1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D (W123 Turbodiesel OM617)

Price: US $850.00 Item location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: 300-Series
  • Type: Sedan
  • Trim: 300D
  • Year: 1985
  • Mileage: 140,300
  • VIN: WDBAB33C5FA210388
  • Color: Silver
  • Engine size: OM617
  • Number of cylinders: 5
  • Power options: Power Windows
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Tan
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!
Description:

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300-Series 300D

Selling because my wife and I needlessly have 4 vehicles, which isn't exactly ideal when it comes to time investment with a wrench, cost of insurance/etc, and the physical space they are taking up while living within the city. Everyone says this, but I am not in a hurry to get rid of her, as I still enjoy dailying her. If we lived in an ideal world, I'd drive this thing until I died, because this car will undoubtedly last longer than I. When the nukes fall, all that will be left other than the roaches is W123 diesel Mercs.
---
I am selling a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D Sedan with a hair over 140k miles. She's my daily (NE Baltimore to Fort Meade round-trip 4x/wk), so that number will go up roughly 750 miles per month. Silver ext on tan MB-tex int, Zebrano wood trim. This is the last year of what is known as the W123 chassis before it was replaced with the W124, so it's got all the goodies that Merc developed and iterated upon during the vehicle's lifecycle... ABS, power steering, vac-assisted brakes, etc.
It is also the last year of the turbocharged 5-cylinder OM617 diesel engine. This specific engine is known as the OM617.952. Not that you'd be buying one of these for power, but for those curious, power figures are quoted at... 125 hp / 92 kW @ 4350 rpm, torque 250 nm @ 2400 rpm. She's an auto, as were most (all?) of these for the North American market. Kick-down works, and the tranny holds to redline before shifting, which means despite the fact that she is about as powerful as a bicycle, you can still overtake in traffic and merge without too much issue. The turbo actually helps keep this car driveable on "modern roads", where I'd be scared to death in the weaker, naturally-aspirated 240D.
This car is in decent shape for a 32 year old vehicle. She's certainly not show quality by any means, but she's absolutely "get thumbs up in traffic while getting nice mpg in a reliable vehicle that is stupid-easy to work on". A few dents, dings, scratches, but there is no chassis or otherwise structural damage from my looking it over while working on her. The rear carpet did get a bit wet the last time I drove her in the rain, so I'm going to have to get under her when I get a chance and try to isolate if it was a door-seal leak or if there may be a hole of some sort in the rear pass foot-well.
---
WHAT I'VE DONE:
(*) Let's get this one out of the way: She has a hood-stack. The flex-pipe (downpipe) that goes from the manifold to the standard exhaust had corroded itself through, so rather than getting another downpipe, I just turned the downpipe 180deg and welded on an extra length of pipe to bump it through the hood. Hole was cut through the hood and finished with a brushed aluminum "trim piece" that was riveted to the hood to make it look a bit more finished. There's an exhaust flapper on the end of the pipe to keep rain out. It's neat seeing it putt-putt-putt at idle, but the setup is admittedly not for everyone. It can easily be undone and set back to stock -- I'll include the original exhaust, you'd just need to buy a new flex-pipe (downpipe) to bolt between the original exhaust and manifold.
(*) All emissions equipment has been bypassed. She's a federal-spec (non-California) vehicle, so no trap-ox, but she still had EGR (exhaust-gas recirculation)/Alda. EGR has been capped, Alda removed, CCV (crankcase vent) vents to atmosphere. She runs significantly better than before, and thankfully in Maryland, historic (25+ yrs) and diesel vehicles are not subject to emissions testing. Inspection is not required to register a historic vehicle; don't bother trying to get her to pass inspection for standard tags, unless you're looking to put her back to factory.
(*) New tires all-around about 10k ago.
(*) Oilchanges every 10k. I use Rotella exclusively, but also use additives from Liquimoly. Following the oilchange schedule, I'd also do a Diesel Purge, new fuel filters, and valve adjustment. Honestly, if you only did this section alone worth of maintenance items, the car would still run for another bajillion miles.
(*) New rotors, remanufactured calipers all around. New brake booster, and new rear brakelines. I couldn't get the front ones to crack, and I didn't want to risk breaking the hardlines... the new ones I purchased will be included with sale if you want to try it yourself.
(*) Fixed a coolant leak issue (at the AC monovalve) with a Home Depot solution. Basically, this thing called a monovalve sits in the middle of your coolant line. If you call for heat in the cabin, it magnetizes a coil in the monovalve which opens up the hot engine coolant to flow into the cabin heat system. When the heat is not called for, a plug within the monovalve prevents coolant from flowing to this section, so you only get coolant cycling within the engine. The monovalve housing, after 30some years, is garbage. They kept cracking. They no longer make them new, and I went through 4 (original + 3 from pick-a-part lots), along with 3 "kits" that are for the plug inside the housing itself. It was replaced with a ball valve from Home Depot. If you want heat (ie: beginning of Winter), open the valve under the hood. If you want air (ie: Summer), close the valve under the hood. No leaks.
