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Old 11-13-2003, 01:57 AM
wielder of thor's hammer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 321
can I beat on a 300e?

when I drive every morning, I have to merge onto a few busy highways from a turn. This means quick acceleration. My 87 300e is a bit sluggish in doing this unless I push very hard on the pedal. It revs at a max of 5k to 5.5k when I push hard. My question is, is this o.k. to do? I know when I owned an 87 regal my dad told me if I beat on it it would die because it was old. Do I still have to worry about this? Should I let the people in their new mercedes' pass me as I merge?

headrivenoise... listen.
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Old 11-13-2003, 07:19 AM
it leaks, its german
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1,111
103's are pretty tough, as long as it has oil and coolant in it, it oughtta be fine. I wouldn't run it at 70 in 2nd gear for 20 miles but, those are pretty remarkable engines as a rule.

The onlys ones I've seen bad were either run hot or run out of oil.

Project Smoker, '87 603 powered wagon
Hauler, 96 CTD can you say torque?
Toy 73 Cougar xr7 convertible
Acme Automotive Inc.
Raleigh NC
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:52 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,282
The 103 engine is very robust, but you should not demand full load and revs of ANY engine until it is fully warmed up. Remember, Germans drive these cars flat out on the autobahns!

When I need max performance from my stick shift '88 190E 2.6 I shift just short of the 6650 rev limiter, even though the redline on the tach is 6200. It makes useable power all the way to the limiter.

If you need maximum acceleration from a dead strop pull the shifter to low, which will force it to start in first gear instead of second. This will considerably improve initial acceleration by avoiding the downshift lag when you floor the throttle in drive. In drive your car starts in second gear. You can also improve acceleration by shifting manually and holding the gear longer by upshifting just short of the rev limiter.

Car and Driver's first test of a '86 300E (a stick shift) yielded 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Though the 103 engine is torque shy, if you use the sweet spot in the power curve from 5000 to the rev limiter, they are fairly quick.


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Old 11-13-2003, 07:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Go ahead and drive it hard, it's very unlikely you will kill it. Don't overrev it, and let it warm up some before you floor it and you will be fine.

Benz makes their cars to be driven fairly hard.


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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