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  #1  
Old 10-26-2001, 03:52 PM
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Location: SF
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Angry More on 5 speeds-300E

I have another question about W124 5 speeds, 1986 to be exact. The car I am looking at has 112K on the odometer, but has an unusually loose (I think)1st gear synchro. Owner thinks its no biggie, but after owning 3 previous M-B manuals, I have never seen anything like his. Are the 86 300E 5-spds prone to weak synchros? I know from past experience that low or under serviced trannies have his problem. Anyway, it sound like this car is to young to have this problem, anyone with better insights? Thanks PS How much to fix? LOOSE means mild to moderate gear crunching!

Last edited by ChinaClipper; 10-26-2001 at 05:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2001, 04:40 PM
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Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
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Sorry, I meant to respond to your other posting too...but better late than never
I owned a 1986 300E 5-speed for 5 years, bought it with 180,000 miles and drove for roughly 70,000 miles before selling it to another member on this forum. The transmission is solid and shouldn't be showing signs of wear with 112,000 miles.

Overall, the W124 is a fantastic chassis and the 5-speed manual really makes it shine. If you have to open it up you may as well rebuild the whole thing. I don't think it makes sense to just fix 1st gear. No idea what costs are involved.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2001, 05:01 PM
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Define "loose"

I had a 1974 Peugeot diesel 4-speed that had a"funny" first gear. It felt like the syncros were broke, as in completely gone. After a while I realized Peugeot probably didn't put syncros in first gear, given that first gear is typically used from a stop. After a while I learned how to downshift it into first gear without the clutch.
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5 speed '91 190E 2.6 320,000 mi. (new car, fast, smooth as silk six, couldn't find any more Peugeots)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.5l Turbo Diesel 266,000 mi. (old car, fast for a diesel, had 2 others)
5 speed '01 Jetta V6 (new wifes car, pretty quick)
5 speed '85 Peugeot 505 2.2l Turbo Gas 197,000 mi. (wifes car, faster, sadly gone just short of 200k )
5 speed '83 Yamaha 750 Maxim 14,000 mi. (fastest)
0 speed 4' x 8' 1800 lb Harbor Freight utility trailer (only as fast as what's pulling it)

Last edited by Jim Anderson; 10-26-2001 at 08:22 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2001, 07:34 PM
LarryBible
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Unfortunately there are many people who can't really drive a stick with proper care. I knew someone who had trouble with every stick shift car they ever had. They still liked stick shifts, but never understood that they weren't handling it right.

Modern synchromesh transmissions will shift without COMPLETELY releasing the clutch. Because of this, some people develop the habit of slipping to the next gear without completely releasing the clutch. It's an easy habit to fall into and it will wreck the brass and sometimes worse. It's worth developing the habit of having the clutch on the FLOOR before moving the shift lever.

I expect that the PO developed the bad habit.

As anyone who reads my posts can tell you, I am a huge fan of MB manuals. To me it would be worth saving this great machine, even if it meant rebuilding the transmission. Someone said rebuild the whole thing while you're there. In almost all cases of synchro trans rebuilding, you only need brass, gaskets and bearings. I'm sure that's big bucks for one of these transmissions, and I hope I never have to find out. There were about 700 US manuals in '86, but only about 350 US in '88 and the '88 transmissions are different, so I'm sure parts for mine will be double hard to find and afford.

Good luck,
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2001, 05:05 AM
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There are many fewer parts in our transmissions than in automatics so I think the rebuild cost may be reasonable. You still have the trouble of removing the transmission, however. If your trouble is with downshifting into 1st, maybe you should coast to stops in 2nd. In my youth, I drove a Honda CVCC 5 speed into the ground. Hard shifting from 1st to 2nd caused it to clash gears a few times. Soon, it was always clunking into 2nd. My 300E has missed a gear once or twice, (it missed, or did I?), and works nicely still; I feather it into gears when cold. I have Glen's old one with now 252K miles. I don't think I'll need a rebuild before 300K or more.

Larry: MB says parts are available even for vintage cars. Maybe you should check with Phil on possible availability problems. Picking up a rebuild may be tough for you.

Need Parts ID Help?
Call 1-888-333-4642 (toll free in the US) and ask for Phil.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2001, 09:53 AM
LarryBible
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Vaughn,

Thanks for the parts information, but my transmission at this point is perfect. A manual transmission driven right can last forever. The transmission in my 240D has over half million miles and has never been apart. It just got it's third clutch before being put away though.

Do you love your 124, 5 speed as much as I love mine?

Have a great day,
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2001, 08:29 PM
stuttgart
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my opinion is the 201 5 speed trans in the 190 and 300 are the
best trans ever made by mercedes benz. Owning a few.and
with a few friends owning a few I report not one problem with
any of them for the past 15 yrs

190 16v
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2001, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
I really like my car. Maybe love, but you know how men are. I mean, my car is a guy too, not a little lady. He likes women, but would rather go partying with the guys. He looks manly too what with the brash, bearded paint, (very rough in spots). Maybe he'll be soft and lazy after I paint him, but for now he likes nothing better than blowing through 1st and into second at 6500 rpm, especially if there is some sissy car in his wake. Once into second, you better have lots of road ahead if you are still flooring it.
PS: I installed sportline sway bars this month! Highly recommended. Stiffer springs would be nice icing.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2001, 12:57 AM
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Location: ajax, ontario, canada
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i'm fortunate to have happened upon my 5spd 190e2.6, which I am finding out to be very rare. Here in Canada, I have yet to find one advertised. I've come across 2 or 3 manual 300e's though.

for me, driving is therapy, and that 5spd manual is very much part of the "program". And you can never get enough practice of heel-and-toe downshifting.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2001, 08:48 PM
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Location: BC, Canada
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Chinaclipper,
Did you buy this car after all? If so, please describe it.
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2001, 06:43 PM
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More on 5-speeds

The car is in sound shape mechanically.....smooth idle no oil consumption A/C works as do all the vaccum actuators. Has a broken outer headlight lens and a electric window that is inop. Any info on that? I am gonna look again tomorow.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2001, 08:01 PM
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Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
If it's a front window, the switch may be suspect. Sometimes you can take them apart and clean the points. Be careful not to loose the various springs and ball bearings. New switches are about $20. A rear window problem might be caused by the cord being broken. Sales people's cars, especially the rear driver's side door, typically need the cord replaced. Mine does. I have trouble with my electric seats. I took a seat switch apart. Not recommended. I had springs and ball bearings all over the place. New switch fixed the immediate problem but pointed to a wire harness problem which I have yet to tackle.
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