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  #1  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:10 PM
JHZR2's Avatar
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Location: New Jersey
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An AT 240D isnt really that slow

So I drove my new 240D around a lot today. AC was on all the time.

Im really suprised, perhaps because of all the torque, the 240D is moderately peppy, especially considering what I was expecting.

Other than one situation where I neither hand forced the AT to downshift, nor did the kickdown induce a downshift, did I have slow acceleration - and that one, trying to accelerate out of 25-30 MPH was a challenge.

The car did 55 effortlessly. It started to get noisy and discernable from a good 300D at 65 MPH. I did 80 in the car, but wouldnt want to do above 72... conveniently, thats about as fast as I ever drive.

But seriously, I was suprised at the acceleration. Not a 300D with a spooled turbo, but for scooting from lights, it was no different in acceleration than how I typically drive any of my other cars.

Going to work and coming back, I have to cross major steep bridges. The AC was on max both times. The car had no problem accelerating from a dead stop up the hill to 55 MPH on the way to work, and had no problem doing the same on the way home (though I had a running start). I was worried if I'd be able to reach 45-50 from a stop going up the bridge in the AM... no problem, even with the AC.

Slow they may be, but if youre driving gently, driving for fuel economy, and not just mashing the go pedal and rocketing off, the 240D is no worse than any other car. It is typical, and works great if you drive as you should.

Though it may need to be driven a bit harder in some circumstances, it goes as directed without issue. Its not anywhere near as slow, dangerous, or raucous as I had expected in day to day use.

Pleasantly suprised!!! an MT can only be better!

JMH
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Own:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)
1998 Chevrolet S-10 ZR2 (62K)
2011 BMW 135i cv (14k)
2014 Honda Odyssey (6k)
2015 Honda Accord Hybrid (5k)
Had:
2008 VW Rabbit (70k)
2004 SAAB 9-3 (83k)
1991 BMW 318i (183K)
1983 300D (228K) (wrecked by at-fault uninsured driver)
1985 300D (233K) (now in FL)
1994 Acura Integra (188k) (Rusted out)
1992 Toyota 4Runner (72k) (Rusted out)
1990 Daihatsu Rocky (??) (No parts)
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2008, 10:57 PM
JimmyL's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sunnyvale, Texas (DFW)
Posts: 9,673
Still like that 240 you got!

Many of us have said many times that the 240D, standard or automatic has perfectly acceptable acceleration. You can't expect it to accelerate like a gasser or even a turbo diesel of course, but they are a pleasure to drive.
All the "dangerous" type comments are simply from folks whose opinions on anything you might want to question....... And I know for a fact that a lot of people repeating that crappage have never even driven a 240.
It is such a relaxing and low key cruise, and some folks just can't get themselves into that frame of mind. And a 240 isn't for them.
I'm just sayin'............
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Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

Gone:
'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
'85 300TD 235K "The Wagon" Texas Friendly White
'80 240D 154K "China" Scar engine installed
'81 300TD 240K "Smash"
'80 240D 230K "The Squash"
'81 240D 293K"Scar" Rear ended harder than Elton John
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:09 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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I've driven a 240D AT and it was acceptable. I'd take one as a daily driver. A full car on hills might be a problem. Merging on a short ramp will be a problem. I wouldn't want those to be daily events.

As it is I'm considering shelving this 603 and swapping in a 601/2.2. I still have to convince myself the combination will get 30mpg city. I only get 23-24mpg city now. The Camry I used to drive got 25-26mpg city without grannying it the way I granny the 300D.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:12 PM
pawoSD's Avatar
Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,007
It depends where you have to go and what your driving situations are....I can name several ramps and roads around here where having a 240 would be a sticky situation, very short on-ramps into fast moving traffic....turn lights where people move move move when it goes green.....you can't have a car with "lag" In the average week there are several times where my 617 has to give it all it has to make sure we both don't get smashed/killed! People drive crazy around here.
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'15 GLK250 Bluetec 76k - mine - (OC-80,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 7k - wifes (OC-10k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'89 420SEL 166k - mine (OC-167,000)
'01 E320 - 168k - dad's (OC-171,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 49k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'09 E350 4matic Sedan - 128k - Brothers (OC-128,000)
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:20 PM
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Location: Columbia, Missouri
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Jimmy you make some good points but sometimes comparing 240Ds is like an apples to oranges comparison. My 276000 mile 240D I would gather is not nearly as peppy or fuel efficient even in proper tune compared to this low mileage time machine. I live by Diesel Dog's philosophy and drive this car with my foot to the floor frequently. I find I'm quicker off the line and to speed than alot of cars around me but I've got to put some effort into driving to make that happen. No problem with that, but it's not for my wife or soon to be driving children. As far as the N/A 300D, the torque difference is manifest but the trade off is city fuel mileage. I would love to transplant my low mileage 300D's engine into the 240D and will likely do this when my 240D powerplant gives it up. Just need to get the proper driveshaft and maybe luck into a 5 speed. But the OP claims of 36 mpg are phenomenal and must have been augmented by a stiff tailwind or a black hole or something because 36 highway for 240D is unheard of.
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1979 240D
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:34 PM
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Location: Hampton Roads
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I've never had a problem with lack of power with my 240D. Sure, I have to use all I've got, but, what's wrong with that?

