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1984 300 CD
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know which years the W-140 had turbo diesels and which were the best and worst years?
Where is a good place to look for quality examples.
And this last question can a wheelchair fit easily in the trunk. I'm looking for a diesel because I make bio-diesel and this would be for my wife. she has a home health care business where she might have to transport a client with a wheel chair.

Thanks
 

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1984 W123 240D; 2001 E220 CDI W210; 2012 E250 CDI Bluetec - Avantgarde; 1994 SL320
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262 Posts
From what i hear there is some conflicting info and experiences some say the 92 to 94's had many bent con rod or elongated cylinder issues..premature sizure/sized engines...others say that the so called later 350SD's were nothing but a trunk lettering change/read misleading exersize!! what is common amongst most feed back/safe bets I see is if the engine crossed 100k upwards without rebuild then should keep going along....if changed the problem prematurely with factory rebuild prog frm MB then could do (some say no diff)...others done privately.. short of the long if car run more say 150K should b safe if records uptodate. standard folding wheel chair will fit 2 or 3 for that matter :) cheers mate
 

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99CL600,98CL600 Swiss import,R230 SL666, EURO1985 280 CE & XR600R Desert killer
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915 Posts
If you looking for W140 Diesel BEST one is S300 TD year 96 ,97 or 98 rare one in the USA ,but if you wanna get good milage and more HP that one is the best comes with 177HP 4 valves per cylinder and last forever.
 

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Mercedes 600 SE 1991 Oct.
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68 Posts
If you looking for W140 Diesel BEST one is S300 TD year 96 ,97 or 98 rare one in the USA ,but if you wanna get good milage and more HP that one is the best comes with 177HP 4 valves per cylinder and last forever.

I agree, and the fuel consumption of this engine is almost 20 % lower.
The 3.5 td engine is weak for this car.

The 3.0 24V is a better engine, but these cars cost double more than a 3.5 td. But if you are thinking about buying a W140 then a 4000-5000 $ difference in the price of the car should not matter, cause you will have to spend this amount on it anyway in the first year, so i suggest you to buy the newer model S300 TD from year 96 with 177HP.
 

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nothing broken. finally!
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2,619 Posts
they are all garbage, if i dare say.

go w123 w116 or even w124 for diesel.
 

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92 W140 300SD 97 VW Jetta TDI 89 VW Fox diesel
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996 Posts
All the W140 diesels that came to the US are mechanically identical. The only difference is from pre and post face lift changes which are all cosmetic. After 1995 they installed the OM606 TD engine but those cars were never officially imported to the US and examples are rare. There's only one I know of, second hand, that exists here in the US.

The engines were problematic but that's essentially the only difference between the diesel and the other W140 models, all other components were essentially shared with the gasser models.

There's plenty of commentary on the problems that the OM603 suffered, but it essentially comes down to insufficient rod strength coupled with an odd bore / stroke ratio which caused slight bending, resulting in ovalized cylinder walls. Despite the oil consumption problem those that I've chatted with still love the vehicles and drive them.

My car received an MB replacement engine in 2002 and does not consume any oil. Whether the replacement engines develop the same problem has not been documented AFAIK.

I think the OM603 is very adequate in the heavy W140. Others have suggested that it doesn't generate enough power but I think it's fine considering I get close to 30mpg on the highway. Also, the OM606 can be transplanted in a car with a failed OM603 but it's not a clean install, there are parts that need to be swapped and some ancillary components need some minor modification. Also any provision for the OM606 TD intercooler needs to be custom.

Those who complain about the OM603 or use terms like "garbage" are really talking about the engine since that's virtually the only unique item to the diesel car.

I would suggest that the entire W140 line is high maintenance and problematic, and it takes a pretty hefty wallet if you want to own one. I have enjoyed mine but it's taken a lot to fix all the foregone maintenance of the prior owner. Would I bother with one again? Probably not, I can't see spending this much to own something that really has very little value, and that goes for the gassers as well. We're talking about a model that is now two generations old and it will be a long haul before it ever gets to collector status...if ever. I will say however, that of all the W140 models the diesel cars are the rarest with only 3370 some imported throughout the whole run from 1992-1995.

As a side note, the downside of the E300 OM606 powered cars is that they rust badly whereas the W140 really has pretty good body integrity.

Oh and yes, I think you should be able to get a wheel chair in the trunk, despite the fact that the fuel tank is in there.

Good luck
 

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93 Mercedes 300SD
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214 Posts
Hard Call

Does anyone know which years the W-140 had turbo diesels and which were the best and worst years?
Where is a good place to look for quality examples.
And this last question can a wheelchair fit easily in the trunk. I'm looking for a diesel because I make bio-diesel and this would be for my wife. she has a home health care business where she might have to transport a client with a wheel chair.

