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Looking to purchase W116 300SD ADVISE PLEASE

Started by xakuvo, 07 September 2012, 09:46 AM

Beastie

If there are no service records before 2001, that's a bit worrying. Those records should be in the owners manual, in the glove compartment (or perhaps some other weird place that Mercedes elected to keep the owners manual in this model). I'd have guessed that most people with a brand new Mercedes would get it serviced at the dealership. And the dealer would stamp the service book at every service for the first several years and tens of thousands of miles as a record of proper servicing in that time is important for maintaining the warranty. Having a missing service logbook would be annoying to me and I'd wonder how it was ever lost in the first place. What kind of savage would just lose their owners manual?

The fact that is has service documents from that point on is pretty good though. 11 years of receipts has got to be some kind of record.

However, they do seem to reveal some persistently recurring problems and some long gaps between services. 6 year old radiator coolant would be pretty gross by now and it's probably doing little to prevent corrosion. However, it looks OK in the video. Are you sure it's not been changed since '07? If the last service was performed in 2011, I would have figured the coolant would have been changed at that time.

I don't personally have any experience with this model so I can't say when the fluids should be changed exactly. Plus, I don't cover a lot of miles in my own cars so I always just change the oil once a year and the coolant every two years, rather than basing it on mileage.

Some of these other issues:

Quoterear shocks leaked out - long time coming, noted early,
"converter" heat shield rusted through - long time coming, noted early,
front drive disk loose - persistant issue, fixed at least 2 times throughout life
injection pump oil(fuel?) leak - persistant issue
rear tierod and dragline sm.
last coolant change in 07
monovalve assembly leak
pls pump leak, dirty fluid
air filter dirty

Have these issues been rectified, or were they just observed at the last service?

Either way, the price is ludicrous. Tell him he's dreamin'. I'd hazard a guess that these cars are more common over there than the W116 so it might be worth considering the option of looking at a few others. This one seems a bit iffy but I'm in no place to make that call, like I said I have no experience with this model at all.
1979 280SEL

"She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro."

xakuvo

#16
The 1995 E300D W124 seems like a money pit to me
I took the 1980 300D W116 to a mechanic today, before, and after, i told the owner i had not made a decision to buy the car, he seemed disappointed.
They were very thorough at the shop, even showed me things that i can apply to my next, possible, inspection.
the UGLY:

  • windshield cracked/leaking - $165
  • a/c leaks, vaccumm or compressor has small hole, charged in aug. then in 08 and 07, could need replacing - $600+?
  • master break cylinder seeping- $400
  • rear flex/drive disk cracked(med. wear) - $250
  • rear shocks leaked out - $350
  • return oil cooler line leaking-being fixed by owner - $400
the BAD:

  • break fluid caps cracked - $8
  • fuel filter need replacing - $82
  • coolant expansion tank bloated/stress marks/crack - $110
  • front headlight bulb housing loose - $?
  • "sm-med misc trans and engine leaks-normal"... i understand its 40 years old, but normal?
the MEDIOCRE:

  • dash cover cracked - $600+
  • clock and radio inoperable, i knew about clock, didn't test radio, cosmetic - new radio, analog clock?
  • Left front window and sunroof operate slow - $too much$$
  • rust spots in driver side door seam, underneath driver side front wheel well, small chip - $10 i can seal,
my PERSONAL notes:
axle boots looked fine, rubber seals on the car needed replacing

owner STILL wants 5k for it,the oil cooler line fix is 400.
what is a good way to test the transmission? besides flooring it and ensuring downshifting?
can i even find a w116 windshield? - DUH, yes, less than $200, should i worry about the seals?
decent car, good shape for a 1980, by my assessment. 5k, ouch, OUCH
Beastie, you are very helpful! Thank you!
oh, what this mercedes shop had posted for maintenance:
" 1998 models and above" but im sure it can be applied generaly
SERVICE    - MB Recommends - SHOP recommends
oil             - 10k                    - 5k or .5year
particulate cabin filter - 13k - 15k
charcoal cabin filter - 60k     - as needed
engine air filter - 60k            - 15k
fuel filter    - 60k                   - 45k
chassis lube - n/a                  - 30k
spark plugs/glow - 100k/4yr - 85k/4yr.
transfer case - n/a               - fluid check *4matic
transmission - n/a                - fluid
power steering - n/a            - fuild/filter

ZCarFan

There are MANY used Mercedes out there in the market.  If you really want a good car I will repeat the advice to look long and hard and get the right one.  I'm a bottom-feeder generally (the downside of having been a mechanic is knowing you can fix them) and a bit on the impatient side.  I can tell you without a doubt these two habits have cost me some really nice cars.   So.....  if the two you are looking at right now are not exactly what you want, keep looking.   I passed on a 6.9 recently simply because the driveway is full of half-running projects.

If you have to get around and need it really soon, get something to hold you over that you can sell later and break even on. 

ZCarFan

To provide an example.  I had one '80 300SD that I was driving.  I bought another from a friend as a "parts car" and then got that one going.  Right after this, a local seller had 1 clean W126 560SEL for sale with about 150,000 miles on the clock.  The paint was lacking, but the car ran fine and worked well.  Price was $2500.  Had to pass on that, no space.  A short while later, there was a Euro-spec W116 450SE for sale.  This one was $1500 and intact.  Had to pass again.  All due to grabbing the extra car just "because it was there".

