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1992 300E 2.6
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157 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I didn’t want to tack this question on to my other thread about cold starting issues, but here is the background:

I’m currently driving the car home across the country and really noticed how much it hates altitudes and going up grades.

I was on I-80 heading out of Salt Lake City at about 6k feet, in third gear with my foot to the floor and was only able to hold 80 MPH...barely able to accelerate and zero power in 4th...seems like I’m lacking power somewhere and I don’t have another M103 to gauge this. I know the 2.6 is not powerful but if small econoboxes are pulling away, I have to question it. I have a video of this with some corny narration as well.

So my question is if this sounds off to anyone more familiar with the 2.6 M103. Also, I’m getting 23-25 MPG depending on circumstances-if that makes any difference.


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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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3,062 Posts
I do not have that in my manual 2.6 in fifth gear. At 80mph I am running at 3000rpm. Usually the car will not slow down on grade but I doubt I would get that much acceleration in 5th.
But then again my car is a good 300-400 pounds lighter (W201), and less wind resistance.

My year has an altimeter to control lambda at altitude, never had issues going to Tahoe in the past, but then again that was 20 years ago, car was 100K mile younger.

I take it with a 92, the altimeter function is taken up by the EGR valve. Make sure yours is operating properly.

Your mpg sounds about right for your car on the highway. I get 25-26 on the highway for a lighter and smaller car, same engine.
 

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1995 E320
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2,558 Posts
I was flooring mine in the Colorado mountains, in third, and losing speed.
Barely maintained acceleration up to Chiriaco Summit on I10E, on my way to Phoenix from Los Angeles.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your car. It's old. Has a small engine. And a non lockup transmission. Some of the horses have retired and are out to pasture.
 

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Premium Member
1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1993 300CE Cabrio, needs some TLC
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7,229 Posts
i've driven mine from the west coast over I80 to Reno and back numerous times. unless its really heavily loaded and/or has a roof rack with a big wind load, it goes over Donner Pass at 7000 feet just fine as fast as I care to go.... sure, on the steeper parts of the grade it might downshift to 3rd on the slushbox. my kid admitted he got it up to 125 MPH on the Black Rock Playa when he was living in Reno and had it for a couple years.
 

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Registered
1992 300E 2.6
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157 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i've driven mine from the west coast over I80 to Reno and back numerous times. unless its really heavily loaded and/or has a roof rack with a big wind load, it goes over Donner Pass at 7000 feet just fine as fast as I care to go.... sure, on the steeper parts of the grade it might downshift to 3rd on the slushbox. my kid admitted he got it up to 125 MPH on the Black Rock Playa when he was living in Reno and had it for a couple years.
I was trying to maintain speed for the most part. The difference between maintain and full throttle was negligible at best at that point. The car couldn’t maintain in 4th whatsoever unless I dropped down to around 50 maybe.


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