Page last updated 23 Sept 97. Created page.

Unimog-S 404 Maximum Speed

Drivers of Unimog-S 404s report getting speeds of around 60mph (100kph) from their vehicles on flat roads. The maximum speed depends on altitude (and altitude-specific carb tuning) and ambient temperature. The higher the truck is above sea level, the lower the maximum speed. The further the temperature is below 50F (10C) or above 90F (32C), the lower the maximum speed.

Assuming you have a carburetor, you will want to adjust it for every 1000 feet (300m) change in altitude while driving.


You will want to install soundproofing in the cab and around the engine. Also, off-road tires can generate a great deal of noise and vibration when used on paved roads. Less aggressive (smoother) tires are quieter; consider them if you don't drive off-road.

A driver of a 404 with the 180 engine says that when driving at highway speeds:

Drives longer then 20mi or so require ear plugs. This last weekend had a friend with me and he had to yell to communicate.


The same driver goes on to give the maximum speeds for his vehicle under different conditions. Truck is a 404.114 with a 180.928 engine and six-speed gearbox. Another driver reports:
I can maintain 100kph on level ground provided it's:
a) not raining
b) above 10C (50F)
c) my fuel has not been sitting around too long
d) I can hang on to the steering wheel
I have had problems in the past, since I live at sea level I find I have to readjust my carb for every 1000' in elevation. In one instance I lost all power (although the engine idling was fine...) when my carb iced up. go figure...

For the most part, I don't push the unimog much past 90kph (55mph)when travelling long distance - I keep picturing myself blowing a tire and rolling into some Honda Civic full of lawyers.

Note: if anyone is interested in contributing dB measurements from inside and outside the cab of a 404, please contact me.


Thanks to Christopher Gordon, Ron Miller, and Bruce Curtis for their contributions to this section
Take me back to the Unimog-S 404 FAQ.
Patrick Tufts