first, the hard shifting: turns out i don't have to mess with the vacuum modulator, at least for now. by adjusting the bowden cable to make it shift later i seem to have eliminated the problem. the low shift point (~2k rpm) was making the shifts harsh. now the shifts are a lot smoother.
Steve, i will make another thread on shift points as none of the adjustments i made seem to have affected full throttle/kickdown shifting. the shift quality did improve with the bowden adjustments but i am stumped with the max shift point.
1993 300e-2.8 - gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"