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Old 05-16-2003, 11:11 PM
Michael Younts
Posts: n/a
1987 260 E throttle response

My car is very "flatfooted" off idle. It takes a few seconds to spool up and then it chirps the tires when it hits second gear. It just doesn't seem to respond to throttle input like it should. My mechanic has been adjusting and fuel injection settings and it's much better but still not quite right.
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Old 05-17-2003, 05:59 AM
They call me Darth Speed
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 327
I have a customer with the same problem. It feels so lazy compared to a 300e 3.0L. If you drop to a lower gear it goes faster. I need to check the linkage and the trans kickdown cable.
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Old 05-17-2003, 10:50 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,010
The 124/2.6 is a torque shy engine in a fairly heavy body. I believe your car normally starts in second gear, and if you floor the throttle it will downshift to first, but this will take a second or two. The chirp you hear may actually be the downshift to FIRST gear.

If you move the gear selector to "L" it will start in first gear. Try this and see if it makes a difference.

The behavior you report may actually be normal. The second gear start and slow throttle tip-in is characteristic of Mercs to make them smooth, but it can also make them seem slow when you are trying to make a quick start from a dead stop.

A slow shift to first gear on a WOT start may be possible to correct with adjustment of the kickdown linkage, but I'm can't give you any guidance on this as my 201/2.6 has a manual transmission.

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Old 05-19-2003, 10:19 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140

My 1987 260E starts normally in second gear. If I floor it from start it downshifts to first gear and it almost squeeches the tires when second engages. I guess that the first gear is quite short and sort of agressive. I have really learned to drive nice and slow with this car - sometimes I am thankful that Mercedes made an engine which starts such heavy car in second gear making it so smooth.

My $0.02
1984 MB 300D Turbo Diesel W123 Sedan 132K
1987 MB 300D Turbo W124 Sedan 295K
1983 Porsche 944 104K
1989 Audi 80 Quattro 180K
2002 Audi A6 3.0 Quattro Avant 49K (Wife's car with warranty )

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Old 05-20-2003, 02:02 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 55
In my 260, you have to push pretty agressively to get off the line quickly. That is, floor it past the kick down switch (and wait, hold on) or manually shift down to 2 (and then "row" it back, or to be eve more agressive, leave it a 2 until 45 mph or so.)

Making my 200,000 odo'd car rev up near the red line makes me nervous. Also, bouncing off the rev limiter in 2nd, at a hair under 55. Is this bad? :-) (only did it once)
jeremy wood
'88 260E ~200,700 miles
- All stock, except for Blaupunkt "Miami Beach"
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Old 05-20-2003, 02:23 PM
EricSilver's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,209
Apparently this is a 2.6L thing. Mine does that too, especially after the first startup of the day, when seems to be fuel starved for the first minute or two.
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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Old 05-20-2003, 05:15 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,010
Originally posted by jw-260E

Making my 200,000 odo'd car rev up near the red line makes me nervous. Also, bouncing off the rev limiter in 2nd, at a hair under 55. Is this bad? :-) (only did it once)
If the engine is in good condition, you have nothing to worry about. Catastrophic failures in modern engines are almost unheard of, and all that I have looked at appeared to be started by an oiling failure, such as jazzing the car around with insufficient oil level, which starved a bearing causing it to seize and the resulting bending load on the rod caused the rod to break. The message here is to keep your oil level up and NOT wait until the low oil level light illuminates.

The sweet spot in the 2.6 power curve is 5000 to the rev limiter which hits at about 6650. I'm not saying you should regularly rev it up near the limit, but when you really need the performance, don't hesistat to use the full operating range of the engine. Unless you hold it in low it will shift to third before the limiter.

Hitting the rev limiter will cause no harm, but it will stop acceleration, so you need to upshift before you hit it. The rev limiter is there to protect the bottom end and valvetrain from possible damaging stresses that could occur from overreving, and the limiter is easy to hit in the 2.6 because the power does not rolloff very fast and it really wants to rev higher.

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Old 05-20-2003, 07:45 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Check for vacuum leaks -- brake booster line, brake booster itself, all the emissions stuff, and tranny control. Also climate control -- does the AC tend to blow up the windshield instead of out the dash vents?

Idle control valve hoses go bad and leak, causes rough idle, stalling sometimes, and throttle lag. You should have decent response even in 2nd, if you put the throttle down and ......then it goes, you have either an overlean condition (also check OVP relay, it can cause mixture control failure problems), a bad 02 sensor, or a vac leak (or combination).

Worn out secondary ignition parts will do this too, as will a bad vac signal line to the computer on the driver's side fender!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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