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  #1  
Old 05-02-2012, 03:29 PM
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Transmission fluid change WARNING

The dip stick will frequently give a false reading after draining the torque converter and transmission.
It can easily take several hours to re-establish the correct level.

The safe - correct procedure:

* Drain the fluid.
* Measure how much was removed.
* Write down how much was removed.

* When you are prepared to begin filling the transmission...
* Put four quarts in, with the engine off.
* With the engine running; Add the remainder of what came out.

You want exactly the same volume of fluid back in the transmission.
** Too little will burn out the clutch plates.
** Too much will cause foaming, and possible spewing from the dipstick tube.
Danger: Transmission fluid can flash fire - burn on a superheated exhaust manifold or catalytic converter.
Examples:
Fire Caused By Transmission Fluid out Dipstick Tube - Ford F150 Forum
"HOT OIL" MESSAGE, fluid boiling out of dip stick tube causing fire!!!
At the beginning of an investigation of a vehicle fire, the following scene presents itself
Transmission blowing fluid out dipstick tube - Ford Explorer Ranger Enthusiasts "Serious Explorations"

.
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1973 300D
1973 309D
1978 280SE
1980 240D
1983 300D
1984 190D

Last edited by whunter; 05-03-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2012, 04:28 PM
Flawless
 
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call me stupid / inept / unskilled

I am unable to remove the red cap on my transmission dip stick. It appears to be a press and twist type release (ala Groelsch beer), but I am unable to remove it this way?

Any advice?

After reading all the negatives associated with changing infrequently changed transmission fluid, I think I should at least keep it topped up...

1982 300SD
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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I assume you know that the cap is retained by a lock tang that has to be disengaged.

The advice for measuring what you drain is excellent, particularly with cooling systems. You know for sure if the system is full, or still airbound.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:13 PM
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you flip the black part out that's right under the red cap, then you pull out the dipstick
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccauleybil View Post
I think I should at least keep it topped up...

1982 300SD
often topping up is a problem itself
you have to properly recalculate
min and max positions are for the operating temp of the oil -> 80 C.
(30 min of driving will give you that temp.)

folks do cold check and if below min mark they add atf
which is not a good move.

ATF top-up?




.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:47 PM
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For those of us that pics work easier.

#1 and 2 are of the dip stick as it is in the tube ready to run.

#3 is how the black keeper looks when its ready to be pulled. It just snaps back out of the way while being moved as if you were raising it to the hood.
Attached Thumbnails
Transmission fluid change WARNING-cimg0117.jpg   Transmission fluid change WARNING-cimg0118.jpg   Transmission fluid change WARNING-cimg0116.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:14 PM
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Roy, isn't this method a bit imprecise in that you don't know how much fluid is in the filter? Why isn't it better simply to drain pan and TC, let everything drip for a good long while, and then add the amount specified in the FSM? Plus there's the practical matter of not catching every drop in a container....I always lose a bit of fluid here and there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whunter View Post
The safe - correct procedure:

* Drain the fluid.
* Measure how much was removed.
* Write down how much was removed.

* When you are prepared to begin filling the transmission...
* Put four quarts in, with the engine off.
* With the engine running; Add the remainder of what came out.

You want exactly the same volume of fluid back in the transmission.

.
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91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 113k mi, DD
98 E300D "Murray", Silver, 86k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, other DD
99 E300D "Winston", Black, 159k mi, son's DD
84 300D, Anthracite Grey, 262k miles, FOR SALE IN SPRING

Ten other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 185k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife (OK, I ripped this off from another board member...but my wife was born in 1961 and she is very tolerant.)
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:28 PM
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And you have to be sure there was the correct amount of fluid in the transmission before draining.

Sixto
87 300D^2
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:43 AM
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Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
Roy, isn't this method a bit imprecise in that you don't know how much fluid is in the filter? Why isn't it better simply to drain pan and TC, let everything drip for a good long while, and then add the amount specified in the FSM? Plus there's the practical matter of not catching every drop in a container....I always lose a bit of fluid here and there.
You are unlikely to damage the transmission by putting the exact same volume back in..
You must still check the fluid level MANY times, adding as needed to correct for MINOR fluid losses..

