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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: iowa
Posts: 38
Clutch has no resistance, and cannot shift into ANY gear

I fear my clutch has broken, but hopefully it is something simpler.

The car is a 1980 MB 240D, I've had it for one week.
The car had a jerky shift (it's a manual trans) when I bought it, but I had read that these old diesel MBs have "herky jerky" transmission, and the car runs like a top otherwise so I paid no mind.

Well today I went out and started it up and cannot get into any gear.
The clutch has very little resistance and I physically cannot put it into gear, although I can try to put it into R but it grinds so I don't go all the way.

I just changed the diff fluid, and what came out when I did it smelled burnt., it was nasty.
The car shifted like butter after that, while still doing the lurching when shifting into gears, mainly 1st and second.

I have had another stick shift, and have never experienced this, but maybe I've been lucky.
The car has 260k, no rust, engine sounds wonderful, interior is clean, and I don't want to lose the car.

I spent all I had on it, 1800 bucks, and don't have much to spend to get it fixed.
I have changed the oil, fuel filters, air filter, diff fluid, and did a valve adjustment (which made a huge difference, remember to adjust your valves, I cannot stress that enough!).

I can get a new tranny on ebay for 300, or get a clutch kit for 200, but don't know if I need to, I have checked the shift linkage at the transmission, and there is nothing out of place that I can see or feel.
There is no fluid under the floor mat, and no leaks under the car.
I need your expert opinion, I may have it towed to my local MB guy, but would like some more info before I do, to save his time (and my cost.) I would love to do the work myself if at all poss.

Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.

Last edited by whunter; 07-21-2011 at 05:28 PM. Reason: readability
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Soquel, California
Posts: 8,282
Have you checked the brake fluid in the brake master cylinder reservor? The reservor is two halves, a wall in between that the fluid spills over when filling the reservor. If it is empty, this could be your problem.

If it is full, then maybe it is either the clutch master cylinder of the slave cylinder leaking internally not giving the pressure the system needs to disengage the clutch.

I have an 80 240D with 322K, and it is not jerky.

Charlie
__________________
http://www.ourlighterside.com/stuff/couple-sneaked-wh/



there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! (this engine was installed only in 240D w/automatic transmissions)




Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

84 300SD 270K
85 300D 360K
82 Datsun Kingcab Diesel 483k
83 Nissan long bed Diesel 134K
80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 369k
78 240D $300
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: iowa
Posts: 38
well, the e-brake light has been flickering

for the last two days when I'm driving, sometimes. That's the light that lights up when you engage the e-brake, so I didn't think it had anything to do with the brake fluid or transmisson. I just thought the e-brake senser had gone bad, as it's an older car. Holy s**t, I just checked the brake fluid, and I didn't know it was split into two - one is almost empty! What type of fluid do I put in there, will any brake fluid work? Oh my gosh, If this helps I will kiss the ground you all walk on!
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: iowa
Posts: 38
just replaced the brake fluid

which was nearly empty, so that's good. But still cannot shift, it's like there is something blocking the shifter from going all the way. But when the car is off, I can move the shifter into any gear, even without pushing down the clutch. And the clutch still has no resistance, i can almost blow on it and it will go to the floor (still comes back up right away though). And, no fluids under the car or driver's floor mat. Hmm...
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2011, 12:52 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 268
That happened to me last month.

Probably leaking fluid from the slave. At the very least, you'll need to replace whatever is leaking -- master, slave, or hose, and bleed the system (I had a mechanic do it, but it was claimed here that it involved black magic. Sacrifices of goats with stone knives, incantations, and all).

The fact that my mechanic had 2-3 tries before he got the clutch 100% right makes me think that those opinions are correct
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2011, 12:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: iowa
Posts: 38
one more thing to add

last night I took off the rubber caps on the brake fluid reservoir to seal up a crack in each with silicon gasket-maker. It did the trick, and I figured the gasket-maker would stretch like rubber and prevent the cracks from getting bigger till I replaced them. Could that have anything to do with my problem? Would that allow air into the system? Thing is, the while I don't see a connection to my clutch/tranny issue, the brake light started fllickering the day before this clutch/tranny issue.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2011, 12:59 AM
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Location: iowa
Posts: 38
what did that cost you?

The guy I'm taking the car to says he'll diagnose for 150 smackers, I'd hate to pay out for something small, but as this is my daily driver I am willing to do whatever it takes... Would you try replacing the slave yourself?
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2011, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdear View Post
The guy I'm taking the car to says he'll diagnose for 150 smackers, I'd hate to pay out for something small, but as this is my daily driver I am willing to do whatever it takes... Would you try replacing the slave yourself?
Mechanic did the master + slave -- $450 + tax for parts and labor. He did diagnose for free, though.

If the car wasn't parked on a NYC street at the time, I would have done the slave myself.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2011, 02:01 AM
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Location: Soquel, California
Posts: 8,282
The fluid you replaced had to go somewhere. Is it wet around the slave cylinder or leaking out of the bottom of the bell housing? where the shaft fits in the front side of the slave has a rubber seal, it may be leaking around this and leaking into the bell housing. It may not be a large leak, but seaping a little over time, and that drained your reservor.

