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  #1  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:23 AM
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Location: Huntington Beach
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Quick question for 190e 2.6 owners....

....w/ 5-speed OD trannies and 2.87:1 rear end: How do you feel the car responds to throttle inputs in everyday driving? i.e. do you find yourself needing to downshift a lot to pass on highways, or to get into an open spot in traffic? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2004, 02:41 AM
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I have a 2.6 but my autotrans has 4 speeds only, no O.D.

Car does not respond rapidly to throttle inputs at speed or from rest. There is about a half-second lag between putting the throttle down and the car actually starting to accelerate. Downshifts can be actuated by pressing down past the detent.

Acceleration can be kindly thought of as moderate, 0 to 100 kph in maybe 10 seconds. Top speed attained with driver only is 187 kph. Not a dragster for sure, but a leisurely cruiser.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:02 AM
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Location: Saugus, CA USA
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Throttle response is slow, I don't know how Mercedes got fuel injection to respond slowly. I expect it was intentionally dampened, probably for emissions.

At freeway speeds I have to take it out of top gear climbing even the slightest hill, and top gear acceleration is next to nothing. Fourth gear allows acceptable acceleration, but third gear is fun.
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:43 AM
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Location: Southern California
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The axle ratio on my '88 five speed is 3.27:1 and I don't think this changed as the years went by.

The 2.6 is a torque shy, peaky engine, and the widely spaced gear ratios are not well suited to it. Also, the overall gearing is too tall. For example, third gear is good for almost 100 MPH. On a 325i third is good for about 85 MPH due to it's shorter overall gearing, and the 325i has closer spaced gearing.

The 2-3 spread of 1.58 is particularly bad. At almost any speed - even when shifting at max revs - it falls on it's face on the 2-3 shift. Top speed is achieved in fourth gear. Shifting to fifth does not increase speed, and it may even slow slightly. Also, fifth gear grade climbing ability is poor. Climbing a freeway mountain grade of more than about three percent requires fourth gear to maintain speed. Mercedes should have shorted the axle ratio by at least 10 percent to give better performance.

The contemporaneous 300SE has a 3.46:1 axle. and this would have been an improvement, but I would have also shortened first and second to keep the overall first and second gearing about the same, which would allow a closer 2-3 spacing.

I once considered installing a direct drive 16V gearbox and the Euro model 3.07:1 limited slip axle. My preliminary research indicated it's a bolt-on operation (would also have to include the longer 16V driveshaft), but I decided the time and expense was not worth the effort.

Duke
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2004, 06:17 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: anytown, USA
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"...Quick question for 190e 2.6 owners....
....w/ 5-speed OD trannies and 2.87:1 rear end: How do you feel the car responds to throttle inputs in everyday driving? i.e. do you find yourself needing to downshift a lot to pass on highways, or to get into an open spot in traffic? Thanks..."


I have a M103 2.6 Liter, with an automatic transmission...

When I drove the car for the first time I was shocked at how low the rearend was geared...

60 m.p.h. equates to 3,000 r.p.m.

When I mentioned this concern to the previous owner, he stated "oh thats okay... you still get 25 miles per gallon... also if your speeding the gearing will effectively slow you down if you take your foot off of the gas pedal..."

The car does average from 24-26 miles per gallon as promised...

Eventually I found it written that the factory purposefully lowered the gearing on the W201 in north american models to reduce top speed to a more acceptable level...

Say from 145+ down to 125+ miles per hour...

Digressing for a moment, while I dig through the old trusty mental archives...

I previously owned a 1991 General Motors Cheverolet Camaro... 305 multi port injection, 5speed standard transmission...

The car would cruise all the way to 90 mph with ease...

At 60 mph the tach would be @2,000 rpms...

One day I filled the gas tank at an exit near Savannah, Georgia... got on I-95 travelling north...

Drove non stop to I-81 south of Roanoake, Virginia... made a pit stop there to refuel...

