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  #1  
Old 05-21-2015, 10:00 PM
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Car banging and clunking when it shifts up or down

(Solution now found, I will add it into the replies below). The car will upshift most of the times ok, but downshifting it will clunk pretty hard and pretty much all the time especially at lower speeds. Like you're driving along at 10 mph with the car in 2nd gear and it has to downshift as you approach a stop sign

It's possible this is NOT the transmission, but maybe something else. I replaced the transmission mount 2 years ago and the front (or was that the rear) flex disc 7 years ago. I have it at a transmission shop now, they thought maybe the modulator was the problem so they replaced that, but that made no change. We've sort of ruled out any vacuum leak because if there was a leak, it'd clunk all the time.

Any thoughts?

1991 300d, 196k

Last edited by jbach36; 05-22-2015 at 01:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2015, 11:22 PM
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If the clunk is from the rear, check the rear differential mounts. Bad ones will make a lot of noise on downshifts. Replacing mine made a world of difference.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:28 AM
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My downshift clunks went away after adding shims to both my rear axles where they mount to the differential. Apparently a previous owner had lost the original and the axles had alot of slop.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:44 AM
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I was getting nasty clunks on all shifts until recently. I replaced the brake booster hose because it's vacuum fittings were way past brittle. Suddenly got scary smooth shifts and basically no clunk. I still get it if I let it downshift itself into first, if I shift it manually into first it doesn't really do it, or if I take it out of gear when I'm approaching a stop it doesn't do it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:40 AM
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Other ideas: worn axles, flex disc, or trailing arm bushings.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2015, 11:43 AM
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Definitely check the flex disks for play. My GF's c230K was clunking badly on downshifts, turned out to be a loose front flex disk.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:47 AM
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Check your vac again. It needs zero vac at upshift for no clunk and full vac at downshift for no clunk. If you unplug the vac line from the tranny, it should upshift fine but clunk badly at downshift.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:27 PM
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Solution found, problem fixed

The transmission shop just called. I haven't driven the car yet, but he said it shifts smooth now.

I told him when I left the car that maybe there's no "vacuum leak", but it's possible there's a "partial vacuum leak" somewhere that would cause this. I previously replaced as many rubber hoses as I could see, but it's possible there's something under the car that I can't see.

They found one of the vacuum hoses not plugged in 100% of the way that was causing the problem.

Last edited by jbach36; 05-22-2015 at 07:49 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2015, 03:34 AM
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I don't know if this was mentioned previously.

I inadvertently disconnected the Vacuum Line to the Transmission Modulator and the up shifts were nearly the same but the down shifts were extremely harsh.

People have had the Trans Modulator Cap Crack or fall off.

I am not sure if a bad Trans Modulator would have the same symptoms you mentioned.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2015, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
I don't know if this was mentioned previously.

I inadvertently disconnected the Vacuum Line to the Transmission Modulator and the up shifts were nearly the same but the down shifts were extremely harsh.

People have had the Trans Modulator Cap Crack or fall off.

I am not sure if a bad Trans Modulator would have the same symptoms you mentioned.
The transmission shop changed the modulator thinking it might be the problem, but it wasn't. Then they finally found that one of the vac lines on top of the engine wasn't fully in which was causing the problem.
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