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  #1  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:33 AM
imagesinthewind's Avatar
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D, S and L

I know the D means DRIVE, but what exactly does the S and L stand for?

And can I drive in S?
The 81 is peppier if I start from a stop in S and then move it to D at about 40mph. I also use S a lot to pull big hills, kind of like overdrive (that's what it is, right).

Is this bad for the tranny?
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagesinthewind View Post
I know the D means DRIVE, but what exactly does the S and L stand for?

DSL's?????

Maybe I read that wrong.....


Drive, second, low? Or could it be something German I wonder?
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:38 AM
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I think S is for Slope maybe...

What do I know, mine is labled R-1-2-3-4
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:43 AM
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I'm so glad MB got rid of those dumb letters after 1985.

Its D, 3 and 2. On the gas ones you got the nice option of kicking it down to first with a bump over. At least the 420 I parted had that neat little detent on the shifter, wish the SDL did as well.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:53 AM
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They actually switched it in 1983. Both our '83's Say PRND32.

Mine is an 82 and has the awesome PRNDSL on it. Makes it that much more...German! Gotta remember the german words that the letters represent, so you can impress people when they ask what "S" and "L" mean.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:54 AM
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Now... hang on. You can still manually access first, it just takes some trickery.

Here's how it works on a standard second generation w126 shifter. Somebody needs to say if this works on a DSL shifter, but on a D32 shifter, this works perfectly.

If you wait until after the car has come to a complete stop (this is important) and THEN shift down to 2, the car actually starts in 1st. When it's put in first in this manner, it is locked in first until you either move the gear lever out of 2, or until you max out the RPMs for first gear. Then, it shifts to 2. Want to do a 1-2 shift manually? Start out from a stop in 2, wind up to whatever rpm you want to shift at, pop it up to 3 and back to 2 as fast as you can move the stick, bang. You're in 2 until you release it to 3. No way to get 1 again except to floor it (at an rpm that allows the downshift) or complete stop again.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:57 AM
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My friend's 1984 300SD has the D - S - L; my '87 300SDL has D - 3 - 2. Of course the top side is P - R - N. I often wondered why there isn't a "1".
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Last edited by PaulH; 04-09-2008 at 01:06 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:05 AM
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Yeah I know that little feature was just driving me nuts today in traffic. I really don't like the way MB's shift.

3rd was a bit to fast, but if I put it in 2nd the damn thing drags 1st to 4k+. So I just gave up, put it in 4th.

If you want to hold 2nd just put it their and keep it above 5mph or whenever it kicks down, it will hold it.

MB never could make a trans that was just right. I swear my SD started in 2nd if my memory serves me. Then they did that stupid 2nd gear start with the gassers. On top of all that if you want a down shift you have to beat the damn thing over the head. Really the 722.6 is the only MB transmission I like, they will do something totaly amazing for a MB transmission...downshift if you put your foot down slightly...WOW. On top of that it doesn't piss me off with constant shifting like the always confused 722.9 with a billion ratios. Hmm lets see do I want 6th or 5th gear? Maybe a little 3rd in their, oh wait lets run from 1st-5th before the next stop light.

Just like the weak climate control, crummy AC, piss poor cup holders, and Play School window regulators...MB never could figure the whole gear ratio and downshift thing.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:13 AM
ForcedInduction
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Automatic? I gave up that bad habit a long time ago.

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Hi, my name is Lance and I've been automatic free for 2 years, 5 months and 9 days.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Is this bad for the tranny?
Everything I have seen on here would indicate that this is not a problem for these trannies!! In fact I think these are about as close to a manual tranny as about any auto gets until the electronic controlled ones. Not many cars I have driven will allow moving the shifter from "3" to drive under load without some flare or maybe a lot.

At one point I considered using the 4-speed out of the old 220 to convert the 300D to manual, but after several years of ownership I doubt that it will ever happen.

Quote:
I also use S a lot to pull big hills, kind of like overdrive (that's what it is, right).
Actually overdrive would be nice but that would be a fifth gear with a lower numerical ratio than one. Overdrive is used for cruising on 'level ground' to lower the engine RPM.
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:25 AM
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If it were bad for the tranny they wouldn't have this feature. However if you are moving faster than 10 or 15 mph I would refrain from jamming it in L as this will put it back into first gear, which will put some more wear on the tranny.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:30 AM
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I'm glad they didn't put second gear start in my '90 300D. I think they had to do this because of the 2.65 rear end. It would be quite a slug if it started out at second at every stop light. I kind of like how the hydraulic MB autos work. With the exception of the downshifting, I like how it holds the gears. My Subaru on the other hand, is very indecisive. When driving up a hill, it will eventually upshift to about 1800-2000RPM, even when you're still slowly accelerating. Giving it more gas causes it to drop two gears for a few seconds at about 3500RPM, then it'll settle back down to the middle gear. The MB would just stay in 2nd or 3rd and pull the hill no problem. The Subaru has an electronic tranny, so I might just have to read up and see if there's a way to reset its adaptive memory and see if that helps.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:09 AM
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300SD's do not start in 2nd gear, they always start in first. The gassers do start in 2nd however.

I am fine with how my car shifts. I am going to replace my modulator soon to try and get rid of the coming-to-a-stop-clunk and to firm up the 3-4 shift. Hoping it works. As for the "MB trannys never wanting to downshift".....I've noticed this.....my dad's SD is reluctant to do so....and when it does it feels like the drive line disappears (total momentary loss of propulsion) then WHAM its back and takes off. It has done that forever, very odd.

My car loves down shifting. Sometimes if I slow down from like 40mph and then go into a turn and punch the throttle it will double down shift from 4th to 2nd! Then it really pulls hard! Our 300D has to be manually down shifted. There's something wrong with the kickdown.....when you try to use it it blows the fuse immediately. You know this because the tach instantly falls to 0. I'm thinking frayed/shorted wire under the car possibly.....or a bad switch. If we can't figure it out we'll just unplug it.
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Last edited by pawoSD; 04-09-2008 at 02:14 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:22 AM
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I dont get why everyone talks crap about these trannies. Both my 300sd and 300d shift right when Id like them too, dont downshift when I dont want them too, shift perfectly smooth and work all around seamlessly for an almost 30 year old design that is entirely electrical free. If I could convert my 300sd to a stick, would I? No. It is an S Class, not a 190e. Same goes for my 300d
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:52 AM
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They talk crap because any little vacuum leak will screw up the shifting. It can be a very annoying design and I dont think MB thought it out thoroughly.

I do like that they are very responsive, with no hang time between upshifting when you take your foot off the gas though. Some cars take forever to upshift when you want them to. These are very easy to modulate with your right foot. Another plus is they are pretty freakin' durable.
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