This car is awesome! I spent well over a year searching for a solid, rust free, black on black 300td wagon with a ton of custom work done to it. The history of the car as I know it was that it spent a good amount of time in the Pacific Northwest where it managed to remain rust and accident free as confirmed by Autocheck. The engine was supposedly rebuilt at around 240-250k miles. Then it found its way to South Carolina where I bought it in 2005 from a guy who’d been using it as his daily for a few years. I drove it to and from Omaha for work for about three years and then tore into it with the intention of building an AMG clone with just enough turbo and fuel mods to make it interesting without ruining fuel economy.
Over the life of the vehicle it appears to have been painted at least twice. It was originally and has always been black and all the body tags indicated the same. The paint is far from perfect and appears to have been sprayed way to thick. There’s a huge chunk of it missing from the driver’s side rear door. I had the car cut and buffed to get all the runs and imperfections out of it. It really needs to be stripped and repainted to be perfect but it looks great from 10 feet away.
I swapped out the bumpers with a pair of European model bumpers that are powder coated 40% gloss black. I also installed a set of 16×8 BBS RA wheels and a matching BBS front valence. I also managed to track down a period correct Nardi zebrano wood steering wheel with the correct Mercedes horn button.
On top of these cosmetic improvements, I’m spent a few thousand replacing axles, rebuilding rear diff, brakes and removed the A/C to make room for a front mount intercooler. The intended intercooler out of a Supra will fits well but I never got around to having piping bent for it, currently bypassed. The turbo is a new t3/t4 hybrid, the exhaust side was machined to fit the original Mercedes hot side. This allowed me to keep the stock exhaust. I modified an om617 N/A intake to work with an intercooler and managed to find an turbo manifold without EGR. The engine runs excellent and has plenty of power though it is pushing only slightly more boost than stock through the original internal waste gate. The stock delivery valves have been turned down all the way and with bigger elements this thing could really move. As it is now, its more than adequate improvement over a stock diesel.
After building the car three years ago, I’ve only driven it twice. The transmission leaks very badly and I have no interest in fixing it. It flares and slips and doesn’t like shifting out of first so I assembled all the parts necessary to do a 4spd swap. The new owner can decide what to do with it…fix it and keep it an auto or bolt in the 4 speed. There’s some cosmetic issues in the interior…rear seatbelts are mismatched junk, the seat springs are soft (front and rear), the upholstery is okay but splitting in the passenger and driver front seats. The windows have a mind of their own and only go up or down when they please. The manual sunroof works perfectly and thanks to new OEM Mercedes seals, does not leak. There’s a little play in the steering and just to be safe, a good used steering box is included. The bushings, links and tie rods were all replaced to try to tighten it up…I’m told its the steering box. The SLS works but the left rear strut leaks and should be replaced. I have assembled all the parts necessary to swap in standard shocks and springs but never got around to performing the work. It could also use a new set of tires although the ones on it still hold air…they are just dry rotted to the point of needing replacement.
Like I said, its an awesome car. I just don’t have interest in fixing it or even driving it at this point in my life. Somebody who can appreciate this thing as I have will get a smoking deal on an amazing project car.
– 1983 Mercedes 300TD Wagon, 300k miles
– Strong running, om617 with upgraded turbo, custom intake manifold and exhaust
– Blacked out, Euro bumpers with BBS lower valance
– runs and drives but the transmission needs repair or replacement
– BBS RA Wheels 16×7 w/225/50/16 tires
– suspension is mostly new, SLS works but left rear strut leaks
– axles are new
– 95% finished project, runs and drives as is