1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD W123 wagon converted to run WVO, Biodiesel or Diesel

Price: US $9,950.00 Item location: Nipomo, California, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: 300-Series
  • SubModel: 300TD
  • Type: Wagon
  • Trim: 5 door station wagon W123 300TD
  • Year: 1980
  • Mileage: 183,641
  • VIN: WBD19012017641
  • Color: Ivory to Cream
  • Engine size: 5 cylinder 3 liter feul-injected diesel
  • Number of cylinders: 5
  • Power options: Power Locks, Power Windows
  • Fuel: WVO, Biodiesel, or Diesel
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: Automatic
  • Interior color: Palomino color leather interior
  • Options: CD Player, Leather Seats, Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1980 Mercedes-Benz 300-Series 300TD

1980 Mercedes 300TD Wagon W123 engine - ONLY 183,641 miles

Probably one, if not the best, diesel car engines ever made (W123). This model has been known to do well over 1 million miles. For the 300TD the "T" was for touring and the "D" denoted a diesel motor. These W123 engines are also considered the best choice for converting to VO or biodiesel because they have mechanical fuel injection pumps that are built like Abrams tanks !! On a side note, this is the same make and model that John Lennon drove around New York. When new, these had a long waiting list to purchase.

This vehicle has a sun roof, leather seats, power assisted brakes, power steering, AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo, fog lights, power windows and doorlocks.

183,641 miles and recently converted to run on Vegetable Oil (VO), biodiesel or diesel

The vehicle comes with WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) filtration system

The car is in great running condition and will run on WVO, Biodiesel, or Diesel.

I put a lot of work into this car. It is going to be difficult to see it go. This was my project car and I spent roughly hundreds of hours fixing the car and upgrading the WVO system to work in such a way that WVO would run well in the engine.

This would be a great car for someone looking to get into WVO, because I have done all the conversion work to get this car safely running on WVO or biodiesel. The new owner could just improve the vehicle with a few small fixes. See below for my recommendations.

It had 170,000 miles when I got it. The engine has good compression in all 5 cylinders and the auto transmission is smooth.

In fair disclosure, here are all the things that are wrong with the vehicle and these are not much, considering the car’s age. The fuel gauge has stopped working (I just note the mileage on the odometer and do the math to know when to fill up again). The turn signals flash rather fast, not a problem, just needs a new flasher relay or live with it.

New front suspension. I spent $1800 on professionally rebuilding the front suspension. In addition to this, I personally installed a new vacuum pump, new power steering pump, new water pump, new alternator brushes, new glow plugs, new battery, new ground cable, replaced a few brake pads, and MANY MANY other small fixes here and there.

The carpeting was replaced throughout and is very clean. The upholstery is all in good shape. The dash board is in mint condition and has zero cracks.

The car was always stored in the garage by both me and the former owner. This is a good looking wagon.

The body does have a couple very very very small pressure dings that are not really visible and 3-4 very small paint scratches, but nothing noticeable. There is no rust. That is probably the reason why I think it is worth a little more.

Tires are very new and have lots of good tread.


So the way this 2 tank WVO system works, incase you know nothing about veggie diesels, is waste vegetable oil is obtained from restaurants for free. This is not necessary, the vehicle runs on diesel and biodiesel too, but if you want to run on WVO, it is filtered outside of the car (a filtration system comes as part of the sale here). The filtered Veg oil is pumped in to the main tank of the car. The engine is started on regular diesel from a separate tank and once up to temp (only takes a few miles) the oil has been heated to a perfect 165 deg F, you flip a few switches and voila !! You are running on vegetable oil with no change in power or performance. Just before you reach your destination, you switch it back to regular diesel to keep the fuel injectors clear for the next time you cold start the vehicle.

You will be surprised at how well the car runs on VO. It is completely un-noticeable, in fact runs better on VO.

Here are the conversion items installed in this vehicle (in order of the fuel system):

WVO filtration cart: used outside of the car, this is a three stage air pressure powered WVO filter system. You will need an air compressor to operate the external WVO filtration system. If you don’t have one, go down to Harbor Freight and by a cheap pancake compressor for like $45. I am supplying a marine utility pump to suck the WVO out of the cube containers without sucking the sediment on the bottom. The first part of the system heats the oil with an electric water heater to about 120 deg F, then air pressure pushes the oil through a three stage filter that gets the oil filtered down to 5 microns and pushes the oil into the car’s main fuel tank.

