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  #1  
Old 02-04-2007, 12:00 AM
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'83 380SL first gear start?

I friend of mine recently bought a 1983 380SL and asked me to drive it a bit because he felt it was a bit "jerky" when accelerating from a stop, and I noticed that it starts in first gear from a stop. Is this normal? I was under the impression that these cars started in second gear.

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Old 02-06-2007, 01:48 AM
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no one??
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:09 AM
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I had my 280SLC tuned up 2 weeks ago for jerky shifting. I had my gearbox rebuilt about 3 months and it has been a tad jerky since.

My mechanic told me that you can adjust the changing of gears through a valve located on the transmission. He just told me he turns the valve then test drives, and continues turning till the jerks go away.

You can probably do a search to verify this. I am not a mechanic but I usually ask a lot of questions... maybe one day I will find the guts to get my hands dirty.

Good luck

Last edited by tubbee; 02-06-2007 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:18 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Does your 280 start in second grear or in first? I'm really curious if the SL is supposed to start in 2nd.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMorrison View Post
Thanks for the reply. Does your 280 start in second grear or in first? I'm really curious if the SL is supposed to start in 2nd.


280 would be a first start, it's a Euro car.

Is that 380 US or Euro?
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:41 AM
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It's US, does that mean it should be 2nd gear start? If so, why would it be starting in 1st?
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMorrison View Post
It's US, does that mean it should be 2nd gear start? If so, why would it be starting in 1st?


Yeah, should be.

Could have a Euro valve body, trans could have been rebuilt. Got me, just enjoy it.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:50 AM
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Well, it's not mine to enjoy, but thank you!
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:15 AM
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The 560SL definatly starts in second, but will kick down to first with full throttle and kickdown switch depressed. The 380SL lacks alot of power and it seams to me that setting this car up to start in first would have been an ideal solution so maybe its supposed to be that way but its been 20 years since I drove or worked on one and I forgot.

Strife whats the real answer?

John Roncallo
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2007, 08:39 AM
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Torque converter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMorrison View Post
I friend of mine recently bought a 1983 380SL and asked me to drive it a bit because he felt it was a bit "jerky" when accelerating from a stop, and I noticed that it starts in first gear from a stop. Is this normal? I was under the impression that these cars started in second gear.
The 380SL 4Speed auto US model should start in "2nd gear". To start on 1st gear you should shift to S. (Did the 83 trans. have a torque converter?) What happens when you engage the kickdown switch? I'm asking to determine if there are 3 or 4 shift points.
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Last edited by BenzToy; 02-06-2007 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:22 PM
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I think I'm counting all four on my 380SL.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2007, 01:09 PM
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My 84 380sl normally starts in 2nd.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:52 AM
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Huh! I wonder what could be wrong. I also noticed that when going down a hill as I down shifted I could feel the engine braking going into third and second, however "B" made no noticeable difference.

Any ideas why it would be starting in first if it's not supposed to?

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