Finding genuine bevel gears as well as crown wheels of all rear-axle ratios for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) is a very difficult mission to achieve. After all, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) was first produced more than half a century ago, specifically in 1954 when the carmaker first launched the sports car.
However, Mercedes-Benz Classic just announced that it could provide some gear ratios for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) that had been out of production and availability for several decades.
By employing machine settings from the 1950s, Mercedes was able to reproduce accurate and precise parts for the 300 SL (W 198), which has been known for its remarkable looks and performance.
For decades, the standard gear ratio for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198) has been available as a Mercedes-Benz genuine part. This ratio -- 1:3.64 – allows the super sports car to achieve a max speed of 235 km/h.
However, customers were given the option to avail of alternative rear-axle gear ratios for their 300 SL models, allowing them to have their sports cars built according to their preferences. These varying ratios allowed customers to modify the driving nature of the vehicle to become a high-speed demon or a fast-acceleration monster.
Unfortunately, bevel gear or crown wheel sets of many 300 SL variants – like the 300 SL Gullwing (model variants 198.040 and 198.043, made between 1954 and 1957) and 300 SL Roadster (model variant 198.042, made between 1957 and 1963) -- have been unavailable, since a long time ago.
But owners of these variants could now celebrate, since these specific parts are available, with utmost authenticity. Rear-axle gear sets with part numbers A 198 350 00 39 to A 198 350 09 39 feature ratios from 1:3.25 for top vehicle speed to 1:4.11 for max acceleration.
On the other, rear-axle gear sets also feature intermediate ratios like 1:3.42 (for higher speed) and 1:3.89 (for higher acceleration). With these sets, rear axles of several W 198 variants can now be restored to their pristine state.
These gear sets are available under the 24-hour service at all Mercedes-Benz sales partners. Since reproduction of the new gear sets needs new tooling, Mercedes delivered original gear-cutting machines for the raw forgings to a handful of companies around the world.
As these machines have the necessary settings to reproduce the gear sets, Mercedes is able to guarantee their authenticity. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz Classic also successfully reproduced original gear sets for the W 113 (Pagoda, made between 1963 and 1971) and the 300 S and 300 Sc models (W 188, made between 1951 and 1958).
Mercedes-Benz Classic was also able to reproduce corresponding parts for the Mercedes-Benz 300 (W 186 and W 189, made between 1951 and 1962), Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100, made between 1963 and 1981), W 111/112 (1959-1968) and W 108/109 (1965-1972).
Also available are gear sets for the Mercedes-Benz W 136 model series (post-war models 170 V, 170 D, 170 S, 170 S-V and 170 S-D, made between 1946 and 1955).