83 310 diesel checkout
With regard to the engine, your diesel, if it has only 83K on it--it is just getting broken in. If it starts and runs well, it is probably OK.
Check the following:
1. If starting for the first time, (cold engine, even in TX), use the glo plugs. After letting the glo plugs warm up the cylenders, the engine should start and run (high idle) immediately.
2. After a few minutes, it should kick down and run at low idle.
3. Watch the exhaust. The color of your exhaust can indicate engine condition.
a. A white exhaust can indicate water/antifreeze in the cylinders on ignition. Not good.
b. A black exhaust can indicate lots of unburned fuel. Not good.
c. A grey(ish) exhaust is best. Clearer is better.
4. If shut down after the engine is thoroughly warm--engine should stop immediately. If it runs on (called dieseling) there may be a problem.
5. If the current owner will let you, take an oil sample and send to a lab. It can tell you a lot about the engine.
6. If all looks good and you purchase, plan on replacing ALL filters in the oil and fuel system regularly. Consider using an oil analysis lab to keep track of the internal condition of your engine. Use a fuel stabilizer and treatment, because diesel fuel tends to grow algae (which grows in the water generated by condensation), that clogs up the works when it sits for extended periods.
My concern would be the low miles on the engine and the possibility of contaminated fuel--even though I said low miles were good. This engine has about 4K per year for its 20+ year history. Diesels most often die because of water and other contaminants in the fuel, which gum up supply lines and clog up filters. Water in the fuel can destroy your injectors (not a cheap fix) and cause rust and other corrosion because of contaminants in the water itself. If the PO has been fanatical about clean fuel, you may have a good engine.
Good luck, & let us know how it turns out.