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Old 03-19-2002, 08:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 17
Need some transmission advice.

Hello all, I would welcome some input in regards to my 1985 380 se, 225,000 miles. This car runs beautifully and looks quite nice for an older car, a very nice ride indeed. Black paint with tan leather, I thoroughly enjoy the car. After owning this vehicle for 5 months I realized a new transmisson was in order and was not overly dismayed because I plan on keeping the car for several more years. Being a faithful daily reader of this forum and a devoted archive reader I decided to have the rebuild done by a reputable mercedes independant mechanic. I was told that his transmission work was done by a very qualified tech who rebuilds units for a local mercedes dealer, and would include a two year, 24K mile warranty for $1900. Not cheap, but not overly expensive, very reasonable in my opinion. This is removed, rebuilt, and re-installed. The core from my vehicle was to be rebuilt, so a two week wait was in order, not a big problem, I have access to a second vehicle.
I was notified today that my core was unable to be rebuilt due to previous work being done to it and incorrect parts being used, some of which were entirely wrong for this transmission. I was told that in lieu of that I now have a completely rebuilt after-market transmission, which will carry the same warranty (slightly higher price than with my core) if I have the radiator removed and replaced.. Another reason for the failure was coolant from the radiator(aftermarket and inferior I was told ). I changed the tranny fluid (and filter) twice prior to taking it to this shop and did not notice any coolant or water in the drainage pan (or on me for that matter!) If a new radiator is in order, so be it.
Why the transmission failed is a moot point, it was not of my doing. My primary concern is having a rebuilt aftermarket transmission as opposed to a rebuilt Mercedes unit.
I welcome your suggestions and advice and thank you in advance, Rainman.
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Old 03-20-2002, 05:54 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,421
I'm not sure what they mean by after market transmission. No one else makes MB transmissions. It might be that they put in a transmission that was not the transmission that was in your car and that was rebuilt by another shop. As long as they're comfortable with it and stand by the warranty, you shouldn't have any problems.

What I would do is compare the transmission number in the unit you now have with your original unit. The part number and transmission model for your car should be something like 126-270-46-01 722.310. If what's in your car now reads differently, it was originally off another type of MB. It's a common practice among rebuilders. I don't know how acceptable it is.

FWIW, when I got my 81 SD, it had a 722.309 transmission (280E) tweaked to work in my car. I've since replaced it with a 722.315 transmission (300Dt) also tweaked to work in my car. I have no idea who does all this tweaking.

91 300SE
81 300SD
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Old 03-21-2002, 09:31 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 17
Talking Thanks

Sixto, thanks for taking time to read the post. I went back to the indy and asked very specific questions about the trans that will be installed. Indy's reply was that his rebuilder knew immediately that this was not the original to the car, different numbers etc. The rebuilder also was irate that because of the sloppy work performed previously on that particular trans, his rebuild would be more labor intensive. The bottom line is that I will be getting the same trans back that I brought the car in with, along with the warranties etc. Definitely not an "aftermarket" as I previously thought. I feel relieved knowing it is the correct unit and was rebuilt to the proper standards and specs One more item off my "to do" list and hopefully the most expensive.
Happy motoring, Rainman
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