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PADDLE SHIFT ACTIVATION WITHOUT THE SELECT SWITCH - SL55 AMG R230 (2003)

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Dale Minton, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. star

    star Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    It’s a 2003 - 53plate.
     
  2. OP
    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Hi Alex,
    Mine is a 2003 (03) plate model, so it seems from all the feedback that they changed (sensibly so) the ability to use the paddles at any time. There seems hope then... I'm just wondering what one will need to get done. I believe its the same gearbox and everything else looks exactly the same so maybe it's just a coding/software update thing - hope so. Would really like to hear from anybody who knows.

    Thanks guys.
     
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    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    After further investigations with my excellent Indie (T&M Motors) it seems that it's an electronics issue (there is no difference in the gearbox). The gearstick control module (all part of the gearshift assembly) was changed for the models after the 2002/3 cars, this plainly bypasses the switch because the switch remains. Although everything else looks the same one can't install "a used" module from a later doner car as it's all tied into (coded) the keyless entry and security system generally so the gear lever wouldn't release from 'Park'. It seems you can't trick the car into recognizing it, however, a "new" unit may work if they are swopped. They're quite expensive (around £500.00) and I wouldn't want to purchase one, plus the labour time to fit, only to find that it still doesn't do the job. So, the question now is: does anybody here know if such a modification has been undertaken in the past and been successful?
     
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    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    This is interesting and at the same time confusing. If one downloads the appropriate pages from a 2004/5/6 and 7 Owners Manual and read the explanation vis-a-vis the way the gearbox works they all state the same thing as my 2003 Owners Manual. To allow the use of the steering wheel paddles and for them to operate then one has to select the MANUAL mode from the C/S/MANUAL switch on the centre consul. So,, if you're in say auto mode D (in either C or S) and can use the paddles at any time to interrupt drive and up and downshift at will, how come the owners manuals for all these years (2004 - 2007) do not state such? they clearly state that one has to operate the switch first. If one can use the paddles at 'any time' why would there be a need for a MANUAL selector switch in all these models - that seems illogical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  5. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    I take Manual as always “manual mode” (i.e. won’t change on its own), when I’ve used paddles in other modes it reverts back to auto after awhile if I don’t change gear again with the paddles
     
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    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Hi Blobcat, and thanks for your reply.

    I agree, and that's how I see "manual mode" - and that's the confusing thing, it doesn't state in any of the Owners Hand Books that the paddles will operate if you're in another mode (as I can do in my Alpina and my Alpina also defaults back to auto if not used for a period) mine do not, mine will only operate once I've switched to manual mode (like it says in the book). Do yours operate if you're in C or S mode? it sounds like it does, if so what Merc model do you have and what year. Is your experience from an SL55 ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  7. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    I don’t have paddles in my SLK, I did in my W213 and they’d work in any of the 5 modes... I used them regularly to get the car into 9th when it wanted to stay in 8th
     
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    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Okay thanks, the W213 is a completely different setup and a newer development, thanks for your input though.

    I just find it really odd that some other kind replies above have stated that the paddles on their SL55's work at any time (albeit slightly newer models) but all the Owners Manuals (for 04 - 07 models) state that they don't and the Manual Switch has to be activated first - weird.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  9. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    It's possible there has been a software update that enables this that yours hasn't had. That would explain why book says one thing, car does something else.
     
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    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Hi L K,
    Sure, but it doesn't make sense because ALL the owner's manuals right through to those issued with 2006/2007 SL55's say the same thing as mine as issued for a 2003 model. As for a software update, and as I mentioned above, it seems that the gear stick control module may have been modified, however, if that is the case it seems very remiss that the Mercedes owners books produced for the later SL55's (2004/2007) do not make any mention of being able to activate the paddles without first switching to the manual setting first through the C/S Manual switch. Surely if one could use the paddles at any time (in the later models) the owner's manuals for those models would explain the operation without going through the switch first whereas the explanation is no different from my 2003 owner's book.
     
  11. 00slk

    00slk Senior Member

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    I think you'll find that the handbooks for the SL is the same whether it be SL500 or SL55 regardless of year, we have both cars and the handbooks are very similar, so why spend extra money reprinting a handbook for a few slight mods, that can spoil some of Mercedes profit margin?? Or the prove reader was on a couple of years vacation :rolleyes:
     
  12. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    You could find it was an 'undocumented' change - ie one that was a result of something else changed.
    The other thing to bear in mind is the reprint costs of changing the manual for something which to most people is minor and probably not noticed is simply not economic. The paddles still function as desired in M mode so it's only the additional functionality which was introduced. I don't think I'd be getting hung up on it to be fair. It is what it is.
     
  13. OP
    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Hi there, I appreciate your replies and that sounds a plausible explanation re the owner's manual. And you are right of course, it is what it is. ;)

    Dale
     
  14. 00slk

    00slk Senior Member

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    Remember Dale, a 'not messed with' SL55 will be way more sort after and valuable one day than a messed with one ;) :D
     
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  15. OP
    Dale Minton

    Dale Minton Senior Member

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    Yes, you are right on the button with that and wise words ;). My feelings are that this model and some cars like this generally are effectively going to be the last of an era and good unmolested ones will hold their value and could become well sought after and valuable, we'll see...
     
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