1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300 SDL from North America - Comments

26th Feb 2008, 14:42

I have a 1986 300sdl, immaculate, no mechanical problems except the usual oil drips, parked 5 years ago in the garage. What do I need to do before starting to drive again?

5th Mar 2008, 00:01

I inherited my parent's (the original owners) 1986 300 SDL five years ago, when it had 62,000 miles on it. It was (and still is) in perfect condition. My 10 year old granddaughter has asked me to will the car to her, and I'm absolutely sure this car will serve her well too. (I'm now 65) I 'm pleased with the gas mileage - 28-29 city and 32 highway, and I feel as though I drive forever before I have to fill the tank. I go to Boston and back on the same tank of gas. People are always asking me if I'd sell "her" - but there's NO WAY I'd ever part with this car. Trunk and back seat space are amazing... the car is unbelievably comfortable. 100 mph feels like you're on the LR sofa. My only complaint is that the a/c isn't as fast or powerful as those in newer models. I've asked about changing it - but my mechanics have said it wouldn't be much better. I like it cold - and if I lived in AZ, I'd die. But living in the northeast it's OK. No complaint about acceleration - and absolutely no complaint about power and dependability. This car will outlive me, and stay in our family. I've been told she has at least 500,000+ miles in her. She's in great shape.

3rd Jun 2008, 23:17

I have 300SDL. I use it as a taxi cab. I have 843.987 miles on it and still runs like a champ, and I have a lot of compliments from the customers. I love this car. I'm looking to spin 15k for a good 300SDL. I love the 300SDL.

6th Sep 2008, 16:40

I own an 86 300 SDL... She is a beauty! The only thing she needs is a paint job; however, the expense of a quality paint job exceeds the worth of the car. I have replaced the air conditioning and the air blows strong and cool. She is completely original! Each year the total maintenance is about $2,500. She is a daily driver with approximately 220,000 mile on her and has never left me stranded. This car is the epitome of "they just don't make them like they use to!"

19th Nov 2008, 16:44

You would save yourself a ton of money if you will pick up a repair and maintenance manual for this car. (about $62.00 from Mercedes Benz; found it by googly-ing)

I own a 87 300SDL. The Germans made this car user friendly so that the average Joe could work on the car himself. I am not a mechanic by any means at all, but with this full proof manual you will have a killer car that runs good, gives you bragging rights, and lots of enjoyment. It's like your favorite lover; you want to know everything about, try it, IT IS A MERCEDES THING!

22nd Jan 2009, 14:08

I love my 1986 300 SDL. Rudolf now has 305000 miles on the clock, and is still in great shape. Everything works and the ride is fantastic. I just replaced most of the front end parts (not cheap, but worth it). I would recommend this model car to anybody. I had a 1981 300SD, and this car is light years ahead of the older 5 cylinder diesel.

A suggestion:

Join the Mercedes Benz Club of America (MBCA.org)

That site has loads of people who love these cars and can give you tips, support, and a shoulder to cry on when you are working on your car :-)

12th Dec 2010, 07:34

I thought I was nuts. I own two 86 and two 87 300 SDL's. Now I read what other people say and feel about these cars, and I know why I have them. 108,000 on one, 193,000 on the 86's, and 235,000. and 255,000 on the 87's. My son drives one, my wife one, and my friend has an 87 with 555,000 miles on his daily driver. We just returned from a 4,000 mile trip across the country in winter weather across Wyo. Cruised at 75 mph across Kansas, and 80 mph across Colorado and Wyoming, when the snow would allow. 25-30 mpg.

I love these cars. Independent MB mechanic is the only way to go.

10th May 2011, 12:47

I had a property owner list his property with us, then departed for the USA. We live 4 hours south of the border in Mexico. In the garage was a 1987 300 SDL with 69,600 miles on it. This was his "Mexico" car - purchased new.

The owner ended up with health problems and could not return. I ended up purchasing the car and changed all belts, hoses, fluids and filters. Because we are waterfront (salt air) I pulled all rubber seals and cleaned behind.

It is smoke grey with a maroon interior.

The only things not perfect are the clock that does not work, passenger mirror will not move and the outside temperature wire is broken.

Everything else is "as new". I'm going to enjoy this car for a long time!

6th Oct 2011, 09:43

I just picked up a 1986 300SDL. It has 277000 miles and drives beautiful. My wife is a little ticked off though. She has a brand new Toyota Venza with a 4 cylinder and I get better gas mileage than she does. I am 6'5" and the car has plenty of room for me. I was quite surprised at how strong the Turbo pulled. This is truly a great car, and I am in the process of fixing the little things back to original condition, along with new paint.

11th Oct 2011, 15:31

A few months ago I bought a 1986 300 SDL from a friend of mine, who was the second owner and kept it garaged... It actually had a maintenance stamp from a MB garage in West Africa! It has 206,000 miles and runs very good with no real complaints. All the leather interior and other accoutrements work well and are in great shape. I've already had an offer to buy her.

31st Oct 2011, 09:40

It's nice to read about your Mercedes 300 SDL.

I know this car is durable and very good, and is nice, but I have a problem; one of my injectors is leaking. Do I need to replace it, or I can just replace the O ring of the injector? I want to replace the primary and secondary fuel filter too. I can't find the pump in the engine block used for bleeding the fuel in the injector nozzle; could you help me? I'll replace it myself. Does it adjust by itself when you replace the fuel filter?

Thank you for helping me. God Bless.

25th Feb 2012, 15:15

Hello, I have a" 87" 300 SDL, & I am looking for a cylinder head. Will someone please contact me if you have parts for me.

416-827-1424

Pino

Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Thank you.

28th Oct 2013, 17:52

I am looking to buy one of these cars. The owner told me that the radiator blew while driving on the highway. He said he pulled to the side of the road and let it cool down, and was able to start the car and pull off the highway to wait for a tow truck. He had it towed to his house, and now it won't start. Does anyone think that the engine could be blown?

4th Jan 2014, 16:51

Hello, I was wondering if you purchased this car? The 300 SDL that overheated? I have one and can comment.

12th Jun 2014, 04:17

I need help. I have a 1987 SDL, and in 3 miles the car gets very HOT, like 110 degrees. What should I look for?

12th Jun 2014, 20:18

Is that 110 Celsius? I'd check the thermostat (stuck closed), the radiator fan switch, the relay for the fan, perhaps even see if the radiator is clogged and needs a good flush or replacement. Oh - also the water pump. They didn't use plastic impellers those days, but worth checking.

3rd Jul 2014, 17:43

Nice to read your comments. I thought I was the only nutso in the USA who had two 86's and two 87's. I owned a fleet and was beginning to worry. When I read your article, I knew I was sane.

I sold two of them, and have an 86, and my wife has the 87. I just love the rumble of the diesel when it starts, and the reliability of these cars. They will outlast me.

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