Old Merc Diesels -250D possibly ?

lindopski

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Hello all

I have been looking at old mercedes diesels lately and thought I would ask the guys who know a bit about them what they think.

I quite like the look of the old 1980s 250D and that goes up to somehwere in the 90's I believe.
There is a 1989 one knocking around on Ebay or Autotrader at the moment for a few hundred pounds and I have had a look at a mid 1990s one that is closer to a grand or so.

If looked after are they fairly alright cars, I dont know any Mercedes owners apart from my dad who used to own a 190 and loved it but that was many years ago and it was a petrol.

My brother keeps telling me that 80s cars will be shot at and is a bit wary of the quality of the 90s cars, knowing little myself I thought I would ask you guys for opinions.

I can only scrape about £800 or so at the moment, is it worth it or should I just get a mint 1 litre grandfathers Nissan micra for £400 lol :)
 

robparker

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You will never have engine trouble even with the cheapest most badly abused diesel Merc of that generation, it will just be MOT time where your trouble could begin... rear sub-frame mounts badly corroded is one of the biggest killers at the moment, then all the usual stuff like suspention/steering/various bushes worn. Buying a more expensive one doesnt guarantee any of this will be better.
You basically either buy a cheap one with as close to a years MOT as possible and accept you might have to throw it away at the end, or check each car very carefully if you plan to spend more cash on it so that doesnt happen.
 
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grober

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Drive one first---- progress will be snail like------- there's a reason they last so long. While this may be fine pootling down to the shops, it may prove somewhat unnerving when trying join today's motorways from a slip road for example. The petrols of that vintage while not that good are a least able to keep up with traffic in the main.
 

robparker

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They arn't that slow! My old Auto 240D was abit of a chore pulling onto the motorway from the slip road, but a 250d is fine. But yea, obviously try one out if you have never driven one before.
 
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lindopski

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Thank you for the handy tips, I am not too worried about speed as I am a bit of a cruiser to be honest anyway and a stickler for the 30 limit having witnessed too many accidents caused in the past by people doing 40 in the 30's.
A cat was run over just a couple of days ago outside my house by a car doing at least 45 in the 30 and didn't even stop - cat died very quickly :'(

non the less, it sounds like engine wise these rascals are solid but best to get the least rusty one of the bunch if I intend on keeping it (which I probably will).

Is there a 1990's cut off point I should be wary of with the 250 for example or are they fine from start to end (apart from obvious rust etc)
 

robparker

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The 250 ran from 85-93 then the engine was replaced and was not as good in many ways IMO. There was another small facelift in '88 where you will get a 'nicer' interior and slight external differences, but really there is nothing in it. Within those years just buy whatever is best.
 

tode

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We had a later 250TD, which imo was a nice-looking car. And with the turbo, you could actually overtake when necessary. Had it 14 years, no problems, no rust. It was a 97, I believe.
 

robparker

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Yes once the 605 had the turbo and electronic injection pump fitted in the c-classes from late 97 onwards, it became a useful engine again! But the OP was after the older 602 engine in the 124 chassis
 

brianbrian

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As Rob said the 250d fitted in the 124, 1985/93 was mercedes most reliable engine they built, as it was balanced better than the 200 or 300d 0 to 60 12seconds, top speed 115mph. Fuel 45/50mpg at a steady 75mph. I drove one in the middle 80s to 1992 London to Poland, where I worked every four weeks ,100mph on most german roads, the car never let me down, unlike Mercs today . But they are 20 odd years old, and rust will be your problem. Get that done and you will have a cheap car to run for a few years. Hope this helps
 

Bolide

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I'd be looking at the Micra. A budget of £800 won't get a decent 250D & maintain it for a year

Nick Froome
 

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