It's very rewarding to achieve small victories in MB DIY maintenance. Since acquiring my '84 300D, it has had a quite bothersome rattling in the gearshift housing or thereabouts. I disassembled it a couple of months ago to see if I could decry anything obvious, but to no avail; I just let it rattle on, unless I rested my hand on the gearshift knob and pulled backward slightly. That seemed to quiet it down a bit, but I got tired of keeping my hand there all the time, especially if I was beset with a particularly surly bout of itching.
So last night I tackled the problem anew, and found the culprit. I had to remove the housing, and then the horizontal shaft assembly directly bolted to the chassis. This gave me access to the arm from the shaft assembly and the linkage to which it was attached. This was the problem area: there was no bushing/grommet affair between these two items, and was doubtless the cause of the rattling. The entire assembly sits no more than 3 or 4 inches from the driveshaft, and that was probably the primary source of vibration.
I found a variety pack of grommets, some radiator overflow tubing, and some flat E-ring clamps (to replace the lost U-clamp that mysteriously disappeared during removal). I was able to fashion a new (and fairly impressive) bushing assembly on the suspect linkage. I re-assembled everything post-haste, and now I'm back in business with a 100% quiet gearshift! How gratifying...
Now, onto the v-belt replacements.
Grey/black '84 300D, 194K