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  #1  
Old 10-31-2014, 10:08 PM
VT220D's Avatar
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W123 Automatic transmission advice needed

I could use some advice from the automatic transmission experts out there.

I have an 80 300TD with an OM617 NA and automatic transmission. The car has been sitting for about a decade so it only has 265k. However it will need some major maintenance and brake work before being put in service. So far I have only yard driven it and the other day I noticed a slight shudder when going into reverse.

I have no direct experience with Mercedes automatics outside of a few short drives. I much prefer a manual transmission and I have all the parts to convert this car but my daughter will need to drive it and hopefully my son will learn on it.

My questions are what can I expect from this transmission generally? Is 265k near the end? Outside of a filter and fluid change what maintenance items and adjustments are critical to longevity? For instance, should the B2 piston be replaced preemptively? I'd like to freshen the transmission and squeeze another 25k out of it if possible. Am I nuts? Wait I can answer that last one!

Any help is appreciated.
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1969 220D 5 Speed (OM616)
1983 240D 4 Speed
1985 300D Auto 376K
1985 300D Auto 275K
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2014, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Quebec
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Assuming your car has its original drivetrain, the 1980 300td NA has a 722.118 transmission.

The version of the .118 used on 1980 NA cars is different from other models as it has no Bowden cable or throttle linkage connection to the transmission. Shifting is basically controlled by vacuum and an internal governor.

I don't know what would cause the shudder going into reverse, internally, but a worn or broken transmission mount could give something like that.

These units are as long lived as any other Mercedes automatic. The answer to longevity lies more in how it was treated on the way to 265k, than what you do now. That is how I see it, anyway.

Best to change the transmission fluid and filter, then drive it and report how it performs.
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Mac
2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2014, 10:46 PM
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Do you know if it is the original trans, or if it has been rebuilt sometime ago?. It is really just a crap shoot if no records have been kept. It may last a week or 10 years, you just don't know. As said, a filter and fluid change wouldn't hurt.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2014, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT220D View Post
I have no direct experience with Mercedes automatics outside of a few short drives. I much prefer a manual transmission and I have all the parts to convert this car but my daughter will need to drive it and hopefully my son will learn on it.
I think you pretty much answered your own question. Remove and discard automatic transmission, swap in the manual, teach the offspring to drive it, and enjoy.
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Anyone who thinks a 300D is fast drives too slow.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 351,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 21,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, otherwise stock.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2014, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I know it's always a crap shoot and even though the maintenance record is very good it ends at 200K so who knows. Since I know so little about these transmissions I wanted to be sure there wasn't some hidden "gotcha" or "they all do that" issue.

Skippy - I'm getting some resistance to that idea but it's my preferred approach. I guess I'll run it and be ready for a swap if it lets go!
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1969 220D 5 Speed (OM616)
1983 240D 4 Speed
1985 300D Auto 376K
1985 300D Auto 275K
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2014, 04:46 AM
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Generally speaking the 722.1 suffers from front pump trouble and knackered splines on the planetary gear castings - though so far I've only really heard about that from transmissions fitted to diesel engines. This could be because "diesels" tend to get driven further and many / some "diesel owners" tend not to look after things as well because owning a diesel is all about economy...

...I'm guessing you've got an early 722.118 with a throttle linkage and an adjusting screw instead of a vacuum dashpot.

But the first thing to do is to check the serial number on the side of the casing. At 256,000 miles it could have something totally different in there. If that is genuine mileage and an original not rebuilt transmission then that has to be a record.

For more 722.118 related information I started this thread

722.118 Automatic transmission rebuild (Monster DIY)
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2014, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for that information. I have much to learn about Mercedes automatics! My transmission doesn't have any throttle linkage or cable. It's the type with vacuum control only. According to Zacharias it's a 1980 only part though I'm sure I could swap in another model using the appropriate linkage.

I'll tune it up and see where it takes me. If it dies and I can't convince my daughter to go with a 4 speed I'll work through it using your huge DIY on the subject.

While I'm at it I want to thank for all your DIY's. I've learned a great deal!
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1969 220D 5 Speed (OM616)
1983 240D 4 Speed
1985 300D Auto 376K
1985 300D Auto 275K
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2014, 03:17 PM
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I am not sure if the .118 in the form you have it (vacuum only) is exclusive to 1980, but I suspect so. I believe the '78s and '79s had the version with no vacuum and throttle rod.

Just FYI, the .117 version of that transmission is also vacuum only and was used in the four cylinder w123s (240d). It is not considered a direct interchange but I have one in my 300td right now, after my .118 died.
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Mac
2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2014, 07:52 AM
Stretch's Avatar
Gettin' outa chokey
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT220D View Post
Thanks for that information. I have much to learn about Mercedes automatics! My transmission doesn't have any throttle linkage or cable. It's the type with vacuum control only. According to Zacharias it's a 1980 only part though I'm sure I could swap in another model using the appropriate linkage.

I'll tune it up and see where it takes me. If it dies and I can't convince my daughter to go with a 4 speed I'll work through it using your huge DIY on the subject.

While I'm at it I want to thank for all your DIY's. I've learned a great deal!
Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacharias View Post
I am not sure if the .118 in the form you have it (vacuum only) is exclusive to 1980, but I suspect so. I believe the '78s and '79s had the version with no vacuum and throttle rod.

Just FYI, the .117 version of that transmission is also vacuum only and was used in the four cylinder w123s (240d). It is not considered a direct interchange but I have one in my 300td right now, after my .118 died.
These change over years are tricky. I think I've come across someone with a 1980 rod and no dashpot too. My '81 is vacuum only and I think it went on for a bit longer too but at some point or other the 722.118 was replaced by a 722.405. The when stuff happened information seems to be regional dependent as well. Despite rumours of efficiency Mercedes administration is a bit hard to understand. I can not see why they decided not to give the 722.118 a different number when it went from rod and adjusting nut at the back to vacuum only. It would have helped us novice car fixers in the future.

Another example I recently sent someone a replacement 722.112 valve body but we found out that there too is a difference between early and late...

...pain in the arse!
__________________
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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