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Author Topic: Mercedes 300 Series Toad?  (Read 2586 times)
travlinman
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« on: February 05, 2011, 08:26:36 PM »

Anybody here tow a Mercedes 300 Series 4 down? I'm considering one of these but I do not want to have to pull a trailer.

Thanks

TM
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 10:50:37 PM »

Anybody here tow a Mercedes 300 Series 4 down? I'm considering one of these but I do not want to have to pull a trailer.

Thanks

TM

  Ive looked into this myself. The manual gearboxes are no different than their automatics, they wont self lubricate. You have to either provide lubrication via a pump, or disconnect the driveshaft. There is a driveshaft de-coupler available, but it is expensive to buy, you have to cut and weld the driveshaft so install can be expensive, and AFAIK, its kind of hokey and often prone to vibration. You can buy an older Cherokee in decent shape for what that decoupler would cost to buy and install, and simply shift the case into neutral.
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TomC
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 11:39:17 PM »

I pull my '84 Mercedes 300 Turbodiesel behind.  It has an automatic, and with any Mercedes automatic, cannot be pulled faster then about 35mph-or you'll blow the transmission.  Why-because the Mercedes automatic transmission has two oil pumps-one on the front off the engine and the second off the drive shaft.  It is also one of the few automatics that you can bump start-albeit having to get the car up to about that magical 35mph then drop it into gear.  I had the Ramco driveline disconnect installed, and it works well-a bit of maintenance-but if you first spray it with silicone lubricant-it usually works well.  And yes there is a bit of vibration from the driveshaft at freeway speeds, but not bad.  So with installing the driveline disconnect, welding the tow bars onto the front of the car and wiring the rear lights-was $2,200.00. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 12:37:03 AM »

I would do some more research.  The reason that an modern automatic can't be pulled 4 down was that the newer models did not have that rear oil pump.  The new standard trans also doesn't have the oil pump internal or drives one off of the input shaft.  Any auto/truck can be towed by simply putting in N and letting the engine idle.  That may not fly in Canada but they are so very anal up there, God luv'em.

I used to get over 1,000 MPT (20 gal) pulling my Olds Toranado V8 and that breaks to 50 MPG from a 1982 gas guzzler.  It will take a long time for that expense to add up to a dolly or trailer and the tags and such associated with them.  Admittedly, this is a highly contraversial practice in some circles.

HTH,

John
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 01:55:15 AM »

Another way, a bit more labor, less costly, is to remove the rear flex disk (4 bolts) and tie up the drive shaft. Not my idea of a daily routine, if you are staying a week at a time, might get you through.
Which 300 series ? I am speaking of a 123 & 211 types.
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 10:12:48 AM »

So with installing the driveline disconnect, welding the tow bars onto the front of the car and wiring the rear lights-was $2,200.00. Good Luck, TomC

  Like I said, you can buy a nice lil jeep Cherokee for what it would cost to convert a MB. They aint worth much in this economy but they make good toads.

  And nothing to research, MB are the only cars (since late 1960's) that have a rear pump automatic, at least up through 1990, and you have to have a rear pump to allow push starting. But they still cant be towed over 35 and never than for more than a few miles, the rear pump doesnt lubricate everything and youll burn it up. Its only there for starting.
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 10:41:05 AM »

Thanks for the info Art.

John
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The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 12:32:36 PM »

300 series? for the more modern Mercedes, 300 referred to the displacement of the engine.
Dad has a 1984 300D turbodiesel which is a 124 series. (E class)
My favorite was my 1984 300SD which is a 126 series. (S class)

At Bussin '06, I saw a 126 MB toad. They had to cut holes in the front bumper for the tow bar, but it was a nice ride.

As for towing an automatic, what are the negatives of putting it in neutral with the engine running?
My gut suggests this isn't a great idea, but it's been wrong before. . . .
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 12:41:16 PM »

"Dad has a 1984 300D turbodiesel which is a 124 series. (E class)"

Kyle, I believe that the 1984 was a 123, the 1986 model is a 124 series, smaller body car.

