Thank you Larry. I agree with you that one should have their valve job done ONLY by a shop that has extensive experience with MB heads. Nothing would scare me away quicker than to hear someone from a shop say "No, we've never done a Mercedes head....but all heads are the same anyway!"
Re: 300E/5spd. Wish I had one. Mine's an 1987 300E auto. Is it cost effective to drop an manual 5spd. in?? Don't laugh too loudly! Just curious. Perhaps it might be better to simply look for a real one.
Thanks for your words!