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Jay Gibbs 06-30-2003 02:59 PM

1983 240D Auto Trans to 4 Speed Swap
I'm entertaining the idea of converting my 1983 240D Auto to a 4 spd manual. Aside from the obvious changes required- ie. the trans, pedal assembly, clutch, pressure plate, T/O bearing- what all else is required? Is the driveshaft, or are the flex disks different?
Connections for Auto trans cooler?, Will the cruise control work?
Etc, Etc.... Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


JimSmith 06-30-2003 07:23 PM

Jay Gibbs,

I second Larry's conclusion. The 240D was meant for a manual transmission and you should have had to have some kind of State sanctioned handicap permit to order one with an automatic. Nothing short of a left leg amputation somewhere near the neck should have qualified. The difference in the response and feel of the car will justify your trouble. Good luck, Jim

Edit: the server is getting a little out of time. This was supposed to be listed below Larry's response.

LarryBible 06-30-2003 08:29 PM

I personally would not do this conversion unless the donor car were nearby. This is so that you can get all those little parts. The cruise control can be made to work but MAKE SURE YOU PUT A CLUTCH SWITCH ON! Without it, the engine will rev out of sight when you kick in the clutch with CC set.

The driveshaft may be a different length, thus the need for the donor car being nearby.

The end of your crankshaft may not have provision for a pilot bearing. MAKE SURE you fabricate one or the input bearing will be toast in a few miles.

Also there is a mounting plate that bolts to the engine and then the transmission bolts to that. You need to get the one off the manual transmission engine and bolt it in place on the recipient engine BEFORE installing the flywheel.

This will be a good and worthwhile project IMHO, but take your time, don't take shortcuts and do it right.

Good luck,

sokoloff 06-30-2003 09:38 PM

I converted my 240D to a manual about five years ago. I have a message saved somewhere about what parts were needed, etc. Be glad to send it to you if you want it. Best thing I ever did to that car.

Cruise control has never been a problem. How often do you depress the clutch at 50mph opr so with the cruise on? Never happened to me yet.

'83 240D 335,000 miles, 40,000 miles as a manual

leathermang 06-30-2003 09:44 PM

"the server is getting a little out of time" --JimSmith

How does one check the chain ' elongation' on a server ?

300SDog 06-30-2003 09:48 PM

Larry provides good advice about having donor car nearby.... at least available on hold at nearby junkyard that might sell you complete conversion package for less than $500.

And thats smart thinking about clutch disengage switch for cruise control.

Driveshafts are the same length, even for standard shift conversion of 300D. Total conversion should be piece of cake... with imprints on sheet metal for drilling holes and attaching clutch pedal, etc.

Can only add that you MUST have flywheel spun ballanced at performance machine shop. At factory installations, flywheel is ballanced to crankshaft...... but independently ballanced flywheel will help engine longevity for the conversion.

leathermang 06-30-2003 09:56 PM

"but there are probably lots of people here who are happy with theirs."---240DieselDog

yeah ? show me one ! and look at your signature block... :D Would you even been seen with someone with an auto four cylinder ? Not likely ! :D

240-diesel 06-30-2003 10:09 PM

I have entertained the swap , as I have some posts in the past about 0 to 60 speed, I am trying in the next week or two to get the most out of it because its running slower than normal, whatever normal is. I wonder what a almost perfect running adusted 240d auto will do when they were new ? or maybe a low milage one would perform ? I am always on the lookout for the manual , I have seen a few in the last couple of months , but I have a lot of cosmetic and mechanical parts into my car by now . But if I find the right one it will be byebye auto trans. The car will cruise all day at highway speed but forget about any sort of hills . Mostly I think it needs a little engine power trouble shooting.

sokoloff 06-30-2003 10:40 PM

I have seen the numbers on 0 - 60 times on the auto vs. the manual, but can't find it right now. As I recall, the times were not that different. Both were right around the 20 second mark as I recall. Maybe it's in the TDM?


sokoloff 06-30-2003 10:40 PM

But I do have to add that it sure feels like the manual is a lot faster.


leathermang 06-30-2003 11:18 PM

Car and Driver Magazine used to do really good tests on new cars... maybe they did one on these .....

They may not be very different in actual times.. it may be the feeling ... and the gearing possibilities when needing to get some more umph at certain speeds which is restricted in the auto... as compared to downshifting to pass in the intermediate ranges... like between 20 and 40...

I know most of you don't really have that old " two lane road, farm implement in front of you, short passing distance availble " situations very often... not like in the old days when most roads were two lane.....

Standing start, with pedal floored , the auto and manual may be very close 0 to 60 or quarter mile or whatever....

R Leo 07-01-2003 12:01 AM

Advantage to standard shifting
I think that the big advantage of the manual transmission isn't the 0-60 ET but the ability to keep the engine in the torque curve (and thus more responsive) at intermediate speeds.

My single biggest complaint about my wagon is her poor performance in the 15-35 mph region. I find myself driving around town in "S" just to try to have the revs in the right place on the curve or to have enough boost to accelerate and keep up with traffic.

I'm banking (some money and serious effort this coming weekend) that a manual will give me a little more control...

R Leo

LarryBible 07-01-2003 06:28 AM

The reason that you don't see 0 to 60 times on a 240D Automatic is that they don't make hour glasses with that much sand in them.:D

I'm glad someone warned about balancing the flywheel, but if the factory balances the flywheel to the crankshaft this sounds like an externally balanced engine. Will balancing the flywheel by itself achieve proper balance?

Good luck,

240Demon 07-02-2003 01:58 AM

Whoever decided that the 240D needed an Automatic should be forced to drive one for 1,000,000 miles. I have never driven a 240D Auto (and i intend to keep it that way). I drove a normally aspirated 300D and thought that it was too slow, so a OM616 would be terrible, downright dangerous even.

300SDog 07-02-2003 08:48 AM

Larry, pistons also are available in varying weight indicated by small letter stamped on the crown.... so the engine is probably both internally and externally ballanced. Adding independently ballanced flywheel just keeps the engine closer to par.

Nearby MB shop has done dozens of standard shift conversions for 300D. They tell me the most expensive part of the operation is having 300D flywheel imported from Europe.

Recently purchased a '77 280SEL stick shift Euro model.... asked about installing the turbo diesel engine... the guy told me it would be easier for him to install the standard shift in existing 300SD / 116 than it would be to convert from gasoline to diesel on account of vacuum lines and wiring harness.

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