View Full Version : Mercedes Diesel mechanic?

03-01-2014, 08:01 AM
A 1983 Mercedes diesel has caught my eye. Anyone know of a mechanic in the Boulder area who works on these old tanks? I'd like to get a thorough pre-purchase checkover before I do something I'll regret.


03-01-2014, 03:52 PM
I actually am meeting with a guy today who is a master merc tech, I'll pick his brain for you :-)

I love the old diesel mercs I've look at tons of them, its just hard to find one at the right price point!

03-03-2014, 05:41 PM
Mercedes StarTech just south of Downtown is a premier shop in this area - bring your checkbook. A Mercedes of Westminster could do a decent job on pre-purchase inspection.

One option is to gather some info and photos on the car and turn to the experts on the MB Forum like the one here:

I've loved these cars for years now... I've owned two of them ('85 300D Turbo and '87 300SDL turbo) - both were wonderful cars - sad I sold them. If you're looking at that '83 wagon in Ft. Collins - it sure looks like one heck of a car.

Anyway - I'm not an expert, but if you want me to go look at it with ya I can do that one afternoon. I'm in Westminster (120th and Federal).


Here is what I would be checking for:
1) Insist on engine stone cold before you visit so you can expeience cold start yourself
2) Check for excessive smoke at startup or normal accelertion
3) Check for blowby when running
4) Check for any sign of rust (they are notorious for rust spots)
5) Check the flexplate on the driveshaft (visible under the car)
6) Check brake lines, rubber hoses, brake pads
7) Check vaccuum operation (doors, trunk, trans)
8) Check for any hesitation on D, N, R, N, D, N, R and flare during acceleration
9) Check how the turbo spools up
10) If you are serious, its good to get compression test done on engine
11) Rubber seals and boots - check for cracks
12) Check for oil in the engine coolant
13) ALDA (anaroid valve) tweaked? - if so, ask why
14) Sunroof leaks - I drive through a carwash to make sure
15) Watch oil pressure - check oil cooler lines
16) Watch engine temp - these cars like to overheat and when they do they crack their heads
17) Make sure heater works (I don't like A/C myself, but it may be important to you)
18) Engine shaking at idle (mounts, engine shocks)
19) Ask for maintenance records (if any) - good owner will keep notes, receipts, notebook of things done
20) Check visual filters and fluids - dirty, clean? Will tell you a bit about the Previous owner's maint. habits
Forum I listed above will give you access a lot more info if you ask...

Good luck -

03-03-2014, 07:04 PM
Thanks Overlander - great advice. Here's what I'm looking at:


Owner is out of town but back this week - so I'll see what I can learn from him.


03-03-2014, 07:20 PM
Wow...nice car! Anyone who takes the time to post 20 pictures of a 30 year old car seems to be proud of it!

03-04-2014, 08:47 AM
Wow... I look at CL nearly everyday and somehow I missed seeing that one - it seems pretty nice. Low miles for an '83 - good seats and I didn't see any rust on it. Engine bay looks pretty clean with oil cap and P/S reservoir caps being original metal caps. Check the tires for cracks in side walls too. Looks like a nice clean car though the price is pretty steep.

Good luck -

03-04-2014, 09:04 AM
I sent you a PM, If you want that guy's number let me know.
There was a 300d on Craigslist in Denver for ever, it was blue. I wonder if it ever sold.

03-04-2014, 10:22 AM
PM replied to. Thanks.


03-04-2014, 10:47 PM
Let us know how it's going once you talk to the owner or see the vehicle. Good luck

03-06-2014, 08:17 AM
Test drove it - it's in good shape for a 30 year old car, but still pretty tired. Needs new shocks, new driver seat foam, dash cover, some interior work. A/C not working, reverse slow to engage. Not quite right for me.


03-06-2014, 09:37 AM
Needs new shocks, new driver seat foam, dash cover, some interior work.

Sounds like just about every old Land Cruiser I have bought - we should all feel right at home in such a rig. Thanks for the update - I have always found those older Benzes to be interesting, but not interesting enough to pull the trigger.

03-06-2014, 02:03 PM
I've owned two of them - brought one from Kansas and the other from Oklahoma. They were both somewhat neglected, the second one especially, you have to love them to own them because they need maintenance, but they can be very reliable. You have to know what you're willing to live with and what you have to fix. The little things that need 'little work' will add up quick so you're wize to walk away if it don't feel right.

The '83 300TD wagon that I liked has sold - but I like this one too: http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/cto/4356602888.html
Trouble is - I like it, I don't need it.... I work from home so I can't justify it. Too bad it's tugging on my heart... :)

03-06-2014, 03:13 PM
Those Merc diesels were dime a dozen where i lived in the DC area.

I love the W123's. my fav are the ones with the matching hubcaps