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95' E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a list of upgrades I want to do to my wagon over the next 6/12 months.

I'm friends with a MB mechanic that trained at MB Bavaria and I'm pretty good with a wrench (and computer) myself, so I need some info - cause I come from playing with Mazda's - on vendors that either carry what I need, or platform to platform swaps that will get me where I need to be.

I use my 95' E320 wagon to haul my musical gear around. With 5 passengers, gear and trailer I'm towing 3K lbs. roughly. I just pulled a 850 mile trip doing this with some minor upgrades (better than OE brake fluid, synthetic lifetime tranny fluid, better front pads) all installed within the last 2K miles. The car did very well....sorta. The engine has more than enough power and the tranny held (almost) until the last 100 miles. I think there is a small tear in the pan seal now. I inspected it on the side of the road and the fluid did not look or smell burnt so I suspect it was just the higher pressure and heat from hauling.

I know MB will leak or bun on higher RPM's for long periods (oil).... but tranny fluid? I digress...... and I think I found it's weak points.... cooling.

I am looking at upgrading all facets of cooling - Oil, radiator, and trans. fluids.

I would like to (if possible) install an oil cooler, a better radiator, higher CFM aux. radiator fan with manual relay, and a more efficient trans. cooler with gauges. Also on the list would be a higher # rating spring for the rear along with H/D shocks and a stiffer sway bar in the rear as well.

I'm looking to have a great tow vehicle, without getting a van or truck, and to keep breakdowns to a min.

Anyone with exp. with the wagon platform or hauling please help. I'm just digging into my MB - and I love it more than any other car I have owned.

Thanks for reading.
 

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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1,469 Posts
I've done some towing with mine without issues.



One of these receivers fits right nicely with minimal drilling.



 

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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1,469 Posts

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1995 E320
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2,546 Posts
I have a list of upgrades I want to do to my wagon over the next 6/12 months.

I'm friends with a MB mechanic that trained at MB Bavaria and I'm pretty good with a wrench (and computer) myself, so I need some info - cause I come from playing with Mazda's - on vendors that either carry what I need, or platform to platform swaps that will get me where I need to be.

I use my 95' E320 wagon to haul my musical gear around. With 5 passengers, gear and trailer I'm towing 3K lbs. roughly. I just pulled a 850 mile trip doing this with some minor upgrades (better than OE brake fluid, synthetic lifetime tranny fluid, better front pads) all installed within the last 2K miles. The car did very well....sorta. The engine has more than enough power and the tranny held (almost) until the last 100 miles. I think there is a small tear in the pan seal now. I inspected it on the side of the road and the fluid did not look or smell burnt so I suspect it was just the higher pressure and heat from hauling.

I know MB will leak or bun on higher RPM's for long periods (oil).... but tranny fluid? I digress...... and I think I found it's weak points.... cooling.

I am looking at upgrading all facets of cooling - Oil, radiator, and trans. fluids.

I would like to (if possible) install an oil cooler, a better radiator, higher CFM aux. radiator fan with manual relay, and a more efficient trans. cooler with gauges. Also on the list would be a higher # rating spring for the rear along with H/D shocks and a stiffer sway bar in the rear as well.

I'm looking to have a great tow vehicle, without getting a van or truck, and to keep breakdowns to a min.

Anyone with exp. with the wagon platform or hauling please help. I'm just digging into my MB - and I love it more than any other car I have owned.

Thanks for reading.
Bolded text?

Your car already has a built in oil cooler, built in transmission cooler and self levelling rear suspension. If you're still struggling either you're towing too much or too fast.

Your transmissions oil is cooled by a coil going through the lower radiator tank. Your engine oil has a hard line that goes just behind the aux fans that's basically an oil cooler.

I don't know how you can increase cooling although you can probably hardwire a switch to turn the fans on.
 

