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Old 12-07-2003, 09:46 PM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
I dropped a small snap ring in my transmission --can I leave it? 83 240D

It seems like a joke. I was winding down the rebuild of my 1983 240D transmission, Manual. I had replaced all the main bearings, synchros, shims and large outside snap rings succesfully.

On literally the last gear I had to put back on, on the outer countershaft, i noticed the gear was upside down. When I removed the snap ring,(172) I dropped it into the transmission through a very small hole on the bottom of the housing.
The snap ring is relatively small, about a 1/2' in diameter and I think made of soft steel.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but would it be SMARTER to leave the snap ring in there and reorder it and install a new one on the end of the countershaft? I noticed on my rebuild that the 3rd Gear synchro spring had been eaten alive and digested by the transmission and that thing is 5 or 6 times bigger!
If I take the chance to reopen the transmission to get the ring out, I will have to remove and reinstall the main bearing snap rings and main bearing shaft and shims. I think I was just lucky to put the thing back together correctly the first time~~~~~~

I dropped a small snap ring in my transmission --can I leave it? 83 240D

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Old 12-07-2003, 11:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Attach a small magnet (from a telescoping "retriever") or use the retriever itself through the drain plug or fill plug and fish it out.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to fish something up.

Don't leave it in there, it will break the gears if it gets in the teeth at speed. Big nasty.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 12-07-2003, 11:46 PM
GottaDiesel's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,564
psfred hit the nail on the head. You need to be clever with the magnets... you may be able to use one magnet to "drag" it to where you need it (depending on what the case is made out of) and then fish it out.

Take some pics if you can.

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Old 12-08-2003, 12:47 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: norte de californie
Posts: 276
i once dropped the plastic casing of a bic pen into a borg-warner marine transmission. couldnt get it out. i almost freaked, especially sense i was selling the boat. told the buyer what had
happened. he said not to worry , that it would be eaten up.
tranny gears are very tough metal.

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Old 12-08-2003, 01:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,141
I would think a steel piece could make problems- fish it out.

Thinking hardened gears is fine, but what happens if a piece gets in a syncro or damages a bearing.

Michael McGuire
83 300d
01 vw A4 TDI
66 Chevy Corsa
68 GMC V6 w/oD
86 300E
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:54 PM
Palangi's Avatar
L' Résistance
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Republique de Banana
Posts: 3,496
Maybe you could fill the transmission with fluid and try to "flush" it out??

2004 C240 Wagon 203.261 Baby Benz
2008 ML320 CDI Highway Cruiser
2006 Toyota Prius, Saving the Planet @ 48 mpg
2000 F-150, Destroying the Planet @ 20 mpg

0BAMA .......... OUTHOUSE
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:07 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 737
If you don't have a magnet but do have a Shop-VAc, you can try sucking the snap ring out.

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Old 12-09-2003, 12:44 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SW WA
Posts: 5,741
Do what you can to get it out. Way back on my very first car, I had to put new bearings in the manual transmission in a '72 Courier. Well to make a long story short one of the snap rings broke (that's what I thought since one was missing) and got into the works. It made some strange popping noises and lots of chipped teeth was the result.
Had to find a whole new transmission.

84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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Old 12-09-2003, 01:04 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 91
Other than this issue how did the job go? Difficulty?
What source did you use for instruction, and how much did the parts costs?

I am working on an auto to manual trans swap in my 240, and not knowing the history of the tranny (it is high miles) I am interested in your rebuild.



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