This is from Larry Bible, ASE Certified Master Mechanic, on the www.mercedesshop.com/shopforum/ website (go to "Diesel Discussion" under "General Discussion"):
"There are a few non turbo, Euro 300D's in the US with a manual, but the turbo's are rare.
If you want a stick, you would have a much simpler, easier to work on, and reliable car by finding a manual 240D. The 300D's are loaded with unnecessary gadgetry. Most people are capable of cranking up their own windows, pulling closed their sunroof and turning up the temperature when they get too cold. All the 300D gadgetry is just something EXPENSIVE to break.
Conversion can be done, but it is not bolt up. The shifter rods will need modification and a driveshaft will probably have to be fabricated. If you do this, be sure to use the adapter plate that goes with the manual transmission and ensure that you take care of the pilot bearing issue."
I did this with a dead 240D as the donar car and found that a 280SE stick was able to donate the right length driveline. It was done with engine in place, the fun is getting the upper bell housing bolts outs with a looong extension. my email is email@example.com if I can help.
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