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  #1  
Old 06-23-2001, 12:39 PM
bhatt's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Hello all,

Test drove an '87 300SDL today which I'm considering purchasing. I will obviously have a prepurchase inspection done, but have one quick question for all of you.

I noticed the tranny flared under accelleration in one of the gear changes (can't remember which, but it had to be either 2-3 or 3-4). Car has 150k miles on it, and was looked over completely by the dealer at 100k. Owner asked them to change everything they could find wrong (and they did.. springs, shocks, glow plugs, etc.) Tranny fluid was changed at the time.

Since then, the owner had the dealer check out the tranny once and they said it's "no cause for worry" (not sure if this is true or if the present owner is just trying to make a sale..)

I checked the dipstick (warm, engine running, after a 10 mile drive including a highway run) and there was almost no fluid showing on the dipstick.. just a little drop at the bottom.

So my question: Assuming this car has up to 50k miles since the last filter/fluid change, is this tranny toast or will a fluid/filter change bring it back? My '83 300SD shifts funny (though not as bad) with 2mm less fluid on the dipstick than it should have, so I assume no or very little fluid showing is a bad thing.

Current owner seems to know little about cars other than to have the dealer "change oil, check it over" at regular intervals. Owner doesn't see what the problem is, because it isn't very apparent when driving the car.. however, it scares the hell out of me...

Cause for concern? Great car at a great price? About to get into a tranny replacement project? Let me know your thoughts...

I should also mention that although I didn't try putting it into reverse, the shift from Park-Drive was very quick (less then 1/2 second) as compared to my 300SD (2 seconds in summer, 3 or so in winter)

Thanks!
Neal
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'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2001, 03:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
If I were checking the car and you owned it I wouldn't worry you with the problem most likely. If I were testing it for purchase I would absolutely note the problem.

There is a good chance that a proper adjustment can take up the slack that is occuring in shift overlap.

Flaring ocurs because the level of shift overlap necessary, changes as the seals get hard and the clutch packs get thinner (longer distance to apply). Because the thing hasn't been serviced properly and because it has the symptoms of wear I give it a C- without even driving it. Unfortunately those trannies are only bullet-proof to about 150k and you are there. They should last you 300k if you accomodate the shift condition and/or keep up with its adjustment.
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Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
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Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2001, 10:31 AM
bhatt's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 421
Steve,

I'm a little confused by your response... are you saying these trannys last 300k only if properly maintained from the beginning or that I can hit 300k if I begin proper maintenance (adjustments, fluid changes, etc.)? I guess my question is how many more miles to go with proper maintenance? None or up to 150k??

Thanks!
Neal
__________________
'83 300SD 335,000km (207k) mi SOLD
'87 560SL 163,000km (101k mi) SOLD
'86 300SDL 356,000km (220k mi) SOLD
'92 500SEL 250,000km (155k mi) SOLD
'90 300SL 140,000km (87k mi) SOLD
'01 S430 260,000km (161k mi) SOLD
'03 SL500 167,000km (104k mi)
'07 GL320 CDI 4MATIC 289,000km (162k mi)
'07 S550 4MATIC 170,000km (105k mi)
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