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'86 280GE LWB
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Discussion Starter #1
The transmission in my 280G LWB is not working right and my mechanic says it will need to be rebuilt. I was wondering where I might be able to get hold of the parts to have him change it to a manual shift while he's at it. He says it shouldn't cost much more.

My thinking is this: I could use the extra uhmph getting onto some of the high speed 2 lane roads out where I live which will keep me from getting rear ended and I am used to and prefer driving manual.

Is it worth the extra cost?
Where can I find the Parts?

Thanks in advance
 

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TJs, FJ40s, JGCs, G500
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2,343 Posts
I would help to know where you are located.
Rebuilding your auto is probably cheaper than getting a used manual (it would need a rebuild or overhaul before being dropped in) and you would need a different intermediate shaft between tranny and transfer case ($400)

If you insist on a manual - I have a strong and quick 4-speed for your 280 (it is in my 280GE right now) in a few weeks. You can have the necessary intermediate shaft (used) as well.

If you want to be quick in acceleration, the 5-speed is not an option (first gear is not quick enough). In numbers: 4-speed 4.628:1 vs 5-speed 3.822:1
http://4x4abc.com/G-Class/transmissions/getriebe.html

Harald
 

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TJs, FJ40s, JGCs, G500
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Well, there were two different 4-speed boxes used in the G460 - with a 4.628 and with a 4.023 first gear.

The automatic has a 4.007:1 first - add the 1.85:1 torque converter ratio, you get a 7.41:1 which is excellent for off-road use (MB engineers do indeed know how to do it right).

However, for on-road use the automatic does not lend itself for quick acceleration (at least not the old W4A018).

http://4x4abc.com/G-Class/transmissions/getriebe.html

Harald
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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3,504 Posts
Ratio choices?

As far as I can tell looking up various known good VINs on the EPC, the 4-speed manual that came in the 280GE was the G1/18-4/4.403 (that last number corresponding to the 1st gear ratio). Now, I CAN get the EPC to show the 711.200 trans as an option for the 280GE, but only with the old-style 90mm flange that went away very early in the G's life cycle - before my 1980, #5486, was built.

The G1/17-4/4.628 (with the 4.628 1st gear) came in the 230GE and the diesels (300GD and 240GD.

Personally, my tub of a 280GE seems plenty quick off the line for me with the G1/18 trans, and I run out of first gear really quick (like 15 mph) as the revs climb.

One thing that was attractive to me for off-road use is the nice low reverse gear in the 1/17 trans. I've had one laying on my garage floor for 3 years, and thought about swapping it in to my 280 once.

But then I got a look at the diagrams of the two transmissions. Ratios aren't the only difference. The 1/18 is longer, and most of the internal parts are larger to handle the increased torque load that he M110 can generate (more than any of the engines that used the G1/17).

Just another man's opinion, but if I were going to switch from an auto box to a manual, and didn't want the 5-speed manual (and if 90% of your driving is in the southeast, the 5 speed is the box to have, IMHO for it's more comfortable highway cruising with the OD), the only other manual trans I'd consider for the 280GE is the 711.101 aka G1/18-4/4.043.

Would the lower gears in the 711.200 be nice in some situations? Sure. But those MB engineers that knew a little something about what they were doing seem to have dropped the G1/17 from the 280GE pretty quick.

But then, take all this with a grain of salt since it comes from a guy slapping a motor/trans combo into his G that our good friends at MB never intended. [;)]

One other thing to consider is that when you go to ANY manual from the auto box, you'll need a lot more than just the trans. Bell housing, clutch setup and actuator linkage, shifter, shift linkage, clutch pedal, master and slave cylinders, hydraulic lines, etc. Finding all this stuff for a G isn't easy here in the states, and buying new will cost a pretty penny.

Unless there's a known definite shortcoming where the auto box is not meeting some needs, and you've driven a manual shift G and know it to be the answer to your prayers, I'd probably stick with rebuilding the auto box. But if there's something you need in the manual, it sure can be done, for a price. If your mechanic can't help you source the parts, then you'll need someone to go through all of the necessary parts to swap the truck from auto to manual. It's not easy digging out all those part numbers and whoever does it will deserve to be paid. Your best bet for such a person would be the folks at Europa in SantaFe, NM 1-888-538-7672. Maybe Luis could help you, or recommend someone who could.

JMO, ad good luck!

-Dave G.
 
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