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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I acquired a healthy respect for the performance of the ML430.

I was on a short vacation to one of the nearby towns and had to use one of the major highways for a 150 mile trip.

I had literally obliterated everything on the road till I came up against an ML430 Sport.

I overtook him doing about 85mph and thought that he, having seen the decals 'ML55 AMG' plus the dual pipes on my truck, would succumb and kowtow to my superior engine.

Boy, was I wrong.:eek:

Half a mile later I see bright xenon lights in my rear view mirror approaching at an alarmingly quick rate - I was still doing about 85 mph at this point.

I decided to let him pass so that I could tailgate him and embarrass him by passing him again.

After he had gone past me at about 90mph I decided to show him who was really boss.

However, try as I could I was unable to safely and effortlessly pass him again.

We wove in and out between other vehicles on the highway slowing down for curves and then punching it on the straights.

I was very frustrated and couldn't fathom WHY I couldn't pass this guy with a smaller engine.

We got up to speeds of 120 mph and I chickened out at that stage - Especially since my wife, who had been sleeping up until this point, woke up and started screaming at me to slow dow and act my age.

Today I acquired quite a bit of respect for the ML430 and it got me thinking that if the ML430 could give me a run for my money like that then what would an ML500 do?:eek:

My ML55 is in very good nick (bar a stiff power steering as a result of traction control module malfunction:crybaby2:) and there is no reason for me to believe that it was performing at sub optimum levels.

Is the ML430 really that fast and why could I not beat him hands down?

What is the point of the ML55 AMG if I can't easily obliterate an ML430?

I'd better start to save up hard for an ML63.:D

Anyone have similar tales of woe?:crybaby2:
 

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2004 SL500; 2003 E320; 2001 ML430 Sport; 1999 E320 Wagon
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404 Posts
I don't have a similar tale of woe, but as a 430-Sport driver, I'm not sorry to hear it! :D
Although my days of pushing 120MPH are behind me I'm afraid, at least in New England they certainly are.
 

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ML320 2002
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GVW weight difference between two model is 375 lbs.
ML430 = 4696 lbs
ML55 = 5073 lbs
With an extra passenger, it comes to 500.
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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1,562 Posts
FAR, as pointed out by other member, weight difference as well as driver's skill has lot to do with it... espcially on winding roads.
 

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ML320,C230, F250, Bayliner, Mountain Bike, Fleetwood Motorhome etc...
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The ML55 and the ML430 have different gearing in the differentials and the speeds you were traveling he had the advantage. Your ML has a higher top end but the ML430 has lower gearing and can give you a run for your money up to the governed speed...
 

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2001 ML430 Sport bought in very nice shape despite 156K miles in August 2010
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540 Posts
When pushing a 5000# truck around at high speed, its more luck than skill.
Seriously guys, this is hippo racing at its best. Its nice to win, but when things go wrong at speed there's a LOT of energy looking to be dissipated against soemthing harder than the occupants of the vehicle.

Sorry that sounds preachy. I'm grinning inside, promise. My ML430 sport is looking sporty again.
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #9
GVW weight difference between two model is 375 lbs.
ML430 = 4696 lbs
ML55 = 5073 lbs
With an extra passenger, it comes to 500.
Merzatt, that's what was perplexing to me - I couldn't be certain as to the exact number of passengers in the ML430; but I know there was the driver (of course:D), a front seat passenger and at least one passenger in the back.

It was just me and the wife in the ML55.:(
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #10
I don't have a similar tale of woe, but as a 430-Sport driver, I'm not sorry to hear it! :D.........
....My ML430 sport is looking sporty again.
I hate all you ML430 owners!:crybaby2:

ps.

pdxgrease is going to have a field day and tell me that he's been right all along about weight differences between the pre-2002 models and the 2002+ models.:p
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #11
When pushing a 5000# truck around at high speed, its more luck than skill......when things go wrong at speed there's a LOT of energy looking to be dissipated against soemthing harder than the occupants of the vehicle..
The ML55 and the ML430 have different gearing in the differentials and the speeds you were traveling he had the advantage. Your ML has a higher top end but the ML430 has lower gearing and can give you a run for your money up to the governed speed...
FAR, as pointed out by other member, weight difference as well as driver's skill has lot to do with it... espcially on winding roads.
Very good points you have all made.

I have to say though, in defence of my ML55, the following factors were weighing heavily (if you'll excuse the pun) on my mind:D:

  • I'm not a young boy racer anymore (36) - I have a wife and responsibilities;
  • I have a sneaky feeling the wife may be pregnant; she's not told me yet but I suspect it;
  • The wife was constantly shouting at me to slow down;
  • I had recently changed my tyres to a 60's series sidewall and wasn't too confident with the extra height;
  • The ML430 driver was clearly a psycho and had a death wish or something;
rudedude, what then is the point of the ML55 if the ML430 and probably the ML500 can keep up with it like that??????????

ps.

