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Old 06-13-2008, 02:16 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: southern CA
Posts: 416
W123 Trans issue

Hello all....I have a transmission problem looking for your input.

The car is: 1983 300DT 49 state car 4 speed auto.

The trouble is: when I manually shift down from drive into second/third and then try to shift back to drive I either have to go to neutral then back to drive or put counter clockwise pressure on the stick to get back to drive. If I don't do one of these the car remains in second/third.

My first guess is this would be nothing more than a linkage issue. What do you all think?

Thanks for your time.


1972 280SE 4.5
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Old 06-13-2008, 02:18 PM
johnathan1's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Downey, SoCal
Posts: 1,190
Get underneath the car and make sure the bushings are still good, and the linkage isn't bent.
Current cars:
2000 ML55 AMG, 174k miles
2003 C240 T-Modell, 202k miles
1995 S320, 207k Miles
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Old 06-13-2008, 02:56 PM
JimFreeh's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posts: 3,366
How much do you have to move the lever to change each gear?

That'll tell you if your bushings are bad.

14 E250 BlueTEC black. 45k miles
95 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 66k miles
94 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 152k miles
85 300TD 4 spd man, euro bumpers and lights, 15" Pentas dark blue 274k miles
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:39 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 30
The lever shouldn't have play in it and the shifter should line up in the gates with the correct gears. I'd guess bushings also. They're cheap (less than $2 ea.), but they aren't easy to get to (on a W124, at least).


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