New to MB - just bought a W123 240D

rayfenwick

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Hello All.

My name's Ray Fenwick, and I've just bought a 1983 W123 240D. I'm usually a Citroen nut (an XM, 2 CXs, and a BX) but I've always had a soft spot for old Mercs, especially a diesel, and when this one came up I couldn't resist.

I need to downsize the fleet as I'm planning to relocate to Malta, and need to save some money, so an old diesel makes sense.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions to post in other sections, but for now I just wanted to say hello, and thanks in advance :)
 

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SPX

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Hello and welcome to the forum, that looks in good condition.
 

s500colin

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Hello Ray
Welcome to the Forum :thumb:
 

MicB

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Hello and welcome......most of us admire the quality and engineering of the W123. From the photograph yours looks to be a good example.

Mic
 

ironsheik

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Hey Man.. My uncle used to have one of those.. But it was yellow... :bannana:
 

John

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Welcome to the forum.

One thing that has puzzled me with diesel cars is that prior to common rails, diesels were a bit pants.

Given that older diesels aren't particularly frugal, and the cost of diesel these days, is there any advantage to them?
 

Dieselman

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One thing that has puzzled me with diesel cars is that prior to common rails, diesels were a bit pants.

Given that older diesels aren't particularly frugal, and the cost of diesel these days, is there any advantage to them?

Sure a 240 atmo isn't a ball of fire, but it's very reliable and economical for it's day.
I don't get your comment about diesels prior to CR being pants. most Turbodiesles will outperform comparative petrols and give significantly better mpg. It's the latest crop of diesels that don't deliver the mpg, older ones were often better.
 

Dieselman

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Ray.
Have a good look under that 240 and don't be tempted to remove those chrome arch covers, unless you are ready for a shock.
 

John

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Sure a 240 atmo isn't a ball of fire, but it's very reliable and economical for it's day.

I don't doubt that, but my point is back then, diesel was significantly cheaper than petrol which meant economy didn't have to be sky high for it to make sense.

I don't get your comment about diesels prior to CR being pants. most Turbodiesles will outperform comparative petrols and give significantly better mpg. It's the latest crop of diesels that don't deliver the mpg, older ones were often better.

Take this example:

Ford Mondeo 1.8 LX TD 4d (96) 0-60 12.3 s / Top Speed 111 mph / 88 bhp / 44mpg
Ford Mondeo 1.8i LX 4d (96) 10.2 s / Top Speed 121 mph / 113 bhp / 36mpg

Clearly the petrol outperforms the diesel in performance.

Assuming 10,000 miles a year inline with the above, total fuel costs now are:

£1780 Petrol
£1518 Diesel

It doesn't outperform in mpg but is it really worth saving £262 per annum in order to drive a slow rough clattery old diesel which pumps loads of soot into the air?
 
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rayfenwick

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Thanks for the welcome guys. I see the old diesel v petrol debate still rages on :)

I've never thought about a diesel Citroen for more than a few minutes, but I've had this hankering for an old diesel Mercedes for a long time - seeing taxis in Valletta last year rekindled it. Add in the economy side when running alternative fuels, and it starts to make sense.

I'm still finding my way around these forums, but will be posting some questions about all sorts. For anyone interested in more photos of the car, they can be found here here . I welcome advice, comments and offers to sell me any of the bits I need. :)

As someone said earlier, it looks quite tidy. Yes, it does. From 5 metres away :) Up close, it's not all such good news, but in fairness it is nothing considering the age of the car. The build quality is frankly staggering in places - I'm very impressed so far.
 
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trapperjohn

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Great set of pictures there Ray. As you say, good job your bruv is a welder. He is going to be a busy bunny.

You will have a very nice motor there once it is done.

Whats this "other fuel" you mention on the photo titles and above. You are not going to ruin the engine with WVO are you!!
 

Dieselman

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Take this example:

Ford Mondeo 1.8 LX TD 4d (96) 0-60 12.3 s / Top Speed 111 mph / 88 bhp / 44mpg
Ford Mondeo 1.8i LX 4d (96) 10.2 s / Top Speed 121 mph / 113 bhp / 36mpg

Clearly the petrol outperforms the diesel in performance.

Assuming 10,000 miles a year inline with the above, total fuel costs now are:

£1780 Petrol
£1518 Diesel

It doesn't outperform in mpg but is it really worth saving £262 per annum in order to drive a slow rough clattery old diesel which pumps loads of soot into the air?
If a diesel is producing visible smoke there is something wrong with it.

The performance figures are misleading, the TD will thrash the petrol in real world driving.
 

Dieselman

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Thanks for the welcome guys. I see the old diesel v petrol debate still rages on :)

I've never thought about a diesel Citroen for more than a few minutes,

Unfortunately, that has been a mistake, the CX2.5 TD was the quickest diesel on the market in it's day and the later engines are very refined and quick.
 

John

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If a diesel is producing visible smoke there is something wrong with it.

The performance figures are misleading, the TD will thrash the petrol in real world driving.

I've never seen any diesel not produce soot under full tilt. Perhaps there are magic ones I've never seen.

Depends on your 'real world driving'. If you are pottering around at 30, I would think your not far off.

However, having beaten an E60 530d 3.0 turbodiesel auto in my Saab 9-5 Aero 2.3 turbo petrol auto through the gears in 'real world driving', I can assure you the oil burner was thrashed.

Besides which, I am talking pre-turbo diesels inline the the OP's choice of car. We are then comparing non-turbo diesels, which is of course fairer given that normally petrols are not turbo charged... and in that scenario, I also know from experience that a 1.6D Escort is not a patch on a 1.6 petrol one...

As the OP has a hankering for a particular car, and not what might have been the 'the best performing diesel 1978' winner, it matters not.
 
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rayfenwick

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Unfortunately, that has been a mistake, the CX2.5 TD was the quickest diesel on the market in it's day and the later engines are very refined and quick.

Yes indeed it was. Trouble is, they are not an easy car to find. And bargain on paying £3k when you do. Even a decent BX 1.9 NA or 1.7 turbo will cost double what I've paid for the 240D...

Plus my wife (Russian) likes Mercs (more than Citroens - especially the BX, which she said looks like a VAZ2108 (Lada Samara)... so the idea of getting rid of 2 petrol autos for a diesel that will run on the waste from the deep fat fryer appeals to the (chartered) accountant in her. Add in the fact that it is a Merc and she'll get lots of kudos back in the motherland, and it's not such an odd thing to do as it might at first seem.

And, if I decide it's not for me and decide to sell it on, unlike the BX, money spent on restoration won't be 'lost', as looking at ebay prices today I could break it and double my money, restore it and it's easy to make a good profit. Sadly not the case for a BX petrol auto...
 
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rayfenwick

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True. 2.1's are fetching strong money. 2.5's are rarely for sale, and I miss my V6 XM - even my current 2.0 turbo with an indecent amount of toys isn't the same...

I can't explain why exactly, but a W123D appeals to me in a way that a diesel CX/XM doesn't. Equally, whilst I'm certain that an L6 petrol (or a V8, as there are a handful around) W123 would be a fine car, it doesn't float my boat either. Much like women or Marmite, cars are a matter of individual taste. And as someone much wiser than me once said "If it's right for you, it's right". :)
 
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