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  #1  
Old 02-01-2004, 11:27 PM
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Manual transmission in w123 300D?



Hi, I haven't posted here before, but I have a question. I learned to drive on a '79 240D (pictured above, I'm on the right) and I might have to buy a car soon, due to a wreck with my daily driver. I really liked that car, and I was sad to see it go.

Anyway, I like the 300D (especially the wagon) except for one thing: it only came in an automatic. I'd consider getting one if I knew I could convert it to manual in the future (probably after I'm done rebuilding my '73 BMW 2002).

Has anyone converted the 300D to a manual, using the 4-speed from the 240D or some other transmission? What else would be involved in such a swap?

Thanks,

Matt


Last edited by Matt_P; 02-01-2004 at 11:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2004, 12:24 AM
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Yes. I have. A lot. Will post on my experiences as soon as they take me off the medication and let me out of the nice canvas jacket and cuddly-cuffs.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2004, 12:38 AM
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Yes, a lot of work. And I've driven one. I'm still a little undecided, but I don't know that I'd go through the trouble unless I could find a 5spd, which I believe exist, but are rare.

I'd rather have a nive 700r4 I think. This tranny is just almost enough to put me off the 300D. I'm really considering hunting down a 240 with a stick and just dealing with the lack of power.
I'm an old VW diesel guy after all..
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2004, 12:43 AM
ForcedInduction
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If you have the time and connections, you could look into purchacing and mporting a euo spec 300D.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2004, 07:31 AM
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I just mated a 300DT with the 240 manual tranny. But I did it with both of them out of the car. I would bet that you'll have some struggles getting everything lined up underneath.

My car runs out fine but I need to update the differential in order to get more top end and longer acceleration between gears.

Don
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'97 Jetta TDI 186k (Matt's)
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'84 300D 211k Mint (Arne- Undergoing Greasecar Conversion)

SOLD:
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2004, 05:10 PM
LarryBible
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There are a few non turbo, Euro 300D's in the US with a manual, but the turbo's are rare.

If you want a stick, you would have a much simpler, easier to work on, and reliable car by finding a manual 240D. The 300D's are loaded with unnecessary gadgetry. Most people are capable of cranking up their own windows, pulling closed their sunroof and turning up the temperature when they get too cold. All the 300D gadgetry is just something EXPENSIVE to break.

Conversion can be done, but it is not bolt up. The shifter rods will need modification and a driveshaft will probably have to be fabricated. If you do this, be sure to use the adapter plate that goes with the manual transmission and ensure that you take care of the pilot bearing issue.

Good luck,
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2004, 09:25 PM
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Though few in number, there are Euro 300D's in North America, some with manual transmissions. I'm driving one I found last spring, and my friend bought one a couple of months ago. I've seen a couple on eBay, one with a five-speed. The Euro spec cars are far simpler than those made for the North American market. Mine has neither air conditioning nor vacuum locks. It's truly peasant class all the way.

I suggest that you buy a 240D with a manual trans, which were sold by MB dealers in North America, and enjoy it while you look for the 300D. You might find that the 240 suits you fine.

Phil

'84 Euro 300D
'85 'merican 300D with all the fixins
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2004, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for all the advice.

Thanks, sounds like it's a little more involved than just getting a pedal cluster and tranny from the 240D (not exactly the easiest thing to find in the first place). I didn't realize that the 300D had all the electric stuff that I really don't care for, either. Thanks again,

Matt
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2004, 10:36 PM
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I think the extra 53 HP and 73ft/lbs more torque from the turbo 300D make it more worthwile than the 240D even with the quirky gadgets. I'd be bored with my 300D if I didn't have something to tinker around with occasionally. Once you have been driving a car with some decent performance it's very hard to think about driving something that is so slow.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2004, 11:03 PM
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re: going back to something slow..

No kidding. I've been truly toying with the idea of trading my 300D for a 240D for the sake of a manual trans and no auto climate control. It's hard to turn my back on that 5cyl turbo though... I could put a 4spd in the 300D, change the rear end ratio and make it livable I think, but then theres still the climate control. It's not un-fixable, and actually mine works fine, but I'd be a lot more at ease if it were manual.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2004, 12:16 AM
123c
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I'd personally go for a 240D, I know they are slow, but they don't have all the extras that can cause headaches, just like my ACC is doing right now ...

Plus if you are like me and have something that is fast but gets about about 15mpg, the mileage that the 240D gets will make up for the slowness...
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2004, 09:05 AM
LarryBible
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If anyone wants to be cured of their wanting the extra cylinder in a 123 diesel, go change the starter, or pull the engine on a 300D and do the same thing on a 240D. The 300D is a royal PITA compared to the little four. It's like one is a Model A and the other is a late model front wheel drive car.

I pulled the engine from my manual 240D to change the clutch. As I recall it was less than five hours start to finish. Don't try R&R a five cylinder without allowing at least twice that much time. Many of the components such as the starter will require at least twice as much time and twice as many new swear words. There aren't enough existing swear words to complete these jobs on a 300D, you usually have to make up new ones in order to complete the job.

Relative to many other cars now being driven, the five cylinder 123 cars are easier to work on, but the four cylinder is a piece of cake compared to most anything being driven regularaly on the roads today.

My $0.02,
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2004, 09:39 AM
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Larry, are you swearing at it in English or German? Somebody advised yesterday that it works better to hurl invectives in the native tongue!

But seriously, if you guys can find a manual 240D to test drive, you might be surprised and find that it's not quite as slow as it is reputed to be.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2004, 10:13 AM
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I had to say something

What about the standard transmission from a gasser? (stay away from mine!)

Or even turbocharging a 240?
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2004, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryBible
If anyone wants to be cured of their wanting the extra cylinder in a 123 diesel, go change the starter, or pull the engine on a 300D and do the same thing on a 240D. The 300D is a royal PITA compared to the little four. It's like one is a Model A and the other is a late model front wheel drive car.

I pulled the engine from my manual 240D to change the clutch. As I recall it was less than five hours start to finish. Don't try R&R a five cylinder without allowing at least twice that much time. Many of the components such as the starter will require at least twice as much time and twice as many new swear words. There aren't enough existing swear words to complete these jobs on a 300D, you usually have to make up new ones in order to complete the job.

Relative to many other cars now being driven, the five cylinder 123 cars are easier to work on, but the four cylinder is a piece of cake compared to most anything being driven regularaly on the roads today.

My $0.02,
Larry, don't take this the wrong way.
I haven't ever pulled a starter from a 5 cyl diesel yet but how often do you have do this? Maybe there are some things that may take twice as much and require new swear words in addition, but again, how much more often do you have to tackle them than you would on the four banger? I find working on my 5 cyl relatively easy compared to all the Japanese cars I've owned in the past.
I'm glad that I have the 5 cyl turbo-diesel so that when I accelerate to get on the freeway, I don't have to do it with my head turned looking behind me the whole time I'm doing it.

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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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