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  #1  
Old 06-30-2002, 04:53 PM
denism6
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300E transmission 1st or 2nd gear start

I'm in the market for a 300E and one issue that I am having problem to resolve is the year that MBZ updated their transmissions from a second gear start to a first gear start. Most books I read says 1992 but some say 1991 was the first year the upgraded transmission came about. I need all the help from all you MBZ gurus please.

Thanks in advance.
Dennis

Last edited by denism6; 06-30-2002 at 05:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2002, 11:29 PM
bschroer
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I have a '91 300E and it starts in second gear.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2002, 01:01 AM
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I've noticed the same thing that books on MB's sometimes say 1991, yet others list it as 1992, but the reality is that 1st gear start cars were 1992 models that were released for sale in September of 1991.

So it was 1991 that you could buy one, but they were 1992 model year cars.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2002, 03:44 AM
pmizell's Avatar
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I have a '91 300E that starts in 1st gear -- titled on March 4, 1991.

~Paul

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  #5  
Old 07-01-2002, 09:17 AM
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Is it not dependant on whether it's 12V M103 or 24V M104 engine?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2002, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Is it not dependant on whether it's 12V M103 or 24V M104 engine?
No it is not. All M104 engines have 1st gear start (I think), and those started being put in the 300E in '93 (2.8 version) then in '94 the 3.2 version.

Apparently only some of the '91's were produced with first gear start (looks like luck of the draw), and may have been determined by manufacturing plant (mine was produced in Sindelfingen sp?) but I doubt it -- and all '92's with the M103 came with first gear start.

Are you planning on purchasing a 300E that is in this 1st gear start "gray area" ?

~Paul

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  #7  
Old 07-01-2002, 12:45 PM
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Read my signature.

All 1993 300E's came with the M104 engine. If the badge says 300E 2.8, then obviously it's the 2.8 liter engine.

If the badge simply says '300E' then it's the 3.2 liter M104 engine. I don't know why MB didn't call this model 300E 3.2, 320E, or even E320. But then again, 92-93 400E's have the same 4.2 liter engine as 94-95's E420's.

Even though the 1993 300E didn't get the updated grill as in the 94-95 E-320's, it has all the interior upgrades as in 94-95 - the passenger side airbag, r134a a/c, center armrest with flip-up lid, etc. It also shares the same chasis #, VIN#, and engine #.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2002, 11:23 AM
denism6
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Thanks for all your info guys. It really helped out a lot. The first gear start is not really my number 1 priority, it's just something nice to have I guess. Last night, this broker told me that his '92 starts in second gear :-). We'll if he's not lying then it probably had an older transmission installed (thanks to you guys). So far, I'm going to look at an 87 300E with 187K mi for $3500(it has a 2" crack on the windshield), an 87 300E with a 2.6 engine and 200K mi for $4K, and lastly, I'm going to check out this guy with a 92 and a second gear start for $8k(really questionable to me).
Right now I think the harder choice is between the two engine sizes (2.6 vice 3.0). I have a 190E with the 2.6 engine and I'm happy with off-the-line acceleration, but then again, the 300E is a much heavier and loaded car.

Thanks,
Dennis
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2002, 12:17 PM
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This whole 1st gear/2nd gear start thing has me wondering if it's related to the optional ASR (automatic slip control) that was available on 300E's for a certain time period. (on my '91 at least)

My car did not come with ASR, but it seems counterintuitive to put 1st gear start on a car without this feature.

Just a thought.

~Paul

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  #10  
Old 07-02-2002, 06:42 PM
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Not sure the exact VIN #s, but I recall that 1st gear start was added in the middle of the production model year.
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Previous:
1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2003, 08:49 AM
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Hi All

Just to add to the confusion, I will let you know that i'm driving a 1990 300E automatic, ASR,ASD the full list is too long...

It's a German import but came of the factory with a 4 shift automatic tranny, and a gear-box selector for Economy or Sport.
Economy being start in 2'nd gear, sport in 1'st.... and a general
change of RPM levels for shifting between the gears...

So it's a little earlier in the market than 1991->....

/claus
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