Have a Great Day & Super Bowl.

Gary
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travlinman
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 01:43:50 PM »

Thanks for the replies, in the process I learned a bit more about the Mercedes I am interested in! I suppose I should clarify the model I am interested in as well. I am looking for a model w123 Mercedes Wagon or 300TDT. I'm glad to hear that it has been done, looks like I will be calling Remco on Monday. I know it is not the cheapest toad out there but once you get a taste for the old Benz there is no going back!!

TM
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 03:27:34 PM »

"Dad has a 1984 300D turbodiesel which is a 124 series. (E class)"

Kyle, I believe that the 1984 was a 123, the 1986 model is a 124 series, smaller body car.

Have a Great Day & Super Bowl.

Gary
Yep, you're right. . .
123, 124, whatever it takes  Grin
(remember the movie Mr. Mom?)
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 03:33:30 PM »

Kyle,

You should not feel pregnant as many share your gut feeling.  Many are adamant that "you cannot do that" and "that's is so dangerous and illegal you will get arrested" and lots in-between those.  And you have some seemingly credible company, as well.

My confidence comes from GM dealers trans shop (2) and independent trans shops(3).  All advised me that a trans has full hydraulic pressure when idling in "N" and with that pressure the input and output shaft main bearings are being lubed.  In the case of the Tornado, as I recall, that was 60 psi.  While half those experts said towing a car that is running was a bad idea, nobody could explain their reservations.  I only have anecdotal evidence on a Jeep equipped with a GM 400 Turbo trans, the Olds front drive and my Ford Ranger 5 speed stick that is oiled by a pump that is driven from the input shaft(go figure).  My experience covers a little less than 10K miles with no problems.  I am sure that others have done this and a few I spoke to had the same laugh I had at the expense of the naysayers and quasi experts.  Of course, I am less certain of most things as I grow older and learning "why that can't be done along with an explanation of why I could do it" would turn my head but I am already humble. Cool Tongue

The problem with this kind of towing is that "IF" the engine quits in the toad you toast your trans and if you overheat or loose oil pressure the result will be the same.  I have an alarm in the cockpit for temp and pressure malfunctions.   But I will caution you....the toad gets dirty. Grin

Good luck and safe travels,

John
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kyle4501
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 04:19:21 PM »

I'm a little leery of the logic that says something is safe because "ain't nittin happened yet". Doesn't seem that much different than saying Russian roulette is safe because notthing happens to 5 out of 6 players.  Wink

Guess I'm to nosey & want to know how the machinery deals with the conditions.

I suppose that IF you had the essentials monitored so that you would know if it overheated, lost oil pressure, shifted out of neutral (think road debris hitting the linkage - I know how it feels when that happens  Shocked ), etc. . .  that would be little different than actually driving the car.

As for me pulling a toad, I'll probably try to avoid it & try to plan ahead & rent a car when needed. The $$$ spent on 'brake buddies', tow bars, driveline disconnects, wear & tear on toad, reduced maneuverability, etc currently outweigh the benefits of having a toad. But, that's just me.

It would be a very different thing if I was full timming or needed the extra storage space a toad could provide.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 07:15:59 PM »

  Most MB diesel nuts refer to the 300 diesels as series, even though they know the engine has nothing to do with the car models series.

  I cant see anything wrong with towing an automatic car in neutral with it running, other than the obvious problems that would develop if it quits and burnng extra fuel. But hey, its about the only time where the faster you go, the less it burns.
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 08:18:41 PM »

There was a real nice '88 Benz wagon with a factory AMG kit at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale a couple weeks ago.  108,000 one owner miles in Scottsdale it's whole life.  When was the last time you saw an older AMG wagon?  I spent a long time looking it over, it was a good one.  While I was doing that, a Merc guru came up and we chatted.  He felt it was worth around 13K.  A friend told me it sold the first day for $5,500.  It wasn't a kerosene burner though.  Bummer.  Nice ride though.
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 10:00:48 PM »

I'm a little leery of the logic that says something is safe because "ain't nittin happened yet". Doesn't seem that much different than saying Russian roulette is safe because notthing happens to 5 out of 6 players.  Wink

Kyle....Sweetheart....5 experts including two fact reps told me that the trans would not suffer.  I have logged 10 K miles without incedent.  At what point have I passed from the "ain't nutt'n happened yet" into "this should prove the point?

