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Old 05-27-2003, 02:00 PM
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Hard shift 124

'92 300E seems to shift hard, Ive been told supposed to be very smooth. ??????

Last edited by daviddonalson; 05-27-2003 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 05-27-2003, 02:06 PM
Mr. BILL's Avatar
Ghoulardi Rules!
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
How long have you owned this car? It's pretty normal for the first shift and to a lesser degree the second one to shift rather abruptly. If it's neck snapping harsh, you should have it checked. It can be adjusted.

91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
92 BMW 525iM 120K
90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)
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Old 05-27-2003, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
There's a vacum modulator on the side of the transmission that you turn to either soften or stiffen the shifting characteristics.

Do a search function. There is a lot of info in the archives.

But Mr. Bill is right. 1992 is the first year of first gear start. 1991 and older 300E's start out in second gear. The 1 to 2 shift is a little abrupt.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 05-29-2003, 06:54 PM
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I concur with the adjustment for the vacuum modulator. Also make sure to clean out your vacuum line from the modulator to the manifold.
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Old 05-29-2003, 08:02 PM
420benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 961
This is the second time i read a post stating that there MB starts off in second gear.Is this the case in my 89 420 and if so why?
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Old 05-30-2003, 09:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 403
2nd gear start, from what I've heard is for both fuel economy and smooth takeoff under light pedal pressure.
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:19 PM
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Talking THAT WAS IT !!!!!!

It was the vac. modulator. Turned c/clockwise, solved problem. Thank you all very very much.
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lithopolis, Ohio
Posts: 561
My 1994 E420 with 65,000 miles shifts firmly from 1st to 2nd gear about 80% of the time. The MB Dealer did a trans service last November at 52,900 miles (overdue 45,000 service) when they took the car in on trade. Another trans service was done in June at 63,000 miles (over due 60,000 mile service, but only 8 months and 10,000 miles since the previous one). I paid $100 extra for "special" trans fluid on this last service. Still shifts hard enough from 1st to 2nd to make the plastic trim on the A, B, and/or C pillars squeak during the shift.

Which side of the transmission is the vac. modulator on? What other culprits should I be investigating?

Rodd - -
NOW: 2006 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, 1997 E300D, 1966 230SL, 1980 450SL (for sale!)
PAST: 2006 C230, 1994 E420, 1994 Neon, 1983 Celica GT, 1984 300ZX, 1976 Electra Limited, 1984 Honda Nighthawk 650, 1979 Suzuki PE175
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Old 08-08-2003, 03:10 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Not to be matter of fact, but..

1st gear 300E starts began in at least 1991, as mine has the feature. I love it, and even though I know my MPG suffers, I couldn't imagine starting off the line in a sluggish 2nd. Gotta love the whir of the 103, even at 232k miles!
'01 E430, Sport 72,000 mi
'98 C280, 126,500 mi
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