Educate me on the w123 ownership experience

Looking to purchase a w123, specifically a 300D. I am in California and was wondering what I am in for? I plan to buy one is as good condition as I can.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Caracol

    I'm aware they're slow and that's alright for me.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      pretty sure there was an anon who once hooned his in the mountains and raced with a miata. miata would start catching up to him in the turns but he'd lose him in the straights with the diesel torque

      • 4 weeks ago
        Caracol

        I've heard the w123 is more a momentum vehicle?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That actually might be me as I raced a Miata with mine once when I was on my way home from the "big city", albeit it wasn't in the mountains as there are none in Finland.
        The road to my home is quite twisty and I was gunning the shit out of my 88hp NA diesel 5 pot, but god damn if I'd let a Miata pass me.
        Either the Miata dude wasn't pushing his car that much, or they're much slower than I thought.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What's the fastest you can get yours up to?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            A euro spec 300TD (meaning non-turbo) with the 5 speed can do low 90s - 100 mph depending on wind / hills.
            The 240D sedan maxes out at 85 which is perfect for a Carter-era speedometer

          • 4 weeks ago
            Caracol

            It seems you can get them to go at highway speeds which isn't bad. Certainly sounds better than what a VW beetle can do.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            i had a 2.0 tempo and have a 1.0 metro, the tempo could go 90mph on the interstate unbothered and weighed 700lbs more than the geo, but its 0-60 was literally 25 seconds, merging was dangerous, passing people was a serious hassle, and if someone decided to frick with you you were basically at their mercy

            the geo struggles with long hills on the interstate above 75, but you can spin through 2nd and chirp 3rd, hit 60 in a tad over 10 seconds, and its a fricking blast to drive, its not even the slowest gas car ive driven

            they both got the same fuel economy and gasoline is on average 30% cheaper, i can also buy every part for the geo online and have the expectation it shows up functional. i broke a ball joint on the tempo and ended up scrapping it because you can't buy the parts, the car sat on a jackstand in my back yard for a year waiting.

            old diesel cars are a meme, if you don't like the w123 body i wouldnt bother with one, there are plenty husks that have donated the diesel drivetrain and plenty more people have droppped more fun plants into, there was one with a 302w for $1500 last year locally

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I've done 180kmh in mine, 4 speed NA diesel on a VERY long straight

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Be honest. You watched [insert eceleb] video on THE MOST BULLETPROOF RELIABLE CAR EVER!!!!! And now you just have to have one. Do you have any experience with old cars? Or mercedes in general? Do you actually wrench or is this just a fantasy where your local mechanic will do top notch cheap work on this old turd and never just blast it with the parts cannon and leave you with a $2000 bill and a non-running car

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Kek. Decent qrd.

      Anon, theyre now old enough that you really need to be able to wrench or have somewhat deep pockets and a local mechanic with specific experience with these.

      They rust from the hood hinge pockets, allowing water to run down behind the dash and pool in the carpets, rusting floors from inside out.

      Anything less than a 300D turbo is going to be dangerously slow, like, it will take forever to wait for a gap to pull onto a main road in traffic. The turbos themselves are NLA. A lot of parts are NLA, most are themselves rebuildable. The hobbyist community props up this effort enough that you can still daily drive one if you have a decent grasp of preventive maintenance and what the car will need.

      My god though the way the doors shut on these is just incredible

      T. Git gud at wrenching

    • 4 weeks ago
      Caracol

      Sorta. I have experience with classic VW and can do a decent amount of wrenching. What concerns me most is the vacuum system as I've never touched anything like that and I've heard many mechanics won't either.

      How feasible is acquiring one and keeping it running if I have some wrenching experience?

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    When it runs it's beautiful. When it doesn't run no one is going to work on it for you and you'll be waiting 6 months for xyz $500 part to pop up on eBay. You'll sell it in a few years long after the novelty wears off and buy another [economy import]

    • 4 weeks ago
      Caracol

      It's that difficult to acquire parts even for something that was produced as numerously as a 300D?

      • 4 weeks ago
        [PLEBSPOTTERS] BigC

        I'm trying to find a new engine right now, it's not going well

        • 4 weeks ago
          Caracol

          Damn, I wouldn't have thought it would be that big an issue. Is the reliability of all this stuff a meme?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            yes

          • 4 weeks ago
            Caracol

            Big sad

          • 4 weeks ago
            [PLEBSPOTTERS] BigC

            >Damn, I wouldn't have thought it would be that big an issue.
            there aren't many of these cars left on the road
            >Is the reliability of all this stuff a meme?
            they're reliable it's just that they're all high mileage as frick, I bought mine for 500 bucks and it drove ok but it's burning a frick ton of oil, I think it's got a cracked ring or something because it has so much blow by that it shoots the oil cap off if you loosen it
            it'll probably run forever like this but it's not good

          • 4 weeks ago
            Caracol

            I see. Would you say it's feasible for someone with some wrenching experience to acquire a decent condition one and keep it running as a weekender?

