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  #16  
Old 03-15-2008, 10:15 PM
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In theory, you can tune a 6.9 to breath fire, but don't hope for anything resembling a 2 digit gas milage.

More importantly, most cars have neglected rubber bits that make all the difference in the world.

The 6.9 I am currently putting on the road has been neglected for years as it collected dust in the garage. I'm in the process of replacing lots of FI parts that are hopelessly corroded because they were cleaned and then left exposed without any form of protective coating. Somebody tried to give this car some love. But they didn't follow through on it. With luck, they did enough so that I can take it the rest of the way. I'd hate to say it died of complications due to negligence. And then of course, I get to drive it.

-CTH

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  #17  
Old 03-18-2008, 01:51 AM
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One slight correction: The original tire size on the '77 240D was 175-14, but 195/70 is the common replacement since you can barely find the original size anymore.

I have never driven a 6.9, though I would like to. I imagine the performance in raw numbers is around the same as a Crown Vic LX or Police Interceptor, but the cool factor is way higher.
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimFreeh View Post
1977 it was certainly one of the highest performance 4 door sedans on the planet. By todays standards they are woeful underachievers - in acceleration and handling......
Actually the w116 6.9 V-8 consistently beats the latest version super deluxe MB V-12 sedan in quarter mile times. Dont believe me? Search "Silver Bullet" here on this family of forums and you will see clinical study along these lines replete with factory reps baffled to discover the 6.9 V-8 beats their V-12's.

And with respect to handling, 126 owners will admit the 116 is far more precise, responsive and nimble as opposed to softer ride of later full sized sedan series. Question of w116 suspension geometry drawn up complete circa '73 when german engineers worked towards perfected ballance, agility and responsiveness with uncommon vengeance. Heck, its a darned job for me to keep my 116 under 70mph on windey country roads here.

Handling strikes me as question of sensitivity and responsiveness never losing feel for the road. Sad to say by "today's standards" handling's applied as misnomer towards isolating the driver instead of sensing the pavement.
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  #19  
Old 03-18-2008, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 300SDog View Post
And with respect to handling, 126 owners will admit the 116 is far more precise, responsive and nimble as opposed to softer ride of later full sized sedan series.
Ummm, I disagree.

I had TimFreeh's 6.9 in my garage for the better part of a year, then my father owned it, and it's still in the family. Suffice to say, I've driven it extensively over the years. Also owned a 6.3 for many years. I am quite familiar with the pluses and minuses of the M100 engines.

Comparing the M100 6.9 to my 90 560SEL, I'll keep my W126, thank you.

This is an apples to apples comparision, both cars are the flagship, long wheelbase, and biggest V-8. Similar rear suspension, with front spring on the 560, full hydropneumatic on the 6.9.

The only thing the 560 gives up is the rocket sled acceleration at extralegal speeds. The lighter engine, Aluminum in the 560, makes a difference in the handling. The 215/70-14 tires on the 6.5" rims that a 6.9 came with does not help much with the cornering. The 560's 205/65-15 on 7" rims help a bunch.

Given the complexity and cost of a 6.9, I'm much happier with my 560 equipped with good Bilstein comforts and Michelin Pilot tires. And so is my wallet.

Jim
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
The lighter engine, Aluminum in the 560, makes a difference in the handling. The 215/70-14 tires on the 6.5" rims that a 6.9 came with does not help much with the cornering. The 560's 205/65-15 on 7" rims help a bunch.
I was always under the impression that the 3.8 and 5.0 m117 engines are alloy and the 4.2 and 5.6 are cast iron block with alloy heads.

So the moral of the story is to buy a 6.9 and put bigger wheels on it. Up until the late 80's, 15 inch wheels were considered as huge and you could get V rated tires for 14 inch wheels. Now ,many modern luxury cars come with 20 inch wheels!

There are a few 'off brand' manufactures that make H rated tires for 14 inch wheels but there isn't many.

You will see the same thing happen with 15 inch tires as the only vehicles that have used them in the last 10 years are minivans and soon W126's will handle like crap.

