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Old 05-19-2001, 06:11 PM
RunningTooHot's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Still hunting for a decent (inexpensive) diesel…

In the 240D & 300D cars, how long do the 4 speed manual transmissions usually last?

I am asking because I am going to go look at a 1979 car that supposedly has only 127,000 miles on it, yet the owner says that the transmission is making ominous grinding noises (to the point where he says it shouldn’t be driven back if I decide to purchase it.) If these trannys usually last much much longer, then I am suspicious of the relatively low mileage on the odometer. (I know that the way a car is driven will make a huge difference, but I’m looking for a general idea as to how long they last.)

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 05-19-2001, 07:17 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,232
That manual tranny (if it is on a 240D) should last 300k easily with the proper maintenance - fluid changes every 30k miles.

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Old 05-19-2001, 09:32 PM
Ashman's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
I think Larry Bible Can attest to the Manual Trannies, He can give you some pretty impressive mileage figures on his Manual Benz Cars. But then again, he takes very very good care of his cars.

As always, if the tranny was abused, then it wont last as long.

The metal grinding could be something other than the tranny, like a clutch, the throwout bearing, or something similar.

It did cross my mind to see if I could change my car to a manual tranny, but in Los Angeles, I'd Rather have the Auto... Traffic Sucks.


[Edited by Ashman on 05-19-2001 at 09:35 PM]
'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 05-19-2001, 10:52 PM
Brian K
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A lot depends on how the car is used. If a car were only driven on the highway, a manual trans could probably almost last indefinately.

If you do a lot of shifting, it seems the first thing to go is the first gear synchro, and the second gear synchro. These are the parts that have to work the hardest on a trans.

Anyways, I got over 200,000 on my Porsche 914, and it still worked pretty well when I had it rebuilt.
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Old 05-21-2001, 06:10 PM
MBenzNL's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417
The manual transmission boxes that mercedes builds are better as the auto transmission boxes. The manual last very long. I had a W201 1985 190D with 600.000km and absolutely not a single problem.
The W123 240D had a strong manual transmission box as well; they can last a very long time, but some boxes are disabused or are out of luck and don't last that long...

(Brian) The later manual 5-speed transmission boxes seem to have more problems with their 5th speed as with the first and/or second...but some of the 5th speed problems can be repaired without the transmission box to be removed.

1990 300SL-24
1993 C250D
with a minor 600+k kilometer
(the Netherlands)
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