Just so you horrible, detestable ML430 owners are clear:

I could more than keep up with the ML430 and I could definitely sense that the ML55 had a lot more power and speed in store; I just wasn't willing to stake my life and that of my hysterically screaming wife on it!:D
 

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GVW weight difference between two model is 375 lbs.
ML430 = 4696 lbs
ML55 = 5073 lbs
With an extra passenger, it comes to 500.
I'm not so sure it's due to the weight differences. I did some digging and here's what I can come up with - I'm kind of surprised at these numbers!
  1. MY02 430: Curb Weight = 4696lb; Power = 268HP; Weight/HP = 17.5
  2. MY05 ML500: Curb Weight = 4819lb; Power = 288HP; Weight/HP = 16.7
  3. MY01 ML55: Curb Weight = 4,861lb; Power = 342HP; Weigh/HP = 14.2
Thus, based on the weight/power ratio, the ML55 is still King of the W163 Hill. The Power @ RPM data also favors the ML55. [email protected],500RPM vs [email protected],500RPM (the 05 500 is [email protected],600). I wish I had data for top gear acceleration because based on these numbers I still can't see why the 55 wouldn't smoke the 430. Does this make sense?
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not so sure it's due to the weight differences. I did some digging and here's what I can come up with - I'm kind of surprised at these numbers!
  1. MY02 430: Curb Weight = 4696lb; Power = 268HP; Weight/HP = 17.5
  2. MY05 ML500: Curb Weight = 4819lb; Power = 288HP; Weight/HP = 16.7
  3. MY01 ML55: Curb Weight = 4,861lb; Power = 342HP; Weigh/HP = 14.2
Thus, based on the weight/power ratio, the ML55 is still King of the W163 Hill. The Power @ RPM data also favors the ML55. [email protected],500RPM vs [email protected],500RPM (the 05 500 is [email protected],600). I wish I had data for top gear acceleration because based on these numbers I still can't see why the 55 wouldn't smoke the 430. Does this make sense?
I couldn't either Darkmann:D; but it kind of all makes sense to me because of the following reasons which tempered my right foot as I stated above earlier:

  • I'm not a young boy racer anymore (36) - I have a wife and responsibilities;
  • I have a sneaky feeling the wife may be pregnant; she's not told me yet but I suspect it;
  • The wife was constantly shouting at me to slow down;
  • I had recently changed my tyres to a 60's series sidewall and wasn't too confident with the extra height;
  • The ML430 driver was clearly a psycho and had a death wish or something;
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Did anyone ever put a ML55 on a dynomometer to determine true horsepower? I've driven both a ML430 and a ML500 and each pales in comparison to my ML55. I attributed that to the gearing difference that may exist mating a higher horsepower engine to an appropriate tranny, but maybe there's more to it than that.

I have heard the MB actually downplays horsepower output in some of its cars to meet insurance or other standards. I know the output in my S600's are higher than stated as it blasts a 2.5+-ton beast into orbit with ease.
 

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Current: 2006 E500 4 Matic Past: 99 ML430, 99 E430
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Well, I previously had a 99 E430 sport edition which was unfortunately crashed last month by a uninsured driver. I want a cheap temporary alternative, so I got this 99 ML430.
All I can say is that the E430 is way much much better than any respect of this ML430 in terms of performance, comfort, and luxury.
The E430 with sport package goes 0-60mph in 6.1 second and this ML430 is 8.0 second, the major difference is that on high way the E430 feel more confident and more stable at speed above 80 mph (it actually accelerates faster at higher speed). With this ML430, my highway average dropped from 80 mph to 70 mph.
 

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2010 ML350 Bluetec
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I'd hope so, one is a luxury car and the other is a truck with plastic interior pieces.

Well, I previously had a 99 E430 sport edition which was unfortunately crashed last month by a uninsured driver. I want a cheap temporary alternative, so I got this 99 ML430.
All I can say is that the E430 is way much much better than any respect of this ML430 in terms of performance, comfort, and luxury.
The E430 with sport package goes 0-60mph in 6.1 second and this ML430 is 8.0 second, the major difference is that on high way the E430 feel more confident and more stable at speed above 80 mph (it actually accelerates faster at higher speed). With this ML430, my highway average dropped from 80 mph to 70 mph.
 

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Maybe he had a supercharger?

Did anyone ever put a ML55 on a dynomometer to determine true horsepower? I've driven both a ML430 and a ML500 and each pales in comparison to my ML55. I attributed that to the gearing difference that may exist mating a higher horsepower engine to an appropriate tranny, but maybe there's more to it than that.

I have heard the MB actually downplays horsepower output in some of its cars to meet insurance or other standards. I know the output in my S600's are higher than stated as it blasts a 2.5+-ton beast into orbit with ease.
 

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2002 ML55 AMG, 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe Limited, 1999 C280
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Discussion Starter #18
Eureka!!

Maybe he had a supercharger?
That must be it!:D

I can't be certain though but that would certainly explain the performance of this particular ML430 which performed like an ML55.

It certainly looked like an ML55 in it's sport package guise.
 

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1999 ML 430
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'Course, it could be

that the other guy was just a better driver or didn't have some nasty-tempered shrew yelling at him; it happens.
 

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05 ML500 SE
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Today I acquired a healthy respect for the performance of the ML430.
......
I love this post so much, crackin me up. Power to weight ratio baby.

the 2002 ML 55 is heavier.. 5071lbs 147.8 bhp/ton
1999 ml430 4608lbs 128 bhp/ton

thats not a huge difference.. its a difference but not huge
 
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