things like the climate control and cruise control. One was an improvement and the other wasn't.
 

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MB-Owner-in-ind is right on the money on all issues. Sounds to me like you probably do have a 1980. 1980 and 1981 were transition years, as "upgraded" systems were being installed. Other changes from 1979 to 1980 were differently shaped headrests on the front seats, different steering wheel center pad, change in dash and center console wood, upgraded pencil glow plugs midyear, and I'm sure other small changes. 1981 was the introduction of the new style electronic (versus old vacuum) controlled climate control. 1982 is when the turbo came in, and I believe the new cruise control.

I think a lot of the newer books and literature show the most recent (post 1981) changes. You need to be careful when buying parts to make sure you actually have the correct part due to running production changes over the years. Some parts may interchange, some may not.

There were some options available, but the 300D would have had most as standard, over the base model 240D. The 240D was a slightly different animal with some trim differences, 4-cylinder engine, and manual climate control, plus with not much standard and many options.
 

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1984 300D Turbo
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Hey karugs,

What does that European headlight switch do exactly. I saw one on ebay and was very curious. Was it designed to angle the headlights or something?

Also did you figure out if your car is supposed to start in 1st or 2nd gear?

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Hi Mike,

Yes that headlight adjust is vacuum-based and can instantly adjust your lights up or down, depending on the load of your car. If you have passengers in the back, the lights would point up since you have extra weight behind, right? Adjusting the lights down without having to pop the hood is such a nifty luxury feature I've never seen in other cars. It doesn't move sideways though.

You must get European lights with that feature, otherwise it won't work. The Online Tech Help thread has a diagram of how to install it.

Yes, my car starts in first gear. I feel 3 shifts everytime, even at low speeds. But my car has a rebuilt tranny, if that makes a difference.
 

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Oops, went past 30 minutes. My car starts off at 2nd gear now. Thanks Marsh, that really cleared my head on it. It was still a bit confusing and I never gave it enough thought.[:D]
 

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1980 300D
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all for the posts, very helpful, surely gives insight looking for parts (could be from 79, 80 or 81)

Working in the automotive interior trim industry I'm well aware of "transitions" and manufacturing dates.

I'm sure it worked then as it does now. New model years will almost always launch production around August of the year prior to the model year of the car. Meaning the 1980 model more than likely started production 8/1/79. There will also typically be production peaks during the first quarter of a new or refreshed model and production lulls during the second. So more than likely, I would think that a lions share (at least better than 25%) of the 1980 model was actually produced in 1979.

During the 2nd qtr (Jan-Mar) lull is when continuous improvement kicks in and the new gadgets are tried out for the next model year.

Well....that's my 2 cents on the Auto world.
 
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