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'80 500SE AMG '80 300SD '78 450SLC '00 Passat GLX Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
As the owner of a W116 SD I'm just wondering if the W126 is better at freeway speeds than mine is. Maybe I've just gotten spoiled quickly but I was driving the SD this weekend to give it some use and it seemed really bad on the freeways. 70mph just seemed brutal in terms of noise and the general feeling that the car is nearing it's limits. Hell, 100 in the SE is a way more pleasent drive, even with the vibration it has once you get over 80. So, how are the 126 SDs? Just as bad, or did MB make some improvements in sound reduction etc.? I'm not thinking of getting another one, just curious. I do like the SD for what it is, I just didn't realize how limited it is until I got the SE.
 

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1981 300SD, 1976 300D
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918 Posts
I haven't driven a W116 SD... there is one out back of the shop which my boss is fixing up, but not a runner yet)... but as a three-week 126 300SD owner, I have driven mine on two trips, one of 250 miles and one of around 600- I love the way she rolls on the open highway. I do keep speed to a max cruise of around 77 mph, but I can attest that the car doesn't feel stressed or noisy (to me anyway) at that speed. Have pegged the 85 speedo without too much fuss. The gearing of my 1981 is short- 3400 revs at 75- but the motor is a muted hum and the wind noise nearly nonexistent. Great highway car, my basis for comparison is to an Audi 5000 Turbo Quattro. The Q will get you there much quicker than the SD (it can roll at 110 with the same feeling of reserve the 126 has at 80) but the 300SD is, for a 25 yr old diesel, an excellent cruiser.

I'm thinking about intercooling mine and adding a diff from a gas 126- it seems that the intercooler would help compensate for the higher gearing, and would also make freeway kickdown to 3rd possible (according to shift points on the speedo, you can't drop into 3rd above 68 mph)... any thoughts?

126>116... IMHO... but what did you expect on this forum???
 

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1985 300SD
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My car gets around pretty good in town. But she really shines on the highway. I keep her right in the sweet spot. She turns about 3,000 RPMS @ around 80mph. At that speed when you punch the gas the boost pegs immediately and the car lurches forward. It is great.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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I have read from some W116 drivers that the 116 is slightly faster off of the line than the 126s are, but I do not have any first hand experience with this.

RobTheMod300sd - 5/17/2005 3:04 AM
you can't drop into 3rd above 68 mph)... any thoughts?
Get a rear differential with a 2:88 ratio from a 1985 300SD and swap it out, you'll have a better gearing ratio for highway driving.
-Joe
 
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