Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
1998 ML320
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good day everyone!

This is my first post; however, I have read many threads regarding to the ML320. I appreciate all of the shared knowledge, expertise, DIY's, that have really helped me over the last several year!

I have 1998 ML320 that was purchased with 179K miles. At around 280K I replaced the engine (and I do plan on making a write up in the near future for this :) ) with one that had around 100K miles, and she's running great. As the odometer nears 300K miles, I am beginning to plan on replacing the transmission at some point in the near future as it becomes necessary. I know that when I bought it with the 179K miles, after researching on here I changed the tranny fluid. It was somewhere between mud-water and coffee. Having been a fan of this truck in Jurassic Park 2 when I was much younger, I remember that they had a manual transmission in the ML that the T-Rex destroyed, and really liked the idea of the ML being a manual. Also, my first car was a manual and I really enjoyed it. Being innovative and technical, I like to think outside the box and like to make things....which can sometimes be helpful

Upon researching the ability to swap out my automatic tranny with a manual tranny, I discovered that the ML for the United States all appear to have automatics, whereas the manuals were (from the little I have found) to have been reserved for the European models with the smaller 4 cylinder engines.

I also discovered that the M113 engine I have in the ML320 appears to be identical to that of the Chrysler Crossfire (specifically, it seems to be the 2004 model). This 04 model of the Cross Fire has a manual transmission that I believe would fit to my current engine bell-housing. However, there seem to be some obstacles that would need to be overcome, which is where I am looking for some insight from all of you awesome peoples!

I have considered that the drive line going from the transmission to the axle of the Cross Fire is much different than that of our (manual) ML European counter parts where the transmission is directly connected to the transferase (and I realize that manual tranny of the Cross Fire and that of the Euro ML are like much different as well); whereas on the Cross Fire tranny there seems to be a bolt system to directly connect to the drive line.
I am wondering if anyone has information of the way that the Euro manual tranny connects to the transfer case, and more-so if anyone thinks it would be possible to connect, either by making a custom part or by retro fitting something from a Euro ML. I do realize the amount of power that will be coming out, and perhaps it may not even be mechanically possible - but what wrong with asking right?!


If something could be devised to connect the Cross Fire tranny to the transfer case, the next obstacle is the wonderful computer system. I am under the impression that the computer not only controls the transmission, but collectively works with other components such as the ESP. Logically (I hope), I was thinking that even if the transmission was disconnect from the computer, it may not matter because it is a manual and the computer wouldn't need to send information to the transmission to shift. Sure it may leave the ML in LIM mode, but would this cause problems anywhere else...for example, could impose negative consequence on the other electronic systems, such as the ESP - or would the computer adapt to the change with the truck driving and manually shifting despite being in LIM and still allow these other systems to function correctly?
If the reality is that there would be problems to these systems could it be possible to either reprogram the ML computer to account for a manual transmission, or use a computer from a 4 cylinder ML that had a manual...keeping in mind that the engine and transmission would be obviously different than that of the ML320. Does anyone think that the truck would adapt to the manual, or if not could using the Mercedes computer allow me to reprogram it to be a manual?


There is also the need to retro fit the clutch peddle in through the floor board as well.


Again, I like innovation so I am looking for some constructive insight. Please share your thoughts and insight into these obstacles, and let me know why or why not we could make this happen! I appreciate any constructive feedback and for you taking the time to help me out here :)
 

·
Registered
2015 ML250 Bluetec | 2019 GLC 300 | Prev: | 2002 ML 500 Sport Edition :( | 2012 C250 | 1998 C230
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Good day everyone!

This is my first post; however, I have read many threads regarding to the ML320. I appreciate all of the shared knowledge, expertise, DIY's, that have really helped me over the last several year!

I have 1998 ML320 that was purchased with 179K miles. At around 280K I replaced the engine (and I do plan on making a write up in the near future for this :) ) with one that had around 100K miles, and she's running great. As the odometer nears 300K miles, I am beginning to plan on replacing the transmission at some point in the near future as it becomes necessary. I know that when I bought it with the 179K miles, after researching on here I changed the tranny fluid. It was somewhere between mud-water and coffee. Having been a fan of this truck in Jurassic Park 2 when I was much younger, I remember that they had a manual transmission in the ML that the T-Rex destroyed, and really liked the idea of the ML being a manual. Also, my first car was a manual and I really enjoyed it. Being innovative and technical, I like to think outside the box and like to make things....which can sometimes be helpful

Upon researching the ability to swap out my automatic tranny with a manual tranny, I discovered that the ML for the United States all appear to have automatics, whereas the manuals were (from the little I have found) to have been reserved for the European models with the smaller 4 cylinder engines.

