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May 3, 2010 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Just bought a 77 Mercedes 240d - my first Diesel... What should I know?

Just bought a 77 Mercedes 240d - my first Diesel... What should I know? Where can I find parts? Can anyone recommend a good affordable mechanic who knows these cars inside and out in West Seattle, or the greater Seattle area? Fill me in on all the arcana the owner of a 30+ year old diesel monstrosity should know...
posted by stenseng to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Diesel 101 starts with glow plugs.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:38 PM on May 3, 2010


That generation of diesel benz is a favorite to convert to biodiesel because of the longevity of those engines, and the upfront cost of the car.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 1:43 PM on May 3, 2010


The Mercedes Benz forums are pretty useful, imo, as compared to most other car forums. They tend to have a good quality of enthusiasts that can answer questions.

Here is MBWorld and here is Benzworld. Asking questions on these forums should get you some good info on your specific car, and your specific locale.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:48 PM on May 3, 2010


As the boyfriend of someone who's owned a 300D for years:

- What Burhanistan said about glow plugs. Check the ones you have, replace them if you need to. And don't start the engine until the glow light's off. You won't damage anything, but it won't start easily and you'll put wear on the starter.

- Yes, the oil is supposed to look like that. Just change it on schedule. Rotella T seems to be a popular choice for diesels.

- Change the fuel filters, at least twice a year or so. There are two, both user-changeable, both relatively inexpensive.

- http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/ - Full of helpful people who know way more than anyone should know about these cars

- Parts can be gotten from your local auto parts shop for less than you'd think, and they're more common than you think.

- Look *everywhere* for rust, and fix what you find. Especially around suspension mount points. Where the lower control arms meet the rear shocks is a known problem point. The W123 chassis is unfortunately very rust-prone.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:49 PM on May 3, 2010


OK. I have a real gem of a recommend for W. Sea. My mechanic has a small garage, is very old fashion in his approach to customers, explains things lucidly, never ever does unneeded work or overcharges. A gem of a guy. I think his shop has had some changes lately (e.g., lost his one dedicated young apprentice), and thus I hope he's still in business. I think he is, and I hope so, because I look forward to relying on him for years. So here goes:

It is Maestro Motors, on Fauntleroy just before the entrance to the approach to the bridge, next door to Diva Coffee Shop. His shop is very hard to actually turn into because of his unusual last-slice-of-commercial-space position, but it's worth figuring it out. Call Richard Reed, at 933-9351. Tell him Howie, with the white Subaru wagon recommended. If he does NOT know enough about this make and its unusual characteristics, he will NOT lead you on. If he thinks he ought not to work on it, he will guide you to a next step to take.
posted by yazi at 7:41 PM on May 3, 2010


Hi! 300D driver here.

This website is great: DieselGiant

You'll notice that the glowplug light is on the same amount of time no matter what temp the engine is; in the heat of summer you don't have to go the full warm-up period. If you just drove it, you can just start it again.

Change the oil and filters (fuel, too) often.

Beware trying to drive in the winter with summer grade diesel. It basically turns into candlewax in the depths of winter. Until I figured that out I had serious problems getting started.

Enjoy your Panzer!
posted by codswallop at 7:56 PM on May 3, 2010


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