Electric fuel booster pump: Inside the car, this pump draws the WVO up from the main fuel tank and circulates the WVO through a small filter, to the Lovecraft system, and to the engine and most goes back to the tank warming the oil in the main tank.

Lovecraft biofuels System: This is a good system BUT NOT ALONE, it works better with the two tanks and the other equipment I installed get the oil up to 165 deg F. That is why I modified the whole fuel system by adding a second diesel tank and three additional electronic fuel heaters. The Lovecraft system heats the WVO with hot water from the radiator. It has a heated fuel filter (I put in a new high quality Goldenrod BiO-FLO filter in it) and a second counter flow fuel heater.

PlantDrive Vegtherm feul heater with circuit breaker: Next the WVO enters a 250-watt electric Vegtherm fuel heater and then goes to the injection pump. If the fuel flow ever stalls in this system it will automatically shut off before overheating the feul.

Fattywagons injection line heater: At top of the injection pump and at the base of the fuel injection lines I have installed a 100 watt Fattywagons electric fuel heater. This heats the WVO even more before it enters the injection lines

Injection line Heat Trace cables and insulation: Most veggie cars lose fuel heat to the cold, exposed, metal injection lines. This is bad, because those lines are the last path before fuel is injected in to the engine. I have solved this problem with installing self-regulating low-voltage (50 watt) heat trace cables. The heat cables hug each injection line and then both line and cable are insulated with pipe foam. The result is a perfect 165 degree fuel injection line measured with an instant read thermometer just above the injectors. These heat cables can also be used to keep the injection lines warm while you are stopping to go to the grocery store or pre-heat the lines on cold mornings before you go to work, without draining the battery.

An alternate second 1.5 gallon diesel tank: I installed this, in the engine compartment for cold starting and shutting down (the main fuel tank is used for VWO, biodiesel, or regular diesel). Having a two tank system is important to keep only fresh regular diesel sitting in the fuel system when the engine is cold.

Two Electronic fuel diversion solenoid valves: These operate the flow of fuel to and from the diesel tank and main fuel tank. I used high quality electronic valves with non-corrosive metal.

Circuit connection box and fuse line: Each of the many electronic systems installed for the WVO conversion are on separate circuits and each have a fuse neatly lined up and easy to replace. All the circuit connections are neatly tucked in to a small utility box and fire proof. Everything is safe and up to CA vehicle code.

5 switch control panel installed in the ashtray: I neatly installed the control system in the hardwood ashtray. This make the car almost James Bond like !! Disclosure: a few of the lighted switches no longer light up, but the switches all work just fine. I’ll give you instructions on how to switch between diesel and WVO.

2 fuel temperature sensors with gauges installed on the dash. One sensor is installed on the fuel supply line just after the VegTherm heater, the other sensor is on the injection lines. These never seemed to work very well. The needle just comes off the bottom line of the gauge when the car is warmed up, but usually gives a lower than accurate reading. Eventually they read 165 once the car has been running for an hour. An instant read thermometer at the injection line reads 165 after 10 minutes from a cold start and I confirmed the fuel temp once by measuring the fuel temperature by removing a fuel injector line.

Fluoroelastomer fuel lines: The whole fuel system was upgraded wih fluoroelastomer fuel lines. This is a special purpose fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubber fuel line that will not oxidize when exposed to WVO, biodiesel or petrodiesel. It has wide chemical resistance and superior performance, especially in high temperature application. SUPER IMPORTANT FOR WVO CARS !!

Of course the whole WVO system can be turned off, and you can run the car on diesel or biodiesel from the main and auxiliary fuel tanks too.

Here are the extra items that come with the car:

250 gallons of WVO, Yesand approximately 250 gallons of WVO in 5 gallon cubes. This is FREE FUEL, but you dont have to take it. It would take a pick up truck to haul away. I can hold it for you too.

Original owner’s manual

Both the Chilton and Haynes repair manuals

WVO filtration system.

New Spare Bosch manual fuel pump

New Goldenrod bio diesel veg fuel filter

2 transmission service packs including filters and gaskets

2 spare windshield wipers

3 New brake pads

spare glow plugs

extra fluoroelastomer fuel line

original cruise control equipment - not working

New spare belt

New spare thermostat and gasket

Good spare tire on full size rim

New extra bulbs for brake lights and turn signals