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brownae 08-11-2003 01:42 PM

Services books
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I am a new member, today is my first day. I just brought a 1983 280SL (euro) last week. I am looking for some service books or service CD's. Also I have a problem with the Trans, sometimes when I first start to drive it seems like the car is stuck in low gear. After I stop and go two or three times it starts shifting normal again.

bmunse 08-11-2003 05:02 PM

Nice car! Factory color?
I have a 85 280sl. My wife and I just returned from a two day top down trip from St Louis to Keokuk on the eastern side of the Mississippi and then returned on the western side. Very scenic. Great fun. We took bikes which we barely used.
You have a vacume modulator on the transmission. you also have a kickdown cable. If the diaphram of the modulator is leaking, that would cause a delayed shift but it probably wouldn't get better as it warmed up. But you never know. The modulator is located on the left side of the trans. Easy to get to. Pull the vacume line off and if trans fluid runns out the diaphram is bad. Install a new modulator. It is easy to check the kick down linkage for sticking. It is attached to your throttle linkage. Check to be sure it is returning all the way.
Do you know that your car actually normally starts off in second gear? It only stasrts in first when you push the throttle far enough to engage a micro switch that downshifts it.
I bought a service manual cd on ebay. It is a ripped off copy from the Mercedes original. You can find them there if you want. You probably already know that your car was never available in this country. Also the service manual for the 107 body doesn't offer info on the engine you have which is a 110 6 cylander so you will have to get a separate manual for a car that had the 110.
I have found to be very helpfull in getting parts and info. Tony or Tom in New Orleans are the guys to talk to. personal Email me if I can help.

brownae 08-12-2003 09:55 AM

Thank you for your quick response. Yes it is the factory color. The car is in very good shap, it just needs a little TLC. I will check the modulator and the kick down linkage this weekend and let you know how it turns out. It seem that this problem only exit at start up. This morning as I was going to work it would not shift. I put the car in "L" and drove it for about two blocks and then put it back in "D" and it started working. How do the modulator work? What is it's funtion?

When you the mdulator is on the left side is that looking at the trans from the front of the car or the rear?

bmunse 08-12-2003 10:01 AM

While sitting in the drivers seat. I think that is the way most manufacturers do it.
I think that you have a gummy valve body. It would be good to check the modulator and the kick down valve but I doubt that is the problem. It is more likely a leaky seal or a gummy valve and my money is on the gummy valve.
What is the color and what is the smell of your trans fluid? I guess that it is brown rather than pink and it stinks. If that is the case get a trans filter and fluid change for a start.

brownae 08-12-2003 11:03 AM

I had the filter and fluid changed last week the old fluid look perrty good. The records indicate that it had been changed 6-17-02 also many of the orings were replaced ( T/F kit, Mod/cap, F/pump seal/Oring, kick/dn oring, mod/oring, gov/oring, dip/st/oring, speedo/oring, reg/oring, cap, teflon/rings). The repair order said it was brought in for steam from underneath the car. It costed the the previos owner about $700.00.

bmunse 08-12-2003 11:25 AM

That information is very informative.
I would love to know the conditions that led up to the steam( pronounced smoke).I do hope they cleaned your transmission cooler when they worked on your trans.
They have had the trans out and apart. A kickdown piston shifts the trans from 1 to 2 so they were in that area of the transmission. They were also in the governor which could also cause the problem.
I suggest that you take this problem to the tech help section of this forum. I don't work on these every day anymore. The tech section has guys who do.
Thats what I would do. I would also add a can of trans seal conditioner to the trans fluid. It can't hurt and it might help. Make sure you don't overfill it.(suck some fluid out before adding the conditioner)
Are you sure you are stuck in 1st? could it be in 2nd?Remember what I said about your car actually starting in second.

brownae 08-12-2003 12:07 PM

The car shifts one time at about 20 RPMs. Also I have observed that the speed meter does not read until the car is going about 15 or 20 MPH. This only happens when the trans is not shifting right. When the tran is working ritht it performs like new money.

Also there is a plate attached to the door post that say the car uses 205/70/14 tires but the owners book says 195/70/14. When I put on the 205s the front tires rubed when I turned the wheel so after read the owners hand book and saw the recomended size I put on the 195s and they work great. But I am still woundering about the plate that is afixed ot the car.Why is it different than the book???????

bmunse 08-12-2003 12:31 PM

I don't know about the tire size discrepency. Our car had new ones when we got it three months ago. I'll check tonight and let you know what size and what the door tag says. as far as the tire rubbing, you may have had body damage that went back together a little off. Also your springs may be weak. Wait, I just realized that you have custom wheels don't you?(picture) They may have a differant offset than stock. Normally one size (195 to 205 )wouldn't rub.
Take that info about the shifting/speedo inoperative to the tech forum. Somebody there will know exactly why those two items are related.

Palangi 08-12-2003 09:25 PM

My mechanic had some 107 Manuals for sale.

He won't have your engine manual, but had pretty much everything else.

bmunse 08-15-2003 03:22 PM


I don't know about the tire size discrepency. Our car had new ones when we got it three months ago. I'll check tonight and let you know what size and what the door tag says
Sorry about the delay, Brownae
Our car has 195's and no door sticker. No rub either.

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