What is a 1981 240D Automatic like to drive?

Yesterday I did my first proper drive in my 1981 Mercedes 240D. More information about the car can be found here. My overall impression is that the people who talk about the performance of the 240D automatic on the internet have clearly never driven one. I’m used to driving fairly powerful cars like my 220KW 560SEC but I didn’t find the 240D especially slow around town.

I drove around my local area in a mix of heavy traffic, back roads and bigger roads with a speed limit of 90km/h. At no time did I feel like I was holding up […]

MBCNSW April 2024 Night Drive – Bridge to Bridge

The April 2024 night drive was a repeat of a route we last did two years ago. On that night, I tried two different cars before withdrawing, both of them having brake issues. In addition, recent bad weather kept the numbers down. This month was a much better experience all around.

The drive was dubbed the ‘Bridge to Bridge’ drive. Basically we would take the back roads from Windsor Bridge in the north west to Peats Ferry Bridge in the north, going via Berowra Waters ferry.

Since it was a double demerits weekend, the 240D seemed like the perfect car […]

First jobs on the 240D

With the 240D now registered and in the garage, there were a few simple jobs to undertake. The first was a set of floor mats. The original carpets were in such nice shape I wanted to protect them.

I though the ideal floor mats for the 240D are the dealer fitted thick rubber mats from that era. Its likely what the car had when new. I had one more partial set of those mats in my parts storage – just missing a drivers mat. For the drivers mat I had to substitute a cheap generic mat. If I can’t find […]

Enter the slow lane – My first W123 diesel

Sometimes you don’t go looking for classic cars – they find you. While I have always wanted to try a W123 diesel, I wasn’t specifically looking for one. However, when I saw this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 240D, I thought it was something special. I was able to secure it for what I thought was a very good price.

The main thing that appealed to me was how original the car looked. So many of these cars had a very hard life and are still running in spite of that. This car looked like it had been used carefully and had been […]

W126 stuck power window

Late last year the power window on my 1987 Mercedes 560SEL stuck in the down position. I lowered the window to exit a parking station and the window would not go back up. The first test I did was to check the switch. This would have been the easiest and simplest repair. It is very easy to swap the plug on the front and rear switches, but unfortunately I was able to rule out the switch.

At that point I was preparing the 560SEC for the concours run and the 300TE for the Tasmania trip, so I parked the 560SEL […]

W124 Blower motor replacement – part 2

A few months ago, I started replacing the blower on my W124. I figured this would be a simple job and I would be back up and running a few days later. Little did I know that that the car would be off the road for months.

In part one, I removed the old W124 blower motor. I was not able to install my replacement motor, because it did not fit. I figured the issue was with the aftermarket part, so I ordered a brand new genuine W124 blower motor.

This arrived, and it was much better, but still […]

USA Junkyard visits 2024

I’m back in the USA for an annual conference I attend. I normally have a free day before it starts, to get acclimatized to the time zone and to allow a buffer for flight delays. The conference is in Las Vegas, which has become really expensive. I’m not all that interested in spending money on overpriced entertainment, or gambling when I could spend money on needy old cars. Thus, I headed back out to the self service junkyard.

This year I didn’t think I would end up going. A few days before my trip, I checked the inventory at […]

M117 450 Timing chain and valve stem seals

I just got my 450SLC back from having the timing chain, tensioner, camshaft oiler tubes and valve stem seals replaced. These are all jobs that any owner of a Mercedes V8 of this era will need to undertake at some point.

The primary driver behind this was the need to replace the valve stem seals. A couple of my sparkplugs, #1 in particular, would regularly foul up. I didn’t have a lot of visible smoke, but I did see the odd puff of smoke taking off after a period idling. This is a pretty common problem in these engines. Age, […]