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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background: I love my benz, but I think its missing the personality of a manual transmission. Its a '92 2.3 8v with 112k miles. A few months ago I found an '87 2.3 8v with a 5-speed. It only had 74k miles, the engine had some minor issue that the previous owner didn't want to deal with (a Police Chief in NJ).
EDIT: Wasn't a "minor" issue. The PO spun and slid over a nice sized rock which punctured the engine oil pan and the bottom of the radiator. Engine turns fine.

Note: the transmission mount on the 2.3+auto trans is farther back than the 2.3+manual trans BUT, that's ok...because Mercedes was smart enough to make a bracket for the transmission mount on all 190s that will fit any combination of engine+transmission that would normally fit in the car.

Today I went to the junkyard, pulled the pedal assembly, the shifter, and shift linkage.

The pedal assembly was held in with four nuts that surround the pushrod for the brakebooster, and one bolt a little higher near the pivot point for the clutch pedal. There is one switch up on the clutch pedal that I'm assuming is for cruise control (and I busted it, so if you want that switch unplug it first..or just be more careful than I was). It was all surprisingly easy to remove...assuming you remove ALL RUGS, and the knee bolster thingy. The only problem I ran into, removing the pedal cluster, is the metal hydraulic line from the clutch master cylinder, through the right side of the footbox/firewall that connects to a flex line...that goes to the clutch slave cylinder on the bellhousing (which seems to be on the passenger side for some reason).

ALSO, NOTE!!! Empty the fluid reservoir BEFORE touching the pedals (if it has a clutch)...or you'll get hydraulic fluid everywhere and you will curse for the rest of the day. It happened to me.

To remove the knee bolster: there are two small trim pieces on either side of the steering column. The left side piece of trim has three plastic clips (that will probably break, so be careful), and the right side has two clips. After removing the pieces of trim, the left side has two bolts, and the right side has one. Then I was able to remove the plastic "knee" panel. For the long and oval shaped plastic-covered-foam thing to "protect your knees", there are two nuts up top. LOOSEN THEM, don't bother taking them off...then you should be able to push (or pull, I forget) the foam thingy and it should fall right out. Then getting to the pedals is SOOO much easier and you wont break your neck or back.

The Shifter: The shift knob should screw off...it might be very tight. Remove the wood trim; disconnect the switches in the wood trim, and then remove the four bolts that should hold in the shifter assembly. The three shift links to the transmission are easy to get off. They have metal clips, but its pretty easy.

I haven't actually touched the transmission/driveshaft/clutch/flywheel/rear diff/ect. yet. That will happen Monday/Tuesday, and I'll repost my experience here. I hope this all helps, there seems to be very little detailed information about the manual transmissions and this kind of conversion. Maybe I'm one of the few who are crazy enough to try it!
 

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'87--190E 2.3-16v(being rebuilt), '99--C230 Kompressor
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just a FYI...if your going to do a walkthrough it would be very helpful if you posted pics as you do each step. i know it's a pain, but less questions can be asked later
 

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1987 190d Turbo
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Thanks dudeperson3. I'm going to start the same thing sometime in the next couple of weeks. I look forward to your guide, tips and tricks :thumbsup:
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #4
just a FYI...if your going to do a walkthrough it would be very helpful if you posted pics as you do each step. i know it's a pain, but less questions can be asked later
DUH! Thank you Turnpike!

SO here are some pictures with captions underneath each one.

[First picture shown below]

This is the pedal cluster. I was SO RELIEVED to find out how simple it is. Four nuts for the brake pedal, and one bolt near the top for the clutch...keep in mind, its all one piece. The big black rubber thing is just some "look nice" foam-rubber surround that acts as a gasket. I'm assuming the automatic 190s have the same same exact bracket, just no clutch pedal.

[Second picture shown below]

This is the shifter complete with knob, rubber boot, and wood trim. The linkage is outside the transmission and is not connected (duh?). The shift knob screws on/off. The boot nicely "snaps" into place around a plastic insert that is stapled (very small staples) to the wood trim. There are four inch-and-a-half or two inch bolts holding down a plastic piece between the shifter and the wood trim, and the shifter itself.