The car will cruise all day at 65. Heh. It seems to run even better in those instances, even.

The only thing with driving these cars, is you have to pay attention, and actually drive. Anticipating hills seems to be a must. I've had trouble with some of the longer, steeper highway hills in CT. That's ok, there's 3rd gear, a right lane on the highway, and a volume dial on the radio.

These cars really are just cruisers. Don't get yourself into any sticky situations and you'll be just fine.
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2008, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowbenz View Post
But the OP claims of 36 mpg are phenomenal and must have been augmented by a stiff tailwind or a black hole or something because 36 highway for 240D is unheard of.
Well, I log every tank in my 300D, and 28-30 MPG is routine for me in that car... We've seen as high as 41 in the 96 E300D, and average 36+. Points of data are virtually worthless, long term trends tell the tale. I dont have a long-term trend on the 240D, when I do, Ill update this. I do have long-term trends on the 300D and E300D, being 28.8 and 36.3 respectively.

Every tank of fuel ever bought is logged, PM is meticulous, and care in driving is always the case.

I dont try to be rude or excessively slow, but my fuel bill trumps someone else's rush in speeding from a red light. Jackrabbit acceleration and racing to stop a car definitely are hindrances to achieving high MPG.

JMH
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Own:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)
1998 Chevrolet S-10 ZR2 (62K)
2011 BMW 135i cv (14k)
2014 Honda Odyssey (6k)
2015 Honda Accord Hybrid (5k)
Had:
2008 VW Rabbit (70k)
2004 SAAB 9-3 (83k)
1991 BMW 318i (183K)
1983 300D (228K) (wrecked by at-fault uninsured driver)
1985 300D (233K) (now in FL)
1994 Acura Integra (188k) (Rusted out)
1992 Toyota 4Runner (72k) (Rusted out)
1990 Daihatsu Rocky (??) (No parts)
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2008, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHZR2 View Post
I dont try to be rude or excessively slow, but my fuel bill trumps someone else's rush in speeding from a red light. Jackrabbit acceleration and racing to stop a car definitely are hindrances to achieving high MPG. JMH
I drove a 240D as a daily driver for a few years, I'd say at least once a week I experienced a driver behind me that laid on his horn because he didn't understand that I was working with 65HP and needed a little more room to merge into traffic. At first it wasn't a big deal but after awhile it did get a bit annoying and of course as others have pointed out acceleration on shorter entrance ramps is a problem. Long time 240/220D owners are of course familiar with the 'slingshot' technique that must be used in two lane passing maneuvers. Passing uphill or into a headwind > 15 MPH? Forget it.

You can use one in a daily driver environment but seriously why would you want to?

A 4 cylinder W202 chassis car gets better mileage than your 240D, it has twice the power and uses fuel that costs 50 cents a gallon less than diesel. I could also mention the improvements in HVAC, brakes, handling, general refinement, ect, ect but I won't bother.

I understand more modern cars are harder to fix and more complex but to me its a no-brainer to ditch the 240D from my daily driver needs.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2008, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimFreeh View Post
A 4 cylinder W202 chassis car gets better mileage than your 240D, it has twice the power and uses fuel that costs 50 cents a gallon less than diesel. I could also mention the improvements in HVAC, brakes, handling, general refinement, ect, ect but I won't bother.

I understand more modern cars are harder to fix and more complex but to me its a no-brainer to ditch the 240D from my daily driver needs.
Well, gee, I guess I should dump all my diesels and just drive my 318i and saab everywhere with that logic... I get 36-38 in the saab, with a LOT more torque and brisk acceleration.