Might call for Dot 4 brake fluid, I use Dot 3 and have no problems.

The clutch like the brake system needs to be flushed out periodically. this get rid of the contaminates and hydroscopic moisture that gets into the fluid. flushing the system keeps it healthy and in good working order. you bought the previous owner/s neglicted maintenance and it has cought up with you.

here is a youtube video on how the system works. I know he talks about the BMW system, but the MB is the same set up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdf--suwqw0

$150 to diagnose the system seems pricy to me. Is this guy a MB mechanic, or some generalist type mechanic? most shops charge at least $100 an hr labor rate and you don`t need someone learning at your expence. find a MB qualified independent shop that does MB`s.

the parts, slave and clutch MC are $150 + -. then it is just labor to get it to work.

Bleeding these hydraulic systems is a PITA to do to get the air out. have to bleed from the bottom up.

You can replace the parts your self. you will need a 12mm flair nut wrench for the line to the bottom of the MC and the slave. 2 13mm bolts hold the slave to the transmission. and 2 10mm bolts for the MC. there is a rod that fits into the top of the MC, think the bolt is a 13mm. then there is the rubber supply hose into the clutch MC from the brake reservor.

remove your carpets and have some rags to catch any spills.

Charlie
__________________
http://www.ourlighterside.com/stuff/couple-sneaked-wh/



there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! (this engine was installed only in 240D w/automatic transmissions)




Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

84 300SD 270K
85 300D 360K
82 Datsun Kingcab Diesel 483k
83 Nissan long bed Diesel 134K
80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 369k
78 240D $300
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:50 AM
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Posts: 14,606
No need to pay anyone to diagnose the problem--you've gotten your diagnosis here. It's a bad clutch hydraulic system. If you're in a tight economic situation you could go to the pick n pull, find another 240d manual, remove the master and slave and install on your car. But generally installing used hydraulic parts is not a good idea. Next cheapest way would be to buy rebuild kits for master and or slave and rebuild them yourself. Don't know if those kits are available via retail stores. Or, you could buy rebuilt master and/or slave and install yourself.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2011, 11:07 AM
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Patching the rubber caps on top of your brake master cylinder will not help your problem. What needs too be done at this time is to bleed the air from the system then find out where the leak is. most likely the clutch slave, ($50) which is not a difficult job. If you take it to someone for bleeding make sure he knows the system is bled from the bottom up, do a search on clutch bleeding so you can at least determan this. Its possible that no one has added brake fluid in the aft compartment of the reservoir for years and it will take years to leak down again. Dot 4 fluid is recommended for your system.
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1985 Euro 300TD 5 spd 218K
1985 Euro 240D 5 spd 120K
1979 240D 5 spd, 40K on engine rebuild
1994 Dodge/Cummins, 5 spd, 121K
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2011, 11:18 AM
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Location: Pac NW
Posts: 690
Differential.

Had the rear end of the car jacked up while you changed the oil in the diffy? How'd the rear brake hoses look? How does the brake pedal feel? Could, potentially, have lost brake fluid through the brake system.... Those rear hoses often fail where the fitting that screws into the caliper is crimped on, leading to fluid loss.

Jay
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'83 300D (German spec.) 168k mi. - - Wolfgang (tucked snugly away for the winter!)
'87 300D 375k mi. - finally went over to "The Dark Side"
'87 300TD 225k mi.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babyjames View Post
Had the rear end of the car jacked up while you changed the oil in the diffy? How'd the rear brake hoses look? How does the brake pedal feel? Could, potentially, have lost brake fluid through the brake system.... Those rear hoses often fail where the fitting that screws into the caliper is crimped on, leading to fluid loss.

Jay
Good point. MB designed the system so that the clutch would fail before the brakes when the fluid started getting low.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: iowa
Posts: 38
So I'm having it towed right now... The shop is a mercedes specialist place, so I don't fear them not knowing what they are doing. The 150 would be taken off the total if I chose them to fix the car. They've had too many people come to get a free diagnosis, then go fix it themselves. I don't blame them for covering their asses. Yep, I've had the car for one week. When I test drove it, the shifting felt weird, but I thought it was typical of MBs of this vintage. I've done a lot of research before buying, and I replaced filters, changed oils, and adjusted the valves, so I was pretty excited about how the car ran. There was no warning besides the "herky jerky" shifting before this. I have a gravel driveway, and no garage so I think I will have the shop do this one, but I DO plan on doing most of the maintanence myself. I'm a carpenter and have worked on my cars before, albiet gas and not diesel ones. I changed the brakes once with my dad, and feel I could do the bleeding if I found another person to help me, so I will see if it is simple as replacing the master or slave and may do that myself. I wish I hadn't spent my paycheck already! Just have to make it through this week, friday is payday again. I will have to set aside some car repair savings, as this is my daily driver now. Thanks to you all, I'll keep you posted, as somebody may come across the same symptoms in their car someday.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:36 PM
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Can you elaborate on 'herky jerky' shifting? Did you try pumping the clutch to see if it made a difference? Seems like $150 is a lot of money to get someone to say the same kinds of things people on here are saying if you are planning to replacing the MC and slave yourself.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:36 PM
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