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  #1  
Old 01-20-2004, 10:46 AM
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300E FIRST-gear start

Stu Ritter's 300E Bible says that 300E automatic transmissions through 1991 start in SECOND gear.

He also states that the later valve bodies can be modified to start in FIRST gear. Unfortunately, he gives no details.

I've read here on this forum about some modifications, most of which are done outside the transmission itself.

I own a 1991 300E that seems to be an exception. It always starts in FIRST gear. I'm the second owner. I would be surprised if the original owner had it modified. I suspect it came from the factory set up to start in FIRST gear. We also have owned pre-1991 300Es, all of which started in SECOND gear.

Have you ever seen a 1991 300E that starts in FIRST gear? If so, do you know if it had been modified to do so?
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2004, 01:21 PM
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Mine starts in 1st. It's a late (oct) '91 manufactured model, which i believe incorperated the 1st gear start for '92.
My car was actually registered and sold in jan '92.
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1993 320TE M104
---------------------------------------------------
past:

1983 230E W123 M102
1994 E300D S124 OM606 (x2)
1967 250SE W108 M129
1972 280se 3.5 W108 M116
1980 280SE W116 M110
1980 350SE W116 M116
1992 300E W124 M103
1994 E280 W124 M104
----------------------------------------------
"music and women I cannot but give way to, whatever my business" -Pepys
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2004, 12:37 AM
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I think different markets may have received different versions. I had always assumed the 4-speed autos went to first gear start with the introduction of the 2.8 and 3.2 HFM versions of the M104, but maybe I'm wrong. A '93 E280 I drove certainly had 1st gear start whereas our '90 300TE (M103) starts in 2nd. Here in Australia, all the coupes from '90 onwards (ie. M104 300CE-24, 320CE, E320) got a 5-speed auto which always started in 2nd. Even my father's '93 E320 coupe starts in 2nd. Because of the overdrive 5th, the final drive ratio is 3.69 (compared to 3.27 for our 300TE and 3.07 for a 300E) which still allows for economical highway touring. This short ratio together with the extra torque of the 3.2 engine makes for respectably fast starts even in 2nd. Full throttle and 1st gear results in a blistering, tyre smoking start! Plenty of "grin factor" at a traffic light derby!
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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2004, 09:33 AM
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I wish my 300E had a 5th gear. It seems a bit odd that a car that's designed for high-speed touring doesn't have an 'overdrive' for better fuel economy at speed.
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1993 320TE M104
---------------------------------------------------
past:

1983 230E W123 M102
1994 E300D S124 OM606 (x2)
1967 250SE W108 M129
1972 280se 3.5 W108 M116
1980 280SE W116 M110
1980 350SE W116 M116
1992 300E W124 M103
1994 E280 W124 M104
----------------------------------------------
"music and women I cannot but give way to, whatever my business" -Pepys
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2004, 05:47 PM
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www.bergwerks.com sells the conversion kit for first gear start.

There are two kits available, depending on what year your car is.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2005, 11:20 AM
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My understanding was..


That at some point the valve bodys changed. So, say my 1986 model would require a different valve body, either new or used. Then, MB published the modifiication in their service litature.


Michael
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2005, 12:45 PM
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It would be nice to have that modification. My 300SE starts in 2nd grear and needs a first gear start.

Does anyone know how to modify it?
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Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

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  #8  
Old 02-27-2005, 10:09 PM
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The Bergwerks system probably monitors pulses at the speedo and uses a microprocessor to cause the kickdown solenoid engage from a standing start.

The valve body is another story; I don't know if one could modify one type of valve body to another.

I built a clone of the Bergwerks system and it really makes a difference!
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2005, 06:09 PM
MB300E86
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First Gear

My 86 300E can easily be started in first gear without using the kick down. When the car isnt moving (stopped), move the shift lever to 1st and back to "D". Depeding on how far the gas pedal is pushed down it will hold first gear and then upshifts automatically. One had to do this every time if you want to start up in 1st gear.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2005, 06:30 PM
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Consider the following thread:

722.3/4 trans start gear [ 1st/2nd ?]
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2005, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB300E86
My 86 300E can easily be started in first gear without using the kick down. When the car isnt moving (stopped), move the shift lever to 1st and back to "D". Depeding on how far the gas pedal is pushed down it will hold first gear and then upshifts automatically. One had to do this every time if you want to start up in 1st gear.
On my '86 560, the "B" is off to the side. This energizes the solenoid in the transmission as though you had floored the car and pressed the kickdown switch under the pedal. Your car may or may not work like this, with a microswitch at the "1" position.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2005, 10:11 PM
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So...does anyone know how to modify the valve body in the 1990 and older 300E?

I guess we could buy the modified valve body from bergworks but it's kind of expensive. Besides, I already have a valve body in my 1990. I can't believe the mod is that big a deal. More a matter of knowing what to do, most likely.

Seems like I read once that you simply move a spring.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2005, 10:23 PM
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Brewtoo,

How does your 300E feel in 1st gear? A first gear start in my SE always feels ackward- as if it wasn't suppossed to be there. Shifts hard, and feels much harsher than the other shifts.


I too have heard about the spring removal- I also remeber hearing that this modification required the driver to redline every gear before a shift would occur
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2005, 01:23 AM
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'91 W124 300E first gear start

My friend SJB's '91 300E started in first gear and it was an early car. Despite what Ritter claims. (Contradict him at your peril, of course.)
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2005, 01:27 AM
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More 300E starting gear......

<>

Which reminds me, the trans in my '89 190E 2.6 was modified somewhere around '92 to start in first by removing a spring in the valve body. Behind the kick-down piston, as I recall. Shifting from first thru fourth was normal after a careful adjustment of the shift cable. Forget that bit about redlining......
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