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  #1  
Old 08-22-2005, 12:09 AM
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How to make W123 wagon drive in winter better?

Have never driven the W123 in snow/winter except for one time in an emergency and no other car was available and I remember it being awful in the snow, fishtailing awful.

Is there any way to make the W123 wagons perform safer/better in snow? I just put new Gooodyear TripleTreds on all four wheels. Would bags of sand/gravel in the back help? What else?
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2005, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PagodaLover
Have never driven the W123 in snow/winter except for one time in an emergency and no other car was available and I remember it being awful in the snow, fishtailing awful.

Is there any way to make the W123 wagons perform safer/better in snow? I just put new Gooodyear TripleTreds on all four wheels. Would bags of sand/gravel in the back help? What else?
Good Gravy! It is August and was 100 degrees today. I can't even grasp the concept of winter at this point. Besides, I've spent my whole life in Texas. What do I know about snow.....
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2005, 12:52 AM
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These cars don't seem to do too bad in the snow, at least in my opinion, but I have an SD so it might handle different. I had a great increase in grip by getting rid of my trashy Futura Plus TouringSE tires and putting on a set of Goodyear assurance Tripletred's like you have. I never put any weight in the trunk, and I never got stuck. They do fishtail, but its quite predictable and doesn't bother me, I rather like it I even made it to work 11 miles away on a snowy morning with almost TWO FEET on the ground/road (nothing was plowed yet, or even driven on, it was 8:30am on a saturday), I even made it up the hill on my street by taking a running (slow running) start, and "chugging" up the hill, letting the weight of the car dig to the pavement and slowly grind up the hill. Once I was on the flatter open roads all by myself I was doing 45-55 on 1.5 feet of snow no problem.......
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:08 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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i too

think that the tds are pretty darned good on snow, for a rear wheel drive car with no lsd. very good in fact. you do need to be careful with the gas pedal when the motor comes on boost though. good tires always make all the difference. more weight in the back always helps.

tom w
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:09 AM
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Definatley careful with the boost, I am always very gentle on the pedal in the winter, just enough to keep it moving. As soon as it develops a burst of boost the tires will just instantly break free from all the extra torque.....
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:22 AM
Craig
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I put a pair of tire chains in the trunk of my 300D just in case. I've used them once when a snow storm caught me about 30 miles from home one night. The only reason I need the chains was the ground had been warm and the snow had a layer of ice under it. Everyone was getting stuck. Usually you will do OK if you just keep going slow and steady (and hope some idiot doesn't run into you). If you want to have fun in the snow, try a rear wheel drive BMW.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:34 AM
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Studs.

Get a couple studded tires for the back. I have 'em for all four corners, and they're a blast. I drive my wagon from, essentially, sea-level up to about 5000 ft. to go snow-shoeing. The road crews are great, but all the same, highway 26 is pretty steep. If studs are legal there, give 'em a try.

We get these crazy storms when the wind comes down the Columbia River Gorge from the east and glazes everything with a couple inches of ice. Turns all of Portland into a skating rink. I was out driving my TD around on the stuff. Great fun! Reminded me of driving my RX-7... tuck the nose in tight, blip the throttle and the tail would drift through corners extremely predictably.

Jay.
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2005, 08:01 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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all the benzes

i have owned have been well balanced and handle very well on slippery stuff. they go from normal cornering gradually to a four wheel drift. naturally.
i have never tried studded tires on abenz. they are illegal in indiana.

tom w
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2005, 08:29 AM
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I drove my '87 300TD last winter with Potenzas on all four corners. Those are far from snow tires. Turbo spool-up was reliable and I prepared for it (say what). No real problems yet this winter I'll run actual snow tires. As to weight, I am not an advocate of loose weight in the rear of a wagon since my son was involved in a fatal head-on. The other driver had a loose tool box plus was driving unrestained. The box caught the driver in the back of the head killing him instantly. They never actually made the determination which of the factors actually caused the death but . . . I never let them carry loose winter weight in their pkup trucks when they were growing up. Off topic . . .

Fun to drive in the snow and NH has its share.
Steve
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2005, 08:44 AM
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If you have snow . . . you have cold

Other considerations for the cold of winter are also well covered in the postings. I had some fuel leaks that hampered starting, a block heater that needed a cord to plug it in, I bought new glow plugs though still need to put them in when I change my injectors and I keep reading about the glow plug relays being better . . . coolant flushed and changed with a good working thermostat, HVAC system working as good as possible, and the list probably goes on.

Now you have me thinking/planning some more projects. Thanks. I needed that.
Steve
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2005, 09:55 AM
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If you plan to be driving in the snow on a semi-regular basis, I would use studded snows. I don't have a pair for my SD yet, cause I tend to drive my pickup in the snow. If it's just on a rare event, chains provide truly phemonenal grip.
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2005, 10:17 AM
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Although I have yet to drive my 300d in the snow, I used to have a volvo 740 turbo that was RWD w/ no LSD. I always carried a can of Instatrac made by prestone. You spray it on the tread and you have better than snow tire grip for about 20 miles. I plan to do the same w/ my 300d this winter.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2005, 12:06 PM
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"How to make W123 wagon drive in winter better?"


Move to Florida.

Dave
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:10 PM
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My SDL is a real dog in the snow. This winter the SD will have snow tires and lots of crap in the trunk. But on snowy days I will just forget about it and use my moms fwd car. I live in a hilly area and rwd cars just will not go up hills.

If you have to drive it in the snow, snow tires are a must. I tried to get through last winter with new all seasons and bah their was no grip. Also load the trunk up.

For some reason MB decided to cheap out and not put LSD's into these cars. With an LSD I bet snow traction would be much better.
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2005, 03:31 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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a lsd

will make the car go sideways when the rear end breaks traction. hence less safe for a driver with less than the best skills. that is why inmho why mb doesnt put it in ordinary benzes... also the cost.

i have always felt that benzes are very good on snow. the independent rear susp makes the traction better. personally, i dont want fwd. had two saabs and liked them but rear drive gives more options to a driver who knows how to use it.

tom w
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