Anybody have experience with Mercedes diesels?

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Particularly the mid-80s turbo diesel 300SDs? Thinking of adding a dictator-mobile to the fleet...


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Planning on running vegetable oil? Those 80s MB Diesels can be converted very cheaply to run on used vegetable oil....You can pick it up from McDonalds free...when you drive by it'll smell like french fries.

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The 300SD Turbodiesels are really nice! The German family who used to live next door to me (they still operate a foreign car shop) had a green 300SD and a light blue 300SE. The SD's turbocharger was replaced at (I think) about 200K along with the injectors to make it run like new. They never had any problems with it.

Will wait for C.D.'s response to Mercedes' diesels.

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...let me take a krack at this one:

What are your expectations in owning a M-B diesel ?

SD(W126) vs smaller (W123) body version

of turbodiesels ?

Smaller (W123) = faster and better MPG's, a tighter body,

lighter weight, superior steering and handling ,smaller

areas of rust to repair........

please rephrase a question so 'we' can zero in

on the issues that are important to you

if your looking to buy the black car in your

photo - that's a first Generation turbodiesel with

a W116 body - NOT desirable - but an excellent chassis,

heavy, slower than the later S-Class W126 SD body.

Climate control can be a killer to repair - cost wise.

Alloy rims were STANDARD on all W123, and W126

Turbodiesels. Parts for all models are very available -

absolutely no NLA issues






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I always liked that S Class body design from the late 70's...good looking car. Your best bet is to get the 6.9 liter version of this car...it is more of a collector car than a standard version and it's pretty quick for a big heavy car of it's time....

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I'd hoped c.d. would weigh in...

Here's my thought process:

1) I love my '02, but it's not the best long-distance option. Too loud, too hot in the summer and too small to take on a 2 or 3-hour trip when I have to look presentable when I arrive. (It's hard enough for me to look presentable in the best of circumstances...)

2) My wife and I have a modern car which we do share for long trips now, but there are times our business takes us in different directions.

3) I know something like a late-model Honda is the most logical choice, but I haven't yet been able to bring myself to buy one.

4) I'd want the Benz for big highway miles, and the diesels seem to get better than decent mileage (especially for their size) and seem to have a solid reputation for reliability.

5) I know any older car will have wear and mechanical issues - bushings will fail no matter how many miles the engine has left in it. I've done all my own wrenching on the '02 so far (with the Board's help, of course!) and can deal with regular maintenance and moderate repair. However, I'm not looking for another car constantly on the DL. I want a better-than-fair degree of reliability.

So, given those parameters, what's the advice? What years or models are better than ohers, and what are the big areas to look at when choosing? Thanks all.

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I have a W123 300D Turbo and while they have their quirks, it is a very easy car to work on.


Heater/AC blower stopped blowing. -A few screws later and the motor was out, then instead of having to buy a new one it was a trip to the hardware store for some new brushes, still works great 4 years later!

That said I also have driven across the country in a W210 E420. You can drive that car for 16 hours and not even wrinkle your suit

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options :

lowest mileage 300SD you can find

1984/5 300D Turbodiesel (W123) sedan or coupe,

OR wagon

500 or 560SEC (big coupe) best of breed


380SL / SE / SEC / SEL

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