Guess I'm to nosey & want to know how the machinery deals with the conditions.

I suppose that IF you had the essentials monitored so that you would know if it overheated, lost oil pressure, shifted out of neutral (think road debris hitting the linkage - I know how it feels when that happens  Shocked ), etc. . .  that would be little different than actually driving the car.

My point exactly.

As for me pulling a toad, I'll probably try to avoid it & try to plan ahead & rent a car when needed. The $$$ spent on 'brake buddies', tow bars, driveline disconnects, wear & tear on toad, reduced maneuverability, etc currently outweigh the benefits of having a toad. But, that's just me.

For my money, the more money I had the more I would invest in a toad and trailer.  I love my truck and I want it "right outside."  to quote a country song.  And the coach would probably be a Newell.


It would be a very different thing if I was full timming or needed the extra storage space a toad could provide.

I hope to be full timing in a year if my eye clears up and I get new knees.  Toad is important to me.


I think we are pretty much on the same page.

What I miss is that nobody has come on line and said that they use this method also.  I know they are out there.

Be well and happy Amigo

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
TomC
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 11:02:49 PM »

This may sound strange, but the Ramco driveline disconnect for the 123 series 1984 Mercedes 300 turbodiesel, like I have, will work on the sedan, but not on the wagon.  Good luck, TomC
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2011, 02:08:36 AM »

Kyle,

It is a habit when getting parts at the MB dealer to have the series number. Maybe its a German thing. Sorry to "mother" you on that !!
You have me beat by miles on the bus knowledge..

Never seen the Mother movie  , like most, as I never watch the current movies.

Have a great day.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 03:13:37 AM by Gary '79 5C » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2011, 04:33:29 AM »

My friend and I once towed a MB 300CD on a tow dolly behind his diesel VW. While on the highway, we heard a weird noise, but the car was still there, so we didn't worry. When we parked to grab some dinner, we turned the VW off to hear something still running.... the MB had (for lack of a better term) tow-started!!

Awesome cars. I just sold my 300D w123 with 318k miles on her. Their value doesn't depreciate after a certain point. Gotta love 'em!
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2011, 08:03:58 AM »

I guess that VW wasn't going fast enough for the 300CD!  Shocked Grin
I do love 'em!

I've had 5 of the mid 80's 300SD turbo diesels, a few 420SELs & even a 300TDT wagon. But that has been almost 10 years ago, now I have a 98 ML320 & a 99 C280.
Just added a 98 BMW540i, Man, what a difference in design philosophy! The germans do know how to tame the road tho. . .  Grin

I do miss the simplicity of the maintenance on the mid 80s MB diesels. Glow plugs & filters were 95% of all you ever needed.  Cool
The newer computer cars are great until something goes wrong . . . .

RE: What determines "this should prove the point?" - For me, several million documented miles covering different users & environmental conditions would go a long way towards proof.  Wink

 

Hey Gary, "Mr. Mom" was released in 1983  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Mom  So, it may be on the oldies by now.  Grin
I get my MB parts from a dealer in California (Al in the parts dept at Caliber Motors ) - I order then by 3 their time & FedEx delivers them to my door the next day. (after shipping, it is still less than list)
I've tried to use the local dealer, but they insist on charging way over list & I have had to wait over 2 weeks for what should have been a stock item.
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travlinman
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2011, 07:56:23 AM »

Just followed up with Remco, it is possible to tow the 300tdt wagon. But the disconnect would have to be custom made and it is not cheap. Looks like we will just use the Toyota.

TM
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2011, 06:14:08 AM »

Travlinman   how did you come by this moniker? Just curious  Rod
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