The ounce of fluid trapped in the filter will be compensated for during top off.

I am getting several calls per day:
New owners performing this service, and putting to little back in + taking it for a drive that burns out the clutch discs..


.
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2012, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whunter View Post
You are unlikely to damage the transmission by putting the exact same volume back in..
You must still check the fluid level MANY times, adding as needed to correct for MINOR fluid losses..

The ounce of fluid trapped in the filter will be compensated for during top off.

I am getting several calls per day:
New owners performing this service, and putting to little back in + taking it for a drive that burns out the clutch discs..


.
I wonder what accounts for people putting too little back in. I would think, if anything, the tendency would be to overfill.
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91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 113k mi, DD
98 E300D "Murray", Silver, 86k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, other DD
99 E300D "Winston", Black, 159k mi, son's DD
84 300D, Anthracite Grey, 262k miles, FOR SALE IN SPRING

Ten other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 185k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife (OK, I ripped this off from another board member...but my wife was born in 1961 and she is very tolerant.)
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2012, 06:27 AM
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Are there dangers to overfilling other than having fluid spew out the dipstick tube?
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91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 113k mi, DD
98 E300D "Murray", Silver, 86k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, other DD
99 E300D "Winston", Black, 159k mi, son's DD
84 300D, Anthracite Grey, 262k miles, FOR SALE IN SPRING

Ten other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 185k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife (OK, I ripped this off from another board member...but my wife was born in 1961 and she is very tolerant.)
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  #12  
Old 05-29-2012, 07:14 AM
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An interesting observation....I wonder if that's what I'm experiencing. Just did the ATF on my 91 300D. Drained pan and TC and let things drain for several hours...and replaced filter. Added EXACTLY 6 liters. Drove it around the block. This morning (car running, cold ATF) the level is at the min mark, whereas it should be 12mm below min mark. Guess I'll just drive it for a while and see if it drops a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whunter View Post
The dip stick will frequently give a false reading after draining the torque converter and transmission.
It can easily take several hours to re-establish the correct level.

.
__________________

91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 113k mi, DD
98 E300D "Murray", Silver, 86k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, other DD
99 E300D "Winston", Black, 159k mi, son's DD
84 300D, Anthracite Grey, 262k miles, FOR SALE IN SPRING

Ten other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 185k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife (OK, I ripped this off from another board member...but my wife was born in 1961 and she is very tolerant.)
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2012, 12:21 AM
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Thanks

Hey WHunter this is an opportune thread !

My experienced MBZ mechanic (indie post-dealer mech) just did several maintenance items on my 79 300D including trans fluid and filter.
He did place the removed fluid in a measuring jug.

I think he was a bit fatigued today because he got confused with the amount out and replaced.

I convinced him to double check and it needed more.(trans not engaging)
Eventually it 'seems' like he added about 2.5 mm (about 1 inch )
over the dip stick's max line when measured HOT (on level ground, engine running in park) after the 30+ minute drive home.

He did tell me it was a little "over filled" but that the older transmissions would not be hurt by it.
Whereas the newer trannies are very sensitive to overfilling (i.e. damage).

updated: drew out 21 ounces (0.65 qts.) Now its about flush with the top MAX line of dip stick.

I will keep an eye on it but can anybody give a definitive answer to whether the 1979 W123 auto trans can suffer mechanically from this amount of overfill ?

I have no problem removing some excess fluid later......
nevertheless I prefer to know.

Thanks whunter !! good thread !
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1979 300D 180 K miles
1995 C280 81 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 45K miles
********************
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
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1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD

Last edited by unkl300d; 12-05-2012 at 10:57 PM. Reason: update
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:35 PM
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My story on transmission fluid is that I have a friend who took his mercedes diesel to walmart to have the transmission serviced. They drained the fluid and then decided that the transmission did not have a way to refill it so they handed it back to him without saying anything. Apparently they could not get dip stick/filler off.

After a couple of blocks the transmission quit transmitting.

He eventually got them to get him a new unit.
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012, 09:38 PM
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Sweet scam !!

what's the address?
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1979 300D 180 K miles
1995 C280 81 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 45K miles
********************
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
SAN FRANCISCO/(*San Diego)
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:38 PM
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