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Old 03-16-2004, 10:32 AM
chrism's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2
Smile Convert 230E (W124) Manual to Auto

Hi Guys,

Here's a question for all the Merc experts here

I'm planning to get a 1989 230E Manual, and I would like to convert it to Auto transmission. Are there any issues that I should be aware of in doing this ?

Thanks in advance for your help

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Old 03-16-2004, 11:03 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 305

it would be a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to just buy an auto trans car in the first place. otherwise you'll spend couple thousand bucks for a new trans on a car worth $4000 when you're done. personally, I wish I could've found a manual 124 to buy. I have an auto 1987 300E but I wish I had the 5-speed (I drove one in Germany and it was awesome).
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:42 PM
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
I saw you post this on another forum too but someone beat me to it with the reply I would have also given. Leave the manual for someone who wants it and find yourself one with an auto. I'm not sure where you are (presumably not in the US as I don't believe they got 4 cyl W124s) but the impression I get is that in most markets manuals are hard to find and therefore sough after. Even here in Australia where we did get a 230E in a W124, I am not aware of any being manual. Even in the W201 (190E) manuals are rare here. Possibly you are in Europe, the only market I am aware of that got plenty of manuals.

The conversion either way is not as straight forward as many may think. There are issues such as vacuum and electrical circuits to deal with in addition to flywheel/clutch vs torque convertor, pedsals, different drive shaft and shift linkages. Find a nice auto and let someone who really wants the manual have that one.
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.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:01 AM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
Where is your location?

This is not a simple find an auto tranny and swap them conversion. As stated above, I would find a car already with an auto and only consider the conversion as a last resort. But usually the trend is to convert autos to manuals, not the other way around.
Ali Al-Chalabi

2001 CLK55
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel
2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:48 PM
chrism's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2
Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the info ... I will take your advice and look for an auto rather than do a conversion ...

Why did I want to do a conversion in the first place ? Well, it's because a friend of mine was willing to sell me his excellent condition 230E Manual for a low price ...

I'm in Malaysia, and I think we get about the same range of Mercs as Europe ... over here, the cost of a reconditioned auto transmission would be around $1000 (not including installation labour costs) ...

Can I ask what you guys think of the 200E Auto ? I heard it's underpowered ...

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