"From: "Michael" <michael@thepatio.net>

A tad more expensive than a $1.99 toggle switch... but a heck of a lot more elegant:

BERGWERKS "Kick Down Switch" for first gear starts: SOON TO BE OFFERED FOR THE 928


This module apparently works well on all the 928 4 speed automatic transmissions UP THROUGH the '87 model.

I "previewed" this at the '02 Frenzy, but it does not work on my '88 S4, and it does not work on Dr. Bob's '89 S4. Apparently there is a slight difference in the '88 and later automatic transmissions (which nobody has been able to identify) that prevents them from starting in first gear when the kick down switch is activated as the car comes to a stop.

SORRY - it is an elegant and very "customizable" approach to first gear start. Wish it had worked on my car.

Gary Knox
West Chester, PA

Just to add fuel to the fire :), my '88 S4 A/T gets first gear starts in "D".

I'm wondering what it would take to make the A/T manually downshift to 1st while rolling and not having to floor the pedal. Now THAT would be something.

-Adam Birnbaum
'88 S4 A/T

I guess this will take the fire up a notch.

My '88S4 auto (manufactured in mid/late '87) will drop to first gear if the shifter is in "2", when speed drops below 20kph. This is without kickdown engaged, and my foot can be completely off the throttle. The first gear drop is a little rough, with a slightly jerky clunk.
Paul Gotter
he he.... more smoke .....
My 1988 928s4 (late '87 built, registration early 88) does not go into first gear unless I convince it to do so. It needs to be almost in a standstill situation, and I really have to engage kickdown or completely floor the pedal. It just likes the second gear best....
I'm almost sure they changed the valve body somewhat late 1987.
'88 928s4 cherry red


Mine is an early '88 (SN 0064) and if starting from a dead stop, will always drop into 1st if I push the pedal more than 1/4 of its travel. If I'm going under ~24 mph and push the pedal to the floor, it will drop back into first gear. No unusual noises, no clunking, no hard shifts.



From "Porsche 928S Automatic Transmission A28 Description of Operation", booklet WKD 490 521, dated 09/85

Page 18
"The car always moves off in 1st gear ..."

Be nice to know exactly what the change was to make the transmission start in second gear. Steve Cattaneo was developing a modification to reverse the change - I don't know whether he is ready to talk about it or not.



Excerpts from the 1988 Service Information Technik ...Spring of 1987....."in the past cars with an A28 automatic transmission always moved off in 1 st
gear and shifted down into first with a noticeable jolt before stopping while rolling to a stop . A changed shift program in the valve body now makes it possible to also move off and roll to a stop in 2nd gear for certain operating conditions . If the throttle valve is not opened by more than 26 degrees while moving off the car will accelerate in 2 nd gear.....another possible move off version acceleration is slow at first and wide open throttle valve takes place at about 12.5 MPH the car rolls away and shifts down into 1st gear at 12.5 mph . Then the shift up to 2 nd gear then takes place at a road speed in excess of 31 mph"........ The changed moving-off program was introduced gradually in spring of 1987 "......New upshift and downshift program in selector lever position 2..."the car rolls off in first gear and shifts down into first again briefly before stopping while rolling to a stop. The braking effect of 1st gear is still effective while coasting up to about 50 mph, before the car shifts up into 2nd gear."
..............................................................Guys I must be
missing something but it appears that simply by putting the shift lever in position 2 (note they do not say putting it into second gear) you can have first gear starts all the way to 50 mph . Seems like Porsche(Mercedes) added a sport mode 50 mph 1st, about 70 mph 2nd by using position 2 . Normal driving rolling off in 2 nd gear is not such a bad thing ! saves gas , saves the engine . This does indicate that it is all done in the valve body strange how it was introduced gradually in the spring of 1987 which helps explain why some older / newer cars are not consistent no simple vin # cut off .
Jim Bailey
928 International


>first gear starts all the way to 50 mph . Seems like Porsche(Mercedes) added a sport mode 50 mph 1st, about 70 mph 2nd by using position 2 .

No matter whether my gear selector is in 2, 3 or D, 1st gear goes up to ~52 mph, 2nd gear to ~81 mph if I keep the pedal to the floor.



Jim missing something? Not likely. This bulletin explains the operation of my 89 S4 perfectly. Pop it into position 2 when stopped and I get a 1st gear launch until I move into 3, whereupon it will go up through 2nd and 3rd gears. I can hold it in 2nd by shifting back to 2 before it shifts into 3rd. Most of us 87+ S4 AT owners have become very familiar with this shifting drill, although this provides further insight into how it came about.

Soon after getting my car, I was disturbed by the harsh way the tranny downshifted into 1st if I placed the shifter in the 2 position as I slowed down and questioned it here. It looks like Porsche was upset with that downshift jolt as well, which would happen in the pre-somewhere mid-87 cars when left in D, so they went to the 2nd gear stop and start with the shifter in D (or 3). In a way this is reassuring, as I had been thinking my tranny is out of adjustment. Porsche seems to be indicating this is inherent in the design. In every AT tranny I have driven the drop into first is vacuum modulated to reduce the
pressure and soften the downshift, even in a mid-50's Corvette I drove. In that car, if the vacuum line came off you were cautioned the tranny could be damaged by the harsh downshifts. There is a vacuum modulator on the 928 AT, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on the downshift into 1st. It's not a severe clunk, but it is quite noticeable and struck me as odd for such a sophisticated car. Those technical service guides are fascinating.

89 S4


Correct the 2nd gear start was gradually introduced in the spring of 1987 ....no specific vin # cutoff, no specific date
Jim Bailey
928 International