280SE Coupe 3.5 - manual 4-speed - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 03:35 PM
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Date registered: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by mercmad6.3
The Autotrans is better to drive,US only had the aenemic 3 speed auto but the rest of the world got a reasonable fouir speed auto which makes a 3.5 faster acelerating than a four speed manual.
The manual trans is no slick shifting close ratio box but is in fact the same box as fitted to the fintail diesel taxi's in Europe.
From what I understand, Mercedes sold 97.5% of it's earlier cars with auto's .
I have always found the manual trans cars to be a pig to drive,( I had a new manual 280 in 1972) and the "sporty pretensions" of a manual trans are just that.."pretensions". (:-) )
The U.S. 3.5 automatics are all 4 speeds as someone mentioned. It's is a colossal clunker - never heard anyone defend it. I've had two of the sticks. They are fine cars but do need the 3.27 axle conversion. I did the conversion on one but not the other. With a 3.27 the car got 25 mpg on the highway. They are not fast, but neither is a 6.3 - they're old. It's a fine transmission. The story for years was that they made only about 125 3.5 sticks - not true, actually about 800, nearly a fourth of production. There's got to be at least 50 of them in the U.S. No factory cabs - if you see a 3.5 cab stick it's a conversion.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:40 PM
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Vehicle: 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Location: Nevada City, ca
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FI jerky when going slow

The only issue I have had is the 3.5 D-Jectronic fuel injection cuts off fuel when the engine is being overdriven from decelerating then abruptly turns on the fuel injection when the engine coasts down to 1000RPM. If one is driving slow in first gear like in a parking lot its a little jerky. This is not an issue with a auto trans car. It would be nice if the FI had a "soft transition" like modern EFI does. Other than that the stick is a very good match once one had made the 3.27 axle conversion.
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