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  #1  
Old 01-28-2005, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cape Cod
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Repair or Replace 722.369 Tranny?

My 1994 E320 Cabriolet transmission started acting up before Christmas. Used to be, reverse gear needed just a tap on the gas pedal to move the car backward, it sorta leaped. Now, when I put it in reverse, the car sorta shudders and I only slowly "feel" reverse gear setting in. The car will back up on level pavement, but if I tap the gas, the tranny just winds out ... then sometimes lunges back, like popping a clutch on a manual transmission. But I can't back up the slightest incline (which means I'm always looking to park so I can pull out forward!). All forward gears work fine. In fact, it used to "hang" in start-up gear when the engine was cold, but that problem seems to have vanished.

I drained the tranny and torque converter, added six new quarts Dex/Merc and it seemed a bit better, but not much. Reverse works when the engine is cold and just started, I guess because the ATF is stiffer when cold. But once the ATF has warmed, reverse is a sometimes thing.

My limited research on the Web and elsewhere indicates these trannys have problems at 75,000 to 100,000 miles, and mine now has 100,000. I suspect the rear clutchpak is failing (B2 band or something like that) which requires pulling the entire tranny. But is there some simpler problem I may be overlooking? Or something I can try before getting the tranny pulled?

I figure if it must come out, I will need more than just a repair of the reversing problem. Should I have this one overhauled, or should I buy a rebuilt one? One place I called said they had a used one availble ... but I don't feel inclined toward buying someone else's old tranny. Your advice is appreciated.

Also, anyone knows a good MB tranny mechanic on Cape Cod, I'd appreciate the suggestion, too.

Thanks! This site is really helpful!

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  #2  
Old 01-28-2005, 05:10 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 114
Welcome to the joy of w140 tranny ownership.

(Like everything on this car - when it works, it's the best... when it doesn't work, it's expensive...)

Phoenix Reman Trans will sell you a rebuilt tranny for about $1400. (This is the least expensive I have found from a "big transmission rebuilder" kinda place). Also, they have a tranny dyno, so in theory you would know that the unit was put together right prior to it leaving their facility. They also have some ***** on the web (there is a site www.phxreman-sux.com), but when you do the volume they do (several 1000 trannies per year), you are going to have a few deals that went bad.

I found a small indy shop (German Transmission Company) and they (he, one man shop) did the job (total, including resealing the main seal on the engine) for $1400. From my research, this price seems too good to be true, but so far, so good.

In the end, I think you will find that doing a full rebuild (either by rebuilding yours or trading in a rebuilt unit) is the way to go. From there, you can pay what you want (as long as you pay lots or lots and lots), so I would look at warranty and other signs of good faith. A good independant shop (doing the R&R) and sourcing the trans from a national place (like Phx Reman or (I think) Metric Mechanix) is probably the best deal. (Should run about $2500 total).

Of course, if you are near Phoenix, German Trans is by far the least expensive...

-David
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2005, 05:19 PM
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I realized later that this wasn't a w140 car, but it is the same basic 722.xxx tranny...

-David
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2005, 06:31 PM
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There are two very well-regarded Mercedes independent mechanics that I visit.

One shop will install a rebuilt transmission, purchased from the dealer with a two year warranty, for $2,000.00

That is $2,000, out the door, including removal, re-installing, and sales tax.

Another shop that I frequent, the famous Mr. MB Motors that we all rave about on this board, uses a local rebuilder that specializes in MB transmissions, and will do the whole job for $1,500 installed. Enrique says that he has installed over a hundred transmissions from this rebuilder, and has never had a problem.

I happened to speak to Enrique today about his advice on the W210 E420 or E430, and he commented that they use an electronically controlled transmission, and that this newer type 5-speed tranny costs about $4,000 to rebuild.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2005, 09:01 AM
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Location: Ashland, KY
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I had the same problem. I wound up getting a used transmission for $600 from a guy in Texas - shipped via Yellow Freight. He gave me a 90 day replacement guarantee. That was almost 3 years ago and I have put over 20,000 miles on it. I kept the original transmission with the intent of tearing it down to see what the problem was and rebuilding it but haven't had a chance to do it yet. I was told it was more than likely the front pump on the transmission - don't know if this is true or not.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2005, 11:14 AM
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Location: Phoenix
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You see a lot of people having problems at 100k but I think well cared for the 4 speeds are usually good for 200k. But sometimes a problem is just the luck of the draw.

I would say get your transmission rebuilt in your area by the best, most honest shop you can find. I say keep the one you've got because you know there isn't much wrong with it. The reality is that it probably doesn't need that much - just some work on the front pump. But nobody wants to do that job. Everbody wants to rebuild the whole thing. And there is a good argument for rebuilding the whole thing - it's about seven hours just to get it out and in the car.

If you were in Phoenix, or even in the southwest, it's a no-brainer. You take it to German Transmission Co. Like Dave I had mine rebuilt there, for about the same price, and it's been bulletproof. But that's an anomaly - it's a one man shop, the guy can rebuild transmissions in his sleep, and he's just starting up the shop. I would think where you are you should be able to get it for $2k or a little less.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2005, 11:28 AM
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STAY AWAY FROM AAMCO!! Most of those shops don't know Mercedes transmissions and will do more harm than good.
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2005, 07:06 PM
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I think there might be a little confusion, as Suginami suggested that the trans could be sourced from the dealer and installed at an indy for $2000 total. I checked with several dealers, and none of them would supply a tranny for under $2500.

I'm thinking that maybe you (Suginami) meant that the older (pre-722.xxx) could be rebuilt, with dealer parts, for under $2000, but anything newer would get expensive real quick...

(Just trying to make sense of the info...)

-David
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2005, 07:23 PM
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Whatever the stock transmission that is used in 124.032 cars is the one that MB Stars installs, out the door, parts and labor, plus tax, for $2,000.

To be more clear, they are purchasing and installing a rebuilt transmission, from the dealer.

It comes with a one year, 12,000 mile warranty.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2005, 08:46 PM
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MB factory rebuilt transmissions have gone up in price over $1,000 in last year - for example in my case one day $1700, next day $2700. Not sure if this is attributable to the exchange rate or something else.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2005, 11:54 PM
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I am curious how much the tranny for a 87 260E would cost from the dealer with the two year warranty. I was quoted 3650 from the dealer that includes labor. Does that seem way over priced ?
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2005, 03:32 PM
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My dealer quoted $4500 for a rebuilt (w140 500sel). Indy quoted $2600 (for almost the same exact deal - professionally built tranny sourced from MB or other reputable source).
-David

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