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  #1  
Old 07-08-2002, 11:31 PM
cincicliff
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Manual Transmission Install for 210 E420?

I am considering the purchase of a 210 body style E420 as my next car. I am impressed with these cars but absolutely MUST have a stick shift. I basically want to create the Mercedes equivalent to the BMW 540i 6 spd.

Has anyone successfully completed a manual transmission install for an E420 or other V-8 cars? I would be interested in learning about any E55, E500, E320, S, SL, V-12 conversions too...

I am likely to play with forced induction in the future so I would like the transmission to be able to handle at least 400 ft lbs. I know that a few 300E, 300SL, 190 2.3-16V, etc had manual transmissions. Does anyone know what kind of torque these can take reliably.

Anyone played with adding a transmission from another make Porsche 928, BMW 540, Borg Warner T56 or T45, Tremec? Seems like I could fab a custom flywheel, bell housing, and driveshaft to adapt one of these...

Will the car's electronics function properly with the original transmission removed? Anyone already learn how to get things functioning again?

I would appreciate any advice / experience you can share.

Thanks,
Cliff
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2002, 01:31 PM
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I would check with renntech or one of the other mb tuners.

I am not sure if they have put a manual tranny on any V8's, but it would be one hell of a car.

Alon
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2002, 01:40 PM
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Make one for me too:p

Maybe you could get a discount for a quantity purchase.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2002, 03:49 PM
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Location: Hockessin, DE
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The 2.3-16v and 300SL (90-93) are both Getrag sourced 5-speed close gear trannies. First of, they have no overdrive, so forget about mileage.

I know they are easy to adapt to many 300E, 190E so forth, but not sure about the newer cars. However, I know Rick from RC-imports did use the same tranny installed in a C280 (beleive its the pre 98, where it still used a straight 6) Now if I remember correctly, the C36 in that same year used an E420/S420/S500 tranny, so I'm assuming there shouldn't be a problem bolting up. However once u get to the new 3valve engines, I'm sure you might run into problems.

Give Rick a call.

I believe their site is down, but heres the number:
(301) 762-4205

I actually ahve my 2.3-16v sitting their...If he says the conversion would work out, drop me an email since I'm not using my tranny.

Good Luck, Charlie.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2002, 07:03 PM
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RennTech could do a 6-speed manual tranny conversion. Do you have $20K laying around?

http://www.renntechmercedes.com/parts/parts_f.html

:-) neil

Last edited by ke6dcj; 07-09-2002 at 07:11 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2002, 07:17 PM
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Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
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I often wondered the same thing but the main problem is the bellhousing, is there one available? The inline fours and sixes have the same bellhousing pattern and not sure on V6s. Maybe a bellhousing can be found on a MB V8 truck, a Euro version car or a G-wagen. Flywheels can be machined using an AT ring gear, clutch assemblies are no problem and a Ford T5 with a .63 fifth gear or a Richmond 5 or six speed could be used and you choose the gear ratios. Throwout bearings are hydraulic and slide on the TO guide sleeve so no fork is needed. Don't know the dimensions of the newer MB automatics but my T5 fit into the 190 chassis with very little tweaking.

If one could locate a tranny damaged in a collision that had a good engine mounting flange it may be possible to make an aluminum adapter to a Ford or GM bellhousing and go from there back.

Too many ideas and not enough time!!

Tobias MB
4 MBs
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2002, 09:17 PM
cincicliff
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Wow, I am really surprised that more people have not tried to adapt a manual gearbox to a V-8 MB and $20K is WAY out of the question...

Tobias,

I think adapting a bell housing will be one of the biggest challenges too.

Did you mate a T5 to a 2.3 or 2.6 in your 190 or is the input side connected to a Ford V-8?

If you mounted the T5 to a MB engine I am very curious how you managed to mount the bell housing to the engine. Do you have any pictures?

Thanks,
Cliff
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2002, 12:29 PM
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Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
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No MB engine

Cliff,
My 190 has a Ford 302 stroked to 342" in it hence the use of the T5 Tremec tranny. As I said previously the bellhousing is the ticklish part of the conversion but if a unusable AT could be had that would bolt up it could be cut behind the convertor so that crank centerline could be logged. If a tranny from say an old 450SL would bolt to a E430 motor then it could be used for getting the dimensions but who knows if the patterns are consistent and what years would apply?
Only other quirk may be a manual pedal assembly but the assembly from an SLK or a Euro manual 210 chassis may fit. MB probably makes a non-USA 210/2.0L/manual...taxis!

Tobias MB
4 MBs

PS: If you go to Richmondgear.com you can see the gear charts for their trannys, choose the final gear you desire (5th or 6th)
and back up from there.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2002, 09:02 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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In Germany, you can get any Mercedes with a Manual shift. What Renntech is doing is purchasing the parts for the German car and bolting it up. Then recoding the controllers.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2002, 10:20 PM
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Sounds Like I need to get in the RennTech business :p
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--------------------------------------------
- 03 Mercedes S600 Sport TTV12
- 97 Acura NSX-T
- 99 BMW E36 M3 w/500+ HP
- 04 Lexus RX330
- 04 Dodge Dakota Quad 4x4 V8

4 Sale:
- 99 BMW M3 E36 Coup with Dinan SC, Upgraded to an RMS Stage 3 with Aftercooler, 12psi, and 500+hp @ flywheel.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2002, 11:03 PM
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how come we don't get an mb stick shift here? what's up with the MB USA?
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2002, 11:58 PM
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Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
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Ronald,
Don't ask, just be glad they decide to send what they do send and be happy....we're foreigners to them!

Cliff,
Theres the answer to your question. Go to your local dealer and get a European delivery E430 and forward it to a tuner such as Lorinser, Brabus etc and have them do the conversion to straight drive. Then go over to pick it up and enjoy the break-in there and have MBUSA ship the car to the US for you. Sounds easy but the glitches are enormous!!

Tobias MB
4 MBs
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2002, 12:51 PM
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 408
Manual V-8

That is the only complaint I have about my hotter-than-average E420, the lack of a manual. I called RennTech and confirmed the $20K story. They converted an E500 to a manual gearbox some years ago. Said the tunnel had to be enlaged to accomodate what I correctly guessed was a six-speed from a BMW 850CSi. The controllers are the other challenge mentioned by RennTech. Nothing money cannot buy, however!

If anyone solves this riddle economically, I would do it in a second. I don't think that the 190 16V tranny is the right idea. V-8 power would probably tear it up.
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2002, 06:11 PM
cincicliff
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Too bad no one seems to have pulled off a sucessful stick shift conversion for a reasonable price.

I am not sure if I will end up taking this on as a project, but if I do I will keep you guys posted.

Thanks,
Cliff
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2002, 01:47 AM
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Main reason why MB has not brought stick shift to America is because there are some of us who aren't that good in driving sticks. Eventually, one of us would burn the clutch and try to get MBUSA to pay for it. Personally, I have never felt the need for a stick. MB adaptive units are the best out there with no problems. Also, once buying a used MB I at least know that the trans wouldnt be trashed. I think the only reason why MB brought some 6 speeds was to appease some purists but in the future I cant wait until they release their own CVT and/or SMG. I think you could call some tuners especially MKB but you could get much more performance by dropping in Konig Supercharger for 5k. Also, remember this, I bet you wouldnt get even half the service life w/ a new trans than your current one. Your engine service life would also be also reduced because of more RPMs. I bet you won't be upshifting at 2500 rpm.
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