The trip odometer read 369 miles... since last filling up...

It took only 12 gallons of gas to refill! ...that is 30 miles per gallon average...

The most interesting thing was that I had not been nursing the engine at all...

I was exceeding 90 mph in places to pass long lines of tractor-trailers who were running above the speed limit...

Conclusion
If that heavier V-8 Camaro was capable of 30 miles per gallon... that smaller lighter weight W201 should do the same or better...

With the right gearing of course...
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2004, 06:33 AM
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Location: Northern Va.
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They are geared for the Autobahn not the Interstate. My 960 wagon, with a 3.0 six, turns 2500 rpm at 60 mph while the 300SE turns 3000 rpm. The Volvo has lots of torque at lower engine rpm than the 300SE. The Volvo also has a lockup torque converter that the 300SE lacks. The 300SE has a lot of pickup over 60 mph but I need it down low not up high.

Does anyone have a camshaft for the M103 that lowers the torque curve down the rpm scale?

Don't forget, the W126 was available with a 5.6 L V-8 like the Camaro but without the EFI and lockup TC.
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Warren

Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

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  #7  
Old 08-03-2004, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies all (esp. Duke). I have the parts to do the auto > manual swap, just wanted to check if I'd need a new rear end as well, b/c of the gearing....sounds like I will. Time to start searching.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2004, 02:02 PM
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Location: Saugus, CA USA
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A number

3000 rpm at 80mph on mine.
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2004, 02:25 AM
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Re: A number

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Anderson
3000 rpm at 80mph on mine... 5 speed '91 190E 2.6 150,000 mi...
Sounds interesting...

Is the rearend differential stock or aftermarket?

Have you ever "maxed" the car out to see what top speed/rpms it is capable of?

Reply at your convenience...

Thanks.

Elusive 190E
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2004, 03:18 AM
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Location: ajax, ontario, canada
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As has been mentioned previously, the 5-speed manual 190e2.6 is sluggish in city driving, what with the peaky nature of the M103 and the widely-spaced gear ratios.

I am very particular with the rpm/mph ratio of the top gear - the lower, the better, for better fuel economy and less engine wear. What I like about the 5speed box is the gearing of 4th and 5th:

* the car has a drag-limited top speed in both gears - in 4th, the engine is at approximately its power peak, and in 5th, it is at approximately its torque peak

* the fact that the car is drag-limited in 4th means that you can safely shift from 5th to 4th anytime without any fear of over-revving the engine

* this gives you 2 modes of highway cruising - banzai mode in 4th (with the knowledge that the automatic 2.6 cars are geared this way) or economy mode in 5th

On stretches of highway that are mostly level, I do not really feel the need to shift down to 4th to overtake - I just floor it in 5th, and the engine begins to respond at around 3500rpm, after which the speed builds nearly linearly. On fast 2-lane roads, shifting down to 4th is needed for minimum exposure in the overtaking lane.

1st gear is really boring, as it is geared very low. On the other hand, you can use this in bumper-to-bumper traffic that is moving very slowly. And this comes handy as well in winter.

2nd gear can be spectacular, especially when you floor the throttle past 5000 rpm.

The highly geared 3rd gear is perfect for a highway on-ramp, with a 160kph max speed. You just concentrate on where you need to merge the car.

Another advantage of the manual car is longer transmission life and longer brake life (due to more engine braking).
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2004, 03:28 AM
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Question message for wbain 5280...

"...Does anyone have a camshaft for the M103 that lowers the torque curve down the rpm scale..?"


In all the listings for camshafts I have noticed no offers for various grinds...

Seems like the aftermarket manufacturers have determined that one grind or degreed cam fits all so to speak...

The only info they seem to imply the most is that a new [improved] set of rocker arms must be obtained with a new rotor button [mounting] piece with new retaining screw/bolt also...

Hope this info is helpful, thanks.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2004, 03:35 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks for sharing the info...

