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Old 12-30-2002, 01:43 PM
suginami suginami is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Originally posted by A. Rosich
The transmission I am referring as having a tendency for early failure is the automatic 5-speed, which was available as an extra cost option in most markets, except the U.S.

This transmission was also available to the sedan and the wagon but ONLY on 6-cyl. gasoline engines (4-cyl. and all diesels only could be ordered with the 4-speed automatic as an extra cost option, -the 6-cyl. version could be ordered with either-).

The 5-speed automatic felt much quicker than the 4-speed automatic since it always started from standstill in first gear instead of second.

As I understand, the 5-speed manual transmission did not give any major problems, beside its long throw between gears and the heavy clutch the owners have to live with.
Thanks for the good information. I didn't know that the 5-speed automatic was available before 1997 in non-U.S. markets. I'm sure the 5-speed auto is definitely quicker than the 4-speed due to closer spacing of the gears.

Just a note - All 4 speed automatics after 1990 in the U.S. came with first gear start.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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