300TE 12v impressions from test drive

greg123

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It is white, 1990, full leather/air con, no traction control and no cruise. Everything else including the fantastic electric seats and light grey interior which I liked a lot. Few stone chips that's about it. VERY smooth, more smooth and quieter than the 24v I tested before. I don't think the 24 was up to full performance as this performed better, really swinging round the revs well at about 5k and pulling hard, nice noise, smooth. Again fantastic ride/handling/quick light steering, easy brakes. BUT, at 60mph in E in Drive it was doing 3k revs, if I dropped it into 3 it did about 3.5k. Is this right? My BMW does 2k revs at 60 and under 3k at 80. Also transmission was still 'fluidy' ie took my foot off throttle at 60mph and revs dropped about 300revs, pressed on and rose up to nearly 3.5k - therefore the engine was still wasting a lot of power churning oil. Don't these transmissions have a torque converter lock up that locks the transmission to the gearbox in top gear? Are they supposed to do so many revs at 60mph? Also in D at say 30mph even flooring the throttle didn't do much, only a 'wallopy' uncomfortable lots of noise kickdown to a low gear made the car get up and go. I was expecting (as I found lacking with the 24v) some grunt that wouldn't require kicking down in order to keep up with brisk traffic. 2nd gear pull off still gutless too, hate it. So there you have it - comments guys? I still love these cars but not happy with the performance on the 2 I found so far! Still thinking I may need a 230 with a turbo to get efficiency and decent mid range grunt, that's what I'm after most of all, the fast top end power is more of a luxury!
 

V12

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Have the kickdown cable slackened, if it is too tight, it will hold gears when not meant to.

if you have one operating nicely, it will make use of the torque convertor 'lock' as you put it, and roll as if you have put the clutch down ;)

The 24v when running right will outperform the 12v considerably.

Keep test driving, as there are some abused cars out there.:)
 
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greg123

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auto box lock up

Ah so it does have lockup then!!! ;-) Thanks for the reply, do you know on the W124's what speed they lock up and if it's in top or in 3rd as well?
 

Chris Martens

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Re: auto box lock up

Greg,

Originally posted by greg123
Ah so it does have lockup then!!! ;-) Thanks for the reply, do you know on the W124's what speed they lock up and if it's in top or in 3rd as well?

No, it doesn't. Torque converter locking was not available until the 722.6 transmission in the W202. No W124 has locking, sorry.
To improve the behavior of the tranny, do a fluid and filter change (if you buy that car).

Nearly 3000/min at 60mph is ok because the TE has a 3.27:1 diff (at least the continental ones have that). In 3rd gear 60mph are appr. 3900/min.

Flooring it at 50mph should force the tranny to shift down into 3rd gear depending on the adjustment of the control cable (Steuerdruckzug in german). If you shorten that control cable, the tranny will downshift easier and earlier and without pressing the kick down switch under the accelerator.

In case there is no downshift, even with fully depressed accelerator, the kick down switch may be damaged or missadjusted.

hope that helps,
bis denn,
Christian

1989 300TE
 
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greg123

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auto box lock up

ahhh thanks, I think you answered my other post before I posted it! I wonder if there is any way round this, do you know if the later trans can be fitted to the earlier car? Or is it a fully electronically controled jobby? The more I hear the more I'm not liking what I hear.....
 

kid-jensen

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Greg123,

I'm sure it's possible to retro-fit a locking torque converter to a 124, but I'll bet it can't be done cheaply.

I'm assuming you want a locking converter to save fuel?

You can buy a lot of gallons for the price of a new transmission.

Just to add from my experience, the 320 engine has passable midrange torque, certainly much better than the 12V or 24V 3 litre. Maybe it's worth serching one of these out.............
 

Chris Martens

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Re: auto box lock up

Greg,

Originally posted by greg123
ahhh thanks, I think you answered my other post before I posted it! I wonder if there is any way round this, do you know if the later trans can be fitted to the earlier car?

Nearly everything can be made fitting... but the 722.6 is electronically controled and a 300TE doesn't have the necessary plugs :p

The more I hear the more I'm not liking what I hear.....

Why that? Electronic devices are nice - as long as they work properly. The hydraulic transmission is very durable, as the whole 300TE.

bis denn,
Christian

1989 300TE
 
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greg123

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12, daily driver a hotted up Octavia 1.9tdi (custom injectors, ARB, poly bushes, cupra wheels etc)
info - thanks!

Thanks for the info guys!!! Now I'm even less impressed with the engines/boxes lol. That said they are made well and drive fairly nicely. And I'm still in love with the car!!!! I wonder what it would go like with my BMW 2.7 engine and 4 speed lock up box in it..... Maybe with a turbo too.....
 

Chris Martens

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Re: info - thanks!

Greg,

Originally posted by greg123
And I'm still in love with the car!!!! I wonder what it would go like with my BMW 2.7 engine and 4 speed lock up box in it..... Maybe with a turbo too.....

Maybe you are looking at the wrong car?
The 300TE was available with a 5 speed manual box, 4 speed automatic was an option.
If you are looking for a turbo or supercharger, ask Torque Developments International

best regards,
Christian

1989 300TE
 

V12

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Why that? Electronic devices are nice - as long as they work properly. The hydraulic transmission is very durable, as the whole 300TE.

You seem very knowledgable, but, i'd disagree with that.
The 103 engine is very durable, but people go through the auto box like no tomorrow.

It is our third best selling gearbox, after the 5 speed fully electronic boxes and the early 190 auto's. ;)
 

Chris Martens

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Originally posted by V12
You seem very knowledgable, but, i'd disagree with that.
The 103 engine is very durable, but people go through the auto box like no tomorrow.

It is our third best selling gearbox, after the 5 speed fully electronic boxes and the early 190 auto's. ;)
:) Thank you.
The W124 260 came with the small 722.4, the W124 300 with the larger 722.3 automatic. Both have the M103 but with different displacement.
Furthermore the 722.4 in the W201 was allready built in the W123 and the 722.3 was built in the W126 as well - so maybe the automatic is not the problem but the driver is?

What kind of failiures du "you" (whoever that is) have with these transmissions in general?
And: you don't repair automatic transmissions, you just change them? I suppose you, V12, are working at a dealership or workshop? Just curious... :bannana:

bis denn,
Christian

1989 300TE
 

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