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Discussion Starter #1
On the early w124 are the manual transmissions interchangeable between the m103 (6 cylinders) and m102 (4 cylinders) engines? Looking to do a swap and just wanted to confirm before I make the investments.
Thanks
 

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The boxes will bolt up to the bell housing without any problem. Likewise, no need to change out a flywheel. I would make sure the 4/5 SPD's are the same length and have identical flex disk flanges.

There are quite a number of threads on auto to manual conversions. It would be wise to use the search tool and just read over several.

Good luck

Jayare
 

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I'm just going to assume you found a 190E 2.3 with a 5 speed.

Transmissions will interchange without a problem. You will need an M103 flywheel. You will need to find the correct driveshaft or take some measurements for a driveshaft shop to cut the center support flange off the W201 driveshaft and have the W124 one welded in place. That's something you'd see when you'd get in there

Mercedes W124 5 Speed Swap Guide ~ Artisan

A google would have brought this up - or a search on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I actually have a w124 te Euro model with a 2.3L and a manual 4 speed, yes I came across a 300e w a 5speed manual Trans and the 6cylinder engine. And before I invest in the second car I would like to know if they're bolt up material. I am mechanically inclined and have attacked worse swaps but don't want to modify too much. Thanks I will keep you posted in the results
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am actually finding some help, nice for a change. This should be a cool project and am starting to look forward to it.
 

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I'll never understand the reasoning for wanting to "upgrade" to a transmission that feels like it was pulled from a tractor.

Try any stick shift Mazda Miata or BMW made during the same era as the W124 and it'll all make sense.
 

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I'll never understand the reasoning for wanting to "upgrade" to a transmission that feels like it was pulled from a tractor.

Try any stick shift Mazda Miata or BMW made during the same era as the W124 and it'll all make sense.
I see you've never driven an MB 5 speed with fresh shifter bushings. You really should try it some time. It makes a BMW box feel like a loose, wobbly POS.
 

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I have an 88 300e with a 5 speed and it shifts better than most of the 80's bmw's that i have driven. Most 80's bmw shifter bushings have fallen out and the owners are to cheap to repair them.
I loved driving mine around the hills where i live until my son decided to play chicken with a big buck and took out the driver side of the car. I never thought a deer could do so much damage to a mercedes.
just do it you will love it:smile
 

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Interestingly the stick shift 124s came to the U.S. only in 1986 and 1988. 86s were all 3.0s while 88s were 3.0s and 2.6s. I've owned one and driven a few others over the years. I thought they were pretty good and geared tall which I liked. But there was a Mercedes Buyers Guide popular years ago that referred to the shifter as "rubbery" as I recall and about a hundred people read that book for every person that actually drove one, so that perception prevailed. It was certainly a better stick shift than the U.S. 129 300SLs - which were a spectacular disappointment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great input from all. I was a bit nervous as I stated earlier, my w124 230te has the 4 speed manual and I am noticing some weird noises, instead of investing money in the rebuild, I figured I would invest in a 5 speed. Found several w201's but luckily I ran into a guy locally who has a whole 1986 w124 3.0L w/ 5 speed that he is willing to part. My hesitation was if I made the investment would the the 5 speed bolt up to my 2.3L without modification. But from what I'm gathering here , it seems like a safe bet to go forward with it. I don't mind the 4 speed manual but rebuilding it?? It may take some hunting to find the adequate parts. And being that the other is 5 speed, it is rare I didn't want to pass it up. What do you all say? Yay or nay? Go for the swap or the rebuild???
 

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gee, why not transplant the 3.0 while you're at it ? sure, you'd need the engine harness and electronics but its all pretty modular on the w124.

j/k, engine transplants are always way more complex than planned :)
 

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... It was certainly a better stick shift than the U.S. 129 300SLs - which were a spectacular disappointment.
That is the same manual trans as the W124 version.

And to think that MB even had the balls to offer a stickshift in the W140 for the very first year, which nobody bought . . . even the Europeans. It's good to see them finally embrace 20th century tech (automatic transmission)
 

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I see you've never driven an MB 5 speed with fresh shifter bushings. You really should try it some time. It makes a BMW box feel like a loose, wobbly POS.
It's not so much the box as the lame ass shifter mechanism MB employs that is at the root of the problem. It is akin to the old preselector mechanism from old 60s era muscle cars, like the Dodge Charger.

And yes, I have driven them with they were new. In fact, drove the BMW E30 M3 and the W201 2.3 Cosworth back to back. Both have the same identical Getrag transmission. The BMW felt crisp and connected, while the MB had about as much feedback as after having a rootcanal done.
 

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Admittedly, the only MB manual I have driven was a 1982 240D with the 4 speed, but I don't remember it being bad at all. A friend of mine had this conversation a few weeks ago, because I said that I wish I had a 5 speed in my 300D. I really wouldn't care if it were a bit rubbery anyway; I just want the ability to control the shifts, the added fuel mileage, and the extra power I would expect to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Speaking of w123 I came across some euro headlights if anyone is interested. A co worker of mine has several sets that he wants to part with. I will start a new thread for that.
Getting back to the Trans swap, I had considered dumping the entire engine in as well, but would rather dump a oil burner (diesel) in. I'm a fan of both. But this little 2.3L just purrs and is low mileage so I figured I would give it a try. My main concern was finding spare parts and the cost. Can any one point me to a reputable MB source that knows what they're talking about ( unlike to large web based sources). I am still pondering doing the rebuild but am having some difficulty finding out info on what I think may be a 716-217 transmission. 3rd gear has a whine and im not certain on the cost of I were to allocate the parts I could do it on my own. Just want to make sure I order the correct parts. I'm not planning on laying down 150mph passes just cruise it's a wagon after all.
 

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Generally, whining noises from manual gearboxes are usually due to shaft bearings being worn or bad.

In almost all cases, there is no magic cure or fluid that will fix that other than a complete box teardown and rebuild or sourcing a donor box.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, I was hoping that since the car has been parked for a number of years prior to me acquiring it recently, I would have some luck at a needle bearing or a roller that stiffened up on me, it would be worth a shot but not the time. If I'm dropping the Trans might as well do a swap or a rebuilt and a clutch. So I came across a part number for a Trans (716.217) seems to be the Trans number or model. I will do a bit more digging.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Contacted a local MB dealer and they advised me that the clutch for my original 4 speed is no longer available. Nice to know.
 
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