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Old 04-25-2002, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dallas Area
Posts: 380
Newbie questions

I just bought an '86 300E and have the following questions:

1. The automatic transmission fluid level is above the max. mark on the dip stick. What is the best way to remove the excess fluid?

2. I do not plan to use synthetic in the engine and transmission. But I would like to use synthetic gear oil in the differential. Am I asking for trouble with this or is it ok? I am wondering if it would leak around the seals.

3. I just found that the rubber boot on both the lower ball joints are torn and am planning to replace them. Do I need any special tools?

4. Any recommendations for shop manuals. www.thebenzbin.com and www.gapa.com are sold out of them. Any comments on Haynes or Chilton manuals. I particularly am not too keen on the Chilton one.

Thanks in advance.

cheran
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:00 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,752
1. If you plan to do your own oil changes, a device that uses vacuum to extract the oil through the dipstick tube is a popular but not universally accepted method. You can use the same device to extract excess transmission fluid. You might check an auto parts store for a generic fluid suction device with a long tube that fits in the transmission dipstick tube. The transmission pan has a drain plug so you can let out some fluid that way without needing a new pan gasket.

2. I've never heard of synthetic gear oil causing problems with differential seals.

3. On other MBs, you need special tools that aren't economical for the DIYer to own. It's best to take the control arms to a shop and have the balljoints replaced there. Te W124 might be a different beast in this regard.

4. The first place you should check is FastLane using the button at the top of the page. I don't like depriving the forum hosts of revenue, but you can check the parts forum for factory W124 CD manuals. You can also check ebay, but most of the CDs on ebay are unauthorized copies. A UK Haynes manual is available from UK on-line bookstores and several US distributors. It's not a factory manual but seems to serve me better than most folks who post their opinion of it. There's another hardcopy manual for the W124 that you can find more about though an archive search. There's also an Alldata subscription service if you have a good internet connection.

Sixto
91 300SE
87 300SDL
81 300SD
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,503
Coupla quick answers to your questions, coming to you all the way from Plano.

1) You are checking the a/t fluid with the engine running, right? It's supposed to be done with engine idling, trans in park, and fluid completely warmed up - as in 15 minutes of highway driving. It will read well above full if checked with the engine off.

Best way to remove excess fluid is using a suction device with a tube down the filler. A topside oil changer works nicely, but there are probably other options.

2) I've always used synthetic diff oil in all my MBs, never a problem. I use Mobil 1, but other products should be just fine too. Easy to change, just get the correct size allen head socket (14mm, I think...) and be sure you break the upper fill plug loose before removing the lower fill plug.

3) A special ball joint press is required to install the new ball joints. Your best strategy is probably to remove the lower control arms from the car and take them to a machine shop to have the replacement ball joints pressed in. Of course, the shop manual says you need a spring compressor to disassemble the front suspension.

Best manual is the official MB 124 chassis manual. About $125 directly from MB - I think they also sell it at this site? Two CDs, about 1gig of information. Some folks have complained about the organization of the manual, but I find it's something you come to understand over time. Lots of information.
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:13 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,752
Quote:
Originally posted by jcyuhn
... removing the lower fill plug.
Lower fill plug? I know what you meant

Sixto
91 300SE
87 300SDL
81 300SD
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