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Old 05-24-2003, 08:04 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 4
300e diff ratio

I recently bought a 1993 300e with 277 000 km on the clock.
The car is in an excellent condition considering the high mileage.

Everything on the car is working except the cruise control, which according to what I've read on this site, is a common problem.

According to the previous owner the diff started humming about a year ago. It was replaced with a rebuilt unit.

Me problem is that this diff obviously has a different ratio from the original unit. The speedo is way out and the car wheel-spin very easily, even when it pulls off in second.

I've searched the site and read all the threads regarding diffs on this vehicle. As far as I can gather, the ratio should be somewhere on the diff housing. Where exactly will this be and what should I look for? I had a quick look this morning and all I could see was the part number and "1,5" on the left hand side of the housing.

The car is right-hand drive and presimable euro spec as I live in South Africa. The W124 was sold in this country in 200e, 230e, 260e, 300te and 300e configurations. The diff could have come from any of these models.

Any advice will be appreciated.
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Old 05-24-2003, 11:29 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,011
Most OEMs stamp the diff with codes to indicate the internal configuration including the ratio, but I don't know how to decipher Mercedes' codes.

If no one else come through, the easiest way to check the ratio is to jack up the rear and turn the driveshaft for one complete revolution of the rear wheels, and compare your number to available ratios. The early US spec 300E has a 3.07:1 ratio, but I think later years might have a 2.93:1. The early 260E is 3.27:1, and the 300SE is 3.46:1, so these are likely candidates, but there may be other ratios for other markets.

If it's an open diff and both wheels won't turn together, hold one wheel firm, then count driveshaft turns for one wheel revolution, and multiply your number by two.


Last edited by Duke2.6; 05-24-2003 at 11:35 AM.
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