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Old 12-10-2009, 12:25 PM
BoiseBenz BoiseBenz is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 342
The ATSG manual very clearly indicates that only some V-8's get the second-gear start. All diesels (of 722.3 vintage) rest in second, then immediately shift to first upon application of the skinny pedal. This shift is not easily felt. Both my 123.133 and 126.125 operate in this prescribed fashion.

As mentioned, the 3-4 shift is pretty slight under "normal" driving. To test it, use "your normal" skinny pedal to run the car up to about 40 MPH with the shifter in "D." While maintaining 40, shift to "3." RPMs and noise will slightly increase, and you'll hear/feel the shift. Shift back to "D." RPMs will drop a little, and you'll hear/feel the shift.

Another way to test is "backwards" shifting. Drive the car at 40 in "D" and shift to "3." Do you get a downshift? Then you were in fourth. Drive the car at 25 in "3" and shift to "2." Did you get a downshift? Then you were in third. Continue at 25 in "2" and note RPM (or engine sound if tach kaput or not fitted). Leave lever in "2" and come to a stop. Speed back up to 25 while noting engine performance. If it won't go back to 25 without sounding like the engine might come free from its moorings, you are locked in first. When you then shift to "3" you may feel two very quick shifts (1-2 then 2-3).

The shift behavior of a four-speed with only three selections is a bit perplexing. "D" gives four gears of operation. "3" gives three gears of operation. "2" DOES NOT GIVE TWO GEARS OF OPERATION. Rather it will hold it in first upon acceleration, or upon decel will shift to second if you're going less than about 20, or will shift to first if you are going less than about 30 (look for the two dots on the outer edge of the speedo rim) and floor it.

The dots are for full-pedal upshifts or safe operating speed. One dot for 1-2 shift. Two dots for 2-3 shift. Three dots for 3-4 shift.
James Marriott
2003 Buick Regal
1983 300D (228k, frau Auto)
1996 Suburban K2500 (192k, 6.5 turbo diesel/4WD towmaster 10,000)
1987 300SDL junker 170k
1982 300SD junker, 265k
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