I haven't driven a 560SEL so I can't give you an apples to apples comparison. I have driven a friends tidy Euro 500SEL which has the all alloy ,more powerful 240hp engine (more hp then the US 560SEL). It's a nice car and it's quick. But its not even close to a 6.9 in my 'seat of the pants' performance evaluation (it was also on 14 inch bundts).

If I could lay my hands on a Euro 560 with the 300hp engine, I think I would have a good comparison.
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Last edited by alabbasi; 03-18-2008 at 12:01 PM.
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:58 AM
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Al, would these be big enough wheels?

W116 S class off roader.
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2008, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by alabbasi View Post
I was always under the impression that the 3.8 and 5.0 m117 engines are alloy and the 4.2 and 5.6 are cast iron block with alloy heads.

So the moral of the story is to buy a 6.9 and put bigger wheels on it. Up until the late 80's, 15 inch wheels were considered as huge and you could get V rated tires for 14 inch wheels. Now ,many modern luxury cars come with 20 inch wheels!

Al,

The aluminum 3.8 and 4.2 are the M116 engine.
The aluminum 5.0 and 5.6 are the M117 engine.
Don't confuse this family with the 70's M117, which was the 4.5 engine iron block engine.

Yes, 300hp would be nice. I have a 85 500SEL euro model in the back field with the high compression pistons. Same bore for the 5.0 and 5.6. If I ever have to pull the heads, I'm inclined to install them.

As I said, I've driven both, and I prefer the W126 560 over the W116 6.9. Although, for sheer acceleration, the 6.9 always felt doggy compared to a nice 6.3.

I realized after my relationship with the 6.3 that I could have ONE nice 6.3, or a half a dozen other NICE cars.....

Also, don't forget the reason the 86 and up W126s have 15" wheels. Bigger front brakes! That's another limitation of the M100 cars, you can overdrive the brakes.

Jim
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Last edited by JimFreeh; 03-19-2008 at 07:44 AM. Reason: sp
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2008, 12:59 PM
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Never in my life have i heard handling characteristics attributed to engine performance, size and weight of the motor. Strikes me it's all about suspension geometry and has nothin to do with engine performance at all. For example, the 123 240D corners and handles equally crummy as does the 300D turbo version in the same chassis. I'll never own w123 300D knowing the 116 is far more agile and nimble regardless of weight and bulk. Again question of suspension geometry, wider tracking, better ballanced wheelbase, zero offset steering and an amazingly tighter turning radius.

Gimme the 116 sedan series over all others any day of the week as best 'modern' chassis platform for all MB engines, providing most responsive handling characteristics. Have driven 126's and thought they handled like a sofa pillow.

Once again its a question of contemporary standards misjudging handling characteristics where insulating the driver from the driving experience is consider "good handling." Ask 123 owners about handling performance and they'll mostly talk about cab sound proofing.

Quote:
The 215/70-14 tires on the 6.5" rims that a 6.9 came with does not help much with the cornering. The 560's 205/65-15 on 7" rims help a bunch.
Hmm, and all this while i thought 6.9's were issued with 15" bundts. The only MB where 15" bundt-cakes were an available option. But I agree with you that fatter tires rarely improve handling. Got 195's on the 116/SD thinkin the next set i buy will be 185's.

Last edited by 300SDog; 03-18-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2008, 10:47 PM
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Best observation so far was from a friend who was the passenger when the 6.9 was given full throttle when already cruising at 80mpg. All he said was "you can't sell this car". Of course, the tires are 16" v rated, hydraulics are perfect, and all else is cared for. Maintenance and repair is easy with the proper attitude. You must realize going in that most procedures require "peeling the onion" process of removal and reassembly. Also its systems are hurt by some so called techs who, not knowing how to work on it, cover their ignorance by declaring the suspension/climate control/fill in your blank as trash. Most have never seen one. It is a bit primitive when compared to the next generation of S or other classes, but a few years of engineering advancement tends to do that. It was built to be the best. Not the fastest, not the most comfortable, just the best (at least for 30 years ago). John Olson has called the M-100 cars as the "world's biggest sports cars". You can buy the best or a beater, but drive it and have fun with it.
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  #25  
Old 03-19-2008, 01:32 AM
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I appreciate them for what they are, the S65 AMG of their day. The fastest, meanist 4 door sedan a lot of money could buy. Sure a new Accord V6 could probably spank one in all performance aspects, but thats hardly the point.