          • 4 weeks ago
            [PLEBSPOTTERS] BigC

            yeah I think that would be totally fine but you may have to do some weird shit like paying out the ass for parts on eBay or asking people for parts on Facebook groups
            >Also, #5 cylinder diesel injector has a rubber hose that is blanked off. Replace that as soon as you buy one.
            I had this get me on a long road trip once, went inside to get some drinks and food at a gas station came back outside to a huge puddle of diesel on the ground
            that thing was dry as a rock and leaking, I just cut some extra hose off the other injector lines and shoved a screw into it to plug it then put that on the last injector and it's been like that for years

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >that thing was dry as a rock and leaking, I just cut some extra hose off the other injector lines and shoved a screw into it to plug it then put that on the last injector and it's been like that for years

            I did the same thing with my grandfather's car when we went for a car club cruise. He loved driving his around. Because we live in Australia though nobody gave a shit about his Merc and instead fawned over some shitty 70s Holden instead.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Get an 70s/80s xj6/8. They use a th400 and a 350 will bolt to them with stock mounts. Same thing as a xjs.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      go to the peachparts forum and read up the people restoring and fixing their cars but be aware because there are some in the community that think if its not a pristine concours car then it belongs in the junkyard.

      for parts you can try these
      www.niemoeller.de
      www.pelicanparts.com for you they will be cheap because your in America and postage will be cheap for you

      you can have at look at the youtube channel
      Mercedes Classics with Pierre Hedary
      but I think he goes too far with saying not to ever buy the cheaper clones parts, they seem to be ok to me but if the price is similar you might as well get genuine or if its for safety

      Remember some parts are expensive but once you replace them that car will last for another 40 years. Its not like a gm waterpump that wears out after 5 years, yes I've had that experience. Actually some parts are a lot cheaper than you would find on a gm like the fuel pump. You can actually use a lot of gm or parts on the car in some circumstances too if they fit. I've heard of disc rotors and such from other cars being used.

      I think that ruins them, you buy the jag because you want the whole experience including the engine and the engines don't cost that much to rebuild

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A 2010 toyota prius mogs it in terms of reliability and durability.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Durability
      Absolutely not. Have you seen the suspension on a W123? Everything is truck-sized.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        everything is rusted to frick

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Weak strawman. The suspension doesnt rust it's fricking thick heavy steel. The floor and front fenders rot out.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My Dad purchased a 300D new in 1984. Still has it. My grandfather had two and the family still have them. I prefer the E30 but each to their own.

    pros

    >styling
    >MB tex will outlast a nuclear winter
    >diesel so good on fuel
    >extremely large boot

    the bad

    >rust in doors
    >if you're 6'2, you hit your head on the roof when driving
    >slow as frick
    >steering is ridiculously slow
    >transmission is vacuum operated for the change overs
    >in fact, A LOT of stuff is vacuum operated

    Also, if you do go ahead and buy it, take off the wheels and make sure there is a mercedes benz stamp somewhere. There was a massive aftermarket business in replicating the Bundt wheels back in the day. Also, #5 cylinder diesel injector has a rubber hose that is blanked off. Replace that as soon as you buy one.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Caracol

      So if vacuum is fricked, I can't shift gears on the car?

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    were there any w123s that were remotely fast? even if just for their time?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The injected 2.8

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Turbodiesels with 130hp or so were okayish. There were some AMG tuned ones with a V8 stuffed in them, but these were pretty much one off cars as AMG wasn't a part of Mercedes back then.

      So if vacuum is fricked, I can't shift gears on the car?

      You can, only the auto suffers and becomes jerky, but it will still shift.
      Rust and diesel pump are the biggest issues in these. If the pump fails or goes out of timing for some reason, you're fricked. If you have to ask, you can't time it properly.
      Rear wheel bearings are also a b***h of a job to change

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        280E had 170HP, top speed is the highest

      • 4 weeks ago
        Caracol

        What would you say the driving experience is like?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Leisurely.
          They're slow and a bit clumsy, but it's not that bad.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Cute Kitty!

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No but you can get them to be a little more decent with the diesels. Throw a w116 intake on, holset hx35, fuel screw up some, and mate it to the 4spd out of an 240d and it’s a much more peppy vehicle.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I know you said you're OK with them being slow. Seriously go drive one and realize how dangerously slow they are.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Caracol

      It can't be any slower than a VW beetle, can it?

