Used Thorens TD165: worth my dough???

a friend at a local vinyl shop i frequent has a thorens td165 he's willing to part with. he's asking about $100 which seems reasonable.
my questions is: do you think i can realize significant improvement in playback over what i am using now, a dd kenwood, only about 5 years younger than the thorens. the thorens is belt driven and suspended whereas my kenwood is not. i plan on listening to the thorens as soon as possible to compare to my rig, but can anyone offer their 2 cents here.
my thoughts are the following: belt drive plus suspended table will definitely better my dd, nonsuspended plastic kenwood. the thorens has seen better days cosmetically, but i think i can cope. for 20 yrs old it seems like its in decent shape.
one last thing, how difficult will the setup be re: suspension and leveling? have no experience here, but consider myself a quick learner.
thanks as always
I have this model right now with a Grado Premium Silver cartridge. When properly set up it should sound better than your current deck. Adjusting the suspension and arm can be time consuming, but if I can do it, so can you. Check to see that there is no play in the main bearing and that the arm tracks properly to the end of play, also that the platter starts easily and remains @ constant pitch/speed (if not it could then be either a belt and/or motor problem). Inspect the Headshell to make certain that the cartridge screw holders/holes are not cracked and remove the inner platter (one screw on the bottom which also holds the ground wire) to see if the white plastic ring on the bottom of this black platter is in good shape (these sometimes crack). Remove the cheese board bottom plate if it is still attached (for better sound). You may then need to use spacers on the stock rubber feet after this in order to increase the shelf clearance (I am still using "sink" washers in this application which work/sound fine). If it is in good operating condition and if it comes with a usable cartridge (as a plus) $100 is about right. This is not a great arm by any means, but it does have VTA adjustment and again can sound pretty good when properly set up. A Headshell (in good shape) can often cost as much as the deck itself, so pass if this part is damaged (unless they have a spare). I will soon be replacing the IC's on mine (not going to mess with the tone arm cables @ this point) and installing a male IEC plug (so that I can use after market power cords). If this works out OK I will next construct a new wooden base out of Maple (that I have on hand). There are lot's of cheap tweaks for this deck which will improve the sound (even Radio Shack coaxial cable would probably improve upon the stock IC's, though there are other options as well). If it checks out OK, I guess the question is (What else can you find for $100)? That's all that I had to spend and this is what I ended up with.
This turtable is worth the money if it is in good working order and better than your DD Kenwood. There are several little tweaks you can do if you know what you are doing with turntables.
For example, the tonearm bearings can be adjusted properly if they seem loose. After all these years, it most likely is. New interconnect cables can be hard wired in.
The main turntable bearing can be cleaned out and new oil can be put it, like mobil one.
The suspension can be adjusted.
If you are not handy with these kinds of things, then either buy something else or have someone do it for you...and of course make sure they know what they are doing.
I've got a TD125 MK II that I've owned since 1977 or so. Back then we both were NIB. The spring suspension is a pain in the rear to adjust but patience wins out. Leveling is 75 percent accomplished if you handle the suspension properly. But the devil is in the details. The condition and adjustment of the tonearm and cartridge are key to sound and preservation of the LP's. My advice is to buy up all the pristine LP's you can afford and wait to play them until you can get a better turntable. You can spend lots of time and money on that Thornes. But, here's a link to help you out just in case you decide to ignore my sage advice! ;-)
ACA: Are you saying that you feel that the performance of the "stock" TD165 is not enough to preserve the normal life of the LP's (or are you referring to to the existing TT)? Your post is not clear to me, plus I figured/guessed that the stock TD165 was up to snuff, for this, based on it's (my particular unit's) ability to track well to the end of play. The worth of the LP's that we have been picking up lately (on the used market) far surpasses the cost of this TT (and I figured that I was "safe" in this regard, based on my experience with ownership of better TT's/arms in the past). Pleas clarify your post. Thanks.
I think if you are very careful you'll be ok with the 165 as long as the tone arm and cartridge is in good shape and care is taken in adjusting them. My thoughts on LP's in general make me err on the side of cautiousness. Every time you play one it's like taking a breath; it's one you'll never get back. On the other hand, play your recording and enjoy them. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
ACA: I would not use it if it did not track well to the end of play, but it does so very well. I have read of much more expensive deck/tonearm conbos that seem to have problems in this area. Unfortunately much of the setup had to be done by ear (which is very tedious and time consuming) as when I set it with a free paper protacter and according to the Grado Prestige specs it was not tracking/sounding that great. I am now using an amp with a mono switch which really comes in handy when doing this.
For $100, there is nothing out there that can outdo it. I used a TD 160 MKll for years, until I could get my current setup. The only mods, I did to it, was replace the bottom cover, with 1' birch, and spiked it, and new belt. I also used a wrap, for the tonearm. It should do just fine.