[Third picture shown below]

While under the car, looking up at the transmission and linkage, from left to right (got that so far?), the three shift links go longest to shortest from left to right. [Simplifying] The longest rod will be on the left and the shortest on the right while looking up at transmission from under the car.
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yesterday I went back to the junkyard yesterday and got pretty far. I'll post more later this week when I get the rest of the stuff BUT I must notify everyone reading this about one VERY IMPORTANT THING
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The three engine/transmission bolts on top? Don't try to remove them from under the car. Open the hood, get them from there. In fact, get as many bolts as you possible can from the top. ALSO, I noticed that the down pipe on the '87 was slightly different than the down pipe on my '92. Either way, if you can remove it, do so. It'll make removing the bolts on that side of the engine/transmission much easier...and while you're at it, remove all of the exhaust past that point too so you can remove the driveshaft.

I'm saying this because of what happened to me. The donor car was in a junkyard, and the guy put the front of the car on a bunch of tires stacked on top of each other. This pushed the engine up...and since the engine mounts were totally busted, it forced the back of the engine to rest against the firewall. So I couldn't get to those top bolts. I'll have the guy put the car on the ground so the engine settles back down and I could get the LAST bolt. The bolt at the very top. What a PITA!!

The drive shaft has six bolts at the rear (three into the flex disc, and three from the flex disc to the rear differential input flange), three bolts at the transmission, and two bolts holding up a bearing (thats what it is, right?) near the middle of the driveshaft. Keep in mind, the '87 is a two-piece driveshaft. I'm not sure if the rest of the 190s have a two-piece driveshaft. At least both halves are very lightweight!

I also grabbed the speedometer cable, the brake/clutch reservoir, the line from the reservoir to the clutch master cylinder, the ignition control module, and the ECU.

Does anyone have a "How-To" for removing the gauge cluster? Luckily, the gauge cluster in the donor car was already loose since the dashboard above it was cracked. Actually, I'll take pictures of the gauge cluster, post them, and maybe figure out a way to remove it...unless someone already wrote down the details.

More later this week, and I'll have pictures and everything!
 

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'87 190E 2.3 Manual, '81 500SEL 4whl SLS, '91 300SEL
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To remove the gauge cluster, you should disconnect the speedo cable from the transmission. It's a 10mm bolt under the car. You use a wire hanger bent to have a small 90 degree angle at the end. Make 2 of these, and use them on either side. You just put it back behind the dash, then pull forward.

The way I do it is different though. I remove the center vent panel, then reach my hand behind and start pulling/pushing. On the left side I just grab what I can, or use the friction of my hand to pull it out. Takes some finagling, and then I murder my hand by squeezing it back behind to undo the speedo cable.

Easiest way is doing it properly, though. Some people also remove the knee bolster cover and push it out up there.
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #7
To remove the gauge cluster, you should disconnect the speedo cable from the transmission. It's a 10mm bolt under the car. You use a wire hanger bent to have a small 90 degree angle at the end. Make 2 of these, and use them on either side. You just put it back behind the dash, then pull forward.

The way I do it is different though. I remove the center vent panel, then reach my hand behind and start pulling/pushing. On the left side I just grab what I can, or use the friction of my hand to pull it out. Takes some finagling, and then I murder my hand by squeezing it back behind to undo the speedo cable.

Easiest way is doing it properly, though. Some people also remove the knee bolster cover and push it out up there.
Someone here on the forum once posted a video for a mid-90s C-Class where they had the Mercedes Special Tool (x2) that was pretty much two thin wires that were bent at the end. The stuck each tool on either side of the cluster and pulled...it just popped out. If I could remove the left side vent (that's easy) and the vent housing (not sure how to do that without breaking things), then I bet I could just reach my hand behind the cluster and unscrew the speedo cable. Anyway, its the only part of this entire project (installing the new speedo cable) that I'm worried about.

Thanks for the info!!
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So I went back to the junkyard, got the front end of the car off the stack of tires so the engine could rock forward (back into its original place), reached behind the engine and unscrewed the last bolt on the very top of the engine/transmission. It was very easy.

After a few shakes side-to-side, the transmission was free. I was pleasantly surprised how light it was. The last transmission I wrestled with was a Tremec-5speed in my Shelby Cobra...much bigger, and much heavier.

The pressure plate has six HEX bolts. IIRC, they are 10mm hex bolts.
The flywheel has eight, 12 pointed bolts, IIRC they are 14mm. Use a screwdriver between a flywheel tooth and the casting to make sure the engine doesn't turn when breaking the flywheel bolts loose. It was pretty easy to do without a lift. Try to get the pilot bearing, or order one online at autohauzaz.com for $8. Mercedes Dealers will try to charge you $80 or more.