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Dead meme. For the price of a good condition W123, you could go get an OM606 or OM648 e class instead and have money to spare for a hybrid turbo and water/meth setup.
    >but what about vegetable oil?
    you aren't going to do that

    • 4 weeks ago
      Caracol

      But they look so sexy

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They are great. Don't listen to these homosexuals, there is a lot of parts availability and they are easy to work on. Reliable as well, you can have the entire vacuum system fail and they will still drive (just with very rough shifting).

    t. Have owned and daily driven
    >1980 300d non turbo
    >1983 300d Euro spec with manual doors and sunroof
    >1985 300d turbo (favorite)

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >manual doors
      Meant manual windows. That one was a close second favorite, really slow but the minimal electronics was great. Still regret selling it

    • 3 weeks ago
      Caracol

      What was merging into the highway like?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Actually fine because if you redline and drag race even in a 240d it's faster than most morons merge

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Why do half the people on this thread say otherwise?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            because they don't know. Same people also claim you can't get parts for a W123, but it's just factually wrong.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >what I am in for?
    Expensive parts

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >rust
    >stuff randomly stops working when the vacuum tubes that control it rot out
    >hardto start/won’t start in cold temps
    >hard to open doors/unlock in cold temps
    >hard to find parts
    >easy to repair
    >so slow it’s dangerous to get onto the highway, actually loses speed on a steep enough incline

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    as a non-expert, i'd advise against it.
    afaik, the parts availability is quite poor.
    also, they are old cars. like, old enough that old becomes a source of problems and drawbacks.

    why not just get sometihng from the late '90s or early mid '00s?
    you'll get a much better car overall, and even if its not quite as ridiculously overbuilt, its still going to be quite good. and ofc, if something breaks, you'll actually be able to get parts for it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Caracol

      They look cool and I want to dip my toes into the world of classic Mercedes. I don't need this to be anything other than a weekender. I have modern cars for daily driving if need be.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If you want a w123 get a 280/280e

        Otherwise get a w140, they are a much better daily driver

        • 3 weeks ago
          Caracol

          Why specifically a 280/280e?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They are faster and can keep up with modern traffic. Make sure you buy one that has had the fuel distributor refurbished recently though, big money item.

            I'd dispense with the W123 entirely and get a late model W124 or just get a W210 with a V8.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Caracol

            I would've thought maybe a turbo Diesel would've been faster?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Diesels, even turbo diesels, didn't really approach performance levels of petrols until the invention of the high pressure fuel pumps/injectors in the 1990s.

            In the early 2000s you had this weird scenario where the turbo diesel sixes in European cars outperformed their petrol six N/A counterparts. Fuel efficiency, torque, reliability, etc etc etc. Everything except for outright power but that could be changed with a simple tune.

            The most telling thing from this era is the decision by manufacturers to install weaker gearboxes into the petrol cars and stronger gearboxes into diesel cars. Speaks for itself.

            Rant over.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            the turbo diesel still only had 120hp new

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            How common are these to find for sale stateside?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The 280CE (coupe) and 280e (sedan) should be plentiful over in the USA. Just search up on Facebook.

            The W124 would be a little rarer. Only get the series 2 update from 1990 or 1991 onwards.

            A E320 or E430 W210 should be everywhere. They are Mercedes' best kept secret. The driveline on those are bulletproof but watch out for rust. I recently purchased a E430 out of a junkyard for $2000AUD and drove it 400km home.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Caracol

            What's your take on the 300TD wagons? Is there anything special about them other than the fact they're a wagon and rarer?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            self leveling suspension is different, front sway bar is bigger (put on in my sedan for better handling), 7 seat option.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Caracol

            How is it speed wise compared to the sedan?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            im getting tired of spoonfeeding your moronic questions

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Does a w210 suffer from the w202's biodegradable harness? Same era and all

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            why yes, how could you tell?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Inspite of all the myth and glory surrounding the brand, it may shock you to find out that between 1992 and 1996, virtually ALL Mercedes-Benz produced, from the cheapest to the opulent, were equipped with certain engine wiring components that disintegrate over time. The wiring insulation under the hood cracks and falls apart. It doesn't matter how well you maintain your car, if you drive it little or alot, if you garage it or let it sit out in the street, if you pamper or abuse it - the insulation in the engine wiring harness will crack and eventually turn into dust over time. There is no way of stopping this from happening, for the wire insulators were built purposefully with "green" materials that crumble. Bare spots on wires start shorting, and strange things begin to happen to your car.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Just picked up a 2007 W211 E320 myself, been pretty good so far. Wasn’t really sure about it at first since it’s the 7 speed and OM642 but I like it

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Does anyone here daily a w123? What is your experiences? I've also heard a 240D is decent for getting around a local area?

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Get a 300TD. It's the same car with better engine, or find "Turbo Diesel" badge.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Purchasing a S123 will turn you into a hyperborean.

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