Beastie

Quote from: xakuvo on 12 September 2012, 01:55 PM
the UGLY:
  • windshield cracked/leaking - $165
  • a/c leaks, vaccumm or compressor has small hole, charged in aug. then in 08 and 07, could need replacing - $600+?
  • master break cylinder seeping- $400
  • rear flex/drive disk cracked(med. wear) - $250
  • rear shocks leaked out - $350
  • return oil cooler line leaking-being fixed by owner - $400

Most of those things would need to be fixed immediately. Explain to the seller that you would be using this car as your main transport, and you're not just wanting it as a weekend cruiser that you can work on and repair at your leisure - it's going to be your day-to-day car and you would want to buy one that is ready to go, or near to being ready to go. It still seems like it has a lot of good qualities and might still be worth considering, but if it needs a lot of immediate work just to make it safe and viable, then the price has got to come down. There's always at least some room to move on the price during negotiations. If the seller is totally unwilling to lower his price, tell him he's dreamin' and just walk away from the whole deal. You'll find other cars to look at eventually, and now that you've seen a few you'll be better able to get a 'vibe' from them of what they're like and whether they're better or worse than the ones you've seen so far. Look at enough of them an eventually you'll develop a decent instinct and you might be able to spot the right one the moment you see it. The thing is though, I would normally expect to see rust, especially where you live which is a place that has proper winters. The fact that this car is virtually rust free makes it seem pretty tempting, despite the work it needs done.

Most of the other things you listed are pretty minor and are consumable parts that are designed to be cheaply and easily replaced. The fuel filter, for example.

It's the job of the mechanic you took it to to find EVERY fault that he possibly can, lest ye return after buying the car to yell at him for not telling you about some newly discovered minor issue that he didn't tell you about. But just because he found a fault, it doesn't mean it's serious or that he's necessarily suggesting that you'd need to get it fixed right away.

Almost all W116 dashboards crack. It's very unfortunate as they're expensive to fix and removing and replacing the dash is not a pleasant job. Most 116 owner seem to simply accept their cracked dash as a fact of ownership. A lot of people just buy one of those carpet dash mats that people used in the 1980's. I have one. (my dash is badly cracked from the harsh Australian sun)

I don't mind offering advice at all. I've had a lot of down time at work this week and this has given me something to do. ;D But just keep in mind that this is all just one man's opinion and decisions are up to you. ;)
1979 280SEL

"She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro."

jbrasile

xakuvo,

Looks to me like the car has too many issues that need attention right away. I don't mind advising people to pay more for a car as long as you get your money's worth, top car top $$$... I do not think this is the case here.

The a/c work alone may cost you 2k,  if your expectations are high you will want a new dash, that's another easy 2k with parts and labor,  all door seals, etc,etc, etc... the list is endless...

Nice 300SD's do come  up for sale on e-bay, Hemmings,etc.... personally I am not a fan of Craig's list.

Take a look at this 1980 300SD on e-bay, if everything holds true it could be a good car.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/300SD-LOW-MILES-TURBODIESEL-GARAGED-/221121889212?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item337be443bc

Tks,

Joe


gf

if you really want the best- (its cheaper that way), consider geting on a mercedes benz club. through word of mouth someone will have a deisel benz that they would consider selling to someone who respects benzes.

jbrasile

xakuvo,

These guys seem to have the best Diesels in the country, albeit at a price... they currently show an 83 euro 300D in Thistle Green with a green velour interior that is absolutely stunning!

http://www.mercedesmotoring.com/

Tks,

Joe

xakuvo

i have accounts in benzworld.org and http://mbworld.org, i got trolled on benzworld(moderator helped me though), and mbworld is absent of users.
this is the most helpful forum on the internet! for me, in my personal situation.
but i learned LOTS from the mechanical inspection, and specific things to look at/for. they were very helpful. very thorough.
its the "royal" blue color i believe.
it IS a beautiful car. i would LOVE to purchase the car, 5k is high in my opinion, GREAT car, im sure it would last me a decade as long as i care for it.
hard to me to justify paying 5k for a 32 year old car, that needs $200-500 in initial repairs done (windshield, flex disk), then i need to ensure all the seals SEAL, i will take the car through a car-wash... but really those are the big ones, ive seen guide for flex disk repair, seems easy enough, i just need a shop w/ tools, but the owner may be willing to personally assist me with repairs...as long as i dont piss him off, lol.
when replacing my fuel filters, i should be careful of getting debris into the exposed line, this is what the owner told me, he suggested let the mechanic do it, correct? i need to find a guide, should be super easy though.

if i go look at the car, final time, i have a few things to ensure, owner shows me how to check all fluids. in specific, he hid the coolant tank innards from my vision, he told the mechanic he had "bars" in there for "lubrication". does this sound right? bars? this is something i should ask the owner as well.
if i do buy the car, will i have to purchase specific windshield seals before i get it replaced, so that i may have the intaller use my seals. or, should i ask for a specific rubber seal be used, if they dont have it, next place?

how much am i looking to spend for a good set of rubber seals for all doors/trunk/sunroof/hood?

jbrasile

xakuvo,

An original set of seals from the Mercedes Classic Center will run about $1500.00, I would not recommend using aftermarket parts due to quality and fitting issues, especially for the windshield.

Tks,

Joe

xakuvo

#25
UPDATE:
owner wishes to : replace front break pads, flex disk, windshield, and oil radiator return hose and remove doors, apply grease to moving window parts
he wants to do these things with me, basically teaching me, and im all for it
i am going to wait to pay, until all repairs are done, and i know they were completed successfully
he is standing hard at 5k, i will get pictures, very nice car, but 5k...nope