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  #1  
Old 03-17-2021, 01:54 PM
A Talent for Obfuscation
 
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The W123 240D in Modern America

The Luddite in me is intrigued with the idea of buying a manual trans W123 240D. However, I live in hilly terrain and in an area where driving on an interstate is almost impossible to avoid. How livable is a 240D in such an environment?

Additionally, it seems that w123 240D's with automatics are much more common than the manual trans models. How big of a performance hit does the automatic make? Can I do a steady 65 mph on an interstate with rolling hills in a 240D automatic?

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  #2  
Old 03-17-2021, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
The Luddite in me is intrigued with the idea of buying a manual trans W123 240D. However, I live in hilly terrain and in an area where driving on an interstate is almost impossible to avoid. How livable is a 240D in such an environment?

Additionally, it seems that w123 240D's with automatics are much more common than the manual trans models. How big of a performance hit does the automatic make? Can I do a steady 65 mph on an interstate with rolling hills in a 240D automatic?
I used to have a 240d automatic, lived in the mountains and had a long highway commute. I would say it's adequate. 65 mph is a good cruising speed for one of these. Get used to flooring it

The manual you need to shift into second almost immediately after pulling away. Also I believe that an automatic suits the 240d better. You will not go fast in it anyway.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2021, 02:34 PM
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If your OM616 isn’t beat to death and you can find manual steering and lighten the load by 100 pounds, Euro bumpers, aluminum allow rims, et cet, and slightly higher flowing nozzles then it should be peppy enough
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2021, 02:42 PM
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You can remove a lot of parasitic drag which makes its limited HP coupled with a manual transmission a reasonable driver. This was my plan but I really don’t need to drive a bunch so that’s why I didn’t get a road beater. Plus you can safely burn WVO by burning a 50-50% mixture with #2 and a little RUG with a heat exchanger. That will cut your fuel costs by almost 50%
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2021, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.C. View Post
The Luddite in me is intrigued with the idea of buying a manual trans W123 240D. However, I live in hilly terrain and in an area where driving on an interstate is almost impossible to avoid. How livable is a 240D in such an environment?

Additionally, it seems that w123 240D's with automatics are much more common than the manual trans models. How big of a performance hit does the automatic make? Can I do a steady 65 mph on an interstate with rolling hills in a 240D automatic?
Drive it FIRST! I have both automatic and manual 240Ds. Auto is slowwww..... manual is better. There is no slower car in the world on an interstate entrance ramp. They are dangerous in fact. They are slow on any significant hill. You cannot pass other cars without a lot of preparation. I live in a rural area with no nearby interstates and they are fine for that. If I have to take a road trip to big cities I take one of our turbodiesels.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2021, 02:49 PM
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I disagree about the low first gear....it seems fine to me. The 116 automatic has a ridiculously low first gear.

You won't win any drag races but they are engaging to drive. I never got tired of them. I recommend a stick.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2021, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughO View Post
Drive it FIRST! I have both automatic and manual 240Ds. Auto is slowwww..... manual is better. There is no slower car in the world on an interstate entrance ramp. They are dangerous in fact. They are slow on any significant hill. You cannot pass other cars without a lot of preparation. I live in a rural area with no nearby interstates and they are fine for that. If I have to take a road trip to big cities I take one of our turbodiesels.
For comparison most commercial vehicles are slower yet aren't dangerous


Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
I disagree about the low first gear....it seems fine to me. The 116 automatic has a ridiculously low first gear.

You won't win any drag races but they are engaging to drive. I never got tired of them. I recommend a stick.
Manual has a 3.90 first and the 722.116 has a 3.98 first gear. Not much difference between them.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2021, 05:03 PM
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My advice would be to get a W115 240D 4 speed over a W123. Revs higher and is a bit quicker at the expense of top speed.

Next best option is a 300D followed by a W123 240D manual and then automatic. Plenty of options available still. Just remember to restore everything to factory spec and then judge the car's performance. This often means German made parts wherever possible. The transformative effective of doing this is remarkable.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2021, 06:30 PM
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The 115 is a fine car too but the rust protection on the newer 123s is much superior to the earlier cars which are just ordinary on rust resistance. I would not want a 240 with the auto at all. A 300 with automatic is transformed by the extra power.
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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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  #10  
Old 03-18-2021, 04:39 PM
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A 240d in many ways is my favorite car. Plus well suited to our low traffic density area. Especially the secondary roads.

At the same time in some driving enviroments it may lack too much for safe operation.

Some also seem to be too noisey at todays highway speeds compared to others. This can be bothersome.

As already mentioned. Any new to you example will usually benifit from doing service on it. You need or want every last horespowere that it is capable of producing.

Your pedal will be on the floor a fair percentage of the time in comparison to cars with far more power. Personally I feel the manual transmissions are both far more reliable and help you drive the car. As you definatly have to drive them I find. That may be part of their attraction.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2021, 04:55 PM
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I purchased a new 1984 240D 4 speed in 1984. Living in Southern California with lots of freeways this car really struggled on the freeway on ramps. I kept the car for one year and bought a new 1985 300D (turbo). Like driving a rocket compared to a snail.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2021, 05:16 PM
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I have an 81, manual and I love this car... it's the coolest, funnest car I've ever owned.

Is it the slowest car on the road? Without a doubt.
Is that a problem?
Not if you're a mindful driver. You do have to plan a little on certain on-ramps, but the "dangerous" thing is way overblown.

I regularly take my 240 on joyrides up steep grades and winding mountain roads and it's always a great time. Something I seldom see mentioned on these boards is how much better the handling is on a 240D. There's a lot less weight up front to negotiate around corners, and as Greazzer mentioned, a manual transmission, euro bumpers and aluminum wheels really do make a difference.

And for the luddite in you, the all manual controls (sans sunroof) really are the best.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2021, 05:22 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shern View Post
I have an 81, manual and I love this car... it's the coolest, funnest car I've ever owned.

Is it the slowest car on the road? Without a doubt.
Is that a problem?
Not if you're a mindful driver. You do have to plan a little on certain on-ramps, but the "dangerous" thing is way overblown.

I regularly take my 240 on joyrides up steep grades and winding mountain roads and it's always a great time. Something I seldom see mentioned on these boards is how much better the handling is on a 240D. There's a lot less weight up front to negotiate around corners, and as Greazzer mentioned, a manual transmission, euro bumpers and aluminum wheels really do make a difference.

And for the luddite in you, the all manual controls (sans sunroof) really are the best.
Indeed.
__________________
[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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  #14  
Old 03-19-2021, 08:50 AM
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I am on the interstate all the time with my 240 manual. It maintains 70 with no problem, 75 the motor is kinda loud, and 80 it tells me is enough.
The mileage drops on the interstate compared to around town driving, but that is to be expected because of the extended high revs. I also have no problem maintaining 65 coming up Monteagle mountain on I-24.
I wish it had a 5th gear, but otherwise I love it.
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1985 300 TD 448K
1984 300 TD 278K

1983 240D euro 240k
1994 f-250 idi turbo 330K
1986 f-350 IDI
1987 F-350 IDI

1985 JD 1050 4wd
1965 IH 3660
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2021, 08:52 AM
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I should add, its a euro and I understand from reading here they have a hotter pump and are lighter as stated above. EGR is deleted and it has a fresh valve adjustment.

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1985 300 TD 448K
1984 300 TD 278K

1983 240D euro 240k
1994 f-250 idi turbo 330K
1986 f-350 IDI
1987 F-350 IDI

1985 JD 1050 4wd
1965 IH 3660
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