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Hello,
About a month ago, I bought an '84 300D with 118K miles on it. The mileage is almost certainly correct from the looks of the interior, wheel wells, underbody, etc. Overall, the car runs and shifts fine. I have a few questions:

1. My buddy has an '83 300D that is a grey market vehicle, imported from Germany. Eventhough his car has 245K miles, it handles much better than mine... Stiffer dampening and much better roll stability. Did the vehicles destined for the US market get wimpier anti-sway bars and springs? If not, what are the items that wear most quickly that I should check? I'm thinking anti-sway bar bushings and shocks.

2. If changing the anti-sway bar to a stiffer unit is in order, how in the world do I remove/install it?

3. What brand shocks should I use... I want fairy stiff dampening.

4. The 2-3 shift usually occurs too soon, and is usually too "soft", meaning that the engine races slightly before 3rd gear engages. I've heard that a clogged vacum line can cause shifting problems... What about the plastic vacum device, located near the master cylinder... I hear that unit can be adjusted to vary shift points.

5. The ring and pinion whines at approx. 60 MPH. How common is this? At 80 MPH the sound is not audible, but speeding tickets might be a problem...

Thanks for your help in advance.
Best regards,
Tom in San Diego.
 

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I recently fixed a similar body roll problem. My '87 was rolling like mad and the '93 much more solid. My problem was that a sway bar bracket had broken (the bushing were fine). I would check for that first.

Really, if all is in very good shape, your benz should handle well with little roll. I believe the OE shock is Boge or Bilstein, but koni might make some stiffer shocks if you want to go that way.

For the transmission shift points, do a search for "bowden cable" or "control pressure cable". It is a very easy adustment that once learned will take literally a minute to change the shift points. Also do a search for "B2 piston" (or "B-2"?) just so that you are fully informed.

As for the shift quality, that does get trickier. You are correct in that it is vacuum controlled, but can be affected from multiple locations. The quickest "fix" could be be to adjust the modulator on the transmission, but that is not always best.

One major key to the proper running of these cars is a healthy vacuum system, so you might want to get a mityvac and check out all your components if you find you have the time for it.

The differential whine is likely a bearing issue. I don't recall this being an expensive repair on my 124, but I can be mistaken.

Congrats on the purchase and welcome to the forum.
 
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