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  #16  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:24 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
Aside from the 5 speed manual bonus to mpg, was there anything different to these cars (rear axle ratio, injection system in 88, etc) that lets them get 27-29 mpg? My 87 auto on its best tank came up with 22mpg at 70. It is pretty quick, however, so much so that I have never understood other members complaints about acceleration issues on their 87 300Es. Better mileage would be nice, though.
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John

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Larry, and guys,

I just lost a long post replying to your comments, so I will repeat it briefly.

I agree the engine is a little light on low end torque, and when I was driving East on I-70, going uphill at altitudes between 8,500 and 10,600 ft. I had to shift into 3rd gear if I got below 60 mph or so to speed up or maintain speed. I sort of attributed the lack of low end thrust to the lack of oxygen. In any case the C230 Kompressor is a stark contrast in low end torque, but like I noted earlier the C230 is lucky to get 26 or 27 mpg on the highway.

I ordered 205/60-15 Michelin Pilot XGT-VR4 tires from Tire Rack today. Should be here Monday. I have attached a photo and will add a few more tonight if this one shows up. Jim
Attached Thumbnails
Questions on my NEW 1988 300E 5-speed-pic00002.jpg  
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Here is another shot with the doors open. Jim
Attached Thumbnails
Questions on my NEW 1988 300E 5-speed-pic00001.jpg  
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:39 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Here is a front quarter view. Jim
Attached Thumbnails
Questions on my NEW 1988 300E 5-speed-pic00004.jpg  
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:43 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
Jim,
Congratulations on the purchase of your car. It is impressive. Did you stumble onto it or did you know of the rarity first and go looking for it? I get under 25mpg. Maybe I should check the odometer. I'm with JCE, I don't know how you can get that kind of mileage. As for the power, I think my car is doing pretty good. There is a 3 mile hill here that is a 1000 foot climb from sea level. Lots of cars bog down on this hill but mine takes it reasonably well in 5th.
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VR
1967 250SL
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2001, 12:57 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Here is a view of the front seat area of the interior. Jim
Attached Thumbnails
Questions on my NEW 1988 300E 5-speed-pic00006.jpg  
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2001, 01:02 AM
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...auto enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,186
Vaughn:
The best mileage I was able to attain was 26.2 MPG. On average, I got about 25, same as you. One interesting thing to note...compared to other 300E 5-speeds I've driven, yours feels stronger

John:
The 5-speed 300E's were essentially the same as the auto models in terms of fuel injection. The only real difference is the (.80) 5th gear which lets the engine turn a leisurely ~2900 RPM at 80 MPH.
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Beauty & the Beast and the wagon that could!
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2001, 01:09 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,186
Jim,
Do me a favor. In a few years if you get tired of your car...please, please, PLEASE! get in touch with me.

I'm serious! Thanks.
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Glen Tokuhara
Beauty & the Beast and the wagon that could!
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2001, 02:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
vrsmith,

I will ran my route through MapQuest like I said and the computer says the trip was 2,508 miles, and that does not include some driving around looking for a hotel in Russell, Kansas (Hays was full, no beds so I had to go further East) as well as a few other gas detours and stops for food/nature calls. The odometer says I went 2,528 miles. And the bill says I bought 86.94 gallons of premium fuel. The only error that can exist is in the mileage, and I think that is insignificant (at 2,508 miles, that would be 28.84 mpg). The route I took was a little longer than the MapQuest route I mapped, as I made some slight modifications and detours around St. Louis. I got screwed up and went into the city rather than around it, and there were some serious construction sites along I-70 when you got into the city.

I ran premium 91 octane {(R+M)/2} gas, with fresh transmission and differential fluids, and the tires are 32 psi front, 35 psi rear (which makes the rough ride of the crummy tires worse, but it keeps them cooler and helped me eek out the extra 2,500 miles without incident). The book says the fronts should be no higher than 29 psi. It was reasonably cool, so I only ran the airconditioning from Kansas City to Cleveland. After that it was not called for so I turned it off.

Can't think of anything else that might affect mileage, but Larry says he gets similar mileage on long Interstate highway runs. I am very pleasantly surprised as I was expecting 4 to 6 mpg less, just based on size and weight compared to my other cars.

And I was very aware of how rare the car is. I went to an auction once about 8 years ago and tried to buy a 1986 5-speed, but the price for the car got over my limit quickly. It was higher mileage than the 1988 I just bought, was in rougher condition, and the 1986 ultimately sold for nearly twice the price I just paid. I started looking in earnest for one this summer and scoured the internet until 3 a.m. for weeks in a row, looking at every 300E, anywhere in the country at any price. I was amazed, there are literally thousands of them for sale and I had to ask about the transmissions for ones that did not say they were automatics. And this one showed up. I actually thought it might be a grey market car as I had never actually seen a 1988 with a manual transmission. I did a CarFax on it using one of the CarFax accounts someone posted on this board, and it turned up to be a clean car. And I started a dialogue with the now "previous owner" that led to the sale.

I am still amazed by the whole experience, and the car. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2001, 02:30 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Glen,

I will pass your request on to our 14 year old son, as he has declared he has "dibs" on it already. We have kind of established a routine here that each kid gets one car from Mom and Dad that is the same age as they are, plus or minus 6 months or so, and this one fits the formula for him (as he has already determined). I am not sure if this car really qualifies as the other kids all got Mercedes-Benz cars, but each had at least 200,000 miles. He is anticipating assuming ownership in about 2 1/2 to 3 years, which means my wife and I have to drive the car a lot to make it "qualify" without slighting his older sister and brother.

