What to do with this...?

d215yq

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1987 W124 300D 280k miles
OK, so I have finally succumbed to the company car scheme...I'm not too much of a fan of new cars as you may know but as I've got a 100+ year old house to rebuild from a shell and a full time job my time is limited and I can't have a car out of action for a few days while I fix it/service it as before. So with the MOT expired 3 months ago (and doubting it would pass) and the last oil change 15 months (and 20k miles) ago having the W124 as the daily driver is now in the "too difficult box" against a top of the range Mondeo estate for 200eur/month everything included (insurnace, tax, BIK etc.)

Genuinely not sure what to do with it though...

Good points:
Drives over my unmade rocky drive smoother and faster than the new car and has better ground clearance (doesn't catch).
50mpg+ at 60mph which I can't get on the new one
Total "get you there" reliability - it's been all over Europe and done 120k miles in 6 years ownership and failed to proceed once with a flat battery (due to alternator) and earlier this year with failed centre bearing.
4x good tyres and new brake pads all round
Almost no structural rust
No tax and 100 quid a year insurance

Bad points/things that don't work:
Hmm where to start, cold start idle, 2 of 6 glow plugs, front passenger window, whole a/c system, parking brake sticks and isn't effective on steep hills, gearbox stiff for first few kms, anti judder system, wanders in wind, rattles from underisde of car at various rpm, prop shaft not balanced so slight noise at 55-60. probably needs engine mounts, long overdue a service, vents/dashboard cracked, seats ripped, every panel is damaged and has lacquer peel, front headlight cracked. 330k miles (though a bit of a guess as odometer was broken on 210k miles when I bought it). Probably needs 2x drive shafts. Non existentent battery tray and rust under battery. Slight rust patch under 2x jack points.

Total maintenance/repair costs (including servicing, tyres, MOT, bulbs, wiper, absolutely everything) over last 3 years and 60k miles has been bare minimum (580€!)...and it's beginning to show...

Options:
Well head says sell it for scrap, heart says keep it and give it a service/mechanical overhaul to get it through the MOT when I can be bothered and then keep using it for cement bags, rubbish, agricultural stuff etc (I'm not allowed to even scuff the interior of the boot of the company car and this is already causing me a lot of bother at the DIY store with the million sheets I have to lay out and means I won't be able to transport fire wood, etc).

The thing is I am happy to work on it here and there when I get a bit more chilled about the house but if I'm going to be spending a lot of time/money on parts there must be better older mercs to start with? Or is it better to start with this to "practice" and then get a restoration project (ultimate aim would be a 500SEC, jag xj or Bentley Turbo R) when I'm a little wiser as I'm well aware they would not be as easy to work on as this one? Is any of the (mechanical) things needed on the list that needs fixing going to be a lot of money to sort if I can do it myself/learn how to?

In Spain these are worth a bit of money with good mechanics and interior and the high mileage/outside condition is less important than in the UK as there is no such thing here as a low mileage 300D in nice condition as that is not really what their strong point it (though mine's maybe pushing the "patina" a bit too far)...

IMG-20190210-WA0000.jpg IMG_20200627_155003.jpg
 

Blobcat

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R171 SLK280, Smart R451, Land Rover 110 County SW, 997 C2S, R1250 GSA TE 40th, CBR600FP
I’d keep it and park it at the country house with a solar charger on the battery
 

John Laidlaw

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Yup keep, circumstances change and it’s a great fall back
 

ajlsl600

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clk3202001,sl6002003 with everything regrettably sold ,A class 170cdi auto. NG/TF1800 ML250
Keep it. U know it's worth f
A but it's reliable. So a good wheelbarrow until it's not reliable
I keep my 01 clk for similar reasons tho it still looks great and to date remains mechanically sound, if that changes I will give it away, to the right character. I did 500 miles between mot 2 yr here.!!
 

daibevan

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If you have the room just keep it. Get it moving and use it for all the building materials you are bound to need.
 

