Advice, '87 Mercedes Benz 300D repair..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by mercy, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. mercy

    mercy Tele-Meister

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    Hi all, any advice sure would be appreciated.

    I bought the car two years ago. It's been good to me. Only 160k when I bought it. Well the last two months or so it's been surging when cold, not shifting at high r.p.m, and feeling a little ragged on front end suspension.

    Took it in, and got a list of lots of things that could be addressed. It's got a leaky rear shaft seal on the transmission. It's got leaking fuel return hoses. Rear shocks leaking oil, reservoir empty. Belt tensioner shock and belt noisy and cracked ($500), engine and transmission mounts collapsed ($400), front struts and mounts could be replaced ($) and that's a start ; )

    Basically, 1500 or 2000 just for stuff that "needs" to be fixed. transmission overhaul may or may not be called for in the medium term.

    I comp'd the repairs at another shop in town, and it's about the same overall as the first on their quote.

    I don't know what to do. I like the car--it's plush over speed bumps, smooth cruising on I-5, and the heat blows hot and when I first got it it got 29 m.p.g. (last two months been getting 24).

    repair or replace?
     
  2. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh my, loaded question lol.
    My sister has an '83 300D Turbo.
    My dad put about that much into fixing it up, but he bought it cheap and it's overall a good solid car that will last her awhile.
    Fuel surging could be due to the leaky return lines, that can cause a drop in rail pressure against the back of the pump, causing the complex mechanism and springs inside to react in a way that causes surging RPM's.
    Repair or replace is a question only you can really answer. I mean you know what you have invested in it, plus what you'd have in repairing it.
    The questions to ask yourself are: would I be happy having that much in this car?
    How long would it last me?
    Would I be happier putting the same money into another vehicle that may be in better condition?
    Would selling this one to put that money into something else be a wide move?
    I don't know those answers, but for me to invest in repairing it I would have to feel good about my total investment in it, and keeping it for awhile to get my use out of it.
    I've seen allot of those cars with 3-600k miles on them and still going, it comes down to maintenance and personal preference.
    I hope that helps lol
     
  3. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    That sounds like an all beat up "vintage" Telecaster from ...1987... uhm, wouldn't get me going.
    if you could hide it in a barn for another ten years and then pull it out, you might have some fun.

    I'm not much of an automobile enthusiast though.
     
  4. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

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    If you can spend a couple grand or more to get an older Mercedes in good running order, it may be worth it. The biggest drawback I can see is if you were to wreck the car shortly after you fixed it (heaven forbid). Your insurance company may want to total a car that's not that badly damaged due to the average '87 300D's resale value. For a while you may be upside down on the money side, but if you keep the car for three or four more years, you'll be money ahead very shortly.

    I don't think this would be the thing to do were we talking about an '87 Chevy, but you get a Mercedes in like-new condition and you can probably get another 200k miles out of it. The running gear itself is pretty stout.
     
  5. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thing about Mercedes-Benz... they're complex automobiles with low resale value when they get old. "Mercedes People" wouldn't get caught dead in a 25 year old Mercedes-Benz, otherwise every other funeral parlor would have an old Mercedes hearse. I've never seen a Mercedes hearse. Maybe in Europe?

    Morbid humor just in time for Halloween. :D
     
  6. RedTele58

    RedTele58 Tele-Meister

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    Check these guys out. Pretty classy stuff. Not cheap at all...

    http://www.mercedesmotoring.com/
     
  7. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    You bet. this one was even shipped to Heritage Coach Company in Pennsylvania. 1987.
    they'd make good band waggons or for camping :lol:

    http://www.leichenwagen.de/index.htm?bild5.htm
     

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  8. urizen

    urizen Tele-Afflicted

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    OOOOOOOooooooo---that looks like it could be repurposed as a sexenwagon for sure:twisted:!
     
  9. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's a good amount of money to put into a car that is 1) probably not worth as much as the repairs you're about to do on it, and 2) not known for being cheap to maintain.

    I'd punt.

    But to be fair, I'm forever tainted by a bad experience with an '86 300E.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tough call. You are kind of in a pickle here. Probably should invest into the repairs, put some miles on it and then decide if the luxury is worth the maintenance cost. Those repairs for under $2K sounds like a deal to me, but I would go in assuming that it will end up being more. Most cars get pretty expensive when major repairs start creeping up as it ages, and MBs are going to be even more spendy because of expensive parts and expensive labor costs. This might be considered a $2000 lesson, but really, with the Benz, not too unusual.
    Good luck with it.
     
  11. slowlearner78

    slowlearner78 Tele-Meister

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    I feel for you on this one. Been in similar situations. The 2k by itself may be worth it, but, as other have stated, that's not the problem. The problem is what happens when you drop 2k into it, it runs great for another 6 months, then age catches up again.

