Doing a "ROLLING RESTORATION' All a Nice W123 300D Turbo Diesels

Doing a "ROLLING RESTORATION' All a Nice W123 300D Turbo Diesels

Sometimes you find one that is special - Meet Bubbles

This is a very special 300D turbo diesel sedan. It was named "Bubbles" by the previous owner because she felt the color looked like the color of champagne. Rather than try to tell you all about this car, I am going to have you watch a number of videos below. The first video will explain how we came to be owners of this pretty W123. The second video will show you why this one is a real rocket when it comes to acceleration and speed. The third video covers what we did to get the automatic transmission to shift properly. The fourth video will show you the extensive brake work we had to do to make the car super safe to drive. This included new rotors, new pads, new flex hoses, rebuilt calipers on all four wheels, and new parking brake shoes on the rear.

Here is a complete list of all the other work I have done or am going to do on this car to make it a very reliable daily driver and a cross country cruiser.

Engine Related:

  • Valve adjustment and new valve cover gasket
  • Fuel injectors removed, cleaned, tested, and rebuilt if needed
  • Glow plugs were removed tested and carbon reamed out from pre-chambers.
  • New air filter housing heavy duty bracket installed with new rubber mounts
  • New air filter installed
  • New rubber seals installed on intake elbow
  • New thermostat installed
  • Belts and hose replaced as needed
  • New voltage regulator installed
  • Fan clutch replace with good used
  • ALDA over-boost fittings and hose cleaned and mixture adjusted as needed
  • New rubber motor mounts installed
  • Oil and oil filter changed
  • Diesel purge performed
  • New fuel filters 
  • New fuel injector return hoses
  • Vacuum hoses replaced as needed

Transmission and Final Drive:

  • Full transmission fluid flush and new gasket and filter
  • Shift points adjusted and all linkage lubricated
  • Modulator tested
  • Rear-end fluid changed
  • Rear axles inspected
  • Shift linkage inspected and bushings replaced if needed

Suspension and Brakes:

  • Complete brake system overhaul
  • Brake fluid flush
  • New front and rear Bilstein shocks
  • New rear sway bar links
  • Newer Toyo tires - 80 percent tread left

Body and trim:

  • Body side trim replaced as needed - all pieces no dents
  • Front bumper rubber repaired
  • Paint polished and waxed


  • Cleaned and detailed 
  • Seat tracks lubed
  • Door hinges and check straps lubed


  • All power windows tested and repaired as needed
  • Sunroof lubricated and tested for proper operation
  • Heater system inspected and repaired for proper operation
  • Complete fuse box service all new fuses
  • All exterior lights testing and working
  • New LED dash lights installed
  • Front dome light replaced

Kent writes: "I have driven a lot of 300D turbos over the years, but this is the (combined) fastest, tightest, and smoothest quick-shifting W123 of them all. I will not exaggerate - this one really gets up and goes and puts a smile on your face while being pushed back in the seat. The suspension is tight and comfortable and with the new brakes and shocks it has a great road feel." 


A road trip to pick up Bubbles that will long be remembered

Why does Bubbles have such a strong engine.

Fast and furious and now shifts properly

There is nothing quite like a complete new brake system on a 35+ year old car

See what is under the front seats and carpets!