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95' E320 Wagon
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I didn't know it already had an oil cooler, cause I didn't spot it when I had it on our lift at work. Thanks guys. I have a Curt hitch installed that can support 350 tongue and 3500 haul. I will deff. check out the w124 site for some upgrades. I knew about the trans cooler. I was probably hauling too fast then, keeping the rpm's too high, too long. Pwagonman, what is the weight of the sedan you're pulling, with how many passengers? Just to give me an Idea of what kind of weight. The self leveler I knew about. Thank you all for the info. Any Idea if mileage has anything to do with it - even if the car has been well maintained?
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,745 Posts
You'll do your transmission a great favor by getting the lifetime synthetic out of there. The trans was designed for Dex II, which you can't find, so use Dex III. Age/miles of the transmission is going to be a huge issue with such a weight strain being put on it. 5 passengers, gear + trailer is a bunch. Then there is the additional aero drag of the trailer. Everything is getting taxed to the limit or beyond.

Brake fluid for the system is DOT 4, which is a heat range. So, your "new" fluid needs to exceed those specifications.

Good luck

Jayare

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95 E300, 91 300TE, 84 190D
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782 Posts
Rock on, but at a reasonable speed

You list a "better radiator". No such thing for this old car, which includes the transmission fluid cooler component as you now know.

You don't list the mileage or history. If you don't know much, then just install a brand new radiator, thermostat, and hoses. Maybe less antifreeze and more water to improve engine cooling.

You now know the rear SLS strut is unique and not upgradeable with some "heavy duty" item that actually doesn't exist. I don't know if MB made a severe duty or extra duty rear spring for SLS. They did offer extra duty springs for sedans that raised the vehicle in countries with rough conditions.

The 124 chassis was designed to be driven fully loaded at Autobahn speeds for hours without overheating, but that trailer may indeed be too much. Slow down dude:surrender:

And, you do increase tire pressure quite a bit to handle the load, right?
 

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95' E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #8
Increased the tire pressure by 8 lbs. on this first haul I did. My mechanic got the MB fluids for brakes (the blue stuff) and trans. I will look into a new radiator, (thanks for the heads up that there isn't an "upgraded" or High performance radiator) but I didn't notice any bends or folds in the fins on the one on the car - that doesn't mean it's not wore out. It was just flushed and filled this spring. I have the history on this car since 2000 (when the mechanic bought it off of a cust. of his.) and I have had no problems with it and have kept up on the maintenance religiously. The car has 172K on it. New head gasket and valve cover gasket as well. Also the wiring harness has been replaced from the non biodegradable wiring. Also IIRC the tranny is a re-man - replace 40K miles ago - so I don't know about the internals of it and if there have been any issues that he has had with it - but none to report. The tranny was just flushed and filled with the synthetic he recommended about 5K miles ago.

How hard (if I was going to do this myself) is the Oil pan gasket?

Is it possible to get a lower temp thermostat for the aux fan, or tap it for a manual relay switch?

Is there a higher CFM aftermarket aux fan out there?

And the hard line (which I need to look into) for the oil that runs by the aux. fan. , has anyone ever tried to tap this for a oil cooler? Is it even possible?

Like I said gang, I'm new to MB's and how well the aftermarket is developed for them. I appreciate the insights to what I can, can't and shouldn't do.
 

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i dont have any problems towing this with my E300D.



 

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1993 300E, 2003 996 Turbo X50
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As noted before, get that synthetic changed to dex iii asap. Other than that these things can haul a good bit stock
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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... synthetic lifetime tranny fluid...
Unless you're in a hurry to rebuild the transmission, get rid of the synthetic trans fluid immediately. You just need a good conventional Dexron III ATF, such as Valvoline Maxlife or Chevron.

And if you do believe that there is such a thing as lifetime fluid, then I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you.;)
 

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95' E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #13
Lol....my guy gets back from Bentley in the UK on the 10th.... he's touring the factory on his honeymoon.... as soon as he's back, I will go to Dex III ATF.

How much for the property? ;)
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Be sure to drain the torque converter and replace the trans filter to make sure all the synthetic garbage gets drained.

Without draining the torque converter, half the capacity still remains.
 

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95' E320 Wagon
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Discussion Starter #15
Deff. gonna switch back... just sucks that I need another trans filter, and more fluid, considering I just did this two mos. ago. LAME.... oh well, on the 11th-12th of next month.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,745 Posts
In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a good 96 Buick Roadmaster Station wagon. Load all your pals, all their crap and hook up what ever trailer you want. All problems solved.

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