I also discovered that the M113 engine I have in the ML320 appears to be identical to that of the Chrysler Crossfire (specifically, it seems to be the 2004 model). This 04 model of the Cross Fire has a manual transmission that I believe would fit to my current engine bell-housing. However, there seem to be some obstacles that would need to be overcome, which is where I am looking for some insight from all of you awesome peoples!

I have considered that the drive line going from the transmission to the axle of the Cross Fire is much different than that of our (manual) ML European counter parts where the transmission is directly connected to the transferase (and I realize that manual tranny of the Cross Fire and that of the Euro ML are like much different as well); whereas on the Cross Fire tranny there seems to be a bolt system to directly connect to the drive line.
I am wondering if anyone has information of the way that the Euro manual tranny connects to the transfer case, and more-so if anyone thinks it would be possible to connect, either by making a custom part or by retro fitting something from a Euro ML. I do realize the amount of power that will be coming out, and perhaps it may not even be mechanically possible - but what wrong with asking right?!


If something could be devised to connect the Cross Fire tranny to the transfer case, the next obstacle is the wonderful computer system. I am under the impression that the computer not only controls the transmission, but collectively works with other components such as the ESP. Logically (I hope), I was thinking that even if the transmission was disconnect from the computer, it may not matter because it is a manual and the computer wouldn't need to send information to the transmission to shift. Sure it may leave the ML in LIM mode, but would this cause problems anywhere else...for example, could impose negative consequence on the other electronic systems, such as the ESP - or would the computer adapt to the change with the truck driving and manually shifting despite being in LIM and still allow these other systems to function correctly?
If the reality is that there would be problems to these systems could it be possible to either reprogram the ML computer to account for a manual transmission, or use a computer from a 4 cylinder ML that had a manual...keeping in mind that the engine and transmission would be obviously different than that of the ML320. Does anyone think that the truck would adapt to the manual, or if not could using the Mercedes computer allow me to reprogram it to be a manual?


There is also the need to retro fit the clutch peddle in through the floor board as well.


Again, I like innovation so I am looking for some constructive insight. Please share your thoughts and insight into these obstacles, and let me know why or why not we could make this happen! I appreciate any constructive feedback and for you taking the time to help me out here :)
1. It would be cheaper to fly to Europe, find a used one and throw it in a shipping container than attempt what you are doing. Not to mention the headaches you'll encounter. :grin

2. You don't have a M113 engine in an ML320. That's a V8 engine, the M112 is what you have.
 

·
Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
Joined
·
4,996 Posts
Totally agree with the above. Sorry to burst your bubble but it would be a nightmare trying to attempt that. Can we ask what is your reason for wanting a manual transmission? You can use the tip tronic to hold it in a gear if necessary.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
Actually, it's not that big of a deal, especially if you've done an engine swap. You'll need the transmission (with clutch), shifter mechanism, and clutch pedal and its hydraulics. The challenge is going to be in finding the parts. You could use the transmission from a Crossfire, or even a C-Class or SLK. MBZ designs its cars to be fairly modular, so all of the mountings and bolts points will be there.

You'll need a copy of SDS to do this as because you'll have to do some coding, and WIS and EPC will be a must for reference.
 

·
Registered
1998 ML320
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
1. It would be cheaper to fly to Europe, find a used one and throw it in a shipping container than attempt what you are doing. Not to mention the headaches you'll encounter. :grin

2. You don't have a M113 engine in an ML320. That's a V8 engine, the M112 is what you have.
Thank you for the correction, I thought that I put M112! :)
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
Actually, it's not that big of a deal, especially if you've done an engine swap. You'll need the transmission (with clutch), shifter mechanism, and clutch pedal and its hydraulics. The challenge is going to be in finding the parts. You could use the transmission from a Crossfire, or even a C-Class or SLK. MBZ designs its cars to be fairly modular, so all of the mountings and bolts points will be there.

You'll need a copy of SDS to do this as because you'll have to do some coding, and WIS and EPC will be a must for reference.
Also you would need to retrofit the ECU from ME1.8 to the newer ME 2.0 or higher, these are the ones that allow coding. I, it's a lot easier to code a post facelift M112 due to difference in software. Older ECU were not exactly codable, and Mercedes did not share the coding database for pre-2000 ECU.... Otherwise I would be on a manual transmission in my 97 E36 right now.

