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Mercedes Hymer Automatic or Manual gerabox

6703 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  teemyob
What type of gearbox [ automatic or manual ] on a M. Benz engined Hymer would members suggest is best for long life and reliability
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hi peter,

depends upon age, cars always go for auto. older autos on 'van chassis unsure, but if they are still ok now there should be no problems. there is the sprintshift which was a short lived automated manual 6 speed. mine is one of these and have had no problems though others will say otherwise. manual gearboxes on 'vans are fairly bulletproof. don't know if this helps.

I would recommend a auto box, I have a Hymer 640 with a sprintshift box, best thing ever invented. When we drive over the mountains to Spain it saves your left arm from being twice as strong as your right one.
Ran a 97 312 Sprinter with a manual box for 11 years. No problems.
Now have a 56 616 Sprinter with a full auto box - so far no problems - but only 5 months so far.

I have been told that automatic gearboxes are more expensive to repair, cause the engine to use a bit more fuel and a vehicle with automatic cannot be towed if broken down. I have owned several vehicles with automatics and I prefer driving them especially in traffic. But motorhoming on the open road just change into 5th gear and sit back anyway.

merc auto box

hi peter, The 5 speed auto on 318 hymer very good. jeff.


Sprinter, depends on age.

1st Choice - True Auto
2nd Choice - SprintShift
3rd Manual

You will usually find an Automatic Sprinter (Auto with Torque Converter) or SprintShift are quite well sort after.

The SprinShift is just a manual box with an extra gear and an Automatic clutch, drives okay.

SprintShift has now been dropped by Mercedes for the 2006>on Sprinter. They only have true autos or manual. The SprintShift has been handed down to VW's Crafter that Mercedes build for them and beeen re-branded "ShiftMatic".

On certain Mercedes True Automatics, the towing weight is limited to a mere 750kG. So beware if you want to tow a car or heavy trailer.

SprintShift is similar to what Fiat and Iveco have that they call "ComfortMatic" and "Agile", Renault's is called "QickShift 6"

Our is Mercedes is a SprintShift and we have had a lot of issues with it (including the Mercedes Technician not be able to start the because he did not realise that you had put the gearbox in Neutral by way of pressing the brake and side shifting the gear shift!).

Common dislike with the SprintShift is the very short 1st gear, designed as a kind of crawler gear. Jerky initial set off and gearchange from 1st - 2nd. Other than that when it is working it drives like a dream. If you have Mercedes Cruise control even better as not only can you change gear manualy without pressing a clutch or easing off the accelerator but the cruise does not cut out. In other words, if you are cruising at say 50, you can down or upshift manually.

Would I have another? I would try and avoid it and go for a true auto which narrows it down to Mercedes Sprinters.

Hope my advice helps?

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