W124 300E 5-speed conversion gear shifter queries

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New Member
Mar 26, 2014
Hello all,
Firstly an introduction. I have just registered but I've been into Mercedes for a good few years now. I have three W124 saloons, an '88 230E, an '89 300E and a '90 260E. In the past I've had a W123 wagon, coupe and a W201 2.6.

I'm currently gathering all the parts I need to convert my 300E to 5-speed manual. I have done quite a lot of reading up about this, and I have the correct gearbox, clutch, flywheel etc, but now I need the smaller things. Like gear lever, shifter rods, pedal box etc.

My query, at the moment, is primarily about the gear lever and shift rods. I was told I can use the setup from a 5-spd W202, and that fitting those parts in preference to W124/W201 parts improves the shift. Scrap W202s are easier to find and my local scrapyard has a few in. The EPC shows some shared part numbers but not the majority. Does anyone know if W202 gear lever and shift rods will fit my W124?

I'll put up some pictures of my cars and the conversion once I can work out how to attach images!!

Hope there is some interest and thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum.

You can use the gear lever and rods from a w201 or w202, but the rods will need to be lengthened by around 45mm. There is no difference in shift quality between the w124 and w202 as the lever and rods setup is basically the same.

The pedal box in a w124 is the same as a w201, so are easy to get hold of.

Just be sure that the flywheel you have is for a 6cyl engine, as although it will bolt on the crank, it will play havoc with the ecu.
Many thanks for your help.

I didn't realise there was a difference in length of shift rods - a useful piece of info! I shall probably raid these 202s at the weekend then. Not sure yet whether I will extend the rods of just find some from a W124. I suppose it might be worth finding out how much they are new.

With regard to the flywheel, I was lucky enough to buy a complete engine and manual 'box from an '89 W124 300E, so I shall leave that as one unit and transplant the lot. Unfortunately the rest of the car had been crushed otherwise it would have provided everything I needed.

Another query I have is about the transmission mount, specifically the transmission crossmember. Again the EPC doesn't seem to help much but I assume the auto crossmember is different to the manual? If so, would one from a W202 manual work or do I need the W124 part?
The w202 crossmember wont fit the w124, you can either find a manual w124 item, or adapt the auto crossmember to fit.

Another thing you will need is the front propshaft section from a manual car, the auto prop is not long enough.

Also you may want to find a 3.64 ratio diff, the auto diff with a manual box feels high geared.
Okay, thanks for the knowledge. It's a real help. I guess I just need to wait until someone is breaking a manual W124. Can't find one at the moment as always seems to be the case!

Higher gearing is one of the motivations for doing the swap. With the four-speed auto with 1:1 top it feels like it needs another gear when driving fast on motorways and A-roads. That and I fancy a manual box is the 300 as my other two are autos.

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