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  #31  
Old 11-21-2001, 12:45 PM
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Jim et al., - since most F1 cars are using steering-wheel mounted "shift paddles" how do they deal with matching the RPMs & blipping the throttle like we do when driving a manual car with heel & toe?

With some of the "Tiptronic" trannys in their "sport" mode, do they do the RPM matching automatically, so the driver only needs to worry about selecting the correct gear?

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG
1993 500E
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  #32  
Old 11-21-2001, 01:52 PM
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A while back I was questioning my love of standards and disdain of automatics, with the support of my friends and family. I had the opportunity to test this when I got a job traveling which came with a car, a typical company car, that all I will say was an automatic, my true feelings toward that car would get be banished from the internet. I figured now was the time to test myself and my feelings. What it did was re-affirm them, I just didn't like the car doing stuff on its own.

The next test was the advent of the “touch shifter.” All it really is is a trick shifter. I had one in a rental and must admit it does satisfy my minimum requirements of a transmission of control of shifting. Torque converters aren’t that bad, all they do is use gas.

I read a newspaper article, should have kept it, that talked about this exact thing. It mentioned something like 95% of Americans have autos and 85% of Europeans have sticks. The only anomaly was the really little econo-cars had autos cause they were cheaper to make, I'm thinking maybe cause of the linkages.

How about a “smart” standard transmission? The transmission would adjust the engine speed based on shifter position, kind of like a super syncro

Re: F1 paddles. I know up-shifting the transmission will shut off the engine for a little bit to match engine speed, don’t know about down shifting. I do know the transmission is hardier to handle the shock.
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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)
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2001, 08:40 PM
LarryBible
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Yes, the newer automatic transmissions shift based on an electric signal, typically from the computer. The F1 cars simply use driver input on a switch. The newer Benz automatics can be shifted up or down by the driver by moving the lever. The computers do all sorts of things, and the electrical input allows the shift control to be on the steering wheel, on the floor, or you could put a switch somewhere to be actuated by your nose if you wanted to.

AS I SAID BEFORE, I DON'T CARE! I want a clutch and a shifter. I ENJOY using the clutch and shifting the transmission. If I do say so myself, I am very good at it. I have had people make comments like; "wow, this car shifts smooth, I wouldn't mind driving a stick that shifts this smooth". To this I tell them that with a manual, it's the driver that makes it smooth. I take a lot of pride in my stick shift ability. A few of the guys at the office claim that I am the "Stick Shift Master", I eat that up. Typically when someone enjoys doing something, they are good at it. I'm good at it because I enjoy it.

I've had people say, "well you drive on the highway mostly so I guess it's okay". No, driving on the highway doesn't offer any opportunities to shift. They say "well what if you get in traffic?" I say THAT'S GREAT then I get a chance to shift.

Add to that the expense of an automatic, the frequent maintenance of an automatic, and the pain in the A$$ everytime you have to work on a car with an automatic, and I DON'T WANT ONE.

I LOVE MY STICK SHIFT CARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2001, 10:39 PM
Benzie
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Can't agree with you more, Larry. My dad used to get me slushboxes, but now that i am on my own, my cars are all stick shifts!

4 speed only on my W123, but totally trouble free......
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  #35  
Old 11-22-2001, 07:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kingston, Ont.
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Is it theorotically possible to replace an automatic trans with a manual one on an older 124, i.e., rather than doing a rebuild of the auto when its time, import a manual one and switch. im assuming that the 124 body of manual and auto are the same.
Is it practicaly possible? im unsure of how the clutch pedal would be installed or if the cost to exceed the price of a used with manual.
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  #36  
Old 11-22-2001, 09:52 PM
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Location: BC, Canada
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There were a couple of posts a while back regarding the conversion from auto to manual transmissions. The general consensus was that it can be done but is likely time consuming. It may be cheaper to sell what you have and buy a suitable W124 5 speed. Are you better off taking you car and converting it for $5000 or selling it and putting $5000 more into an authentic 5 speed. If you are experienced with mechanics it helps. Having a donor car is a big help. Your car will be out of action for some time. One fellow said that he did it and that it was easy. Of course, another guy did an amazing sway of a Buick V6 into a 300D and he said it was easy too. (It doesn't look easy to me.) Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
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  #37  
Old 11-23-2001, 08:26 AM
LarryBible
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This would be a practical conversion IF you had the entire donor car setting next to the recipient. There are many small pieces that it is difficult to plan on that you will need. I personally would not attempt such a conversion any other way.

Good luck,
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  #38  
Old 11-24-2001, 09:05 PM
haasman's Avatar
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As far as you right-front window ... you might want to try checking the switch in the console first. After owning five MBZs I have often found the window switch to be the problem. The tend to collect dirt.

If it is the switch, they are easy to clean and reassemble, but there are several tiny springs and parts you need to watch out for. I usually perform this over a plate with high edges.

