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Old 06-09-2005, 01:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: N.E. Ohio
Posts: 768

Well I finally got about 5 hours seat time in my M2 with Mercedes MBE 926 motor (300hp & 860ft/pds)& Allison Automatic.

The M2 is very different than my FLD120 which had a M11 (350hp & 1250ft/pds)& 10 speed manual trans. The FLD always had the same pulling power through each gear. The M2 starts out real slow, almost like it is winding up a giant rubber band. When you hit 3rd gear that rubber band lets go and man it really moves out. In a side by side drag race from a standing start the FLD would pull out a lead at the start but the M2 would be blowing by it within a hundred yards.

On the highway I still would choose the FLD over the M2. Once in 10th gear I never had to downshift even on grades of 4%. So it was very smooth even when you hammered the throttle. The M2 takes much more throttle finesse to keep the trans from hunting between 5th & 6th. There is definitely a techniques to this even though it is a automatic and as I gain seat time I think this difference in the 2 trucks will close up.

On secondary roads the M2 is definitely the winner. Don't get me wrong shifting has its moments, but there where more times I really wasn't in the mood, so the automatic shines here.

The M2 is definitely quieter in the cab, but the FLD was much smoother on the road with the Broc's ad-a-air front air suspension.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that the M2 is awesome and perfect for my application.

If you are use to big horsepower, want a truck that gets up to speed in a hurry, pulling a big trailer, live in the mountains, plan to drive in the mountain often, want to race your buddies in their conversions, than you do not want to even look at a M2 as a chassis for your next conversion.

2012 Showhauler 28'6" Motorhome on a Columbia w/ 450 Mercedes.
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:20 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hanford,CA,USofA
Posts: 786

Thank you Bill! This is good info for many who lurk around this site. I'm so glad this unit fills the bill(Bill?), as I was afraid that being used to more torque from the FLD, you'd be disappointed in the lesser amount of available torque from the MB engine. This now appears not to be the case. Like you say, it's probably just a matter of getting used to a different situation. I would think you might get a bit more fuel mileage, but I guess we'll have to see about that.
Enjoy that rig, Bill, it's a real beauty!
PS- You might check and see if a Brock's Add-a-Ryd(sp?) suspension is available for your M2. If I recall it isn't real costly. Just an idea.....

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Old 06-09-2005, 06:14 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 182

Yes, Thanks Bill or all the good info. Some of it even helps if you are looking at a conversion. My Freightliner dealer is trying to convince me that that 2006 Columbia's that we are ordering should come with the Mercedes engine (450hp) and the Clutchless auto over the Detroit or Cat with the standard 10C transmission. I am not sure about the service of the Mercedes and I pretty much know what to expect out of the Detroit or Cat. We have 4 Cat's, 5 Detroits and 4 Cummins. We have 4 due in the next few days with the Cat's but for the next group I am leanning to the Mercedes. I am dissapointed with the fuel mileage in all of the rest as we are averaging 6.56 mpg pulling 79,500lbs gross weight with all engines performing about the same. They all have their good points but in the long run the Cat's have cost less and the Detroits the most. We usually run them all to about 800,000 miles before retiring them to trade. We seem to actually make more with the Cummins becouse we get paid by the weight and they weigh about 1800 lbs less than the others. The Mercedes will weigh about the same as the M11's. So any info on the ability of the Mercedes (even the smaller ones) will help me make an informed decision.
Thanks for letting me ramble about non conversion stuff!!
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ellijay, ga. usa
Posts: 235

wick i only know for sure what i've experienced-- on our trip our mileage has been arond 8.75 to 9.20. the coach weighs 32,000 but we're only pulling 2600#. the extra h.p. is not such such a bad deal. it does give more preformance when needed. both up and down. service is the main reason we chose the cat.-- choices are still choices ---- mase
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Old 06-09-2005, 07:59 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 262

We have about 3000 miles on our Mercedes since last fall. The engine has been flawless. The meritor trans has been GREAT. It skips when it needs to, usually starts in third. Now I don't weigh 79,000 lbs, atleast I don't think so, maybe a trip to the weigh station next trip out..... But our Mh is 40 long, 200 gallons of water towing a yukon and loaded with stuff. Never had a problem pulling hills or otherwise. The mercedes is a clean engine, easy access. We love ours. I have runs Freightliners with the 10spd and this out runs them easily and it's quieter. JMHO
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