300TD buying guide?

Single Tank WVO systems and blending SVO WVO to thin it.

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300TD buying guide?

Postby veginator » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:30 pm

I'm looking to buy a 300SD to run unheated blend here in Honolulu. Two options currently are in front of me:
a) an '87 300TD wagon, described as needing a new radiator & window motor, 230K miles, price just reduced $200 to $1400, which seems, well, cheap. I'm not sure what would make the seller so sure about the radiator as needing replacement unless it's got a hole in it. OTOH if it overheats & his knee-jerk conclusion is that it's a bad radiator, I'd be inclined to leave my 10' pole in its carrying-case and walk away. Was run on WVO, now on diesel; "why" would be an obvious question. I'm hesitant to contact seller until I know I am "serious," as they say, but maybe this one's not to be touched. I like the wagon config for practical purposes, though, and that price seems hard to beat.
b) an '83 300SD sedan - I think it was $1700 last, down from $1900, no noted problems other than failing clearcoat, not run on other than petrodiesel to date. Seller is hard to get in touch with - texts only thus far, so no more details - if anyone's been trying to buy it, they've not succeeded in doing so, maybe can't meet up with him as I am experiencing.

Anyway, I know nothing about the particulars of diesel Benz-shopping, though I do know a lot about cars & diagnosis of generic mechanical problems, and have always done all of my own work...well, except for auto tranny rebuilding...

Anyone have particular "check for this" or "don't buy that" advice?
veginator
 
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Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby SunWizard » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:05 pm

The 87 may have a cracked head, its a common problem on that year. Search on here or google cracked head OM603. Squeeze the top radiator hose right after cold starting and if its firm its bad. Other than that its a great car with lots of power and space and good ride, and many have had the #14 head replaced with a newer one that won't crack.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby veginator » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:51 pm

Great tip, Sun, thanks. I will most definitely check that - or even ask seller for head number before wasting a trip. I see it's supposed to be above injector #2 but never found any photos of examples - is it easy to spot?

Other than the head-crack concern, does the 255K miles suggest other items about to need major replacement?
veginator
 
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Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby SunWizard » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:17 am

veginator wrote:Great tip, Sun, thanks. I will most definitely check that - or even ask seller for head number before wasting a trip. I see it's supposed to be above injector #2 but never found any photos of examples - is it easy to spot?

No. Only if you know where to look.
Other than the head-crack concern, does the 255K miles suggest other items about to need major replacement?

No, they last a long time.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
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Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby veginator » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:49 pm

believe it or not, all these months and the seller of the '83 300SD at last arranged things for me to see it, since he's chronically off-island.

Running & driving didn't seem to present many issues, but if I buy the thing ($1900, 255K miles), I'd have a long laundry-list of smallish fixit-items that would get under my skin. AC doesn't seem to work, for one. Upholstery is pretty well shot from exposure - it's been parked outside for months or even years. Rust is surprisingly NOT a problem. Driver-door requires slamming to get it to stay closed. Driver's seat is pretty well wasted. Paint (clearcoat) is gone, basically. Surely there are a lot of things I /didn't/ notice during a 30-min test-drive & tire-kicking session.

So I have to weigh the "do I really need another project-to-do-list car?" with the "Cool, I can run this on a 25/75 blend without any fuss" factor. Then there are the hidden potential suspension & drivetrain needs - stuff I just won't know about until I spend some time with it, get the wheels off, etc.

Sunwiz/others: what's the cost-punishment factor for replacement interiors, or are they even available, vs bringing it to my local upholstery shop & hoping they do good? Any AC tips?
Are more critical parts punishingly expensive? ...if so, simply because it's a Benz? Or because it's 30 years old?

I have the rest of the day to decide, more or less, so not a lot of time to poke around and do parts research myself. General opinions would be useful.

--Dave
veginator
 
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Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby SunWizard » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:32 pm

veginator wrote:Sunwiz/others: what's the cost-punishment factor for replacement interiors, or are they even available, vs bringing it to my local upholstery shop & hoping they do good?

local shop.
Any AC tips?
It could get expensive.
Are more critical parts punishingly expensive? ...if so, simply because it's a Benz? Or because it's 30 years old?

Not many critical parts go bad. Its usually little stuff like glow plugs, window motors, switches, vacuum hoses.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
SunWizard
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Posts: 1720
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Re: 300TD buying guide?

Postby veginator » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:45 pm

Fast-forwarding liberally, I ended up with the 1983 300SD. Former owner was deceptive in many regards, and outright lied in a lot of others - mostly needlessly, since I'd still have bought the car, most likely. Many things have come to light since the purchase that tend to make me wonder when the next shoe will drop, but I've been doing a lot of checking & uncovering, to at least face my fears.

Case in point: he advertised that it had never been run on anything other than petrodiesel. After spending hours stranded on an elevated freeway segment a day or two after buying it - apparently out of fuel, though gauge showed FULL, and having found that the odometer hadn't worked since 2007, based on the receipts that I'd found in the glove-box, leaving me with no way in hell to know how much fuel I might have at any given time. It later turned out that the fuel gauge indeed did NOT work, but... that the tank had only been down 8 gallons. Fuel outlet screen was covered in brown, RTV-like,... polymerized oil, I presume. It had nicely imprinted itself with the pattern of the screen, like a fine, rubbery molding compound, and very effectively starved me of fuel. The stuff can be rolled into balls, but if you make the mistake of squeezing it too hard, it sticks to fingers like crazy. I've found only volatile solvents take it off - lacquer-thinner, acetone, etc.

That's well on its way to being fixed (tank out now) and I've already gone on too long about that.

My question really was this: what's the peak lift-pump pressure, or better still, what you get out of the lift pump after a snubber? I want to install a fuel-pressure gauge soonish. Also, if anyone's got any supercool places they've found to mount that and maybe an IP inlet-temp gauge, I'd like to know where.

Mahalos...

Dave
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