Towing with a W140 S320

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Les Orth
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Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Les Orth » Sun 08 Feb, 2009 10:34 am

Hi,
Some helpful advice would be appreciated as I am considering selling my 1990 300SEL done 154K and in immaculate condition and buying a 1994 W140 S320. My reasons for doing so are
1. I need a car that can tow my caravan which weighs around 2000KG when fully loaded and of course the W126 can not do that.
2. I then need a small vehicle fuel efficient for general running around.

Unfortunately the 300SEL does not fulfill either of these roles but I have owned the car since 1996 and I'm very reluctant to part with it. My question is this.
1. I believe the W140 can tow up to 2100KG is this correct and has anyone had experience towing with a S320?

2. Can a 50MM hitch receiver be attached to a W140?

3. What would your advice be regarding my choice of vehicle? Especially in regards to the owning, handling etc of the W140 as against the W126?
any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated as the is a major decision for me
Many thanks,
Les
1962 220SE
1969 280SE
1968 300SEL
1965 250SE
1983 380SEL
1994 E220 - owned at same time as 300SEL (much preferred the S class) sold
1990 300SEL - Interior - mushroom (265) Paint 512 almandine red - 170000 klms when sold
2004 S350 - Current Car - Interior light grey - paint chalcedony blue 120,000 klms bought Dec 2016

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Ivanerrol
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Ivanerrol » Sun 08 Feb, 2009 11:01 am

Take a W140 S320 for a long test drive. Judge for yourself.

I had a W140 S420L. The performance was a little bit better than pedestrian. I.M.H.O. a S500 would be the go.

The towing rating might be 2100kg's however this is likely to be related to the weight of the car. The rules state that the towed load must not exceed the weight of the towing vehicle. (I know rule this is ignored left right and centre).

If you are buying a W140
(a) Make sure the wiring harness has been changed. ($$$)
(b) Make sure the AC evaporator has been changed. ($$$+)
(c) Pay careful attention to the self closing doors and trunk- make sure they are working properly. ($$$)
(d) Find out when the struts and shocks were changed. The W140 is a very heavy car.
(e) Make sure the self leveling is fine. ($$$)

Other than these items the W140 is a fine touring vehicle.

There were not that many W140's sold in Australia. You would need to hunt around to find one with a towbar. I have never noticed one.

Avoid a S600 even if you are offered one at a reasonable price. The twelve cylinder engine featured a cut off system that closed down cylinders when not required. This has proven to be a real problem.
There was a S280 W140 sold at one time. They had all the weight reduced (no double glazing, self leveling, auto closing etc.) I have driven one. The performance of these are O.K. Also a lot less to go wrong. Hard to find though.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
Departed
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W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
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Les Orth
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Les Orth » Wed 11 Feb, 2009 1:49 pm

Thank you for your very helpful response. I'm beginning to think I should not consider the W140 for towing but look elsewhere for a tow vehicle. What are members thoughts regarding the difference between a W126 300SEL and the W140 S320. Would you recommend I upgrade to this vehicle or not?
regards,
Les
1962 220SE
1969 280SE
1968 300SEL
1965 250SE
1983 380SEL
1994 E220 - owned at same time as 300SEL (much preferred the S class) sold
1990 300SEL - Interior - mushroom (265) Paint 512 almandine red - 170000 klms when sold
2004 S350 - Current Car - Interior light grey - paint chalcedony blue 120,000 klms bought Dec 2016

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John Green
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by John Green » Thu 12 Feb, 2009 3:20 pm

Buy a ML270, make sure it is a 2002 onwards version. Weight should not be a problem, there is plenty of torque (more important than power for towing) and very good fuel consumption....
Inaugural OZBENZ national meet this September, all welcome to attend. https://ozbenz.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=25165

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Hendrik
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Hendrik » Thu 12 Feb, 2009 4:32 pm

John Green wrote:Buy a ML270, make sure it is a 2002 onwards version. Weight should not be a problem, there is plenty of torque (more important than power for towing) and very good fuel consumption....
How deep are the pockets? I'm sure John will knock off a couple of grand http://www.mbspares.com.au/Cars/ML320CDIwiththelot.aspx
I saw a ML pull a great big boat the other day, so they do pull like 14 year olds.
Saw one of those Ssangyong 4x4s the other day and the owner had put a MB star on the grille.

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Les Orth
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Les Orth » Fri 13 Feb, 2009 1:53 pm

It seems I should forget the W140 as a tow vehicle. I agree John that the ML270 diesel would make a great choice, I had not wanted to purchase a 4WD though. I can only afford one Mercedes at a time and was hoping to have a comfortable smooth driving car that could tow my van from time to time as well but unfortunately that does not seem will be the case.
kind regards,
Les
1962 220SE
1969 280SE
1968 300SEL
1965 250SE
1983 380SEL
1994 E220 - owned at same time as 300SEL (much preferred the S class) sold
1990 300SEL - Interior - mushroom (265) Paint 512 almandine red - 170000 klms when sold
2004 S350 - Current Car - Interior light grey - paint chalcedony blue 120,000 klms bought Dec 2016

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Giles
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by Giles » Sat 21 Feb, 2009 12:05 pm

