Help? Anyone???

Hello! I have a 1985 Mercedes 300Turbo Diesel. I love this car. It only has 161,000 mi. on it, and I expect it to go for at least another 150,000. I recently moved to Portland, OR from a Suburb of San Francisco. I have
a very steep winding driveway, and it is often wet. THE CAR DOES NOT WANT TO GO UP THE DRIVEWAY. I have no idea what to do. Either it's not powerful enough, or it's to large, or the tires aren't sticking or something! It's very frustrating. This is my first car, and I don't want to sell it...but it seems rather pointless to keep a car that can't even make it up your driveway. If anyone can PLEASE help me with this I would greatly apreciate it. If there's anything that I can do to make this car get up the damn driveway I want to know. I absolutly love this car, and I don't want this to be it. Also...if anyone knows about how fast a TurboDiesel is supposed to go I would like to know. I have had several people tell me that there's something wrong with it because it won't go much past 80. Thanks so much!!! ~Hannah Jane
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Interesting. Can we assume that you could tell if the tires are spinning and that you've lost traction? If that's the case, the drive way is too steep- sell your house and keep the car.
Otherwise, try backing up the driveway- reverse gears are usually lower than first gear.
Either way, you've either got a really sick car or a really steep driveway,or both.
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Sounds like a incorrectly timed injection pump or one seriously tired turbocharger! You said you recently bought/acquired it? Ask the seller if any work had been done on these areas,that is if they answer the phone! Call from another number!
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What is the altitude where your driveway is?

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On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 01:48:51 +0000, Karl wrote:

OP said Portland. Which , like San Francisco, is more or less sea level, varying by a few hundred feet. What blows my mind about this, is - If you're used to driving in San Francisco, what does a "very steep" driveway look like? As far as I recall, ALL of San Francisco is very steep. Except the bridges.
Which leads us to another possibility. San Francisco can be hard on transmissions. Of all the pieces on the 300s, the auto tranmission is my least favorite - someone once called it a very beautifully engineered copy of a very ugly Oldsmobile transmission. It would be real helpful if you could describe the problem a bit better.
Turn off the radio, roll down your windows and listen as you go up the driveway - do you hear tire spin? If so, you know why you were able to get the house - no-one can get up the driveway without four-wheel drive.
Or does the engine still rev with no tire-spin noise as the car comes to a stop - if so, suspect the transmission is getting tired and is slipping.
If, on the other hand, the engine slows to idle speed as the car slows to a stop, the tires are gripping, the transmission's not slipping, you're just not making enough power. Which, as your top speed is about 80 is a possibility - the turbo-diesels in good tune will blow past 80 pretty comfortably, and really should have enough low end torque to climb most reasonable surfaces.
If you hear tire slipping, there's still one other possibility. Steep winding driveways under rainy conditions often get a thin layer of silt runoff on them - which is slippery. Clean the driveway.
Conrad

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The reason I asked about the altitude: The 617 turbo diesel engine has a restricted air intake with the turbo impeller in the hole. If you go up Donner Summit on I-80 and stop at the vista point, you cannot start again up the hill. You have to go back down and get a running start. With the air being thin and the restricted flow, the engine will only idle. Getting a running start and having boost gets you up the hill.
The non-turbo 617 does not have this problem.

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Come to a full stop at the driveway entry and shift into L. That will engage 1st gear and hold the transmission in that gear. If that doesn't do it then have a professional M-B mechanic investigate it.
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The top speed is about 100 mph - on a flat road with no headwind - 100 mph is about the max.
If your car can't get beyond 80 mph then there's a problem - could be minor or that the engine is past it, but at 161K miles that's unlikely.
Could be as minor as the throttle linkage needing an adjustment i.e. when you "floor it" the linkage isn't at its full throttle stop on the injection pump (engine) so the engine is getting only say, 75% throttle.
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