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  #1  
Old 09-20-2020, 06:14 PM
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190E manual swap: clutch doesn't fully disengages and shifter doesn't work

I completed a manual swap on my 1992 190E 2.3. I couldn't find a complete donor for parts, so I had to source all the parts individually. Here's the setup:
717.412 trans from Europe, I think from a 190E 1.8 1992 or 1993 (I believe those 1.8 cars never got the single mass flywheel...), unknown condition or mileage.
Single mass flywheel
LUK Rep Set clutch kit for a 1986 190E 2.3
New master and slave cylinders for 1986 190E 2.3
Shifter from a W202 I think, it has reverse next to 2nd and it's writted "Classic" on the knob on a plastic cap with the shift pattern on it. It doesn't look like the usual full rubber 190E manual shifter. IIRC it has 202 and 129 part numbers on it. I rebuilt it with all new bushings before putting it in the car.
Shift rods from unknown origin, bought with shifter
Pedals from unknown origin, bought with shifter
Delrin shift bushings


The car runs Megasquirt so the timing marks not being on the flywheel is a non-issue.

The trans shifted very well on the bench. When I installed the transmission, there was no driveshaft on the car. I could go into all forward gears no problem. It is very difficult to shift into reverse next to 2nd. You have to lift the knob and engage 2nd and find the exact spot where the shifter will get into the reverse gate. Getting out of reverse is also very tough. I also found out that reverse could also be engaged by putting the shifter below 5th... This position doesn't light up the reverse lights, but it does put the transmission in R. I adjusted all the rods properly, I can put the allen wrench in the hole and all 3 linkages line up. However, the rods don't look like they belong in that car, but they don't bind or anything. When I installed the driveshaft, shifting some of the gears got more diffcult. I thought this was because the output flange would move a bit when shifting and that this would go away once the car got moving. Now if I start the engine in neutral and try to engage any of the gears, it simply doesn't work. If I start the engine in 1st with the clutch depressed, it will move the car forward a bit. Then I can release the clutch and move the car, it seems normal. I bled the clutch 3 times; 2 times using pressure from the left front caliper and pushing into the slave bleeder and the third time bleeding it "normally", pushing from the slave into a bottle. On the three occasions, I had no bubbles in the tubing at the end of the process.

I think the clutch doesn't fully disengage. I saw that in the Hanes manual there is a version of the pedal/master cylinder where you can adjust the length of the pushrod via an adjustable eccentric bolt. I don't have that on the car. The MB service manuals I have on my computer don't talk about transmissions... Maybe I have the wrong MC/slave/pedal combo? Were there different part numbers through the years? Or maybe it just didn't bleed well, but then I'd have to find another bleeding method... Also, the shifter might be wrong for the transmission, but at the same time all 717's had the linkages setup the same way, so in theory any shifter should work... Maybe I installed the lockout plate on the wrong side? What do you think?


Last edited by Rocambolesque; 09-20-2020 at 06:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2020, 03:47 PM
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Your shifter is either missing the gate plate on the bottom or it is broken. The gear lever would not be able to be put into the position below 5th with that in place and intact.

All the clutch hydraulic parts for all years are the same or have been superseded at least for single-mass flywheel. I'm unsure about dual. I had a friend who did a manual swap on his W201 have this exact issue you describe not long ago. We bleed his clutch again, but only minimal bubbles came out and no change. I uninstalled and reinstalled the trans and clutch to make sure he didn't do anything incorrectly and found no errors, but when we put it back together the clutch worked properly. Did you use the correct bolts for the pressure plate with the thick lock washers?
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2020, 06:39 PM
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For the shifter, I'm sure I put the gate plate back in. However, I might have put it backwards... This might explain why getting under 5th is super easy and using the "real" reverse is almost impossible. I can check this relatively easily by removing the shifter.

As for the flywheel, my memory is fuzzy because I did that 2 years ago and did not take much pictures. I remember removing the automatic flexplate and finding a thick spacer ring under it. But I cannot remember if I put that ring under the flywheel. I don't think I did because I recall measuring both the thickness of the flexplate and the spacer and finding out they were the same thickness as the flywheel center. I cannot find the EPC diagrams for the clutch/flywheel/transmission... If I had that, it would help a lot. I think I bought 8 new bolts at the dealer. I don't remember if there were washers or not.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:01 PM
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There are no washers on the flywheel bolts, I'm asking about the pressure plate bolts. If these are too long or you did not use the correct washer it's possible they could bottom out before clamping down fully on the pressure plate.

The spacer rings are not used with the manual flywheel. Make sure you did not incorporate those somehow into reassembly.

I have a late 5spd shifter handy I can post a pic of later this evening.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2020, 10:16 PM
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Is there something that goes between the slave cylinder pushrod and the clutch fork or is it just a metal to metal contact? A friend was pressing the pedal while I was under the car and I could hear a strange clunk coming from inside the bellhousing... Maybe the clutch fork is broken/bent but I never noticed it?
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2020, 05:29 PM
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The rod makes direct contact with the fork. On the opposite side there are tangs that grab the pivot that may have broken off, which I've seen a couple times. I think the fork would still probably press into place but maybe it could cause the issue you have going on. I'm unsure.