The line from the clutch master cylinder to the clutch slave cylinder is in two pieces. The metal "half" inside the driver's footwell, behind all the carpeting, is ~$90 from the dealers. The other half of the line, part metal and part flex, is ~$120 from the dealers. I went to a local hydraulics shop and for $50 total, they made me both halves of the line. Honestly, they look identical, and I suggest replacing the older lines.

I plan to remove my automatic transmission (and everything else) and install the 5-speed (and everything else) next week. I'll update with pix as I go along. I expect it will take me about two or three days using a lift and another person for moral support.
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #9
The brake reservoir in the automatics and the manuals, are identical. You don't have to remove it, or mess with it at all...well, there is a "cap" where that line connects to the reservoir on the automatics. I highly suggest to drain hydraulic fluid from the reservoir BEFORE removing the cap.
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #10
The driveshaft is in two pieces. The support bearing in the middle will come out with the front half the driveshaft. There is a flex disc connecting the driveshaft to the rear differential, and one flex disc connecting the driveshaft to the transmission output flange. All nuts/bolts are either 15mm/17mm/19mm. Have ratchets and box wrenches available. You may need them both.

You'll be plesently surprised how lightweight both halves of the driveshaft are. I don't think they are anymore than 10lbs a piece.
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #11
So I drained the 5-speed. The drain plug is a 15mm HEX. Only about two-three cups of oil came out, weird. Anyway, I called Mercedes Benz of Devon (PA) and I asked the parts guy if the MB manual transmission fluid is anything special. He claimed its 75-80 weight gear oil. :thumbsup:

-Monday, I'll pull the driveshaft, automatic transmission, pedals, and shifter out of my '92 2.3.
-Tuesday, I'll install the new pedal cluster (with clutch, of course), the line (and grommet) from the reservoir to the clutch master cylinder, the metal line from the clutch master cylinder to the grommet in the footwell, and the speedometer cable, and clutch assembly.
-Wednesday, I'll install the transmission, driveshaft, and shifter. I'll also bleed the clutch.

I'll add more pictures to this post and others this weekend. I apologize for not doing it sooner.
 

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You should consider removing the differential from the junk car, usually automatics and manuals have a pretty radical gearing difference. Automatics typical have much higher gearing in the differential, usually around 3.93 or 4.10. This will give you a fast take off but will have you revving pretty high on the freeway.
 

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1991 190E 1.8 auto; 1992 180E 5 speed
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Actually in my experience the rear axle ratios are higher for the 5 speed than the auto: my 190E 1.8s run a 3.46:1 for the auto and a 3.64:1 for the 5 speed manual. The 4 speed manual option offered in Europe (which had the exact same 1st-4th gear ratios as the 5 speed box, just no 5th gear) ran the 3.46:1 rear axle as well, so I'm guessing they went to 3.64 for the 5 speed to give a little extra acceleration in first, given that there's an overdriven fifth gear at the other end of the range to still have relaxed highway cruising.

But still good advice to consider grabbing the diff from the donor car if it is a different ratio, because chances are the ratio MB has selected is the best all-round compromise for that engine/gearbox/car combination.

PS: I take my hat off to you dudeperson3 for recording your progress as you go and noting things to watch out for as you discover them. You're making it a lot easier for whoever next wants to attempt this job!
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Actually in my experience the rear axle ratios are higher for the 5 speed than the auto: my 190E 1.8s run a 3.46:1 for the auto and a 3.64:1 for the 5 speed manual. The 4 speed manual option offered in Europe (which had the exact same 1st-4th gear ratios as the 5 speed box, just no 5th gear) ran the 3.46:1 rear axle as well, so I'm guessing they went to 3.64 for the 5 speed to give a little extra acceleration in first, given that there's an overdriven fifth gear at the other end of the range to still have relaxed highway cruising.

But still good advice to consider grabbing the diff from the donor car if it is a different ratio, because chances are the ratio MB has selected is the best all-round compromise for that engine/gearbox/car combination.

PS: I take my hat off to you dudeperson3 for recording your progress as you go and noting things to watch out for as you discover them. You're making it a lot easier for whoever next wants to attempt this job!
Thank you John H! I bet many of us would love to have a 5-speed in our 190s, and since I didn't find much about the conversion here on the forum, I want to make it as easy as possible for anyone else that is as crazy as I am about my babybenz!!