(*) Fixed a coolant leak issue (at the radiator) with a new radiator. A bit less glamorous than the fix above, I suppose. =)
(*) Has been converted to R134A.
(*) New glowplugs, fuel hoses, lines, etc... as many things that looked original or in need of replacement, as far as rubber items under the hood, I likely replaced so that I wouldn't have to worry about 30-yearold rubber dryrot finally blowing out on me mid-commute.
(*) Upgraded to Cibie brand headlights with some Nightbreaker bulbs. They're more than sufficient as far as brightness, and have a much better beam pattern than the original/faded Bosch ones. These are the "best" housings you can get, without going the route of the Euro-style square headlight housings.
---
ISSUES:
I'm not out to screw someone for as little as a couple grand. I'm trying to be as forthcoming as possible here: There are many little issues, but none that directly affect driveability or reliability. Most of these were "creature comfort" items that I just never bothered with, because the car only needed to get me to work and back...
(*) The only leaks she currently has is under the oilcap because the seal broke the last time I did an oilchange... new oilcap/seal is on the way from FCPEuro. Included with that order are new brake pads / fluid, valve cover gasket / oil filter / air filter, which will be installed once they arrive this week. Other leak is the oil pan... have a new one, but they only make them in material that isn't magnetic anymore, so I just dealt with it being grimy because I had a oilpan heater slapped on it along with a battery blanket. Oil leak is not fast enough to notice... rarely (if at all) need to top off oil between normal changes.
(*) There's slop in the auto shift lever. Still shifts into each gear just fine, the lever just wobbles a bit. Simple fix, have the bushings, just haven't bothered.
(*) Vacuum leak somewhere. This means that the doors don't lock sometimes and the car sometimes sputters to a stop when you turn it off. The parts themselves (door locks and shut-off valve) are fine, it's just that sometimes there isn't enough vac within the lines to engage the parts. The car turns off within about 15 secs at most if it doesn't cut as soon as you pull the key from the ignition, and there's always the option of killing it via the "STOP" lever under the hood. Never really mattered much to me.
(*) AC does not work. Seized compressor, from a glance. Needs a new compressor (maybe just clutch?) and belt. Wouldn't take much, but again, I'm cool with windows-down for the half hour to/from work. Shrug. Again, she has been converted to R134A, so you wouldn't need to worry about sourcing any of the old R12 stuff or converting it yourself if you go about throwing a new compressor in. MY GOD, DOES THE HEAT WORK, THOUGH.
(*) Sunroof works about 60% of the time. Motor is fine, but needs a new pulley/chain thing. I'm getting lazy as I write this post. I can be more specific with individuals interested.
---
EXTRA:
I have purchased a bunch of things for this thing, most of which are in my "just in case" pile. These are a combo of new parts from sites like FCPEuro, ECSTuning, blah blah blah, and things I've pulled myself from Crazy Ray's / LKQ pick-a-part lots when one of these pops up.
It will be difficult to get you a full list of everything I'm including along with the sale of this vehicle, but *everything related to this vehicle that I own will be included*. Ideally, I won't be finding stuff laying around my garage from this car 5 years from now. Some of the items that are of mention and will be included are:
(*) MOMO wood Benz steering wheel (need adapter to install)
(*) This gigantic kit from FCPEuro... something like a couple dozen parts, all new -- FCPEuro > mercedes-control-arm-kit-123-chassis-mer123kit -- don't want to put a direct URL because I don't know if that'll kill the ad for the assumption that I'm spamming.
(*) Things I've pulled from the junkyard like glowplug regulators, random interior switches/lights, Mercedes stars, etc... New oil pan, Tranny maintenance kits, filters, seals, other things I purchased to do maintenance with, but have not yet used.
(*) Any W123 specialty tools I've purchased (glow-plug reamer and the valve adjustment wrenches, off the top of my head).
(*) Haynes manual, Tan dash mat, Weather-Tech floormats (front and rear)... heated seat covers that plug into the cig lighter (lol).
(*) Much more, but I genuinely can't think of specifics. It's a bunch of stuff, and I'll gladly box it up for you and try to list it out as I do so.
I do offer no warranty on this vehicle, nor is the expectation that I fix anything that crops up after purchase. Purchaser understands that the vehicle is being sold as-is. HOWEVER, I will extend the courtesy of fielding reasonable phonecalls / texts / emails after purchase, if something were to crop up that my knowledge of the vehicle may be able to assist in diagnosing for you. I can't promise I'll be able to physically help you repair anything, but if I've got a free day and you've got a 6-pack, I may be able to swing by to lend a hand. I'd hate to see her rot into the ground unused, so keeping her chugging along would make me feel all warm and fuzzy.