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  #1  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:45 AM
Grzpdlr's Avatar
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240D Differential swap

I have a 1981 240D manual transmission that I love but have been very frustrated by running out of gears at 25mph .(shifting from 3rd to 4th). And at 70mph on the freeway it's downright frightening!!!
So I swapped in a 2.88 rear end, replacing the 3.69. The 2.88 rear end is a one year only, 1985 300D, TD, CD, but not the SD.
I've read this would make the car an even bigger slug than it is but, quite the contrary, it even seems to have better acceleration. Also now, I can shift from 3rd to 4th at about 48mph and freeway speeds are much, much more quiet. A word of caution, if you go looking for a 2.88 from a parts car, get the Speedo from that car as well as the gearing in the Speedo is matched to the differential.
Buy the way I also have another 240D that has the OM617, 5 speed conversion that I did the same swap on and now at 70mph I'm cruising at 2200 rpm's.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2015, 12:55 PM
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Could swear the 85 SD's had the 2.88 also. Another one year only, because 85 was the last year of the Gen I
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2015, 12:57 PM
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What size tyres have you got?

I'm surprised that a little 240D is able to cope with a 2.88 rear end any where except flat little Holland (with no wind!).
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2015, 02:13 PM
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IIs there any time you have difficulty getting underway from a stop? Some 240d engines seem to have a little more power than others. I attribute this to several things but still it is what it is.

Also did you notice any difference in fuel consumption? Base oil consumption? I wonder at what rpms peak torque is present. Car still does okay on hills if you drop a gear? You may be the first to attempt this. I did not think the 240ds could cope with this other than perhaps the automatic versions..
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2015, 03:10 PM
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Guys, keep in mind LA is FLAT and easy weather...

The 240 has very little weight, so, as long as stock or smaller tires are used this would work... Clutch wear is going to be much increased. ..

Yes, the 85 SD also has the 2.88
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2015, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
IIs there any time you have difficulty getting underway from a stop? Some 240d engines seem to have a little more power than others. I attribute this to several things but still it is what it is.

Also did you notice any difference in fuel consumption? Base oil consumption? I wonder at what rpms peak torque is present. Car still does okay on hills if you drop a gear? You may be the first to attempt this. I did not think the 240ds could cope with this other than perhaps the automatic versions..
Keep in mind that these little engines have really nice torque so no problem what so ever from a standing start, I actually feel like its faster. Before 1st was a throw away gear, basically you came out at 5 or 10mph, now you can stay in it up to 20mph. I'm using standard wheels and tires. It's a completely different animal from before and I couldn't be more pleased. Mercedes just had it geared way too low.
No fuel consumption data yet but expect a nice bump up.
The 85 SD is a w126 and this chart shows it's probably not compatible:

differentials, gear-ratios and compatibility | Mercedes-Benz turbo
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2015, 05:37 PM
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You were in 4th gear at 25mph? You were shifting WAYYYYYYYYYYY too early. You're right, 1st barely gets you moving, 5 mph perhaps.

My 190D shifts like this:

1st to 5 mph
2nd to 20 mph
3rd to 40 mph
4th to 60 mph
5th to 80 mph

That's how I shift normally. 1st and 2nd I usually shift at 2500 rpm. 3rd and up I'll shift at 3000.

If you were in 4th at 25 mph that engine was lugging.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2015, 06:39 PM
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240D

Way, way different from a 240D, 4sp

Quote:
Originally Posted by mannys9130 View Post
You were in 4th gear at 25mph? You were shifting WAYYYYYYYYYYY too early. You're right, 1st barely gets you moving, 5 mph perhaps.

My 190D shifts like this:

1st to 5 mph
2nd to 20 mph
3rd to 40 mph
4th to 60 mph
5th to 80 mph

That's how I shift normally. 1st and 2nd I usually shift at 2500 rpm. 3rd and up I'll shift at 3000.

If you were in 4th at 25 mph that engine was lugging.
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2015, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grzpdlr View Post
Keep in mind that these little engines have really nice torque so no problem what so ever from a standing start, I actually feel like its faster.
This is the part that makes no sense to me, and, I think, robs some of your credibility. I can't see how a switch from the 3.69 to the 2.88 would make the car peppier.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2015, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grzpdlr View Post
Way, way different from a 240D, 4sp
I'm aware. I've driven a 240D 4 speed and you are way too early. I gave my 190D 2.2 points as comparison. Similar hp/weight ratio, not exact.

These IDI engines are not like DI engines. They need to rev to make power. They redline at 5k, not 3k.
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2015, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grzpdlr View Post
The 85 SD is a w126 and this chart shows it's probably not compatible:

differentials, gear-ratios and compatibility | Mercedes-Benz turbo
Actually, 1st-gen W126 1.1L rear ends fit into the W123.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2015, 11:30 PM
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The 300SD 81 - 84 3:07 and 85 2:88 Diff will fit in a w123. The spedo`s will not.
They are electric. The w1123 are mechanical. And the shape is different.

I have an 80 240D as a DD, and do not see how you get to 4th gear at 25mph.
When I drop to 40 mph I grab 3rd gear to keep the eng at a proper RPM range w/o lugging.

I swapped in a 3:58 Diff from a 280E so I could have the 150mph spedo.
That small of difference did not make any difference from a start.
But going to a 2:88, I would say you are on the edge of lugging the engine and slipping some on the clutch.
We are talking about 67 HP here.

I swapped in a 4-spd in our 85 300D, and it has the 2:88 Differential. For the most part it is ok.
But try starting on a steep hill, and you are going to be reving the engine and working the clutch just to get her going. Most highway grades are ok, but I was on a friends
very steep driveway. I needed a couple gears lower than 1s gear.

There is a guy with a 240D some place in Kansas that installed a 3:07 in his 240D, and has good luck with it.
But Kansas is pretty flat.



Charlie


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Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

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  #13  
Old 12-02-2015, 11:53 PM
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The 240D 4 speed I drove was an 83 and I couldn't fathom putting a diff of anything lower in it. It was slow as it was, and you had to wind each gear out to its max if you wanted to merge safely. A 240D with a 2.88 would be undriveable IMO and Tucson is flat. That's taking the diff from a car with twice the horsepower!
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2015, 01:15 AM
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From a 3:69 to a 2:88 is lower numerically but actually gearing it higher.


Now if I started out at 3:69 then by the time I was in high gear at 2:88, that would be cool.
But probably need a 6 or 8 speed trans.


Charlie


Sent from my pos computer
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there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ilys/boobs.gif


Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

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  #15  
Old 12-03-2015, 03:14 PM
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Lots of Freeway Driving

I've got a 83 240D that spends 75% of its time on the interstate. (back and forth to work every weekday)
I've got a 3.07 diff I'm thinking about dropping in, along with rebuilt driveshafts.
Around ATL if you can't do at least 75mph on the interstates you get eaten up by everybody including the big rigs.
Anybody think this wouldn't be a good mod, and if not, why not?

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