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  #1  
Old 04-01-2003, 07:16 PM
djoyce93
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towing a 3500 lb trailer ?

I have a 1983 300D and need to tow a nissan 240sx from Virginia to Ottawa. Its about 500 miles? Am I dreaming? Does anyone know the towing limit? My merc is an automatic. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2003, 07:44 PM
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I think the GVW of my CD is 3450, your D should be similar. Assuming so, I guess you could technically pull it. However, I wouldn't do it if I were you. If you had a stick, and the trailer had brakes, maybe, but that will really test your transmission. I boarded an old friends horse over Sunday night. He came here from Georgia in an F150, which pulled the trailer here fine, but blew it's transmission in 40 miles with the horse added. Total weight of horse and trailer was only 1000lbs more than you're asking about. Remember towing is as much or more about being able to stop it as it is to pull it. IMHO, rent a U-Haul - don't take the chance.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2003, 08:13 PM
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I wouldn't try that either, seems like you'd have quite the issues going over any hills or mountains not to mention what you'd be doing to the tranny. I remember taking the 84 through the mountains in Virginia, it was having a time climbing up through some of those on backroads UNLOADED.

Hmm, here is an odd question for you, how much does a horse weigh?
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2003, 09:36 PM
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Talk to Bill Mamkeson (TXBill) about shipping the Nissan. He's in the business. But he's not big on MBCanada.com

Sixto
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2003, 09:45 PM
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about they only bullet proof tow cars are big V8 pickups or Suburans with there heavy duty tranny an a big tranny cooler`. I pulled a heavy travel trailer from Fla. to Oregon with a 454 chevy suburban with a 400 transmission... It never overheated and would acclerate up most grades, I pull a small open trailer to the dump with my Sd it's only ten miles but you can feel it back there when loaded......
William Rogers........
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2003, 10:07 PM
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There are a few problems with towing something this heavy with a MB which was never designed to tow. If I was going to attempt this heres how I would do it:
1) Install a second, much larger transmission cooler inline with the stock cooler. Buy a cooler that is rated for the total gvw of the car+loaded trailer. Hook second cooler up to RETURN transmission cooler line. You want to cool it further after the factory cooler has done its job. Heat is what kills auto trannys and there will be plenty of it with the MB non-lockup torque converter. Synthetic ATF is a requirement.
2) Find a hitch that will bolt to the MB rated to tow the weight of the trailer. I think you will have trouble finding a hitch rated this high for an MB.
3) Make absolutely sure the brakes on the car are in 100% perfect working order.
4) Car trailer MUST have its own brakes. Most tandem axle rental trailers have hydraulic surge brakes on them. Don't even think you will be able to stop a loaded trailer with just your car brakes.
5) Tongue weight. Critical to make sure there is enough weight on the tongue but not so much that the back end of the car is buried. I would say 100-150lbs is plenty. Tongue weight is adjusted by moving the car backwards/forwards on the trailer. Make sure its within the rating on the hitch. If you get a little sway at higher speeds increase the tongue weight.
6) Synthetic differential lube. That sucker is gonna really heat up with that much of a load on it. This is a requirement or you may need a new diff when you are done.

There you go. If there are no significant hills you should be okay. Have fun, RT
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2003, 10:32 PM
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Djoyce,

You are talking about 4 times the recommended tow weight.

Don't do it if you don't want to damage your car.

Rent a pickup or large SUV with unlimited mileage and use that. It won't cost much for a few days.

P E H
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2003, 10:59 PM
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What exactly is the rated limit on these cars for towing? P E H hints that it is 875lbs?! I've enertained the thought of getting a real chincy and weak hitch for my 84, put it in a ways and use an extension to get it all the way out so I can pull our little trailer. Trailer itself only weighs like 250#s, but can carry upto 1200#s. Of course if I were to pull anything it'd be nearly empty and short trips, just a thought....
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2003, 11:42 PM
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1. If you plan on renting a U-haul car trailer, I won't think they'll would hook you up with any thing less than a 1/2 ton truck as the tow vechical.

2. If towed with the 300D, I would think there would be a very high chance of discussing the issue with a state trooper somewhere along the way.

3. You're setting yourself up for "the tail waging the dog."

4. You may consider running it by your insurance. I won't think you'd be covered.



I've towed my SDL with a tadam axle U-haul trailer towed by a 1/2 ton Suburban. This wasn't the best setup.

Also towed my 450SL on a TrailKing towed by a F350 powerstroke. This combo could carry my suburban no problem. Overkill is nice.
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Old 04-01-2003, 11:59 PM
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Maybe I gave the wrong impression....

I just reread my post.... I am NOT advocating this type of towing with a MB. I was merely making some recommendations that might let the car and driver survive if they were nuts enough to try it. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it shouldn't..... RT
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2003, 08:59 AM
Ken Downing
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I pull a trailer with my 300 TD.. and have pulled a trailer for years with my 300 CD... I would think your car would pull it but.. The weight is kind of border line.. It would take a lot of time to stop and control over about 55 would be in question..

Pulling some thing that large would be some thing you could do but it would not be a trip at freeway speeds. Keeping on the back roads and being very sure to drive way ahead of your self and stopping easy.. You can do it.. I have pulled larger loads for short distances here in the High country.. Not some thing I would like to do often.. But taking your time and being very safe will let you do it..

Ken
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2003, 11:35 AM
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I've pulled an 8 foot tent trailer with my 300SD. Its about 2,000 lbs. Gone from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Toronto and back a few times and down to Calif...each trip about 10,000 kms return. Another real PITA!

These things just are not meant to tow. Through the mountains the tranpsorts were passing me! And overheat! That needle got awfully close a few times.

Either ship the car or rent or borrow a vehicle for towing.

Brian
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2003, 01:54 PM
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Rule of thumb

You have to weigh more than what you're towing, trailer and load.

Auto trans are better cause the torque converter absorbs the shock.

Since auto trans get hot doing this know how hot would be good. You could add a transmission oil temperature gauge.

Tail wagging dog story: In the town next to mine somebody was pulling a full size van with a regular size car. The tail wagged and he hit a power poll. But not just any power poll. The lower lines had resedential power but the upper lines had distribution power. The upper ones broke and fell on the lower ones. Every TV, microwave and computer in town burned out
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2003, 02:02 PM
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You have to weigh more than what you're towing, trailer and load.

Hahahaha! Tell that to the guys hauling those monster 5th wheels. Some of those are approaching 15K which is TWICE the weight of the tow vehicle. I still don't think I would do it with a MB. RT
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2003, 02:09 PM
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I trailered my 240D from Diesel Don's across the state and then towed my SDL up to my mom's farm. The loads were about 5000 and 6000 lbs respectively. The ML320 handled them without any problem whatsoever. I was truely impressed. Acceleration was good. No wagging. Didn't need a weight distribution hitch and averaged 15-17 mpg.

It was an MB but it wasn't a diesel.
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