Let's send all the w123s to the crusher - theyre obsolete

JMH
__________________
Own:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)
1998 Chevrolet S-10 ZR2 (62K)
2011 BMW 135i cv (14k)
2014 Honda Odyssey (6k)
2015 Honda Accord Hybrid (5k)
Had:
2008 VW Rabbit (70k)
2004 SAAB 9-3 (83k)
1991 BMW 318i (183K)
1983 300D (228K) (wrecked by at-fault uninsured driver)
1985 300D (233K) (now in FL)
1994 Acura Integra (188k) (Rusted out)
1992 Toyota 4Runner (72k) (Rusted out)
1990 Daihatsu Rocky (??) (No parts)
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2008, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 5,441
I bought my first diesel, an '82 240D, because the car looked nice, had 4 new MIchelin tires, and was cheap ($225 + towing). The car had rusty floors, dead AC, and a broken rear suspension arm (Hence the towing). But I almost didn't buy it because it WAS an automatic.
After nearly two years of driving, mostly in local traffic, the automatic's performance is usually acceptable. It is slow when the engine's cold, sometimes acceleration uphill is weak, and I do get the occasional idiot behind me that acts like he's having an emergency. For me, the main downsides to the automatic are - without an overdrive gear it's very noisy at highway speeds over 60 (though she still seems to like cruising at around 70) and highway mileage hasn't topped 25. However, city mileage of around 20 - 22 is better than what my '98 Nissan Altima gets under the same use.
In my experience, the few other automatic 240Ds (W115) I've driven have been painfully slow, while only one (A '74 W115) was really peppy. I haven't driven any other automatic W123 240Ds to tell how mine compares, though initial takeoff from a stop seemed a bit better than a friend's '84 300D - at least until his turbo got going! My more recently purchased manual 240D is a bit quicker, noticeably quieter on the highway, and managed almost 30 mpg on a recent trip.
Otherwise, for most local trips and errands, my automatic 240D is easy to drive and suits me fine, and if I'm in a real hurry (and need the AC), I take the Nissan.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2008, 11:48 AM
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There certainly can a be a degree in difference of performance in 240D automatics. My parents owned 2 240D's at the same time. One was 79(123) and the other was a 76(115). The 76 model was MUCH more peppier(for a 240D) than the 79. The 79 for some reason was a bit slower. Especially fully loaded when going through the mountains of West Virginia. I remember it being so slow going up some mountains we thought it would roll backwards! The 76 got the job done much easier. Both were well maintained.
On a side note when my Dad purchased the 85 300SD in 1991(that I currently own) he was amazed at the performance difference. It replaced the 79 240D. Also not to jack the thread but I am very happy that I still have the car my Dad bought in 1991 with 76,000 miles. My parents got divorced in 94 and then my Mom drove it until she gave it to me in 2006. It is cool to drive/own the car you use to ride in the back seat in! On top of it being a wonderful car to this day.
I miss the 240D's we had when I was young. Would like to get a W115, or W123 one day. They have lots of character and are great cars.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2008, 12:56 PM
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Posts: 375
My first diesel was a 220D 72, had that car for 4 yeras, now it is a 240D 77 manual everything, this one I am driving for about 26 years.
To me the only issue with these cars is the A/C, they were not designed with the extra A/C load in mind.
With A/C not on they are just fine, performance is acceptable and I love the click&clack of these diesels, but turn on the A/C and they become a dead horse.

Vahe
240D 77 350K
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2008, 09:16 PM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 5,441
Well, the AC was working when I bought my stickshift 240D last year, and I topped up the freon last summerso there was a noticeable drag with the AC on but not too bad.
It must have developed a leak though as this spring there was no more cooling.
Meanwhille, after nearly two years owning an automatic 240D, I just got the AC going in it, so I guess I'll find out what slow really means with this car.
I decided to try an R134 conversion as the R12 is too expensive and difficult to get now, and I don't know how well this system will hold pressure long term.
Anyway this car's AC was open to the atmosphere for 9 years, until last fall, when I replaced the broken condenser with a decent used one. Today, I put in a new filter-drier, converted the charge-fittings, and evacuated & recharged - 20 oz R134 and 4 oz oil..
A rebuilt compressor was installed by a PO sometime in the distant past and it's noisy, but suprisingly the system is cooling. We'll see for how long. A brief test drive round the block confirmed there's a noticeable drag but I think I can live with it. I'm also considering some sort of circuit to run the aux fan when the compressor kicks in, instead of waiting for the filter-drier to heat up. For now I have a temporary bypass so it runs when the ignition is on.
The real test comes next weekend, when temps are expected to be in the 90s!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 06-22-2008 at 09:34 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2008, 09:52 PM
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Location: Philadelphia PA metro area
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I've been driving my 240D auto to work lately. I am in a crowded older suburb which approximates city driving. There are lots of lights and a few stop signs, and the highest speed limit I encounter is 35. The thing which slows me down most is not the 65 HP but the cars in front of me. Once in a while people ride my tail but for the most part it's fine. If I can ever get all the kinks worked out of this thing it will really be in its element.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2008, 06:31 PM
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Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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Well, my brother's still out of town so I got to drive the automatic 240D again today. (Where he usually parks his Toyota pickup blocks in the 240D)
First I had unfinished buisiness left over from this weekend's AC revival - swapping the lines at the oil cooler and at the clamping device on the AC compresser bracket - crossed by some previous 'mechanic'. The one cooler hose fitting was riding on the AC tensioner adjustment so I was having to unbolt the cooler lines to tighten the belt!
Fortunately, while the fittings looked very rusty, they came loose from the cooler without breaking something.
Then I was off to run some errands. I actually like driving this car, especially when I'm feeling lazy. In addition to the automatic, this one has power windows, and (usually) power locks.
It's definitely slower with the AC going, but to paraphrase some else's Forum signature - Slow, but I'm Cool!".

Happy Motoring, Mark
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