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Old 03-23-2002, 04:13 AM
KNanthrup's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 180
Rear differential question

Ok, I'm slightly confused about my rear differential. I have an '86 300E with the m103 engine in it. Now, when cruising around it tends to hum along in pretty low rpms (averaging 2000-2500 or so), but when I'm on the freeway it hits around 3500 doing around 75mph. This seems kinda high to me, I wasn't sure if I had the stock rearend in my car, or what the ratio of it is or anything. I'd be curious to know what rpms everyone else runs at with the same model type, or if anyone knows whats going on with mine. I just got my car a month or so ago and its taking some getting used to... one thing I noticed is that it loves purring in the low rpms, it cruises in 4th gear almost all the time. When starting from a stop it starts in 2nd, hits 3rd for a half a second, then immediately kicks into 4th. Is this normal operation? It doesn't complain or have any trouble, it just seems weird. Just curiousity...
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Old 03-23-2002, 12:26 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,141
My M103 motor turns about 3400 rpm at 70mph. They rev higher than your average Honda; Toyota.

I believe there are basically 2 ways to draw power from an engine:

- Cubic inches - the M103 does not have
- RPMs - the M103 has
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC

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Old 03-23-2002, 10:34 PM
BAd124's Avatar
German Car Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Colonie NY
Posts: 258
This is normal. Merecedes changed the ratios several times throughout the production lifeline to try to bring highway RPMS lower and conserve fuel. They only had four gears to work with and they tried to get the most efficency out of it. This is why they shift so fast. This is normal as far as my experiences. At least the bright side is that the early models like yours have the fastest accel to 100. Of course if you want more control you can always shift for yourself
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