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  #31  
Old 07-14-2000, 09:57 AM
LarryBible
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Roas,

I haven't even thought about it. Either would work, I would research some more before coming down to making that decision.

Robby,

Could I trouble you to ask the person how recently they were able to use such an exemption?

Thanks for your comments,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #32  
Old 07-14-2000, 10:27 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Near Williamsburg, Virginia
Posts: 359
Larry

Its been at least ten years since he last used an EPA exemption.
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  #33  
Old 07-15-2000, 03:20 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: macon,ga. usa
Posts: 354
Hey Larry--
Sorry I don't have time to monitor this board or I would have responded to your incoming a few days ago, re: my inability to drive a stick. Careful, I'll have to come over and hit you with some of my SCCA, Porsche and BMW club driver's school trophies. And judging from the real hot rods that you own, (ain't one diesel enough?), I'm guessing it's pretty easy to get that kind of life out of a tranny and clutch. Having owned a 300E with a stick, I don't see any burnouts in your future either, given the length of the final drive in that thing. Seriously though, how can MB continue to offer the awful manual trannies they have when others are clearly superior? Precisely my point: because they are not selling, unless you want a taxi in Europe. Durability aside, the feel is absolutely atrocious, and you're often lucky to find the right gear given the loose feel of the thing. I guess we're kind of off the topic here...see you at the race track...(smiles)...allen.

Also closing in on 1M miles in MBZ:
These are just the stick Benzes for me:
86 190/16
87 190/16
87 190 2.5 D
80 240D
83 240D
86 190 2.3
87 190 2.3
86 300E w/3.4 motor and AMG mods at Westmont, eventually changed the rear end (wish it had the short box)
80 280SLC stick (yeachh!)
99 SLK Sport with stick (better, but still not there yet).
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  #34  
Old 07-17-2000, 07:59 AM
LarryBible
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allen,

Thanks for the response. In my signature, you only see my MB's. I don't have enough time or room in this post to list all the various stick shift cars I've owned over the years, not to mention the 4+3 Vette which I currently own. On the Vette forums and everywhere else, people say some of the same things about the 4+3 that you say about MB transmissions. I haven't driven the 4+3 as far as the Benz's, only 115,000 miles, but it's driven hard, and it's still in great shape. The last time I had any failures with a manual transmission, was a '66 Mustang six cylinder three speed work car, now there's a weak manual transmission for you. I know you probably think that I'm a 45MPH in the left lane old poop, but I've also done a good bit of racing in my early years. In the early 70's I bracket raced a Camaro with an Open Chamber 454 and a rock crusher Muncie 4 Speed. I was adequately consistent with the four speed to be competitive against the automatics. In the course of a heavy season, I went through a clutch, but ended the season with the same transmission.

Just because you can drive a manual fast, doesn't mean you can conserve one.

I do agree that the MB's manuals feel a little strange, but that is not because of the transmission, it's because of the flex discs that cause the "wind up".

Also, it's not as if I lug along in my 300E. I commute 190 miles per day round trip. About 150 of that is on two lane roads where I have to do some aggressive passing. There is some aggressive shifting involved. Most of the time the commute is done in my 240D in which I probably am a lugging along old poop, after all, what can you do with 67 HP? But the 300E is my back up car, and I grow devils horns when I drive it. The Vette is the backup to the backup, and I turn into a terror when driving it.

I contend that with experience and practice you can drive almost any manual transmission aggressively without transmission failure.

I'm enjoying the conversation, keep it up.

Best of luck,
Larry
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  #35  
Old 07-18-2000, 09:44 AM
CMCon98
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Larry,
I must respectfully agree with the previous post regarding Benz manual trannies. A friend has an SLK with the 5-speed, and it shifts like an old dump truck. My ancient BMW 2002 shifts worlds better. I have also driven a stick 300E and a stick 240D, and both seemed sloppy to me. Even the '69 GTO I had in high school had a tighter shift feel than the Benzes I have driven (thank you Hurst). The car mags say the new 6-speed in the SLK 320 is much better though, so maybe they finally got it right. Now the question becomes "why don't they offer this new 6-speed in other US models as well as the SLK?"
Just my 0.02 worth!
Colin Connor
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  #36  
Old 07-18-2000, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,503
Larry,

Don't know if you're aware of it, but the USA is getting the new C-class with a six-speed shift-it-yerself transmission. Only the C240 is available with the standard; the more powerful C320 comes only with the familiar five speed automatic.

