Automatic transmission in 350SL 1971 ? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Automatic transmission in 350SL 1971 ?

Hello,

I have a 1971 350SL with auto box. As I drive I can feel only 3 forward gears and one reverse gear... Is this normal? Or am I missing final forward gear? The revs get quite high when driving on a motorway...

Best regards, J
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:09 PM
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I think you should have a 3.46 rear end. So high revs should be normal. I think 4 speed transmissions were installed on early 350sl cars, but later models got 3 speeds I think. So even if your car came with a 4 speed, it is possible if could have been replaced with a 3-speed, like one out of a 450sl (which had a 3.07 or lower rear end).


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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I think you should have a 3.46 rear end. So high revs should be normal. I think 4 speed transmissions were installed on early 350sl cars, but later models got 3 speeds I think. So even if your car came with a 4 speed, it is possible if could have been replaced with a 3-speed, like one out of a 450sl (which had a 3.07 or lower rear end).


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How do I know which rear end do I have? My 107 was imported from USA 25 years ago... and I live in Europe... my final forward gear engages when I go past 60km/h... i do not care that much about acceleration - for me it is a matter of easy cruising with normal rpm and not high revving monster...
Does anyone know at what speed each gear engages? For 3 and for 4 speed auto box? So that I could compare what do I have installed....

Thanks for helping on this, J
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:06 PM
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If a US model it may have a 350SL badge but it is a 450SL. It will have a 3 speed auto. Does the VIN begin 107.044?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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If a US model it may have a 350SL badge but it is a 450SL. It will have a 3 speed auto. Does the VIN begin 107.044?
107.043... what does that mean? Earlier than 107.44?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:27 PM
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107.043 is a 350SL which was not originally sold in the US. Apparently it was imported to the US then exported back.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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107.043 is a 350SL which was not originally sold in the US. Apparently it was imported to the US then exported back.
That is quite possible... Does anyone have any data on rpm vs mph speed ? So that I coul compare with mine...

Thanks, J
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:54 PM
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VIN# will tell all

As the guys were asking, what is the full VIN? If its a really early 3.5L car, then it might have a 4speed auto. But things quickly changed to a 3 speed auto like the 4.5L cars. The 4.5L cars only had 3 speeds. Anyone know exactly which VIN Merc dropped the 4 speed on the 043 cars? Its somewhere between VIN#s 1100 and 1400. When I get home I'll see if I can read the German in one of my books to figure out when. I;d like to try driving one of the early 3.5L.

But my guess is the jarni75 has an early 4.5L car.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macarbon_john View Post
As the guys were asking, what is the full VIN? If its a really early 3.5L car, then it might have a 4speed auto. But things quickly changed to a 3 speed auto like the 4.5L cars. The 4.5L cars only had 3 speeds. Anyone know exactly which VIN Merc dropped the 4 speed on the 043 cars? Its somewhere between VIN#s 1100 and 1400. When I get home I'll see if I can read the German in one of my books to figure out when. I;d like to try driving one of the early 3.5L.

But my guess is the jarni75 has an early 4.5L car.
My last 4 VIN digits are 3974... is there any sort of writing on the rear diff? So that I could know which is it?

Best regards, J
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 12:06 AM
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So at 3974 (you still don't say if its a 043 or 044), your car is certainly a 3 speed. So the car is likely performing as designed. I've never heard of there being different rear diffs - at least on either the 350 or 450. If you want a 4speed you have to get one of the super early 350s or get a later car. Anyway, pretty sure you are stuck with what you have.
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