I am aware about the difference in differential gear. The gear in the automatics is taller than the gear in the 5-speeds. I also understand there is a difference in europe, and frankly, I'm gonna ignore those euro spec cars because most of us have US spec cars. I do believe that whatever MB does, they do for a reason, but that doesn't mean we can't experiment, right? :D

I decided to keep my taller rear diff in my automatic. My plan for my 190E is to use it for long distance trips, so the taller rear differential with the nice-n-tall fifth gear should make a really nice combination for a 65-70mph cruiser. My father has worked for Mercedes Benz for 20+ years, and has been in the car industry for closer to 40 years. I have talked with him and a few of his MB buddies; they claim the 5-speed with the automatic rear diff should be optimal for highway driving, and still be "ok" in traffic and city driving. I trust their opinion and I will keep posting after the project is done.

Note: I have more pictures, but I think I need to wait till I have a legitimate computer in front of me. I'm on my phone :D
 

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1992 190E 2.3 8v w/ '87 5-speed and 3.27 rear, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 2018 Triumph Bonneville
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I have bagged and marked all the hardware needed for the flywheel, clutch, trans, drive shaft, and brackets/mounts.

1. Engine/trans bolts: 7 bolts and washers + 2 longer bolts and washers (for the starter) and one bracket to hold a plastic clip that keeps part of the hydraultic flex line from flopping around.
2. Flywheel bolts: 8 bolts without washers...actually, the washers are part of the bolts.
3. Pressure Plate bolts: 6 bolts with washers
4. Trans to drive shaft: 6 bolts total (with nuts) that use the flex disc to connect the transmission output flange and the drive shaft
5. Drive shaft to differential: 6 bolts total (with nuts) that use the flex disc to connect the drive shaft to the differential input flange
6. I have a bag with miscellaneous bolts/washers for the brackets for the rear mount and the drive shaft support bearing.

UPDATE: Use the hardware from you car, not the donor car. Unless you broke or lost something...it happens to everyone at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I have pulled apart the clutch master cylinder to make sure it was in good condition. There were no "ridges" or "steps" in the cylinder bore...that's good. Keep in mind, the cylinder bore is tapered at first to keep it all together. Make sure the rubber seals on the white(ish) plastic piston are not dried out.

This morning (5-28-12) I pulled the slave cylinder apart and found it was in good shape as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I have had experience with Ford, Volkswagon, Porsche, and MB clutch assemblies. Obviously the diameter of the assemblies are different...otherwise, they look the same to me. Honestly, I'm not sure why I thought the MB pressure plate would look different. I'm not even sure what I thought it was going to look like. If you've seen a clutch assembly, most likely, the 190E clutch will be easy.

I'll use emry paper to clean all surfaces and lightly crosshatch the clutch disc.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
The picture below is of the driver's side of the transmission. Those three levers are the shift levers.

Right Lever: Fifth and Reverse
Middle Lever: First and Second
Left Lever: Third and fourth

I was turning the input shaft by hand, shifting into different gears with ease, and watching the change in speed (relative to the speed that I was turning the input shaft). Those three rubber bushings go bad eventually, but they can be replaced after the transmission is in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Today 5/28/12 I've started pulling apart my 190 and I've already found a few differences between the '87 2.3 doner car and my '92 2.3.

1. It looks like the automatics have an oil cooler...and a line from the transmission to the radiator up front. I currently don't know what to do about that. (photo below of the line on the passenger side)
UPDATE: I loosened all the 5mm allen head bolts on both transmission oil cooler lines to the radiator, drained them, and removed them. I will cap them both on the radiator.
2. The rear half of the drive shaft is the same; auto vs manual
3. My '92 has a small bracket under the drive shaft near the rear to catch the drive shaft if the flex disc fails.
4. The reverse light switch/connector...is it at the end of the auto trans? or on the shifter? I'll check, and edit once I get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
When removing the automatic transmission, drain the torque converter. Use a 27mm socket on the crankshaft pulley nut to turn the engine so you can see the 5mm allen head on the torque converter. The first picture below shows a little "window" where you can get to the torque converter drain plug out. There is A LOT of ATF in the torque converter. I was surprised how much there was.

Also remember to unbolt the torque converter from the drive plate on the engine. You can do that through the window in the second picture.
 

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