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  #1  
Old 08-17-2002, 09:07 AM
Benz Crazy
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 67
"D" for Drive or "Stick it" ( 420 SEL) ?

I'm looking for some opinions with regards to leaving my tranny in "D" all the time as opposed to moving through the gears manually. My engine/trans are in VERY good operating condition. Just yesterday on the way to work, I experimented with manual shiffting and found it to be quite robust, especially when pulling away from lights etc.

I'm curious as to how others operate their trans's, especially V-8 owners.

This is directed to the mechs/techs:

Am I risking any harm to the trans using the manual shift method? It's not like I'm smoking the tires or such but rather just utilizing somewhat higher rpm's(2200-2600rpm shift points) of the motor thru the gear changes as opposed to that gawd awful lag when leaving a stop in "D". I could pitch a tent while waiting for this thing to hit 35-40 MPH with it in "D".

What about mileage? adversely affected?

Thanks for any replies and ........

cheers, Todd
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1990 420 SEL / 151K mi.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2002, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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I believe that by manually shifting the trans you will be stressing it more than normal shifting. I don't see it as any worse than any other form or hard driving and the car is designed to take it. It also would probably be wore out if it was anything but a MB at this age.

I don't believe that shifting manually is necessarily the hardest driving, it just facilitates it.
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Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2002, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Sounds to me like you are mostly manually UPSHIFTING to avoid the 2nd-gear start? If so, I would doubt you are significantly affecting the transmission. If you are also DOWNSHIFTING, I think Steve is right that you would be stressing the tranmission more than "normal" driving.
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'93 400E
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2002, 09:44 PM
Benz Crazy
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 67
I should have been more specific. It's manual upshifting I was referring to. No down shifting ( engine braking ) .

I'm curious as to whether others "stick it" this way or have for any extended period of time.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2002, 04:50 AM
Mattman
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I have just ordered a first start kit from www.bergwerks.com and will be installing that shortly. Most of the slowness in taking off is because you start in 2nd gear. Try moving down to 2 and then across to B and then back up to D and you should notice a big improvement.

Matt.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2002, 07:18 AM
Benz Crazy
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 67
That's what I've been doing. Mostly just in situations when I find myself in the left lane of fast thorofares, whilst stopped at traffic lights.

Thanks for the link to the 1st gear start kit. That does look interesting.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2002, 11:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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Before my current 540 BMW, I drove (and still have) a 84 928 (bought it in 87). It has the same trans as in a 500SEL (more or less) except it starts in first gear. Its shifter was better for manual shifting than MBs and I used to shift manually quite a lot both up and down. Its harder on it than letting my mother drive it but its the way it was designed.

Drive it!

And get the shift kit. I book marked this link as I lost the last one that appeared here. I have done my own many times but the ability to use engine rpms for some of the control (as the other unit did; and I suspect this one does) eliminates the hardest part of my system; which used a pressure switch in the governor test port to gain such control.
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