Thanks
Biodiesel should be OK in this car because it has a higher cetane rating than the poor diesel that was sold in the US and caused issues with these cars. You had better be handy and have an awesome diesel mechanic to own one of these (vacuum system tuning is at another level with these cars). Any w140 will bleed you if you just take it to the mechanic to be repaired for everything. If you look around the various sites and can do a lot of work yourself it is a great car. King of the diesels, excepting the new 2012 S class diesel in the US (sticker usually between $100-110k).
 

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93 Mercedes 300SD
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214 Posts
Block heater

Thanks!

I park inside at night, usually stays above freezing. Although it's dropped to single digits during the day this week.
Make sure you have a block heater. If not, you might want to avoid B20 for the next couple months. I am not sure of the physics, but I know the w140 is rated to start down to 5 F with 15w40 motor oil. With B20 you may be raising that some. I run on WVO. For reference the car, unmodified, will start on pure new canola oil only down to about 63 F. I am not sure if B20 will noticeably thicken approaching 5 F. Vegetable oil itself would be jello by 15 F.
 

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1995 S350 Diesel
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49 Posts
Thanks. I'm new to Mercedes, but not to diesel. B20 isn't convenient here, but I buy it when I'm near the station. I don't have a block heater, but this car has a dedicated garage spot. Do you have a block heater recommendation?

Feel free to ignore the thread-jack:
I'm also driving a 1997 GMC Suburban diesel. It's a rare 1500 model (heavy half ton), and I'm getting nearly 20mpg in an 8 passenger truck. I think this is a good candidate for 100% bio and SVO. Better than the S350. This has a block heater, and lives in the driveway.
 

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93 Mercedes 300SD
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214 Posts
Block heater

Thanks. I'm new to Mercedes, but not to diesel. B20 isn't convenient here, but I buy it when I'm near the station. I don't have a block heater, but this car has a dedicated garage spot. Do you have a block heater recommendation?

Feel free to ignore the thread-jack:
I'm also driving a 1997 GMC Suburban diesel. It's a rare 1500 model (heavy half ton), and I'm getting nearly 20mpg in an 8 passenger truck. I think this is a good candidate for 100% bio and SVO. Better than the S350. This has a block heater, and lives in the driveway.
$135 from dealer. My new one does not have one. I run a unique system for my wvo so I normally don't use my regular block heater (use an RV water pump with a "tank" coolant heater.) The easiest DIY route might be a tank heater. Mine is 1500 watts, at least triple the block heater. Supposedly these will get the heat going faster in the car. My WVO system pumped the heated coolant back along the fuel lines to the fuel tank and then up to the engine, so I was not overwhelmed by the improved heat issue.

There may already be one on the car (I had heard this in the past). You just need to get a cord if you find the connection plug on the block. Dieselgiant does not list, but has just a cord for $35 (dealer $55). I'll be under my car early next week and will check and see if I've got a plug. Parts person at dealer said I would likely not have a block heater unless the cord had been ripped loose.

I've put 40,000 miles with WVO. Before making a move to WVO you must first secure a supply. All mercedes from 2000 and back are indirect injection which makes them great candidates for WVO. I'll post picks when I am done with my Mark 2 conversion. I want to have all this work done by Christmas, but not sure that will happen.
 

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92 W140 300SD 97 VW Jetta TDI 89 VW Fox diesel
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996 Posts
Thanks!

I park inside at night, usually stays above freezing. Although it's dropped to single digits during the day this week.
You'll want to use an additive to ensure the fuel stays liquid no matter what temp you run in to. There are specific additives for bio, not sure they're required for bio blend. Power Service makes one specific for bio IIRC.

Just be aware that it gels at a higher temp and you need to take precautions.
 

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93 Mercedes 300SD
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214 Posts
Block heater located.

block heater ......
There may already be one on the car (I had heard this in the past). You just need to get a cord if you find the connection plug on the block. Dieselgiant does not list, but has just a cord for $35 (dealer $55). I'll be under my car early next week and will check and see if I've got a plug. Parts person at dealer said I would likely not have a block heater unless the cord had been ripped loose.
QUOTE]
OK. I would say that all W140 Diesels come with a block heater. I found the flat 3 wire cord coming out of the passenger side of the block and found the wire with no plug nicely wrapped up (looks original) and tied to a large wire coming off the alternator. It looks like you just need to terminate with a plug with a cap (maybe a little more wire).
 

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92 W140 300SD 97 VW Jetta TDI 89 VW Fox diesel
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996 Posts
block heater ......
There may already be one on the car (I had heard this in the past). You just need to get a cord if you find the connection plug on the block. Dieselgiant does not list, but has just a cord for $35 (dealer $55). I'll be under my car early next week and will check and see if I've got a plug. Parts person at dealer said I would likely not have a block heater unless the cord had been ripped loose.
OK. I would say that all W140 Diesels come with a block heater. I found the flat 3 wire cord coming out of the passenger side of the block and found the wire with no plug nicely wrapped up (looks original) and tied to a large wire coming off the alternator. It looks like you just need to terminate with a plug with a cap (maybe a little more wire).
ditto....they all came with it but the cord was only supplied at customer request.
 
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