My second Mercedes-Benz.

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Active Member
Oct 24, 2006
Bournemouth or France
S203 220CDI.
I just found a replacement for my lovely 250TD.
I didn't really want an S203 and a W210 was not an option. Neither was another S202. No decent ones around.I trawled the planet for days, looked at one that didn't take long to reject and sat square eyed before the laptop.
An S124 turned up at around eleven o' clock yesterday evening. 1996,Dark grey pearl (Probably Black Opal)Black leather, sunroof, aircon, factory towbar and, orthopaedic driver's seat. Two owners, current one thirteen years.Thirteen month's ticket, too. Shame about the petrol bill. Hang on, - its a 300D! OM606 motor! Found it. Damn! Fifteen hundred quid.
That'll be gone then.
I didn't sleep well. By a quarter past seven, I was on the 'phone. I am not usually so ill-mannered but If is wasn't sold yet, it would be by half past.
I woke him up. He still had it. I explained how keen I was to have it and he very kindly agreed to sell it to me. I belted up to Stroud. It sat on a new set of Continentals outside a fine house. Money was obviously not a problem.
It had been the family car for 180,000 miles and the owner was not a mechanically minded chap so if it sneezed, it went to the independent specialist who had obviously treated it well. Fault on one glowplug. One small dent that needs a pro to squeeze it out, Few bulbs in the dash and the aerial doesn't retract fully. New Battery before last winter.
The owner was very searching in his questions. He did not want it to be broken for parts. That told me how he felt about the car. I was glad to assure him that it was going to a loving home to be the cherished classic it deserves to be.
Looks like I've scored a grail car. Lucky me! Between 7.15 and 10.15 when I arrived, his phone had been very busy!
I didn't haggle. I left a deposit of half the money (Cashpoint limit!)
and will collect it on Monday morning.
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What can I say?

That looks very nice indeed

Get it up on a ramp and check the underside thoroughly for rust,

I have a s124 300td manual, great car but have recently had a lot of welding completed on what appeared to be a very solid car
I am under no illusions that there will be some corrosion to be dealt with but I am prepared for it and once it has had a structural audit, I'll know what I am letting myself in for. It had some welding last year I'm told but with a new MOt, I expect that it will be structurally sound, particularly as little else appears to have been skimped.
Here it is at home. First impressions are not fair as it needs a bit of TLC to be its best. The idle is variable, the car smells of derv and some heater flaps don't work. The latter problem might be the tricky one. My car has an airbag where the glovebox should be and I understand that vacuum pods are unobtainable.
Is that right?
The aerial now works as does one remote and a full tank of fuel and an Italian
service has addressed a few issues. The brakes have been warmed through which took the shove out of them and the performance is definitely better than it was this morning. Injector cleaner for this one then and some new filters. The existing ones are MB as is the new battery. Two new wings have been fitted quite recently, proper ones with grilles and the jacking points are there pending a good poke around with the skirts off.
Work in progress, I think. Keeper? Not sure yet.
Have a good look on the inner wings, under washer bottle abs pump etc etc for rust, then remove rear wheels and check inner arches and subframe mounts, floors also go as do panels inside boot side carpet panels, door bottoms also crumble as does the filler flap area

As long as it's not rusty the rest is fixable

Don't despair, a well sorted w124 of any sort is a rare beast but incredibly enjoyable to own and drive
Thanks. The front has all been welded and very well, too
Rear arches are sound. Will get around to the rest as time permits.
Battery tray area and bulkhead behind are also rust areas, plus underneath front carpet by throttle pedal.
Been tinkering today. Looks like subframe mountings are sound. The one jacking point I looked at has lost paint but resists a vicious prod with a screwdriver. But it surges at idle once in drive. 500-800 rpm and regular 4 second cycle. Nothing random about it.
I think I have split diaphragms in the aircon; do these affect the transmission or engine, being driven from the same (I assume,) vacuum pump?
Got a chance to find out a bit through the history. In the last nine months, the previous owner spent £1200 on cutting out the rust,
£650 on the brakes
A battery, five new boots
and a grand on a service and rear wheel bearings.
In all, it has absorbed three thousand five hundred quid!
Three years ago, the rear suspension was fully rebuilt. The bill was for a non trivial sum.
Looks like it will be worth debugging. The steering is low geared and soggy but it doesn't wander. the brakes need a good shove when cold and the ride could be better damped. the surging needs fixing and the dash needs to come out to fix lamps and vacuum pods for which I shall source diaphragms The leather, which is pristine, needs to be treated with something to reduce the creaking and Woman Belong Me needs to stop calling it "The hearse."
Nope, not vacuum pods.Found a y piece that went to an as yet unidentified valve with no obvious home. I stuffed an AN-3 14a bolt in it to find out if it had any effect. The centre vents opened up. I operated the recirculate button and the recirculation came in.
Yippee! aircon.

The right hand defrost still doesn't open but the car now only surges with the aircon on, I think. Selecting forward or reverse wasn't causing it to surge this evening.
Added to a successful resoldering of the switch on the second remote and a good scratch of the remote windows (Drop of clear polyurethane will get them right) which improved the range from inches to feet, a good wiggle of the rheostat has got the panel lamps going for the most part and I think it has been a good evening's work. The toolkit bags are soaking in washing liquid and tomorrow I intend to find the pipe that leads to the duff defrost vent.

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