    Somebody says that'll be another grand for this or that.

    But you're not really thinking 1k. Your thinking 1k on top of the 2k you just spent 6 months ago. Vicious cycle.

    You get it repaired now, you're rolling the dice to one degree or another.

    Hope it works out. Never easy to figure out when to pull the plug.
     
  12. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I had the same car. Replaced a tranny for 2500.00 cured many ills. Had over 300,000 miles on it when it was sold. Rest of the car held up well. Body sagged on the frame a bit but that was it. Oh and a 1200.00 water pump job made me get rid of it. But I got many miles out of it.

    So what could you get for 2 grand and that car as a trade?
     
  13. Fred Mertz

    Fred Mertz Tele-Afflicted

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    Can you perform any of these tasks yourself? Replacing the injector return lines shouldn't be too hard. And replacing the belt and idler pulley shouldn't be too hard. If you have any wrenching skills, it may be worthwhile to keep. Otherwise, I would trade it for what I could get out of it. Twenty nine miles per gallon on diesel fuel is nothing to brag about these days.
     
  14. Tazz3

    Tazz3 Friend of Leo's

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    2 grand to fix it and its 20 something years old if it was my car I would think about selling it
     
  15. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm driving a 95 M-119 V8 powered E-420 myself and love the car. It's kinda fun to drive an ambush predator like this as who would suspect this stodgy looking old thing
    [​IMG]
    has this under the hood
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    and is really a tire melting low 14 second 1/4 mile 160 MPH car?

    An older Benz can be a great car to own IF you can do most of your own work. If you can't any older euro car can be a real wallet killer. There are good sources for parts that are high quality for little $ out there if you look but you need to know what brands to buy and what to run FAST from on these cars.
     
  16. mercy

    mercy Tele-Meister

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    Thanks to every single one of you for replying. I mean it. Thanks a bunch. I'll post an update in the weeks ahead.
     
  17. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    In the mean time check out the Benz boards and get some advice on her. I would have never survived the first couple months with my 420 had it not been for the guys on the E-500 board walking me through some stuff. these are really great cars that are not the wallet killers to own and maintain most make them out to be if you learn to do stuff yourself. If you don't they will eat you alive so good luck!!
     
  18. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    The problem with Benz, BMW, Audi, is they are meant for relatively affluent people who can afford all that goes with ongoing upkeep. Even though we can buy a used car for not much more than an American or Japanese vehicle, the ecosystem (parts, labor rates, required skill/experience level, insurance) is dramatically higher cost. The result is a person can afford to buy the used Benz, BMW, Audi, but they can't afford to drive it.

    My experience was a BMW 740i. Each trip to the shop was $1,000+ and added zero value.
     
  19. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Will be consistent on just about any euro car that parts and repair cost are crazy high if you take them to your normal stealer or local shop. However I drive Volvos or the Benz and I do most of my own maintenance and work preferring to work on them to working on a US or asian car. I find them simpler to work on frankly. I also pay about the same or less on parts for my 2 euros ( 1998 Volvo V 90 wagon and the 1995 MB E-420) than what I do on my wife's Chrysler.
    [​IMG]
    To be able to do that I have a couple of good mail order sources and do NOT go to the local dealer or buy from a local corporate parts house. My insurance costs are also quite low and were lower than the last American cars I owned.
    Many older euro cars like Volvos and Mercedes are great drivers that don't break the bank to own as long as you do most of the work yourself and keep them maintained like you should. However getting into one that has not been properly maintained can be a real nightmare. My one owner E-420 for example has under 100K now but was almost destroyed by the former owner exclusively having it serviced at a local quick oil. Everything on this car was big time over filled and they also used the wrong fluids and junk filters like this no name made in India oil filter that came out of my E-420 that was self destructing at under 3000 miles.
    [​IMG]
    Found all kinds of stuff screwed up on the car when i first got it like this set of plugs that were never tightened in the 4.2 liter all aluminum 32 valve V8. The 4 in the center were all super loose and what you see in the sticky gunk on the bottoms is from blow by not a valve cover gasket leak. They were lucky that this didn't let one blow out and kill the threads in the head as they would have eaten a M-119 V8!!
    [​IMG]
    This is what kills these cars before their time stupidity from those who work on them and don't know what they are doing and or owners or shop owners who go cheap and use substandard junk parts in these cars. If properly maintained with quality parts and fluids a Benz or in particular a Volvo will still be running along quite happily long after a US or asian made car has long been crushed or turned to rust. What kills them most of the time is folks who buy them that don't understand the cars and how to maintain them. If you can't get at the least 300 K out of a good Volvo or Benz pretty trouble free you are doing something wrong!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  20. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I prefer to actually DRIVE a car, not work on it :lol:
     
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