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Old 12-01-2006, 09:34 PM
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transmission capacity

I have a 1980 300D and was wondering what the transmission and torque converter capacity was. In other words, how much fluid do I need for a fluid and filter change?

1980 300d on veggie
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:44 PM
TheDon's Avatar
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if you drain the torque converter it will take 7 quarts.. well mine did to register filled...

what you do is fill 6 quarts and drive it til its warmed up and fill from there... make sure to do it on flat level ground
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:51 PM
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For the 722.1 transmission with a 5 cyl. engine, it takes about 4.8 liters (or 4 quarts) to refill. When you refill, put only 3 quarts in at first. Then, start it, and go for a 20 mile highway drive to get the transmission fully warm. Then, check the fluid on level ground with the car in park, still running with the parking brake on, and add small amounts until it's at the MAX mark if needed. Be sure to wipe the dipstick off with something that won't leave lint (wiping it off with your fingers and wiping them on a cloth is good).
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:39 AM
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Mercedes-Benz Oil Guide

Oil capacity
Oil level checking procedure
Torque Specifications

Oil capacity


Park vehicle on level surface to check the oil level Check the transmission for leaks before checking the oil levelIf oil loss is severe, determine and eliminate cause.Open locking lever (6a)Up to 09/93 (illustration 1)Press locking pin (6b) to one side in direction of arrow, remove both parts and open locking lever (6a)As of 10/93 (illustration 2)Pull out dipstick (6)Wipe off with fluff-free clothInsert oil dipstick (6) up to the stop, pull out again and read off oil level.When the transmission is cold, (transmission oil temperature approx. 30 deg C) the display must be between the "min" and "max" marks for the correct oil level (illustration 4). When the transmission is at operating temperature (transmission oil temperature approx. 80 deg C) the display must be at the "max" mark for the correct oil level.
Correct oil if necessaryRe-check oil level once again.Close locking lever (6a) and insert locking pin (6b) until it engagesInsert oil dipstick (6) so that the locking clip (6a) is easily accessible and does not contact anywhere.

Torque SpecificationsNmDrain Plug, torque converter
Drain Plug, oil pan (transmission 722.3, 722.4, 722.5)
Bolts, oil pan (transmission 722.0, 722.1)
Bolts, oil pan (transmission 722.3, 722.4, 722.5)
Bolts, front axle crossmember (model 126)
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:16 AM
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A minor tweak to the list....

The 1985 California version of the W123 300DT has a 722.4 transmission. I was quite surprised when I first read this and had to crawl underneath and scrape the dirt off to read the number for myself: 123 270 76 01 722 416 02.

I drained the pan and the torque converter, got about 6 quarts out. Put 6 quarts in and will check it after going for a drive tomorrow.

My W123 car now has Mobil-1 in the engine, transmission, and differential. I'll report after the first of the year on any operational differences, including leaks, if any (none now).

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Old 12-19-2006, 08:47 AM
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Exclamation Mercedes Benz Technical Companion, page 11


I have not seen this addressed here, but apparently there is some discrepancy regarding the proper level of ATF. I type this directly from MB Technical Companion, article "Automatic Transmission Fluid, September/October 1986" that begins on page responce to a question "what transmission fluid should I use".....
Some sections of the answer include.....
Son of Dextron
What to Use
Checking ATF Level
".....The upper mark on the dipstick indicates the correct fluid level for a hot transmission with a fluid at 80 C/176 F. Since this temperature is reached only after prolonged driving and even then can only be estimated, the fluid level check will not be accurate under most shop conditions. Experience has shown that actual fluid level can be determined more accurately in a cold transmission with fluid temperature between 20 C/68 F and 30 C/86 F......"
Maximum Levels
Here are the maximum fluid levels for specific transmissions in U.S.-version Mercedes Benz cars (refer to Fig. 1):
I)280SE.....and 300SEL 3.5:
II)All models, except those in I above, started in production before the introduction of torque converters as noted in III, IV, and V below:
III) Starting in....1972.....W108/109......W114/115.....all W116....all W123.....except 300TD turbo......and except all turbo-diesels......"
IV) All W201 and W124 series cars:
V) All W126....All W107......starting in model year 1981. All W123 series cars starting in 1982 equipped with turbo-diesel engines (300TD turbo-diesel starting in September 1981): Maximum Fluid level in a cold torque converter transmission of type W 4 A 040 (722.3) must be 5 mm (3/16 in.) below the minimum (lower) marking.
ATF and Filter Changes

This is a lengthy but informative article, I only quote the 5th section that relates to W123 Turbo-Diesels......because that's what most of us discuss here.....perhaps someone knows of an official MB Tech Bulletin that explains this......


'85 300D, "Max, Blue Benz", 155K, 27.0 MPG
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:43 PM
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Mine is also a 1985 California emissions 300D with the 722.416 transmission. Following filter change and converter drain it takes 5.5 quarts. Four is the initial fill. Another 1.5 quarts puts it right on target.

While I am on here I thought I would throw in a couple of observations in the hopes they help someone. If when taking the stick reading (car driven, level ground, engine idling, parked at least 2 minutes to let slosh on the dip stick tube walls run down) and you still see a lot of "levels" on the stick and are wondering which is the "right" one, I have found it meant I was low on fluid. After adding around a pint to a quart things start looking much better. I also found I need to wait about two minutes between adding fluid and taking the next stick reading to give the fluid time run down from the tube walls. At least I presume that is what the two minutes is accomplishing.

The other observation I thought someone might be able to use regards transmission fluid change interval. The owners manual specifies 15,000 miles for severe conditions. For normal conditions no interval is given. This is waay too long. I have found 30,000 miles works very well. I once let it go to 56K and it was not pretty. Weird shifting began and even much scarier was I felt a slippage once. Yikes! I changed fluid and filter immediately and all was forgiven. I measured the contaminants in the filter media (as best I could) and found about 60 grams of stuff in it, ok in the grand scheme of things I would say. So 30K intervals for this guy.

Last edited by 85 300D; 10-05-2019 at 09:58 PM.
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