Here's the pic of the shifter. This one is has a W202 part number, dunno if it differs from the one you have. I might have an extra shifter that is correct for your trans. If interested I can check for it.

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  #7  
Old 09-26-2020, 08:42 PM
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I fixed the shifter today. When I removed it from the car, I noticed the gate plate was placed in the right direction, but the "parallelogram pin" was not contacting the plate at the right spots.
I put a pin to line up all 3 arms, this was all the way to the right, ready to go in 5th (or secret reverse in my case...):


This was all the way to the left, shifter pulled upwards. Can't go further than the 1-2 gate:


So carefully removed the shifter itself from the housing, making sure none of the linkages and the spring washers get out of alignment. I loosened the 2 torx screws holding the parallelogram pin thing to the shaft and rotated the pin in relation to the shaft. I put it back together and everything works as supposed to.

Tomorrow I'll start pulling the transmission to check the clutch.
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2020, 05:01 PM
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I did a bunch of searching last night and concluded that the clutch might not be bled fully after all. I found a couple of old threads from guys who swapped the slave cylinder and couldn't get the clutch to release after re-installation and bleeding. Either that or an engagement point right off the floor.

I went to the garage today to try and bleed the clutch once again. It didn't work and my patience for this is running low! From the beginning, I have used all the following methods:

1- Normal bleed: open the slave bleeder and pump the clutch. I tried that at the very beginning when the system was completely empty. It got me some resistance on the pedal but not nearly enough. Then I searched and found method #2...

2- Reverse bleed with RH caliper. I hooked up a 3/16 clear tube to the brake bleeder and to the slave bleeder. I opened both bleeders and pumped the brakes. I must have tried this method 3 or 4 times. I popped the line from the slave bleeder many times from too much pressure on the brakes. Very frustrating. I had to pump the brakes with low pressure. It firmed up the pedal to a point where I thought I would be good. I wasn't. I did the procedure again. It didn't work again, popped the line right off the slave cylinder.

3- Pump fluid in the slave with a syringe. I tried this today. I attached the clear tube to the slave cylinder first and this time I managed to get a quick clamp on it. It doesn't clamp much but I figured it would be better than nothing. I put a syringe at the other end of the tube. The syringe was held about 35" above ground level on a bar stool. I opened the slave bleeder and the brake reservoir cap and tried pulling fluid from the slave with the syringe. No fluid came out of the bleeder! I eventually managed to fill the hose and syringe with fluid, but I think all the air was escaping at the slave bleeder connection. I tried pushing the fluid back in but it didn't work. I had to put a lot of pressure on the syringe, it seemed like I compressed air. That method did not work.

I think the mechanicals of the setup are okay. The pedal is firm, my only remark is that there seems to be about 0.5" of play at the pedal before you feel like you are pushing on something:
717.412 transmission
LUK 11005 clutch kit
Beck/Arnley 0728817 clutch slave cylinder
Centric 13635200 clutch master cylinder
3/16" hardlines with a 1/8" brake hose from some Jeep

I highly doubt that the setup above is incorrect. The only clue I have is some thread I found where some guy used a Centric slave cylinder and found out that the pushrod was shorter or had less stroke than the stock pushrod. The guy swapped for a Beck/Arnley cylinder and got his setup working. Kinda wierd but it can happen.

OK does anybody have another tried and true method for bleeding? I don't care if it involves some exotic specialty tool that costs 250$. I just want to drive the damn car after all these years.

I found another thread where some guy used what seemed like a Mityvac hooked up to the cap of his fluid reservoir. There were no pictures of the setup, but it seemed like he vacuumed the bubbles from the cap. Anybody tried that? I feel like any method that puts a pressurized line at the slave is bound for popping the line off and spilling brake fluid all over the place!
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Old 09-27-2020, 05:26 PM
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One more question: when you do the reverse bleed method, do you need to push down on the clutch? I did not do this, maybe it matters?
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2020, 06:35 PM
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R:

If bleeding alone, as you seem to be doing, two things will help:
1) Remove the bleeder screw from the slave cyl., and dry the threads with brake cleaner or similar. Then wrap the threads with teflon sealant tape; use enough turns to ensure a fit in the cylinder that will not leak air back into the cylinder.
2) Obtain a "one-man" bleeder bottle with check valve. The check valve prevents re-entry of air each time the pedal is released.
Here is an example:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjkjKnrrIrsAhUO7J4KHRlSBGcQFjAAegQIAhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAllstar-Performance-ALL11017-Bleeder-Bottle%2Fdp%2FB00F9XHVKA&usg=AOvVaw16ByXm_YPXQVGEXPtFEjp8
These bottle/check valve devices are common in racing.