Also, what are you going to do about the front diff? Just delete the whole 4matic and go rwd in manual w163? If you do... Also need to code ESP, or pull one from another car.

Lots of work. It would be easier to just import a crashed manual w163 to the US and pull everything as needed.
 

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
Oh yeah, I forgot about the AWD/transfer case issue. I guess you'd have to find an actual 716.644 unit that would fit the ML. As for the ECU, I thought all M112's use ME 2.8 which can be coded for transmission type (and even engine type).
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
No, they all had different ME numbers throughout pre-facelift and post-facelift models. The 2.8 can be found 2003 and up, and those are the one that allow coding for pretty much everything through DAS.

The older ones were through HTTwin only, and had extremely limited coding, plus the coding was a number string that had to correspond to a database....a database that MB is not sharing.
 

·
Registered
1998 ML320
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Totally agree with the above. Sorry to burst your bubble but it would be a nightmare trying to attempt that. Can we ask what is your reason for wanting a manual transmission? You can use the tip tronic to hold it in a gear if necessary.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I appreciate your post! :)

  1. I have always enjoyed driving a manual.
  2. I know that the ML was originally marketed with the idea that the transmission was "sealed for life" (thanks to the hours of reading on here about that ;) ). With that, there could be the assumption that many people who have owned ML's waiting tens of thousands of miles, well beyond what should have been, for a fluid/filter swap which could question the longevity. THAT SAID, mine was bought with 179K and is about to hit 300K and is (fingers crossed, knock on wood...) still going....however, that could be because day 2 after having it I changed 50% of the fluid/filter. About 3 months later did a full swap by draining the torque converter along with drain plug on the pan and filter.

    Basically, I don't mind the work and was wanting to know the options before just throwing another automatic transmission in.
 

·
Registered
1998 ML320
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for all of this insight! :)

Actually, it's not that big of a deal, especially if you've done an engine swap. You'll need the transmission (with clutch), shifter mechanism, and clutch pedal and its hydraulics. The challenge is going to be in finding the parts. You could use the transmission from a Crossfire, or even a C-Class or SLK. MBZ designs its cars to be fairly modular, so all of the mountings and bolts points will be there.

You'll need a copy of SDS to do this as because you'll have to do some coding, and WIS and EPC will be a must for reference.
I was proud of the engine swap, it was difficult at times, but really once I got going it was fairly intuitive in many ways. Also, that was my intuition when looking at the manual transmissions from the models you mentioned! I had seen a video were engine from an SL500 was put into a Crossfire with a manual transmission.

Also you would need to retrofit the ECU from ME1.8 to the newer ME 2.0 or higher, these are the ones that allow coding. I, it's a lot easier to code a post facelift M112 due to difference in software. Older ECU were not exactly codable, and Mercedes did not share the coding database for pre-2000 ECU.... Otherwise I would be on a manual transmission in my 97 E36 right now.

Also, what are you going to do about the front diff? Just delete the whole 4matic and go rwd in manual w163? If you do... Also need to code ESP, or pull one from another car.

Lots of work. It would be easier to just import a crashed manual w163 to the US and pull everything as needed.
I definitely wouldn't want to go RWD...I love the AWD! :)

Oh yeah, I forgot about the AWD/transfer case issue. I guess you'd have to find an actual 716.644 unit that would fit the ML. As for the ECU, I thought all M112's use ME 2.8 which can be coded for transmission type (and even engine type).
From what I see the coupler from the Crossfire transmission looks to have the same ends where it would connect to the transfer case (or drive train in the Crossfire)...? The length from the manual transmission looks like it may be a bit shorter...I am wondering if the manual transmission in the manual ML's were shorter as well, and if so what parts were used to make up for the length difference to attach the manual tranny to the transfer case...what are your thoughts? See attached pics! The drawing pic is the ML transmission, and the real life pic is the Crossfire transmission.

No, they all had different ME numbers throughout pre-facelift and post-facelift models. The 2.8 can be found 2003 and up, and those are the one that allow coding for pretty much everything through DAS.

The older ones were through HTTwin only, and had extremely limited coding, plus the coding was a number string that had to correspond to a database....a database that MB is not sharing.
Would I need to hook my ML up to DAS to determine the software versions (if it's 1.8 or whichever), or is there another way, maybe a sticker on the ECU?

