I tried looking for a lock nut on the bottom of the shift lever knob, as I have done this on my older cars, and found out my 190E is the same when the shift pattern wore off and the guy at the Thrify airport parking place nearly unscrewed the knob trying to get the car into reverse. This car, the 300E with a manual transmission, does not seem to have a lock nut under the shift knob. It has some kind of aluminum looking clasp with no fasteners. There were no flats to hold the lever while you try to unscrew the knob, and the lever descends into a mechanical joint/bearing assembly, and does not look like a user friendly affair.
I was hoping the clam shell clamp had some release feature that I was not noticing, or that there was some simple way to get the knob off. Thanks for the help, and when I get this item figured out I will post the answer (no matter how embarrassing it is). Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)