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Old 05-10-2001, 11:44 PM
Ron D. Harriman
Posts: n/a

My friend recently got a big box of parts and kits from
the PartsShop for his elderly 380SL. This afternoon he
and I dug out the trans filter kit and the service CD.
There's a bit of 2->3 slip and I want to see if clean
fluid helps that at all. We have no data on the last
filter change, so that automatically gets done too.

Rehearsing procedures first, everything looks fine
except for the torque converter drain. I know where
it's -supposed- to be, and I know that it's the same
size as the pan drain. (And yes, I know they take a
different crush washer.)

Two problems here. First, the rectangular port in the
grille of the T/C housing is partially occluded by a
crossover exhaust pipe. Although I can't yet see the
drain plug, it's hard to imagine that I could get to
it easily around this pipe even if the plug were at
perfect BDC over the service opening.

Second, I'm trying to hack around the necessity to
rotate the crankshaft by hand. One look at the fan
shroud clearances and the realization that we don't
have an appropriate large socket put me off that idea.

I said, er, perhaps if I pull the distributor prime wire
and goose the starter a few times, we'll be fortunate
and have the drain plug rotate into view.

Did that. No sign of a plug. SOL? Alternative hacks?
Anyone who's done this model and can offer a lead
would be of great value.

Ron H

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Old 05-11-2001, 01:21 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
I'd say you're gonna hafta find that big socket.

I tried bumping the engine over to locate my torque coverter drain plug. Best I could do was just seeing the edge of the plug. You've only got a couple minutes of angle to hit the access window.

Once I rolled the crank by hand, I was able to center the plug without problem.

If there is a crossover pipe blocking you from using a hex drive socket, think about using an appropriate sized allen key, 5mm I think.

You definitely want to drain the converter, as that is where a large portion of the fluid resides.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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