Diesel MB

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by 65284, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In view of the continual rise in gas prices we are looking at buying an older 5 or 6 clyinder turbo diesel Mercedes-Benz wagon. I have access to used cooking oil and am thinking about making bio diesel. Anyone here have any actual experience with these old MB's? What are the pros/cons of 5 cylinder versus the 6 cy engines? Anything about these oldies to be especially wary of? I have a good shop, some tools, and although I don't like to, I can wrench a little. All opinions or experiences appreciated.
     
  2. Triffin

    Triffin Well-Known Member

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  3. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    Shop manual-don't waste money on Haynes or the like-get a REAL one. Benz is VERY sensitive to chassis/engine numbers when purchasing parts. Make sure you have that information as it will save problems. You should become familiar with a place in/around Atlanta called German Auto Parts(GAP). Lifesaver kind of place. Also, make SURE the vehicle was originally meant for USA. This may sound peculiar, but there are what are termed "grey market" Benzs out there that were brought over by various methods and they can be a nightmare for parts, and more importantly, emissions requirements.
    I used to work on Mercedes a long time ago. Teutonic engineering is admirable but at times obstinate. Be aware that they LOVE myriad chains, gears, tensioners, and rails in their timing components. They also have the ability to turn a .59 hose clamp into a $49.95 assembly that you can't repair/replace/bypass, and in remote instances, find. Good luck-Dan
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    That was my wondering, if your fuel savings would get eaten in repair costs. Still Mercedes are pretty reliable in general.
     
  5. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    For what it is worth, I would lean toward a 240D. Tons of spares around, pretty straight forward, NO TURBO($$$$$), and nice to work on. Avoid dealer parts like the plague-their pricing is heartless for the most part. Benz is a VERY solid car//truck and will go forever IF you do the maintenance and pay attention. Dan
     
  6. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

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    I had two MBs, one a 1984 300CD, the other a 1983 300SD, both turbos, both with well over 200K miles. Both had howling rear ends, I found a use one that had "only" 16K miles on it and installed it. Cost me $300 and the howl was still there but almost undetectable. Stuff leaked in the engine compartment. The oil return line in the SD leaked badly. To fix it, one had to take a bunch of other stuff off and buy the oil tube gaskets and the gaskets for the other stuff removed. The entire heating/ventilating/air condition system runs of a vacuum pump and both cars had bad solenoids. They costed me an arm and a leg. The power window switchs were failing and I had to take them apart and fix them myself since the new ones were so expensive that I couldn't afford them. They were pretty much a sink hole for money.
     
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The price of routine repair and maintenance parts will make you fall down in shock. Do consider that.

    Transmission is a weak link, and incredibly expensive to replace, particularly with the 300 series.

    Rubber is poor. Expect rotted out door seals and the like. Replacement cost is astronomical, so most folks just live with it. But rubber is also used on vacuum lines and such, which gives entertainingly difficult to diagnose drivability issues.

    MB are quite prone to rust, and hide it well. All rust behind a paint blister is worse than you expect. That's a generic car statement. But with a MB, it's usually far worse than you expect.

    Electricals tend to be pretty good. Beware of previous owner "modifications" though.

    Basic engine in any configuration is a good robust design.
     
  8. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    You have gotten good info, & I agree that a Benz can cost you $$$ for any part that you need !! A friend had a Benz, & blew 2 freeze plugs. The dealer price for just the parts && to replace were well over $1000 ! Parts alone were outrageous!! I told him to see about the universal freeze plugs, that you buy for a few bucks & when tightened, expand to fit. Worked great & are still in there after 12 years!!
    If I were you, I would first make a batch of bio-diesel, to see how hard it is, & the quality of the results.
    http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=447609751&f=719605551&m=741607061
    Some people just cannot seem to get a good finished product. Asian restaurants use much better oil than most.
    I would seriously consider a VW Rabbit for the conversion since you get near 50 mpg, has a roomy hatchback, also. You can use bio-diesel or straight veggie oil, too.
     
  9. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, the vacuum thing. That was the reason I quit woking on Mercedes. Had to replace the heater control"matrix"(Their term, not mine) on a 4oo series. It was shot. Replacement was around $350.00. Dealer only. Customer in a hurry. This is just a cheap piece of stamped sheet metal, a couple of control levers, a blower switch, and I think an indicator lamp-it has been a while. Customer comes in and goes ballistic, trying to blame me for the cost. Our service manager was spineless. That was the last Benz I have ever worked on. Tired of pompous rich whiney twit owners. Not all were, but in general....Esteban makes a good point-get your feet wet with a Rabbit or such-Dan
     
  10. fud2468

    fud2468 Active Member

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    The 300Ds (5-cyl) came only with an automatic transmission. The 240Ds had a manual, with A/T as an option.
    Ray Mac
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I just saw a show on mythbusters where they took used fry oil,filtered it and it ran a MD diesel just great,only a slight decrease in mileage.No other treatment,just filter the oil and run.
    Is that impressive or what?

    As for buying a MB,look at retirement communities,lots of low mile MBs can be found there after Pops dies,or cant drive anymore.Friend got one sold at a retirement center,10 years ago,a 240d with less than 50,000 miles,about 3800 bucks?.He drives it daily to the senoir center for meals,its NEVER had a single repair.

    Find a good one,its a steal!

    BooBoo