Quote:
Originally posted by bobbyv
As has been mentioned previously, the 5-speed manual 190e2.6 is sluggish in city driving, what with the peaky nature of the M103 and the widely-spaced gear ratios.

I am very particular with the rpm/mph ratio of the top gear - the lower, the better, for better fuel economy and less engine wear. What I like about the 5speed box is the gearing of 4th and 5th:

* the car has a drag-limited top speed in both gears - in 4th, the engine is at approximately its power peak, and in 5th, it is at approximately its torque peak

* the fact that the car is drag-limited in 4th means that you can safely shift from 5th to 4th anytime without any fear of over-revving the engine

* this gives you 2 modes of highway cruising - banzai mode in 4th (with the knowledge that the automatic 2.6 cars are geared this way) or economy mode in 5th

On stretches of highway that are mostly level, I do not really feel the need to shift down to 4th to overtake - I just floor it in 5th, and the engine begins to respond at around 3500rpm, after which the speed builds nearly linearly. On fast 2-lane roads, shifting down to 4th is needed for minimum exposure in the overtaking lane.

1st gear is really boring, as it is geared very low. On the other hand, you can use this in bumper-to-bumper traffic that is moving very slowly. And this comes handy as well in winter.

2nd gear can be spectacular, especially when you floor the throttle past 5000 rpm.

The highly geared 3rd gear is perfect for a highway on-ramp, with a 160kph max speed. You just concentrate on where you need to merge the car.

Another advantage of the manual car is longer transmission life and longer brake life (due to more engine braking).

"...Excellent write up/description, thanks for the information..!"

Just out of curiousity, what is the top speed you have "maxed" out with your car in k.p.h. or m.p.h.?

Approximately 100 m.p.h. in third gear is quite interesting!


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  #13  
Old 08-04-2004, 04:39 AM
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Location: ajax, ontario, canada
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The fastest I have run my 190e2.6 5speed is around 195kph (around 122mph), before my license flashed before my eyes and I backed off.

The 3-notch marking on the speedometer at around 100mph/160kph indicates the maximum speed you can attain in 3rd gear. The fact that there is no marking for 4th (or 5th) indicates that the car is drag-limited in 4th and 5th.

Aside from the camshaft, one other factor contributing to the peaky nature of the M103 is the design of the intake manifold - the runners are fixed and short, indicating that they are tuned for high-rpm operation. An engine tuned for low-end torque would have long intake runners, while one tuned for both low- and high-rpm operation would have variable-length or multi-stage runners.

This characteristic meshes very well with the smoothness of the inline-6, which sounds happy happy happy past 5000rpm.

This is a car bred for the autobahn, and it was born to run ...


Last edited by bobbyv; 08-04-2004 at 04:47 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2004, 05:02 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks for sharing the info...

"...Aside from the camshaft, one other factor contributing to the peaky nature of the M103 is the design of the intake manifold - the runners are fixed and short, indicating that they are tuned for high-rpm operation. An engine tuned for low-end torque would have long intake runners, while one tuned for both low- and high-rpm operation would have variable-length or multi-stage runners..."


Not only am I new [noobie?] to the forum, I am still perpetually learning about performance issues...

Thanks for the information, it is the kind of insight we need...

Again thanks and good luck!

Elusive 190e
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2004, 11:43 AM
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Re: Thanks for sharing the info...

Quote:
[i]

Just out of curiousity, what is the top speed you have "maxed" out with your car in k.p.h. or m.p.h.?
[/B]
As you can see from my signature I was able to characterize the top speed of my car in the Silver State Classic Challenge. Mercedes quoted top speed of 134 MPH in '87, but lowered it to 129 in later years. Top speed is achieved in fourth gear with either transission at about 6000-6200 RPM. With a five speed you can shift to fifth, and it will hold about 5000 revs, which is low 130s. I ran most of the SSCC in fifth. Due to the relatively flat nature of the top end of the power curve, the power at 5000 is not that far below the peak at 5800.

Duke
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