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  #1  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:57 PM
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Any special considerations for towing a W123?

I need to have my 82 300D towed to a local shop for some brake work later this week. The towing company is not related to the repair shop. Anything I should be aware of, other than ensuring they send a flatbed truck?

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:00 PM
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Just make sure you tow it from the front, not the back. Gear selector in Neutral and keep the speed down around 45. Should tow just fine.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:06 PM
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Flat bed is the best, otherwise the best way is to remove the driveshaft from the differential and tow it by the front.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 PM
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If the engine runs, they can tow it on the back wheels without removing the driveshaft if the engine is running in neutral to keep the transmission fluid cool.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2011, 05:05 PM
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As a former tow truck operator I would tow it from the rear and lock the steering wheel. Should be a simple tow. I don't like flatbeds at all, especially for something like a W123 car as there is little solid to hook to safely underneath.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnaggie View Post
Just make sure you tow it from the front, not the back. Gear selector in Neutral and keep the speed down around 45. Should tow just fine.
... this is bad advice.
auto transmissions need to be kept below 25mph for towing, and limit to 3 miles at that speed... if needed to tow on the ground faster or further, the engine must be running, or the driveshaft needs to be disconnected.
Even Manual transmission MB's need the engine running to ensure the output shaft bearing does not seize!!!

Flat bed/trailer is the best!
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:32 PM
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If you use a car dolly, and decide to tow it from the rear, do not exceed 40-45mph. I've towed over 30 W123 and W126's VERY long distances. If I'm forced to tow backwards, I ratchet strap the steering wheel to both front seat frames to ensure the wheel stays locked. If you exceed 45MPH, the weight in the front of the car from the engine coupled with the likely play in the front end will combine to cause the car to violently sway. Like others have said, always best to trailer, if not, tow forward with the driveshaft removed, and last resort as I've described.

Be careful.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusme View Post
If you use a car dolly, and decide to tow it from the rear, do not exceed 40-45mph. I've towed over 30 W123 and W126's VERY long distances. If I'm forced to tow backwards, I ratchet strap the steering wheel to both front seat frames to ensure the wheel stays locked. If you exceed 45MPH, the weight in the front of the car from the engine coupled with the likely play in the front end will combine to cause the car to violently sway. Like others have said, always best to trailer, if not, tow forward with the driveshaft removed, and last resort as I've described.

Be careful.
there is a thread on here where a member attempted this method and apparently ignored the 45mph speed limit... his minivan flipped SERIOUSLY DO NOT TOW THIS WAY ABOVE 40MPH!!!!! and do not tow this way unless your tow vehicle is at LEAST 4500LBS!!!!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2011, 09:06 PM
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Even Manual transmission MB's need the engine running to ensure the output shaft bearing does not seize!!!

VS tech, please explain how running the engine in a manual tranny car with the gearbox in neutral will have any impact on the output bearing.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2011, 11:26 PM
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the output shaft has little to slury the oil in the gearbox, and will burn the output shaft bearing if the input shaft is not spinning to sling the oil around the case...
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2011, 11:34 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Well I flat towed my 72 220d on several vacations behind a motor home with no noticed ill effect.

And I flat towed my newly acquired 82 240d from Davenport florida to Lafayete Indiana about 1300 miles. I hope you are wrong about this.

I just checked my owners manuals for:
1. 123 240d
2. 126 500Sec
Both gave very specific instructions about towing a car with automatic.....up to 75 miles under 30 mph, but recommended to be sure to unhook the ds.

No mention of towing a stick equipped car was made.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.

Last edited by t walgamuth; 12-28-2011 at 11:57 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:36 AM
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well that is certainly good news.

Prior to this forum, I've always understood manual equipped vehicles could be towed indefinitely at speed in neutral, but it's been posted repeatedly that the MB manual with it's thin gear oil (30W, or ATF...) is thin, and needs constant input shaft rotation to lube the output shaft bearings.
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:36 AM
vstech's Avatar
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Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,859
well that is certainly good news.

Prior to this forum, I've always understood manual equipped vehicles could be towed indefinitely at speed in neutral, but it's been posted repeatedly that the MB manual with it's thin gear oil (30W, or ATF...) is thin, and needs constant input shaft rotation to lube the output shaft bearings.
__________________
John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:17 PM
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I understand that there is a secondary pump in the transmission that will allow you to push or pull start W123 or W126 vehicles. If a car is towed with the rear wheels on the ground the transmission secondary pump will start to rotate the transmission and then engine. If you are going to tow one of these cars be prepared to also buy a transmission. The only safe way to tow one of these vehicles with the rear wheels on the ground is to remove the rear drive shaft from the differential flex disk and tie up the drive shaft. I tow-dolly'd a W126 from Northern Texas to the Detroit metro area this way.

I understand that later W126 models did not have the rear transmission pump and that you could not pull / push start the car with the automatic trans

So either remove the axle from the rear flex disk or flat bed it!
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwjeep View Post
I understand that there is a secondary pump in the transmission that will allow you to push or pull start W123 or W126 vehicles. If a car is towed with the rear wheels on the ground the transmission secondary pump will start to rotate the transmission and then engine. If you are going to tow one of these cars be prepared to also buy a transmission. The only safe way to tow one of these vehicles with the rear wheels on the ground is to remove the rear drive shaft from the differential flex disk and tie up the drive shaft. I tow-dolly'd a W126 from Northern Texas to the Detroit metro area this way.

I understand that later W126 models did not have the rear transmission pump and that you could not pull / push start the car with the automatic trans

So either remove the axle from the rear flex disk or flat bed it!
Yes. We were discussing standard transmissions, sticks, manual,......

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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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