On that note, I see Deplore says the 2.0+ is what is needed to code, and that Rudeney says 2.8...how can we verify which one for sure can do the coding needed, or can they both work? Is it as simple as finding a post-2000 ML ECU and swapping it from there?
Side note: I feel that I would need the key fobs as well from the donor ML ECU to avoid the hassle of getting new ones from the mothership.

I haven't looked yet, but sake of creating an informative thread, do you have anymore information about the 2.8? Do you know of any particular information that could help one accomplish the coding?? If not, I can research it too! I have IT in my background so I hope to be able to figure it out with a little guidance ;)

Again, I want to thank all of you (from all of the threads) for helping create this this - thank you so much!!! :)
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
1999 ML430
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
Sooo,.... I'm a little confused .......

From your original post, I thought your intention was to transfer a manual stick transmission into your existing 1998 ML320. I guess your plans changed .
 

·
Registered
Dallas, Texas
Joined
·
8,018 Posts
Sooo,.... I'm a little confused .......

From your original post, I thought your intention was to transfer a manual stick transmission into your existing 1998 ML320. I guess your plans changed .
That's why I have mentioned Eggnog.:dance:
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
On that note, I see Deplore says the 2.0+ is what is needed to code, and that Rudeney says 2.8...how can we verify which one for sure can do the coding needed, or can they both work? Is it as simple as finding a post-2000 ML ECU and swapping it from there?
Side note: I feel that I would need the key fobs as well from the donor ML ECU to avoid the hassle of getting new ones from the mothership.

I haven't looked yet, but sake of creating an informative thread, do you have anymore information about the 2.8? Do you know of any particular information that could help one accomplish the coding?? If not, I can research it too! I have IT in my background so I hope to be able to figure it out with a little guidance ;)
SDS is required. Perhaps other aftermarket scanners can tell you the version number, but generally speaking, SDS works the best. No stickers, we aren't that lucky.

I say 2.0 because that's the version that does not ask or require online programming. 2.3 and up changed to online programming, and that's the one that makes it difficult to encode it.

Extra key fobs, extra ECU, extra AAM, extra lock cylinder..... or just virginize a newer ECU and program that to the existing car, then you can code to your liking.

Coding is done in development menu, hope you're proficient in German language, as it's in german. You'll need to compare between the original coding in regular menu and then change as necessary in development menu. Not exactly rocket science, but not as easy as coding a BMW, for instance.

Good luck, because I sure as hell don't see this happening in a good long time. 4matic manual transmission are hard as balls to find, and you'd have to pay well in excess of four digits to import one from Europe, and then buy any additional parts necessary to make it work (master cylinder, slave cylinder, the tubes, pedal, clutch switch, wiring harness, driveshaft, etc).

Shit, the only reason why I haven't done a manual conversion on my E320/E36 AMG is because of the ECU coding. At least the transmission that fits my engine is easy to find here, they were in SLK230 and C230 kompressor...and I have it easy compared to you. AFAIK there is NO (and i mean zero) 4matic manual transmission EVER sold in the USA. I'm happy to be proven wrong if you happen to know otherwise....

EDIT:

is it possible to get drunk on eggnog? Asking...for erm, a friend....
 

·
Registered
1998 ML320
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Sooo,.... I'm a little confused .......

From your original post, I thought your intention was to transfer a manual stick transmission into your existing 1998 ML320. I guess your plans changed .
That's why I have mentioned Eggnog.:dance:
No, the intent from the original post has not changed. Was there confusion where I was comparing the length of automatic transmission from the ML with the manual transmission from the Crossfire? I am happy to clarify any confusion!

Happy New Year!
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
No confusion, the manual trans from crossfire will bolt up to ML.

You do, however, will need custom transmission mount, custom driveshaft, and remove the transfer case, front diff and half shafts. Crossfire does not come in 4wd.
 

·
Registered
Dallas, Texas
Joined
·
8,018 Posts
You do, however, will need custom transmission mount, custom driveshaft, and remove the transfer case, front diff and half shafts. Crossfire does not come in 4wd.
If you remove front half shafts what in hell is going to keep wheel bearing together?
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
That's when you get creative and use a W210 front wheel hub with a spindle in it.



Or cut the half shafts. idk, I'm not the one wanting to do a 4wd to rwd conversion here.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top