Mercedes Pagoda W113 5 Speed Conversion Getrag 265

Everything you need to do the conversion is listed below.
All parts are cad designed and laser cut/cnc fabricated.

Adapter plate (Getrag to Mercedes bellhousing)-    
Special stepped bolts  8 No.                       
Spigot bearing adapter bush
Adapter ring (which assures concentricity)

Gearbox mounting bracket (Getrag 265 to W113)    

Knurled stepped bolt to lock speedo cable

Gearshift linkage brackets to attach merc linkage arms to getrag   (pair)   

M130 flywheel (only needed if starting with automatic car)   

*Parts needed from BMW.
BMW flexi coupling and 6 bolts - (replaces Mercedes flexi coupling) available from BMW.
BMW propshaft end  - available from me or breakers/scrap yard.
Speedo drive parts from BMW (to enable cable driven speedo on W113) BMW part No’s Speedo worm gear: 23221490119, spacer washer: 23121630150 & the bit that the cable fastens to is: 23211207772.
Getrag rubber mounting bushes 2 No. (If these did not come with your donor gearbox) from BMW part No. 23711175732

The Kit

Fitted to a 280CL


Step By Step Procedure

Remove original  4 speed Gearbox, gearbox mounting plate, and propshaft.

The prop shaft needs to be shortened by 135mm.
Send propshaft to specialist for shortening and balancing (Highly recommend Propshaft Services of Heathrow)
They have done quite a few of these now and know exactly what they are doing. (tell them Mark sent you and they will know what you want.)
You will need to send your complete propshaft together with a donor propshaft end from a suitable BMW (available from any breakers yard).
Some clever people have chosen to get a propshaft from a saloon Mercedes and alter this, thus leaving their original propshaft unaltered, just in case someone wished to return the car to original gearbox at some point in the future.
Expect to pay around £100 for a shortening/balancing.
See diagram below

Note the shaft will be 1200mm when re-fitted
Ask your propshaft specialist to shorten the shaft to 1190mm with the sliding spline “ fully” engaged, this will allow plenty of room for play either way.


Note (Some clever people have chosen to get a propshaft from a saloon Mercedes and alter this, thus leaving their original propshaft unaltered, just in case some future owner wished to return the car to original set-up. – I can supply all necessary dimensions if you wish to do this)

With the Mercedes Gearbox removed – take off the Mercedes bellhousing and remove the cover from the front of the gearbox that forms the throw out bearing guide. Fastened from inside the bellhousing with 4 bolts.

Re fit this cover/guide to the bellhousing using m8 countersink nuts and bolts as shown. On two pictures below.
The throw out guide is now fitted to the bellhousing in the original location but now it is actually fitted to the bellhousing rather than the gearbox.
Make sure to countersink the holes on the back of the bellhousing just sufficiently to ensure the bolt heads will not sit proud of the surface.

Fit the concentric stepped aluminium ring (part of the kit) to the rear of the bellhousing. This is esessential  to ensure absolute concentricity between the getrag and the Mercedes Bellhousing.
It will become obvious as you assemble it.

Prepare Getrag 265 for conversion

Install Mechanical speedo drive parts as listed above (or you could opt to fit an electrically driven speedo)
ALLGEARS of Nottingham can fit these mechanical speedo parts for you at a very reasonable price if you do not wish to open the gearbox yourself. Neil of ALLGEARS has now done dozens of them so is very familiar with it.

Remove Getrag original bellhousing (if it came with your donor gearbox) and discard.

Carefully cut off the two extended shifter mounts on top of getrag, these are part of the gearbox casing so be careful not to cut off at too much of an angle, Cut off straight at the point where the casting begins to extend outwards forming the shifter mountings, then file off the sharp angle. . See picture: -


Carefully cut off the getrag throw out bearing cover just above the dust seal.
This will cut quite easily by hand with a descent hacksaw. See picture ( this picture shows getrag with the throw out guide removed)


Fit the 8 No. stepped studs to the adaptor plate ( lie the adaptor plate on the Getrag and you will note which way to fit the stepped studs) Use 2 nuts on each stud to tighten the bolts then remove the nuts

Connect the Getrag to the Mercedes bellhousing with the adaptor plate in between.

Pic 5.jpg  

Install the input shaft bush on the tip of the getrag
The bush has been machined to be a slightly tight fit and will need to be heated up to fit over the shaft.

Ensure the chamfered edge of the bush is located facing towards the engine. See picture: -

Go and make yourself a cup of tea – you know have a 5 speed for your Pagoda better than any


After tea…..

Fit the two small angled brackets (part of the kit) to the top of the getrag as shown on the picture below.These nicely become the new mounting positions for the original Mercedes shifter connecting rods without modifying the original rods.

Fit New Clutch and pressure plate to engine (suppose you could leave this alone but seems wise to put a new one in at this stage)

Fit New BMW Propshaft flexi disk to rear of gearbox

Shorten shift linkage using stub splined part of Mercedes and part of getrag shift rod
Trial Fit shortened tie rods and shortened shift link as shown. Ensure correct adjustment and operation of gear shift.


Temporarily remove tie rods and shift linkage to ease gearbox installation.

Fit Gearbox using new support bracket (part of kit)and BMW mounts Part No.23711175732

Fit shortened propshaft.

Install new speedo cable available from SPEEDY CABLES approx £45.00

Reconnect reverse wire switch

Why the Getrag 265
Has removable bellhousing as does the Mercedes (most gearboxes are fixed bell housing ie. cast as one unit)
Has same input shaft geometry as Mercedes (slight difference but no engineering necessary with kit)
Similar ratios to the original zf 5 speed box giving a nice overdrive ratio of 0.81 in 5th gear

This equates to a speed of approx 82mph at 3500revs (when fitted with the 3.92 diff). I can send a copy of this spreadsheet to anyone who wants to try different combinations.
I also considered many options before opting to do the getrag conversion but looking at all possibilities the getrag265 seemed to win hands down on every consideration.

Firstly it is a terrific box with a bomb proof reputation. It is used by many top end race enthusiasts as the transmission of choice and can handle abuse at 600hp all day long.

The 265 came in two variants both 5 speed but significantly different.
The 265 5 speed overdrive this has an overdrive 5th with very similar ratios throughout its range as the original zf box.
The 265 close ratio 5 speed - this has a 1 to 1 5th gear and is known as the “dog leg” box because of its race shift arrangement.
When searching for a gearbox it is important not to end up with this variant as it looks very similar.

It is the Overdrive version of the 265 that is best suited for the pagoda.
The getrag265 was fitted to many BMW cars throughout the late 70s and 80s
it was generally fitted to the high end cars like 635s and M sport ranges etc.
By inserting this part No23221490119 into the above website you can start to research just how many BMW car models the 265 was fitted to and over what time period this gearbox was used.

Copyright © 2011, BSc Mark Turnbull