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  #1  
Old 02-05-2006, 05:54 AM
Hit Man X's Avatar
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Thumbs up 300SEL Q's

I'm looking at picking up an '88 300SEL here for another family member but was curious to what current owners, past ones, or even people that have driven the vehicle on/off thought of it... I'm aware of the valve guide problems they have but just general input on it.



Also, I have some questions regarding them:

Are these also 2nd gear start cars like the 300E?

Any idea on their appx weight? Maybe 3800lbs?

What about average fuel economy? I figure about 15 city and maybe 20 freeway?

Rear axle gearing? I looked and it came back as a 3.46:1?

0-60mph times? I know it's no rocket but it can't be slower than my SD can it?



Thanks for the input
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2006, 01:23 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,589
my favorite machinist

had one for a while that he bought with a blown engine and put a new used engine in it. i think it was a 91.

i drove it once. it was astoundingly quick for a large heavy car with a 3 liter motor.

i believe it started in first. dont really know about economy. i assume it is a little not a lot better than a 380 or 500. though it has a smaller motor it is geared lower. i would expect to be able to get in the low 20s on the highway and mid teens around town.

tom w
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Moneypit SEL's Avatar
Now what?
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SE PA
Posts: 525
Last tank of fuel gave 19 mpg with all short-trip driving. I've seen over 23 mpg with a full load of people/luggage on the highway.

It weighs around 3600-3700 pounds, IIRC.
Second-gear start, but can be overcome with the shifter or throttle.
Not a rocket off the line, but will do fine once it's rolling. I remember someone posting here that he'd seen around 130 mph with his.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2006, 04:18 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
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Thumbs up

Any clue as to those speeds it was cruising to get 22-23mpg freeway?
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2006, 01:32 AM
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Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit Man X
I'm looking at picking up an '88 300SEL here for another family member but was curious to what current owners, past ones, or even people that have driven the vehicle on/off thought of it... I'm aware of the valve guide problems they have but just general input on it.



Also, I have some questions regarding them:

Are these also 2nd gear start cars like the 300E?

Any idea on their appx weight? Maybe 3800lbs?

What about average fuel economy? I figure about 15 city and maybe 20 freeway?

Rear axle gearing? I looked and it came back as a 3.46:1?

0-60mph times? I know it's no rocket but it can't be slower than my SD can it?



Thanks for the input
They do indeed start out in 2nd geear, 1st would be better. AMHIK.

3800 lbs sounds about right.

I get 22 mpg hwy.

Can't say about rear axle gearing.

0-60, slow, 2nd gear start slows them down alot. More HO than an SD, more HP than a 380SE(L).

Fine car, stout engine, 3000 rpm at 60 mph, mine uses a quart every 1000 miles which is considered 'normal' by the factory. I need new valve seals. That's next.

Don't forget about the front end rebuild.
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Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

ENTER > = (HP RPN)

Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2006, 02:16 AM
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Thumbs up

I found out thanks to a member here they have a 3.46:1 ratio out back.
__________________
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2006, 08:04 AM
Moneypit SEL's Avatar
Now what?
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Posts: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit Man X
Any clue as to those speeds it was cruising to get 22-23mpg freeway?
Speed limit + 5-10 mph.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:24 AM
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holy cow, 3000RPM @ 60MPH...the 300SE I have is a parts car, so I've never had the pleasure of taking it on the highway, but good grief, that's short gearing.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:38 AM
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Personaly I wouldn't buy one. I don't think the M103 is well suited to drag the W126 around or in this case geared that well.

If you are shopping for a gas W126 a 420SEL has a lot more power, better gearing and will probably match if not beat the 300SEL's mileage.

Plus they are common and dirt cheap to pick up. It is amazing how much 420SEL you can get for $5k-$7k.

Plus if you buy a late one you get a better sound system, interior, and traction control.

To bad the M104 never found its way into the W126, that would be a good combo.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2006, 10:49 AM
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my 420SEL is a tremendous car...it's not fast off the line, but 50-70 acceleration is astounding...it seems to just keep accelerating at an ever-increasing rate, until I let off the pedal. My Cadillac is the opposite, super off the line, but so-so in 50-70 acceleration.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2006, 11:00 AM
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On the mileage front, my 420 will produce about 19MPG in the mix of city and highway driving I do. I've never had it on a long highway run to see what it will do there, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does 22-23.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2006, 02:55 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
Personaly I wouldn't buy one. I don't think the M103 is well suited to drag the W126 around or in this case geared that well.

If you are shopping for a gas W126 a 420SEL has a lot more power, better gearing and will probably match if not beat the 300SEL's mileage.

Plus they are common and dirt cheap to pick up. It is amazing how much 420SEL you can get for $5k-$7k.

Plus if you buy a late one you get a better sound system, interior, and traction control.

To bad the M104 never found its way into the W126, that would be a good combo.


Well... 420s are a dime a dozen around here. Heck a used lot has one with only 170K on the ticker and they want $1700 cash. 171K, even has power recline. They're nearly free from the local auctions.

Maybe I'll just part out this 300SEL then as my first intentions were.

Can the 420 get similar economy as the 300SEL? How reliable is the bottom end on that motor with let's say 200K?
__________________
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2006, 03:01 PM
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shoot, I paid $1500 for mine, 170K, no huge problems, just some deferred maintenance...seems to run like a scalded dog.
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2006, 04:15 PM
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Location: Baton Rouge La
Posts: 2,630
I have a friend who has a 90. she has about 225k on it...seems to be mostly trouble free for her... i think she did somethign to the differential recently about 1k... other than that seems trouble free.

a bit too big for me.
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  #15  
Old 02-06-2006, 05:22 PM
Hit Man X's Avatar
I LOVE BRUNETTES
 
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Thumbs up

What about timing chain intervals? Fuel unit?

Just curious what I could be getting myself into before giving the vehicle as a gift...
__________________
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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