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  #1  
Old 01-02-2009, 03:00 AM
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400E Transmission Shifts from 1st to 3rd

Hi, I have a 1993 400E.

It is shifting from 1st to 3rd gear. If selector is in position 2 it will not shift from 1st gear to 2nd gear, instead, it will stay in 1st gear unless I put it on position 3 where it skips to 3rd gear.

Remember 400E/E420's have 1st gear start. When it worked correctly when lever in position 2 it will start in 1st gear and shift to 2nd.
Now on positon 3 and D it will start in 1st and shift to 3rd. If I move to position 2 it will jump back to 1st gear. The only way to get it on 2nd gear is go above 50 mph and then move to position 2 and it will downshift to 2nd gear but REALLY soft.

Any help?? Will changing fluid/filter will solve this? or do I have a valve body issue? Vacuum issue?? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2009, 09:05 AM
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Sounds like a B1 band problem. Possibly the self-adjusting piston for that band has gone bad.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2009, 10:32 AM
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400E Transmission Shifts from 1st to 3rd

Do I need to unmount the transmission to fix this self-adjusting piston?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2009, 11:20 AM
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The B1 piston is behind the large front cover on the passenger side (front).
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MERCEDES Benz Master Guild Technician (6 TIMES)
ASE Master Technician
Mercedes Benz Star Technician (2 times)
44 years foreign automotive repair
27 Years M.B. Shop foreman (dealer)
MB technical information Specialist (15 years)
190E 2.3 16V ITS SCCA race car (sold)
1986 190E 2.3 16V 2.5 (sold)
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2009, 07:15 PM
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400E 1st to 3rd Gear shift

Oh by the way... when the car is cold (first 5 minutes of use), 2nd gear works sometimes with no problem. As the car heats up it stops working. By the way, you never told me if I have to unmount the transmission or not.

Please advise if changing oil and filter might help. I just bought the car. It has 71,000 miles. Oil looks pink, looks new in my opinion. You think maybe it has wrong fluid type causing this problem. I have another 400E that shifts firmer. This car shifts too soft in my opinion. Especially when I force 2nd gear going 50 mph it engages too slow and revs up slowly (takes about 3 seconds to engage un less I give it a little gas it will engage faster of course)

Please advise.

Let me know. Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2009, 12:56 AM
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Location: jersey
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it could be the servo but its a bit of a pita to remove and reinstall - you will need to fab a tool as the 2 springs on the servo are not soft at all - i have used 2 prybars and watch your fingers it will bite you, but its my guess the trans may have to be removed -- swaping the oil out will only clean the unit up a bit before a rebuild == jz
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2009, 02:48 AM
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400E Shifting from 1st to 3rd Gear

I just thought that I might 've had the small chance that it could be a pressure-related problem, due to bad fluid or adjusting the vacuum modulator. Just want to make sure that it's not a simple problem before I rebuild the transmission. It is hard for me to believe that at 71k miles it would fail.

Thanks alot!
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2009, 08:07 PM
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Problem solved!

This morning I took down my valve body. Checked all pistons, pushed them in and out, increased the pressure by one turn on the modulator, changed fluid and filter and everything started working as it should.

I now have the common light 2nd to 3rd gear flare, but I know I can fix it with the K-1 piston kit some time later this month.

Thanks to all for your advise!
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2009, 08:22 PM
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Sure you don't have a big vacuum leak somewhere?

-tp
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luis77 View Post
This morning I took down my valve body. Checked all pistons, pushed them in and out, increased the pressure by one turn on the modulator, changed fluid and filter and everything started working as it should.

I now have the common light 2nd to 3rd gear flare, but I know I can fix it with the K-1 piston kit some time later this month.

Thanks to all for your advise!

reach around the back of the air filter the boden cable is their and turn it out clockwise ( you can do it by hand ) it will extend the shift point to a greater speed before shifting and take the strain off the 2 / 3 shift so it does not damage it anymore than it already is - add about 10 MPH to the 2 / 3 and it will work better - jz
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