MBDevotee

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Dreaming of a CL55k - one day maybe....
Off topic - but with the new car, ford do a bootliner thing that goes up the sides, up the backrest of back seats and so on to keep the boot nice if you are using as a skip!
 
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d215yq

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1987 W124 300D 280k miles
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Well after a while with various Ford's to test I've settled on a Focus Automatic estate. Whilst in many ways it's not quite as special to drive as a comparable W124 (i.e. the auto estate I used to have), and is not quite as comfortable/relaxing, after a month of an auto and estate I have decided that I never ever want to go back to having a saloon (atleast where the rear seats don't fold down) nor having a manual.

As such I don't want to spend any money on the W124 to get it through the MOT as being manual/saloon it's useless to me as a main car so have been driving it around my estate using it as a makeshift tractor and to carry firewood etc. I'm surprised it doesn't get stuck or bottom out but it seems fine so will use it like this til it breaks completely. I have lots of rubble and 500m of drive to smooth out so I think it will have a use for a while if it keeps working.

I will probably stick around as there's a great bunch of people on here and I appreciate the advice received over 13 years of W124 ownership!! I still wnat a 500SEC or W124 convertible as a second car, and maybe if circumstances were to change and I didn't have the company car I may go back to a W124 auto estate as a main car...
 

malcolm E53 AMG

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Never see many Fords broken at the side of the road nowadays so I’m sure it will serve you well Ford Europe do a good job. Now the important thing has it got a spare wheel - my son’s W213 is currently sat on his drive (luckily) like a beached whale with a puncture and 20in runflat Goodyear tyres appear to be as rare as rocking horse dodar in this neck of the woods
 
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d215yq

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1987 W124 300D 280k miles
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Never see many Fords broken at the side of the road nowadays so I’m sure it will serve you well Ford Europe do a good job. Now the important thing has it got a spare wheel - my son’s W213 is currently sat on his drive (luckily) like a beached whale with a puncture and 20in runflat Goodyear tyres appear to be as rare as rocking horse dodar in this neck of the woods

No idea if it has a spare wheel or not, though atleast it has 17in wheels with high profile tyres so less liekly to puncture... It's noticeable in the ride, surprisingly it takes the bumps on my unmade road much faster/better than the Merc and feels very solid.

I think that Fords have come on a very long way; The handling and ride is way way better than anything else new I've driven as a hire car, and certainly miles better than anything VAG has to offer. Similarly the fit and finish of the top half of the dash and steering wheel and seat quality etc is very very good, again better than VAG and nicer to look at/be in.

Where it is let down I think is the engine/gearbox: I have a faster petrol model automatic so it's not the best choice for economy anyway and it is a brand new estate so not run in....but....the gearbox changes are not as imperceptible as on an old merc, and the mpg is 38 so far, driving the exact same roads that my old merc would average 48+ day in day out! It also has a very small tank meaning I'm having to get used to 350miles between fill ups instead of over 600! But other than that I like it and it's swallowed 2mx1m solar panels and can get 3m pipes/wall profiles in (just). Makes me wonder why I tolerated a saloon for the past 6 years.
 

malcolm E53 AMG

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Yes estates rule in my view (most continentals think it an English eccentricity lol) especially the E Class.
The auto box changes on modern cars do suffer in my opinion a consequence of faster shifting unfortunately although the new MB 9 speed and ZF 8 speed are very good in that respect and almost never caught out gear selection wise. I still have fond memories of the MK2 Focus we had in the family, well built but slightly let down by the diesel 1.8tdci when pushed.

I’m changing over to petrol gradually when the E estate goes it will be for a petrol equivalent although I’ll miss the excellent low torque driving characteristics but there is no way I’ll be buying an EU6 diesel
 

MBDevotee

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Dreaming of a CL55k - one day maybe....
Make sure with the Ford you spec the Driver assistance pack - worth twice what they ask for it!
 
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