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  #1  
Old 05-20-2019, 06:24 PM
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Trans swap with no lift.

Just wanted to get some input. '75 240D W115.
I just finished resealing my new trans and am trying to decide if I can leave the engine in and do it from the bottom, using chocks and a set of ramps or pull the whole thing out through the top with the cherry picker. I'd rather not work under jack stands.
Just wanted to get some thoughts.
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2019, 07:17 PM
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None of us would rather work under jackstands so we buy the good ones instead of the cheapo products sold at Walmart and the chain auto stores like Advanced and Azone. If an MB has solid, no rust jack points a good wide-base set of jackstands can be nearly as safe as a lift.

Using jackstands is much more simple that removing an engine transmission assembly too. I have a set of ramps which are composite material and I much prefer the steel jackstands to that.

I've see people build 4 wooden platforms using house framing lumber to set the car tires on too. If you're concerned about being under a car then you can trust wood to keep it off the ground.

I wouldn't pull an engine just to swap transmissions. There's too many alternates.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:41 PM
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Cinder blocks. Work great. Turned the correct way. Good enough for a house good enough for a car. Lol. Get it as high as u want. All 4 wheels. I like redundancy too.

Way easier to just pull a trans than whole engine and trans. I just finished my 1975 300d engine swap. The trans is easy compared to that.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:23 AM
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I wouldn’t put a car on cinderblocks. I also wouldn’t be concerned about a car on jack stands if the surface underneath is sound, and you wave the tires on. If anything, I’d put it on stands with 2x10s cut to reasonable lengths and placed under the tires.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:39 AM
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The rental of a low profile transmission jack is probably a good move. With the car up on sturdy jack stands, the trans jack will make the job go smoother and safer.
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWhitmore View Post
The rental of a low profile transmission jack is probably a good move. With the car up on sturdy jack stands, the trans jack will make the job go smoother and safer.
I had (possibly still have) a transmission jack "attachment" that fit onto a normal floor jack. It worked just fine for pulling and replacing the transmission, though it wasn't a Mercedes (helped a neighbor replace the 6sp manual in his Nissan Maxima).

That job I did on jackstands in a garage. While I never felt unsafe under the car, I would recommend using the "heavy duty" jackstands simply because they are taller and have a wider base.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:42 AM
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I would not use cinder blocks and I would not get under a car supported by cinder or cement blocks.

Good luck!!!
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
I would not use cinder blocks and I would not get under a car supported by cinder or cement blocks.

Good luck!!!
Agreed!

I used to do it but would not now, and do not recommend it. Cinder blocks are strong when used for their intended purpose. Otherwise can be quite fragile.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:14 AM
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Do not use normal cement blocks to support cars. I am chicken in sliding under a car unless two support systems are present. Solid concrete blocks might do for one of them. Just not the webbed ones. This has been warned about for a very long time. They are not really strong by design of the concrete mix. In a way even designed to break fairly easy so you can fit them in.

You do not want to land up like all the past wives of Orson Wells. The old entertainer. Famous for his war of the worlds broadcast in the late 1930s. He was about four hundred plus pounds.

All his past wives had something in common to complain about. After being married to him they all were flat.

I have lost muscle mass at my age but I moved a 114 automatic transmission reciently. As mentioned not that heavy but you will want a low profile transmission jack. You just do not have good leverage positions while under there.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:20 AM
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In 82,I did my 70 pontiac wagon's turbo 400, with blocks and wood.4 foot high at rear end 5 feet at trans. Man stupid.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:47 AM
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If you haven't got a pit or a lift then I advocate doing more work and removing the engine.

It is more work (though to be fair a 240D doesn't have many tricky wires to label!) but it is safer for you as a DIYer and potentially better for the gearbox input shaft which can get damaged if you accidentally leave weight hanging on it whilst you are struggling with the lump of a gearbox under the car.

There's a big difference in just picking up a Mercedes transmission by yourself and thinking "that's not so bad" to trying to manipulate the sodding thing with one arm in a confined space under a car (that is hopefully suitably supported!)

If you really really don't want to remove the engine get one of those transmission support lift things that fit onto a trolley jack - but I warn you even with a piece of cheapo attachment junk like that it still will be a pain in the arse...

...measure the height of a transmission - measure the height of a transmission on a cheapo bit of attachment junk on top of a trolley jack - then realise how high you need to lift your car (and how big your axle stands really need to be!)
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2019, 10:47 AM
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I agree on not using cinder blocks. I have seen this warning repeatedly because they can crumble in an instant, especially with a metal surface resting on them.

I did the transmission swap on my 1980 W116 300SD with good jack stands and getting the front end really high in the air.


When I rebuilt the transmission in my roommate's 1991 W126 350SDL, I did it safer and put the vehicle up on wooden wheel cribs.


Strapping the wheels so they won't roll off is a good idea.


Just be aware that accessing the bolts that attach the transmission to the engine can be tricky if the transmission housing has recessed bolt holes.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:19 AM
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Post Routine Tranny / Clutch Service

I wish I still had the grisly photos of the fools who used cinder blocks think it was O.K. because it worked before....

One young man had his head caught between the final drive and the bottom of the car, his Mother found him there a couple days later when he was getting ripe and plenty of flies....

Once you have it raised up and blocked in place, SHAKE THE CAR to see if your supports are any good .

I'm getting old and so the last time I bench pressed a tranny it wasn't any fun, I have no idea how much a loaded VW Beetle transaxle with brakes on it weighs but it's not light .

As far as damaging when you're mating the tranny to the engine, get two long bolts and cut their heads off, screw into the bell housing, this supports the weight so no damage by side loading occurs .
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  #14  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biopete View Post
Cinder blocks. Work great. Turned the correct way. Good enough for a house good enough for a car. Lol. Get it as high as u want. All 4 wheels. I like redundancy too.

Way easier to just pull a trans than whole engine and trans. I just finished my 1975 300d engine swap. The trans is easy compared to that.
With the Cinder Blocks I use for the stated purpose I filled in the holes with Concrete.
However, I prefer the 5x6 and 5x11 wooden blocks that someone threw out on trash day that I scrounged.

You can also put one end up on auto store Steel Ramps and use blocks on the other end.
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  #15  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:45 AM
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I have not removed the Mercedes Transmission but I bought a Harbor Freight Transmission Jack when I pulled and re-installed my Chevy Astro Van Transmission (which may be a heavier transmission). It worked OK.

Using the Transmission Jack means you need to have the Vehicle high enough that the Transmission can roll under it and of course flat surface to roll on.
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