The previous owner really had some difficulty finding a buyer, which kind of floored me. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #26  
Old 11-20-2001, 10:07 AM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jim,

Get ready for many more offers like Glens. I have received many, one of which I may have been a fool to turn down, but I love the car.

This dialogue is getting me fired up to clean mine up, put in a windshield and the few other cosmetics it needs. It will be difficult to keep it clean this Winter, but if my 240D isn't ready for the AutoWerks opening, the 300E will definitely need to be ready to stand tall for the trip.

Everyone,

I am just as surprised at the fuel mileage that everyone is indicating for their automatic cars as you all are at our fuel mileage with the 5 speeds. I hope I don't insult or hurt anyone's feelings, but that's one of the many reasons that I detest automatics.

One reason I believe that this is so, is that these cars were designed in Germany by Germans for Germans, and Germans typically don't have much use for an automatic transmission in this size car. The automatic is an engineering after thought which is added to a car that has been optimized for a manual transmission. It is added mainly for the US market. In Germany fuel costs about 400% more than in the US. Additionally cars are taxed in Germany based on engine displacement.

The engine/car combination was optimized for the five speed, and for the US market where gas is cheap, there was no need to spend any extra engineering money, when the fuel mileage with automatic was acceptable for it's place in the US market.

During this rambling I went to my records and looked at the original window sticker. It indicates 17 city and 25 highway. I would be interested to see what an '88 automatic car had as EPA estimates on the window sticker. It may be that they just put the same EPA rating on all the 300E's.

I keep a logbook of all service and all fuel stops in chronological order. I calculate fuel mileage at every fuel stop. I am always a bit disappointed when I see 25 or less. I haven't seen less than 25 very many times and that was always when I was doing a bunch of stoplight to stoplight driving. I would have to get my logbook out to verify, but I would be shocked if there is an entry of less than 22.

This all is my theory and opinion.

Have a great day,
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  #27  
Old 11-20-2001, 10:09 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
I routinely get 25 MPG at 70 - 75 MPH when I take my trips to Chicago from my 1991 300E (automatic). I usually fill up before I leave, reset the trip meter, add some gas in Indiana on the way back, and refill again when I got home. The drive train is very smooth and is filled with synthetic fluid in engine, transmission, and rear differential.
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  #28  
Old 11-20-2001, 10:19 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Larry:

Some info about the fuel mileage between manual and automatics.

I am contemplating a SLK 230 Compressor next March and requested some literature from MBUSA.

For that model, the EPA ratings are:
Manual: 20 mpg (city) and 29 mpg (HWY). 0 - 60 in 6.9 s.
Automatic: 23 mpg (city) and 30 mpg (HWY). 0 - 60 in 7.0 s.

With the 320 engine (SLK32):
Manual: 18 mpg (city) and 27 mpg (HWY). 0 - 60 in 6.6 s.
Automatic: 21 mpg (city) and 27 mpg (HWY). 0 - 60 in 6.6 s.

So in this car, the automatic gets better fuel mileage. I have seen similar numbers from other makers as well.

Now for the C230 Compressor, the numbers are closer.
Manual: 19/29
Automatic: 19/28.

I remember reading from Car and Driver (?) that they cannot out-shift the automatic with the 6 spd manual, proving the point MB told them. I believe the tests were done on the C230 Compressor.
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  #29  
Old 11-21-2001, 10:26 AM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm sorry to be such a hard headed manual transmission bigot.

Most of the US Automotive rags reflect the sentiment of 90% or so of the American driving public. That is, they like automatics. The articles almost always favor the automatic, because the person writing can't drive a stick very well, or has very little experience with them. This bias shows up in comments.

The automatics are getting much more efficient now than they were in '88 with computer control and other improvements, there are all sorts of things they can do with them.

In '88 I believe there was not near as much technology or concern put toward the automatic by MB.

Like I say I'm a manual bigot and admit it. I don't care what they
EVER do with automatic transmission technology, I still want an automatic.

If my casket has an automatic transmission, I will come back and haunt everyone that had anything to do with the decision. Once I'm in that casket, I figure if I go upstairs thereafter, I will be met with a great car with a manual transmission. If I go downstairs, it will definitely be an automatic, this is enough to make me behave myself. The thought of eternity with an automatic transmission is VERY scary.

Stick Shifts Forever,
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  #30  
Old 11-21-2001, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
I agree wholeheartedly with Larry. That is why I spent so many hours on my computer scouring the internet for a manual 300E.

No matter how sophisticated the automatic transmissions become, they will never be able to see what is coming and set you up to be on the right part of the torque curve for what you want to do when you get there. And if they get better at responding to manual inputs that might be an improvement, but I see no way they can mimmic a heel and toe downshift and get the timing the way it needs to be to keep the rear wheels where you want them and doing what you want them to do.

The 1999 C230 Kompressor/Sport has a terrible response to manual inputs, mainly because the computer evaluates your input based on other inputs from sensors and then acts. Nasty, unacceptable, non-standard delays that really detract from controlling the car's position and attitude on the road. I was so unnerved by it I took the car back to the dealer and asked to have it checked out. I was told that is the way it is. It seems the 1998 E300D TurboDiesel has the same set up, so I rarely move the lever out of drive when out and about. A manual would really make that car perfect.

Automatics have a place on earth I suppose, I just don't approve of them in my driveway. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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