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Old 05-24-2018, 07:33 PM
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Floor shift vs column shift on w108 4.5s

Does anyone have any info regarding the numbers of column shifters vs Floor shifts in w108s 4.5s? I understand that floor shift trans are more coveted, but is it due to rarity (small production numbers), or something else? Based on following numerous auction sites, Id say about 1 out of 4 w108s has a floor shift trans. Anyone have any insights?
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:14 PM
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it's the same trans, just a different steering column setup.
You can search this forum for the instructions on how to switch, presuming you have the spare steering column handy.

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Old 05-25-2018, 07:43 AM
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"What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:55 AM
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Purely an aesthetic difference. To some (myself included), the column shifter looks more crowded and cumbersome than the floor shift. I have had both, and both are equal in all qualities otherwise. I am refurbishing a floorshift model now. Silver over red leather. It's the second time that I've owned this car. It's
an awesome drive.

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Old 06-11-2018, 06:25 AM
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CTD CTD is offline
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With an automatic, I never thought much about where the shifter is located since it is not frequently used during motoring.

I bet, though, that a 4.5 W108 would be lots of fun with a four speed manual. Has anybody here ever converted one over?
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:15 PM
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When these were for sale new the market was changing. Mercedes had the column shift in production, BMW was changing to a floor shift. So was Audi which had just entered the US market. Volvo was going that way, too.

You could also get bench seating in a 108. I have seen one of these since the individual seats were more comfortable everyone went with those. Since the individual seats were the going thing, and had been since the days of the Ponton, it was easy to install a floor shift in response to customer demand.

I thought floor shifts were nice; older guys (then) thought it was some sort of hippie thing and too wild and crazy. So Mercedes didn't play favorites but the US dealers did. They could see what was selling and would just tell a customer, "Well, we can always get just what you want, but it might take three months. But you can have this one with the floor shift (sunroof, nicer radio, rear speaker, block heater, etc.) today."

Because truthfully they had ordered nothing but floor shift cars and it was all they had to sell.
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