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Old 08-21-2001, 10:27 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 115
Well, I changed the fluid (appreciate the advice Spiderman, but I had already purchased the fluid) to Redline synthetic and the filter. Sort of messy as the pan drain plug was so tight it stripped out the allen (yep, right size, etc. Must have been worn.) So I dropped the pan and drained into a tub. Only about quart or so was in the tub, then the wind caught the cardboard I had placed under the tub to protect the driveway and flipped the tub and tranny fluid ALL over. So much for keeping it off the driveway <g>. Got the correct socket to rotate the crank to expose the torque converter. That drain plug was also extremely tight, had to use the old "combo wrench on an allen key for extra leverage" trick to get it out. About a gallon came out.

The fluid was brown, smelled ok, but I don't know what burnt fluid smells like, but there were a lot of residue patches in the pan. About 5 the size of a dime, push on them and it was silvery, slightly granular muck. Also, sections about 6 mm in diameter of what looks like friction material. Probably not what is supposed to be in there!

It's all back together and shifts no worse, and possibly a little better than before, but given what I saw, it's time to start interviewing transmission mechanics. Kind of tough to put $1700 plus into a $6000 car though (but the A/C is ice cold). We'll see.

Thanks for all the help and advice, it was greatly appreciated!!


'88 300E 265K
'91 300TE 155K
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Old 08-25-2001, 10:06 AM
Posts: n/a
You,ve found the problem

Brothe of The Benz, gehard
You're no worse for the wear after removing the sump. I can't understand how so many are having problems with drain plugs?
The "stuff" in the pan is band and clutch material after it has failed.
There's nothing else one can pass on to you except to choose your repair shop very carefully.
When mine fails I'm going to my MB dealer.
I feel they are more knowledgable about my transmission than a shop that services all brands.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from the Spiderman in Houston!!!
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Old 03-04-2002, 10:43 PM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514

Man, are you getting kickbacks from your local MB dealer or what? You sound like a TV commercial! hahaha....

Seriously, I understand the warranty and updgraded parts portion of your statement, but otherwise, I see no reason whatsoever to pay dealer prices for the EXACT SAME part I can get elsewhere for far less. OEM is OEM, whether it comes from an independent seller or from an MB dealer. I know several independent guys who keep up with all the latest MB-issued upgrades and changes just as well as the dealerships...often BETTER on the older models, cars which most dealers have very little interest in.

There are independent shops around with techs who are just as good, better in some cases, than an MB-employed tech...some of them used to BE MB-employees! You don't have to pay dealer prices to get a good rebuild, but, of course, you do have to be selective about where you go.

My 2 cents...
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it
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Old 03-05-2002, 12:38 AM
Posts: n/a
Transmission Rebuild

Well Mike I wish I was getting kick back or kick in the seat of my pants.
You're right in your statement, same part yet costs less and a tech who is as good as the Dealers Tech.
If everything being equal, then take the one that saves you bucks and offer the same warrantee.
I'm approaching 200,000 miles ands mine is still going strong, shifts as it should and no leaks, Lucky Me.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from the Spiderman in Houston!!!
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Old 03-05-2002, 07:51 AM
David C Klasse's Avatar
CheFrac is Back!
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352
I have also taken note (strongly recommended) of TRANSMEISTER, here in Orange County (for future Reference, hopefully the FAR future!).

I now have 125k miles on my 95 C280, and it shifts beautifully! Only issue is the delay when engaging reverse (who cares really!?). The car had normal trans services (one at 30k and then at 60k) by PO, then when I got it at 70k miles, I did a trans service at 80k miles, then at 100k miles, and then again at 117k miles. I have it serviced much less than 30k mile intervals because I give my transmission plenty of hard work! And I only have it serviced at the dealer (mainly due to fluid level accurateness, which "Jiffy Lube" doesn't seem to pay attention to), and it's only $70 parts AND labor.

I drive it hard, but service more than recommended; hopefully it will balance out. Every American car I've dealt with has had new transmissions before 100k (Tahoe @ 80k miles), 1992 Jeep Cherokee @ 80k miles, then at 90k miles. That Jeep is on 130k miles now......... and WHAT A PEICE OF CRAP!! (older brother's car... not much of a 'car person'). 1997 Chevy blazer transmission failed at 70k miles. Also, I have a friend with a 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 50k miles on it, and he has some slippage on hard acceleration 2-3 shifts (did trans flush at scheduled 30k). He does sometimes drive it hard, even with maintenance though, that is where I feel Benz (and most imports') accels; You can be rough as all h*ll with the trans, in congruence with meticulous maintenance, it'll last a long time (I've heard that people in Germany have serious LEAD foots, and most of their cars (/transmissions) have held up beautifully.

Anyway, I hope your trans issue worked out nicely. 50k is much too long to ignore Trans service in a $$$$$$ transmission. Even if it doesn't look burnt or brown, the fluid still loses it's lubrication abilities over time.
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)

Last edited by David C Klasse; 03-05-2002 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 03-05-2002, 08:10 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
You have the 722.321 4 speed auto in your 88' 300E
Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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Old 03-05-2002, 08:51 AM
Posts: n/a
Tramsmissiom mission

Hello Dave, it seem as if you are among the group who really understands preventative maintainious.
I don't recall if I related to my "El Cheapo" method of transmission service?
I'm a top sider and have been since the Benz was new. I change the engine oil between 3500-5000 miles. The engine oil level is down 1 1/2 qts. at change time. Fresh oil really saves those valve stem seals and giudes.
At the same time I suck the transmission sump dry then top it off with 3qts of transmission fluid. So the old tranny gets a fresh drink of fluid.
The oil pan was removed at 35000 miles by the dealer and has never been removed since then.
It is approaching 200,000 now and still strong.
I might add that I change the power steering tanks fluid the same way at the same time.
The differential lube with Lubri-moly is changed annually.
Using my homebuilt pressure brake bleeder, I change the brake fluid annually too.
My 1987 300E is an example of the performance you recieve by taking care of your toy.
Keep up the method you are doing and you too can have a 200,000 mile gas engine performance.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from the Spiderman in Houston!!!
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Old 03-05-2002, 11:08 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: secret
Posts: 3,044
Gebhard; I am replacing my 89 3ooe trans in the next few weeks. I have done extensive research on this subject and have a lot of names and numbers that may be helpful in acquiring a trans, but get ready to spend some money. They don't come cheap and installation is your responsibility. I'm going with the TBR Donnie recommended, but don't waste your time calling them directly, they won't talk to you. I can guide you to some very knowedgeable people closely associated with this forum who have helped me.
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