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1979 240D
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Discussion Starter #1
I am 17 and have just recently purchased my first car. It is a 1979 240d. The body is near perfect, and the intereior is pretty clean. i picked it up for $2000, seemed like a good deal. It currently has 174,000 miles on it. But the one issue i have with it is it is so SLOW. It almost doesnt seem normal. I struggle going up my drive way. What are somethings i can check too maybe increase the performance? i am new too all this and could use all the advice possible.
 

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2001 Volvo V40
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2,954 Posts
Even when it is in top condition, it will still be slow.

Changing all the fluids & filters (engine oil, transmission oil, differential oil, power steering oil; air filter, engine oil filter, power steering filter, transmission oil filter, main fuel filter, pre fuel filter, check and clean of the tank filter) might help a bit.

Check (and rebuilding if necessary) of the injectors.

Check (and adjust) of the injection pump timing. Check timing chain stretch, replace chain if the stretch is too much.

Inflate tyres to the proper pressure.

What is your 0-60 mph time? Check on an empty road with kickdown, only do this with a warm engine and transmission.
 

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2001 Volvo V40
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2,954 Posts
Extra tight belts isn't a good idea, it damages the bearings and it could impair performance. Belts should be at the correct tightness.
 

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83 300sd 76 240d
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8 Posts
Judging by the pictures, looks like a really nice car. If you don't expect to win too many races with it, I think you will like it. Some of the different models are made so they start from a stop in second gear instead of first gear. Not sure if yours is one of those or not. Someone on the W123 forum could tell you that. My 1976 240D is one of those and pulling out from a stop sign with even a small incline i put the gearshift lever in first and it seemed to make a difference in acceleration. Try it from a stop going up your driveway in Drive and then First and see if there is any difference.Think if you press on the accelerator hard enough they start off in First gear also.
Aside from that I think the first thing i would do is change both fuel filters to see if that helps. After i change fuel filters i usually cut open the old ones to see if there is anything sticky or slimy clogging them up. If there is, then some sort of fuel additive might be in order. Good luck with it and welcome to the world of Mercedes diesels
 

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'72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
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1,041 Posts
Even when it is in top condition, it will still be slow.


What is your 0-60 mph time? Check on an empty road with kickdown, only do this with a warm engine and transmission.
Make sure you have a stop watch with a minute hand!:p

Don't even think about performance. What you got there is what is known as a "cruiser". Just pop in some tunes by War or Carlos Santana and slide down the avenue. It's all about style!
 

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Increased performance

Changing all you fluids, will help the bench mark as to whats been done, but not really help on performance. Get your valves set, put a K&N or foam filter air cleaner on it, make sure your throttle linkage is tight so that you get good throttle response, and, which your die hard merc fans will shutter, put a larger exhaust with a flow through muffler, will always ad performance to a diesel. I ran a fuel product called sea foam through mine, and it ran much better. The 240D was never known for performance, as opposed to economy, but I have done all those things, except the larger exhaust for the moment, and my 300D runs fairly well. Just tightened up my throttle linkage again, and that made a difference, again.

Cheers
 

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2008 R320 CDI, 2006 smart fortwo cabrio, 1983 240D, 1982 300SD, 1980 300SD, 1978 280SE EURO
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261 Posts
It is a CLEAN car! Good find! It looks like your fuel injectors are leaking in the engine picture...pull the injectors, send them out for testing or replace the nozzles as a maintenace item and get them pressure set, check your compression on the engine, check glow plugs while the injectors are out. Install new cloth hoses for the fuel return lines on the injectors most german shops have it (black with a brown or grey stripe, 3.2mm). Have the fuel delivery set on the injection pump, check the timing chain out, adjust the valves. If it has an egr valve make sure it is cleaned out and the intake is reasonably clean.

For more performance
You can install larger injector nozzles, it will help a bit.
Remove the muffler and install something like a cherry bomb, the increase in noise is worth the extra power.
The biggest aid will be sending out the injection pump for a work over, have it recalibrated and possibly worked over for more performance, it can be done but yes it does cost money. The last one I sent out was $1000, and it did not need much for parts, just alot of labour. But it now has POWER right off the line, not a delay and then it starts moving, makes a large difference when the throttle is "quick" or responsive. Do this at the end of your modifications/maintenace as an all else fails situation. It is more then likely the springs are stretched and tolerances out after all these years, but start with the other stuff first.
You can also go the turbo route if your serious about power...search it out peachparts forums has a good write up on it.
And a manual trans would also help, again there are write ups on it already.

Also you can rebuild those front seats with factory parts it makes the drive so much better when the springs aren't collapsed!
 
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