3rd Dec 2006, 21:24
I have a 1979 300D and I love her. She is built like a tank...thankfully, I have never had an accident, but I feel very safe driving her... she is a heavy duty little work horse! Hats off to the older Benz. To the person posting the web page... any quirks to replacing an engine mount?
26th Jan 2008, 13:49
The greatest durability design in automotive history, period. My 300D's front end lasted 300,000 miles before repair was needed ($350 parts/labor). The original transmission lasted 325,000 miles before major repair was needed ($1400 parts/labor). The engine has 330,000 miles on it and still holds excellent compression and has had no major work done. This car has not been strictly maintained either. It is your average daily driver driven by average people for 25 years. 300,000+ miles are the rule, not the exception on these cars.
Yes, you will need to maintain any 25 year old car, parts will wear out. However, the vehicle was tremendously overdesigned. There are many affordable service alternatives to the Dealer, and many online organizations which can help you understand your car and maintain it.
I'm never getting rid of mine.
28th Feb 2008, 09:24
We had an old Benz and were hit at about 45MPH - drove it away, albeit with about $5K (1984 dollars) in damage. These cars were built stronger than Sherman tanks! Although they do not have modern safety advantages such as ABS and air bags, they are safe cars.
7th Apr 2008, 11:27
I own both a 79 300D (non turbo) and a 83 300D Turbo... never have I driven anything so well designed in both body and mechanically. I'm a female and have no problem getting under the hood and wrenching, can't believe how easy they are to fix and get parts for at a resonable price. Had a wreck in the 79...huge dodge dually, she came to a complete stop from 60-0 in seconds, dog in road, she didn't swerve, hit her brakes or honk her horn, needless to say I swerved to avoid but came into contact with her left bumper... little damage to the car and this was a huge dually and I was going 55...now my 83 the engine just gave out...400K miles on original engine and tranny... going to swap the engines and make the 79 into a turbo, no difference in the specs only the piston length by a fraction... love these cars... never knew they could be so addicting...
8th May 2008, 13:52
Changing the '79 non-turbo to a turbo is NOT a small undertaking. The turbo models have additional engineering to compensate for the stress the turbo puts on the engine. (i.e. there are oil jets on the turbo models that shoot a stream of oil into the underside of the pistons to assist in cooling) Additionally, you would have to swap the injection pump to a turbo model to supply the volume & pressure of fuel required, change the entire exhaust manifold assembly, add an additional oil line to lubricate the turbo, and this is just scratching the surface. I would rebuild the non turbo engine and ride for another 400-500 miles. Hope this helps!
Owner of 5 MB Diesels.
15th Sep 2008, 02:46
This is simply not true. The engine in the modern car will not end up on your lap, it will break from its engine mounts and drop away.
In England they drove a modern Renault supermini into a 1990 Volvo 960 head on at at a combined speed of 80mph. The Renault had light footwell intrusion, the front of the Volvo was completely destroyed.
Please enough of this old tank nonsense, there is a good reason why you only hear from people who have survived big car accidents!
30th Oct 2008, 17:07
Yes I agree, my next door neighbor used to think his old Mercedes E-Class was the safest car on the road. His son used it and had a head on crash with a 2004 Opel Vectra. The Mercedes was turned inside out, the Opel occupants survived with broken ribs and one broken ankle. Just look at how much heavier the modern car is, look how much thicker the pillars are.
15th Jan 2009, 05:23
I have a '82 300D Turbo Diesel with only 120,000 miles on it, and sadly yesterday I got into a bad accident. I'll start off by saying I came out fine physically, my 300 not so much the case. I rear ended a mid 90's Lexus LS going about 20 mph, in typical older Mercedes fashion the front end now looks like an accordion. The grilel is smashed into the radiator & the hood is bent to hell. But as no surprise to me, the old girl cranked over & I was able to drive it(actually didn't sound bad either) to a parking lot to be towed away. I've had it 7 years and it was my 1st car, I could not imagine driving anything else.
22nd Jul 2009, 04:16
I've driven a 97' Pontiac Sunfire for the past four years. It's white, it's lame, it has no character, no personality. There isn't one single thing about it that's special.
I wanted a car with character. Something that defined me, or at least was an expression of me. I ran into this 83' 300D turbo diesel with 150,000 on a new engine for $1250. The guy needed the money. No joke - when I cruise past Hummers, new Jeep Wranglers, new Mercedes, new Lexus's and BMW's, and even old suped up glossy hotrods, mine just feels better. It's black with tanned interior. It's proper. It's body design makes sense to the eye. It's a pleasure to just gaze at.
My girlfriend complained about its dashboard. It's cracked like the desert floor. But, this is what deems it a veteran - a survivor. This car deserves a medal! And... though she doesn't confess to it, I look over at her (my girlfriend) in the passenger seat when I'm driving, and I can tell she's at ease in it. She crosses her legs and plays with her hair. Her and I look good driving in this car. I could live in this car. I want to be buried in this car. It's one of the few things in life that gives me true joy. This car gives me a reason for living.
Plus, I'm a songwriter. Getting out of it with my guitar is almost a spiritual act. It is a privilege for others to see me do it. Buy this car. It will make you a viable human being. I've named him Harold Cotemton III. Proper.
9th Jan 2010, 19:08
Oh hell yes, I'm going to buy one tomorrow. End of story, that 300d 85 will be mine. Thank you for the comments because they have convinced me beyond any doubt that I need this car! Cheers!
31st Aug 2010, 11:48
I currently own a 1983 Mercedes Benz 240D. I am 21 years old now, and have had this car since I was 16. My step father bought it for me for $2500, with 127k miles, as my first car because he knew it would be safe.
I was sitting in my car, parked, and was side swiped in the bank parking lot by an old lady. The front right of her van was completely crushed in. I rushed out to see if she was OK, and then what the damage was, and there was none at all to my car. None!
I LOVE this car, and all of my friends love it as well. It truly does have character. My only regret is that I wish the previous owners had treated her better, and that I instead had a 300 turbo diesel, but she does get the job done. I used to call her my "Sweet Ass", because she takes her sweet ass time, but the longer I had her, I eventually gave her the name of Inga.
I have had to make quite a few repairs, sometimes it feels like it's never ending... but as mentioned, that's a combination of previous owners, and NY weather. Also, repairs are not always the easiest, or the cheapest. It's rusted, had every component of brakes redone, fuel and brake lines redone, window switches replaced, new muffler (and constantly needs holes repaired), a non stop squeaky belt (I'm hoping third time is a charm) and has a hole in the floor. I wish I was more mechanically inclined and able to repair a lot of these things myself, but even "easy" jobs prove to be difficult tasks.
Again, a lot of this is from bad previous owners doing horrible maintenance. If you're going to buy one of these cars, look outside of NY, buy one that's not overly rusted, has been maintained, and preferably anything over a 240D, and you won't be disappointed!!!
People always say my car won't make it much longer, but she surprises us all. Made it to North Carolina and back (although the brakes gave out while we were there, and the poor engine was hollering the whole way) it was a smooth ride. We got blown away by another red, mint, 240D on the through way doing 80 mph easily.
Great car! Treat it right and it will do the same for you!