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Old 05-16-2001, 09:31 AM
jcyuhn jcyuhn is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,476
These cars don't have any type of overdrive. The transmission
is a four speed, with fourth gear being direct drive, 1:1

As well, they don't have a lockup torque converter. All
engine power is always transferred via fluid coupling,
never mechanical means. That's why engine RPM can rise
ahead of speed when you toe into the throttle.

This discussion comes around on a regular basis. Folks are
so accustomed to modern Amurican/Japanese iron with steep
overdrive transmissions which turn only 2000RPM on the
highway. Ya gotta remember, MB built the S class to deliver
the best possible performance out of a given engine, fuel
economy was not really a consideration when the 126 was

If it makes you feel better, 3500RPM is just loafing for
this engine. I've read the stress on an engine is roughly
proportional to the square of the RPM. Hence if redline -
which is what, 6500RPM - is the maximum stress level, think
how much less 3500RPM squared represents - it's only a
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