Jeff
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  #39  
Old 11-24-2001, 10:41 PM
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Haasman,

I willl be removing the switch and checking its function with a multimeter tomorrow. I agree with your diagnosis as when I push the switch, absolutely nothing happens. If there were a short or something in the window motor, I would expect either a blown fuse or at least a flicker of the lights or something. I will keep you posted of progress. New tires come on Monday and then I will see if the roughness is all tires (and since they are running on the wear bars, I expect the tires are the major source of noise and vibration).

Thanks for the help, Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #40  
Old 11-24-2001, 11:08 PM
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Another thought on the windows switches ... a soft rag, such as an old bath towel works great to keep the "tiny little parts" bouncing and dropping all over.

While you have one switch assembly out, you might as well do them all. It doesn't take that much more time once the console is exposed. I am always amazed how much dirt gets into the switch assemblies.

I thought about larger tires for my '91 300E. Instead I bought Bridgestone RE950's in the standard 195/65-15 size. I didn't want to trade-off fuel mileage for the slight increase in corning performance. BTW, these tires a great! Going through standing water and general wet roads is next to amazing. The tech at tire dealer who installed them repeatedly told me that they really perform after about 300 to 600 miles. He was right. And to think I was going to spend more money for lower performing Michelins.

Jeff
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  #41  
Old 11-28-2001, 03:46 PM
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Location: Kingston, Ont.
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Larry bible once wrote:

"One reason I believe that this is so, is that these cars were designed in Germany by Germans for Germans, and Germans typically don't have much use for an automatic transmission in this size car. The automatic is an engineering after thought which is added to a car that has been optimized for a manual transmission. It is added mainly for the US market. In Germany fuel costs about 400% more than in the US. Additionally cars are taxed in Germany based on engine displacement.

The engine/car combination was optimized for the five speed, and for the US market where gas is cheap, there was no need to spend any extra engineering money, when the fuel mileage with automatic was acceptable for it's place in the US market. "

I would like to reason this position alternatively using pure reason based on a definition of the "luxury car". It is likely that the 300e is considered a luxury sedan in Germany, certainly so in North America; the nature of a luxury car is its automation, a car that drives itself, regulates its own temperature, one-touch buttons to adjust the seat, wipe you nose automatically etc., so as you are driving you can concentrate on buddah rather than the mechanics of driving. 124's in the 500 vintage are meant to be sporty as in manual but the 300e is luxury as in lazy ass. Therefore, the automatic trnasmission is not an afterthought but rather the foundation of the category; if some want standard, they are available naturally, but as you are driving your automatic 300e think of yourself as royalty to whom gear shifting is beneath.

or perhaps as a dinosaur waiting for the great extinction: your automatic luxury car is a testament to a legacy never to be seen again, to be fondly remembered as we drive plastic electric cars along pre-programmed routes to our oddly familiar jobs at state regulated speeds.
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  #42  
Old 11-28-2001, 10:38 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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Mercedes Fred,

I have read your posting about ten times, and I am still in awe of your closing statement. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #43  
Old 11-29-2001, 09:15 AM
LarryBible
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Mercedes Fred,

Whatever you think. I spent a total of about seven weeks in Europe last year, most of it in Germany. Being the MB fanatic that I am, I looked inside most every MB that I walked past. A large majority of 124's were manual transmissions, and few of them had engines as large as the 3 liter, M103. The 300E is one of the faster 124's in Europe. Remember fuel costs about four times as much in Europe.

I stand by my theory that the 124 car was designed with a manual transmission in mind.

For those who enjoy the mindless experience of an automatic transmission, I'm very happy for them. I HEAVILY prefer an automatic, and detest driving anything with an automatic. The only thing I detest MORE about an automatic than driving it, is working on it, or paying for a new one.

So, as to my own personal philosophy, I am very pleased that those that like their automatic transmissions have them. I'm even more pleased that we have the 1,000 or so precious manual transmissioned 300E's in the US. I'm even more pleased that I'm fortunate enough to have one.

Each to his own,
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  #44  
Old 11-29-2001, 09:40 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kingston, Ont.
Posts: 201
Larry:

I wished to have a manual trans for my mb, but good luck getting one in north america, etc., as you have pointed out

however, my defence of the mb engineering of automatic transmissions is based on aesthetics, as the auto tranny is an integral part of the luxury car experience, not an afterthought but a "from scratch" engineering strategy which aims to give a car the character and feel of luxury. However, I recognize the the virtue of manuals, as you are more connected to the car and save gas than the distancing effect of automation. I had no choice but to go automatic, so i might as well enjoy the ride...
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  #45  
Old 11-30-2001, 02:01 AM
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Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
I believe that in Germany, and all of Europe for that matter, the 124's are just Fords or Chevy's - nothing luxury about them. When you start inching up in to the S class cars and the Limos, now you're talking luxury.

The bigger "luxury" cars were designed around the slushbox, while the "common" sedan is usually a stick. Now what would be nice would be to have a 4-speed manny tranny bolted to the hind end of my 4.5 .
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