300SL Gullwing is hardly fast by todays standards, neither is an XKE, or a 250GTO. A modern M3 will run circles around them all. A new M3 will run circles around all the great American muscle cars as well, but again thats hardly the point.

They are old school German sleepers, the second real Q ships if you will, the 6.3 being the first.

Comparing old cars to new cars is pointless, if you can't appreciate the old cars for what they are then buy new ones.
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  #26  
Old 03-19-2008, 03:21 AM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Quote:
hardly fast by todays standards
Umm, "todays standards" caint touch the olden days when race circuit determined design and auto companies actually told the market what was best, fastest, most economical etc in every category. Question of auto industry discovering itself with marked independence back in the olden days.

Nowadays its like girly-show 'fashion designer' cars catering to consumer tastes, gov. regs and weird marketing interference. The 6.9 w116 is/was last ghasp of MB actually pushin the limit and asserting itself, as i'm sure we all oughta agree.
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  #27  
Old 03-19-2008, 07:39 AM
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[quote=300SDog;1796640]Never in my life have i heard handling characteristics attributed to engine performance, size and weight of the motor.
quote]


Dog,

I only addressed weight.

It's physics. A W116 is heavier than a W126. An Fe block M100 weighs more than a M117 Al block engine.

An object in motion, tends to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

The greater the weight on the front end, the more force required to change direction.



If you really want to talk about a Mercedes with great handling (vintage), the W114 chassis will blow away any of the referenced S-class cars. I was very active in autocross with W114's, and assisted a friend who campaigned a W114 on the pro rally circuit (even had a spead in Autoweek) in the seventies. A well set up W114 was incredible for the time.

As nice as the W114 is, the W124 chassis will blow a W114 into the weeds. (The five link rear suspension blew away the semi trailing arms of the W114. Just as the semi trailing arms blew away the single pivot rear axle of the finbacks.)

The dynamics of the E-class W211 chassis are another big jump from the W124. Time marches on.

Enjoy your W116. And I'll enjoy my W126.

Jim
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  #28  
Old 03-19-2008, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
Comparing old cars to new cars is pointless, if you can't appreciate the old cars for what they are then buy new ones.
Exactly the point I was trying to make, and I do appreciate the 6.9 for what it was.
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  #29  
Old 03-19-2008, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 300SDog View Post
Nowadays its like girly-show 'fashion designer' cars catering to consumer tastes, gov. regs and weird marketing interference. The 6.9 w116 is/was last ghasp of MB actually pushin the limit and asserting itself, as i'm sure we all oughta agree.
Any car company that doesn't cater to consumer tastes and government regulations is not going to be in business very long.

I also disagree with your "pushing the limit" comment. A W140 V12 or an E-class V8 Kompressor or the Mercedes Mclaren push the performance, comfort and style limit to a far greater degree than the 6.9 did in its day.

As the 6.9 was in the 1970's, all the above cars of examples of MB building the finest car it could conceive of at the respective time. I'm not sure if future offerings from Mercedes will continue to expand the performance envelope at the same rate - but I hope it does.
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  #30  
Old 03-19-2008, 08:44 AM
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Ummm, I disagree...
... The only thing the 560 gives up is the rocket sled acceleration at extralegal speeds.
Mmmm, funny how divided people are on this - even those who've had W116 6.9 cars.

Anyway - comparing a 6.9 to something along the lines of my 1977 Cutlass Supreme Brougham - both 4 door sedans - the 6.9 handles like a sports car.

And don't forget the rocket sled acceleration at extra legal speeds! Yay for 4 doors and blowing the doors offa everyone else.

I think we are comparing apples to oranges comparing a W126 to the W116, kinda like comparing my W108 to a W116. Ideally, MB refined the next generation car and made technological improvements. The needs and interests of drivers changed as well as emissions requirements. Hence, the next generation.

Also, really, certain cars get people hot and bothered. I like the W116 cars but they don't get me all excited like a W108 - and I like the W111 cars, but I don't covet them like the W108/109 cars...

Ann
who is soon to have a totally mechanically perfect W108

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