1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 300SD 3.0L from North America


I recently purchased a 1980 300SD with low miles, just over 100,000 with a bad engine. The car was being run on cooking oil or something of that nature. I'm not sure if that's what caused the problem, but one of the injector cups appeared to have the end melted off. It looked like someone took a cutting torch to it. I'm going stick with regular diesel fuel.

I put an used engine out of a 1985 in the car, the head and block were the same, but I had to change all the attaching parts, oil pan, valve cover, motor mount brackets, etc.

General Comments:

To the guy with with the flashing glow plug light, that light flashes when there's a problem with the system. Chances are you one or more glow plugs that is burned out. You can check them with an ohm meter or a test light.

Disconnect the wires from all the glow plugs, and with an ohm meter check continuity at each plug. If you don't have a ohm meter, you can use a test light. Hook the wire from the test light to the + terminal of you battery and touch the probe to the end of the glow plug where the wire would attach. If the test light comes, chances are the glow plug is good, do this with all 5. The best way to test them is to carefully remove them from the engine. DO NOT force them they can break off, if you have one that doesn't want to come out, screw it in out a few times and spray carburetor cleaner around the threads.

Once you have them out, hook them to a 12V battery with small jumper wires, - to the body of the glow plug and + to end where the wire would go. Disconnect as soon as they start to turn red, you can burn it out if you leave it hooked up too long.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd February, 2009

1980 Mercedes-Benz W116 Sedan Diesel 300SD from North America


Once you have a babe like this, you'll never let her go


On my first test drive, I fell in love with the smooth ride of the car.

I never had driven a diesel or a Mercedes for that matter, so I didn't know what to expect. My husband of 3 years was in the back seat and he said to the owner, "we'll take it". It was the first thing we agreed on in our marriage. Paid $2500 and drove home.

The next day the car stalled 3 times on the way to work. $3500 later...

The valve cover gasket was replaced. Both fuel filters packed with filth replaced.

The fuel tank was like a pool of sludge and was emptied, cleaned and resealed.

Power window switches changed out.

I purchased the car to be able to use Bio-Diesel in it... So after 3 months of using bio-diesel my car thought it was still ignited, even after I had turned it off and removed the key. I had to lift the hood and push the red diamond shape switch to shut off the engine. The mechanic said that gunky carbon deposits were landing all over the plastic lines and stuff all under the hood from the motor cleaning itself, at least that's how it was explained to me. My car was in the shop a week while they cleaned the carbon deposits and replaced most of the vacuum lines and such that connect to the stuff on the dash board. A $1200. cost to impacting the environment with chicken fat bio diesel.

About a year later I began losing power again and the fuel injector pump went. This cost about $1100. to have rebuilt, since the part is $4000 new.

The oil cooler needed to be replaced too. This was a few hundred dollars too.

A few months later started losing power and next went the turbo charger. Purchased a used one in good condition for $265 and had it installed.

The tach sensor is being replaced now.

The rear seat looked perfect, but was actually dry rotted. I have an upholsterer who will repair the one I picked up at a junk yard, which is in better condition than the one in the car for about $250.

I had a leak into the trunk which appeared to be from the rubber seal that was drying out, so I had the shop replace the seal and when they removed the glass and seal, there was some rust in a few spots. So, they cut out the rusty areas, welded new metal, repainted the entire roof and new seal and trim to the tune of $700.

She was not starting and I would have to jump her. Well, she needed a new battery. She requires a large battery to keep her power up and going.

The air conditioner wasn't blowing real cold. The part that holds the freon had a big leak that was getting worse, so that was replaced for $500.

A few months later no cold air, it was an A/C clutch connector that needed to be replaced, $120.

General Comments:

This car is my baby. I take care of her and basically have been restoring her since we got her about a year and a half ago.

Since the first time she broke down, a year and a half ago - she has been amazing... and has never broke down or left me stranded since, and has always forewarned me when she needed special attention or something replaced.

I travel 70 miles an hour using her cruise control on Alligator Alley from Ft. Lauderdale to Naples, and she is a smooth rider and loves the open road.

All in all I have spent about $11,000 including the $2500 purchase price, and I wouldn't trade her in. She's a keeper!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2009

31st Jan 2009, 12:07

If I owned that "baby" of yours, I would consider giving it away for adoption. Can't see what you love about it after 11000 bucks worth of repairs! It's your money though. Just wait until it becomes a teenager...

28th Apr 2009, 18:55

MBZ has more vintage daily driven cars on the road than any other marque.

They didn't notice that the original reviewer's car is likely over 40 yrs. old and is still running well and looking good, due to the fact that it was made very very well to begin with and the owner delights in driving and restoring it.

Show me a non-MBZ 40 yr. old daily driver (anything out there?).

A wise person would never throw away old wine for new wine, and that is why the original reviewer restores and maintains their classic Mercedes!

29th Apr 2009, 14:40

The $11K in repairs actually keep the car serviceable long-term, great investment. You lose that much in six months in depreciation alone. Those old cars can be repaired and be serviceable for an extended period of time. An $11K repair on a modern car will only pay for the design faults of the manufacturer, and this will happen again, hence you dump the car immediately.

Those are the real Mercedes, and if I could buy one new from the past I'd get one. The only real benefits of a newer car (Mercedes or otherwise) are a safer crash rating and better fuel consumption, that's it.