I don't recall availability dates, but believe it is sometime this fall; check with your local dealer.

It's not much, but we at least have one Mercedes sedan available with the standard shift. If a new Mercedes fits within your budget, this may be a good option, as you'll be able to get warranty, service, parts, and such through normal channels.

- Jim
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  #37  
Old 07-18-2000, 09:26 PM
LarryBible
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Yes, I got my Star magazine a day or two ago and saw that the 2001 C240 will come with the 6 speed to the US. I saw a couple of these while in Germany week before last. One of them was at the Mercedes Museum. The other was on the street in Stuttgart, probably an executive car.

My questions now are: how many will they sell in the US. In '86 they announced the manual transmission 300E and probably only a few hundred came to the US. If they are going to be this rare, I'll have to order one new. If they turn out to be somewhat plentiful, I'll let someone else take the initial depreciation and be MB's guinea pig. I bought a new E Class sedan when they came out in '96. It turned out to have more problems than a Volvo, and the dealer service was awful.

I expect that one way or another I'll eventually end up with one though. I drove a C180 four cylinder with a Five speed rent car in Stuttgart about five weeks ago. I wish they would sell me that one.

Thanks for the comment.
Larry
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  #38  
Old 07-18-2000, 10:56 PM
Harvey Sutlive
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Posts: n/a
Hi Larry
First I want to confess that I don't understand why anybody really wants an automatic transmission in a car they have to drive themselves. But - humans are a diverse bunch, so, whatever.
Second, this may not be realistic but what are the options for taking a 123 body and making it into the car you want? Is it too old engineering wise? Anyway I've been thinking about that. It's a very good looking car and set up with independent rear end suspension already - seems like all the other stuff is just time and money. Wonder what motor/manual trans options would work fairly easily.
All the best,
Harvey
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  #39  
Old 07-19-2000, 09:03 AM
LarryBible
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Posts: n/a
Harvey,

I love the 123 cars for durability, simplicity, ruggedness, reliability, parts availability............................

However, they just don't drive like the later cars. They're noisier, and don't come close to the precise handling of later automotive technology. I drive my 240D as a work car and it does great. My 240D clutch started acting up last Friday, I'm pretty sure it's the pressure plate, time for it's third clutch in 525,000 miles. And I got out my manual transmission 300E. I'm so spoiled now after 2 1/2 days in the 124 car, I'm not sure I can ever go back to driving the 240D 190 miles a day.

The dilemma comes up, what do I do? Do I look for a 124 car for a work car? Maybe even a 190D. I ask all these questions, but I will end up putting a clutch in the old 240D and keep using it for a work car.

Thanks for the suggestion/thought,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles

[This message has been edited by LarryBible (edited 07-19-2000).]
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  #40  
Old 08-08-2000, 02:49 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 199
Has anyone heard of an exception to EPA/DOT import restrictions for cars driven 2500 miles annually or less?

John
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  #41  
Old 08-09-2000, 08:43 AM
LarryBible
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revbond,

I've never heard of it, but I'm all ears.

Larry
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  #42  
Old 08-09-2000, 03:33 PM
Geezer
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
OK, I'll ask a *dumb* question; Larry, is there any possibility that your friendly, local M-B dealer could order all of the manual transmission parts, brackets, etc.?

I crashed a BMW motorcycle many years back, and the dealer rebuilt it from a touring to sport model. The engine, trans and running gear were all interchangeable, so all he had to do was go through the parts microfiche and order all of the parts, brackets and little doo-dads.

Just wondering if M-B could do the same for its cars...

BCingU, Jim

------------------
'96 E300D 56kmi
'95 Audi 90 118 kmi
'92 GMC Suburban 138 kmi
'85 300SD 218 kmi
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