Josha37: I looked down in the shifter area under the console and it all looks tight and fine, nothing obstructing. I can move the linkage underneath without an assistant, but I do need clarification. I'll take apart the linkage and see which direction to go for the problem.
Aquaticedge also mentioned the "valve body"; and Josha37 added to pull up the console, so I'm not sure what you mean by the valve body.
I have done very little work on the tranny in our MBs.
thanks for more help,
'85 300TD W123
'83 300D W123, Daughter's
'80 300SD W116