Hi Les,

My senario to your was similar.
I have a 1994 Nissan Patrol, Chevy V8 powered, and a 1999 E430 (wifes car). I was wanted something more comfortable than the Nissan that still could pull my boat and handle the rough stuff.
I did contemplate a ML430 but the build quality is less tha desirable and the running costs are a killer. Not to mention that I also wanted to be able to drive on the beach as well. There are no suspension lift kits for the ML's only some outrageous Icelander kit that lifts the whole body and makes look like a moon buggy .The conclusion I came to was that Merc's are too nice to destroy as a towing vehicle and to go offroad with.
I did the sums of insurance, rego etc. and it was better senario to have three cars. So I kept the Nissan and the E430 and bought a very nice, one owner, 1988 300SEL. As you know they are very comfortable to drive and are a bargain if you have one well kept condition.
Now I have a Classic cruiser (300SEL), a sports saloon (E430) and a tough truck (Chev powered Nissan). One for all occassions. Its a buyers market a the moment, so your able to drive a pretty good deal if your cashed up. Good luck.
Regards,
Giles
1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car Lola
1975 280CE Signal Red Long term Project Ginger
1999 W163 ML430 MB Search & Rescue Vehicle Mary-Lou
1987 W126 420SEL Melb based long hauler Erwin

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jonesey
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by jonesey » Tue 18 May, 2010 8:30 pm

Enquired as to availability of towbar for my s500 couldnt get one from our forum sponsor I also have a Jeep commander that has the merc based 3.00l v/6 CDI turbo diesel and its the best towing vehicle I have ever owned and have had a few it monocoque and that merc diesel is just beautiful I tow a camper trailer with a tinny on it that would be over a ton and also a 8x5 tip trailer and also a horse float. I dont think you could go better not sure what benz had the same motor perhaps some of the other educated forum particpants can enlighten us on the facts there.

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AMG
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by AMG » Wed 19 May, 2010 1:43 am

Mobile roadblocks.......

enough said.

buy an ML or a gelandewagen if you specifically want an MB to tow your large trailer regularly. towing a van with a sedan is a bit hard if the van mass is more than the car.

I had a GQ P-troll 4.2 td perfect for the job. locking diffs both ends, a small lift and 16x35" noisy Baja claw radials. and a treg hitch. camper trailer had 2 spares as well (35"s as well as the 2 it rode on.

never had an issue with lack of torque. never had an issue with fuel or water. crossing flooded rivers, sand dunes and gibber plains. Never had an issue with ride quality, because of the larger tyres and bilsteins. Did have an issue with noise on bitumen. the price you pay for having a purpose-bult vehicle. consequently it stayed off the bitumen most of it's life.

would I buy an MB for towing off-road? not unless I could find a G-wagen - specifically a v8 turbodiesel 5 speed manual. - even then I'd need some convincing, and I would modify a few things to make it a little more bulletproof... I've already owned a 'proper' 4wd and been through some of the worst australia has to offer in it with excellent reliability, and a tremendous thrashing.

I would only consider doing it a second time in a G-wagen, for the fun of it, and I'd certainly think twice about taking it some of the places I've already been. (expensive panel and driveline damage likely)

would also recommend a 78 series landcruiser for outback touring. why? huge parts availability and easy to fix with bush hack parts.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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cuisses
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by cuisses » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 8:43 pm

A mate in the local club has been gifted a W140 ('96, 280) by his relatives and wants to get a tow-bar for it. He has tried the biggest place in Canberra for tow bars who were not very positive.
Any suggestions? I understand that the words W140 and tow bar do not usually appear in the same sentence.
I found one of gumtree for him, which might be OK (not cheap however), but if that falls through what are the options?
David Williams

W108 280SE 4.5 (Papyrus White and Palomino)

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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by CraigB » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 11:37 pm

Allin towbars in Adelaide are designers and manufacturers of towbars and have been around a long time, certainly back into W140 times. They are well priced and i know when we got our Pug and I asked the dealer out of interest for a price, he suggested go straight to them because that's what they do with brand new cars. Even our brand new work Nissans had their towbars on them. I think even today it works out better with some things for dealers to have fitted locally. Quite possibly there are other local manufacturers closer to you, but they are very helpful there and good people to at least talk to. And my Adelaide delivered 560 has one of their towbars on it.
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: Towing with a W140 S320

Post by AMG » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 11:29 am

I had to laugh at this 5 year old thread resurrection-

I just re-read all the posts and looked at my old post and now sitting in my signature is a 91 Range rover.

So much for the G-Wagen then? no, I still want one, and know that in standard trim any GWagen would be a better option offroad than anything else on the planet save a 'mog, but the 'road' bit is just something a G cannot do as good as a Range Rover.

Notice I'm not referring to any w463 or any new RR. Those are simply unaffordable to anyone (with any brains) who wants to go offroad.

If you want something economical to tow.... my in-laws tow their huge van with a dual-cab Colorado diesel and the fuel economy is astounding - with the van attached.

I mean, it's way less than half my RRC's consumption without anything on the back, and when they have nothing on the back it's about 1/4 of the consumption.

But that is comparing a modern 3.0 turbodiesel with a 1960's buick pushrod technology. So you have to expect some disparity. In reality I should have bought a defender.

But those old w460's were not exactly frugal on diesel either....
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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