You mentioned having about .5 inch of free play at the pedal; that should be enough to ensure that the clutch master cyl. inlet port is cleared by the piston when the pedal is released. Are you familiar with the eccentric adjustment for the clutch master push rod? The clearance can be reduced after bleeding.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:45 PM
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Correct, I am alone. I already have a one man bleeder. I have this exact model:
https://www.amazon.ca/OEMTOOLS-25036-Bleed-One-Man-Bleeder/dp/B000CMDP44

It doesn't mention a check valve anywhere, but how could this work without a check valve? I use it all the times on my brakes and it seems to work good. If I was to use this, I would just bleed the system normally?

Can I leave the teflon on the bleeder afterwards? Won't brake fluid eat it?

I saw in my Hanes manual the eccentric adjustment you are mentioning. However, one of the drawings has it and the other don't have it. From the info I can gather, it was 1984 only... There is no eccentric on my car. I cannot adjust the MC rod.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocambolesque View Post
Correct, I am alone. I already have a one man bleeder. I have this exact model:
https://www.amazon.ca/OEMTOOLS-25036-Bleed-One-Man-Bleeder/dp/B000CMDP44

It doesn't mention a check valve anywhere, but how could this work without a check valve? I use it all the times on my brakes and it seems to work good. If I was to use this, I would just bleed the system normally?
In the Amazon listing there is this add-on:
https://www.amazon.ca/TR-OD-Motorcycle-Bleeder-Clutch-Bleeding/dp/B077XFLK6Q/ref=pd_bxgy_3/136-4828249-7780556?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B077XFLK6Q&pd_rd_r=646eed62-41b4-46ed-a15f-315afe2e6638&pd_rd_w=0wtu1&pd_rd_wg=YAlA2&pf_rd_p=651c6196-5161-4602-81e9-26b0f9bf89e1&pf_rd_r=2Y7HH2JZ32DHCHFFH6FS&psc=1&refRID=2Y7HH2JZ32DHCHFFH6FS

Bleeding would proceed as it would for brakes; from the top, down.

Quote:
Can I leave the teflon on the bleeder afterwards? Won't brake fluid eat it?

I saw in my Hanes manual the eccentric adjustment you are mentioning. However, one of the drawings has it and the other don't have it. From the info I can gather, it was 1984 only... There is no eccentric on my car. I cannot adjust the MC rod.
The teflon is impervious to brake fluid. Curious that there is no eccentric.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:38 AM
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Bleeding from the RH caliper worked for me. I removed the slave when the clutch began to drag and found the end of the pushrod mushroomed.

You said:

" I opened both bleeders and pumped the brakes."

That won't work. Here's how you bleed:

After installing the new slave I opened the bleed valve about one turn and attached a clear hose that fit snuggly over the valve nipple and attached the other end to the RH caliper nipple.

With a helper working the brake pedal we used the "command and response" method to bleed. I said "push down" and just cracked open the caliper valve and saw fluid slowly moving up the hose to the slave. When the pedal reached the floor he said "bottom". I then closed the valve and said "let up slow". When the pedal reached the top he said "top".

We then repeated the cycle about a dozen times, which I felt was sufficient to fill the system. I then closed the slave valve and tested the clutch, which felt normal, but just to be sure I bleed the slave in the conventional fluid change manner using the same command and response method with me operating the valve and my helper working the clutch pedal and there was no air.

Me: "Push down" then open valve

Helper: "Bottom" - Me: close valve

Me: Let up slow"

Helper:"Up"

Repeat as necessary.

There was a little fluid seepage past the threads, and since brake fluid is water soluble I just used a small spray bottle to wash it off - same as I do with the calipers on a fluid change.

Prior to changing the slave I did a brake fluid change to ensure than the new slave got fresh fluid.

Duke

Last edited by Duke2.6; 10-01-2020 at 10:51 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2020, 10:54 PM
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Duke, your method makes sense. I tried something similar tonight. I bought an oiler and filled it with brake fluid. I removed the slave bleeder and put teflon tape on the threads. I also removed the MC pushrod from the clutch pedal, but I found out that the travel limit of the pedal is defined by the max stroke of the MC, so it makes no difference. Then I pumped fluid through the system with the oiler. My GF watched the reservoir, seems like there were bubbles at first, but the fluid level wasn't coming up very fast in the reservoir. At some point I blew the hose off the oiler and made a mess.

Then I found out I wasn't opening the bleeder enough! I used a small 9/32 wrench to open the valve maybe 1/2 turn. I tried pumping again and this time it was much easier. There were bubbles coming up in the reservoir so I kept going. At some point, I had to empty the reservoir and fill my oiler again. I kept doing this until I must have passed 300 ml of fluid in the clutch and had to empty the reservoir (only half of it) about 3 times. I Asked the GF to select 1st gear and push the clutch pedal while I was turning the engine by hand. The rear wheels were turning again.

Now I have a feeling the system is really bled. But I still have the same problem. Is it time to pull the transmission? (100$ says I'll find nothing wrong and when I'll put it back together exactly like before it'll work...)
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:02 PM
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I thought of something else. Is there a way to adjust/change the master cylinder pushrod length? When I disconnected the pushrod from the pedal, the pedal went up something like 0.5''. That's not 0.5'' at the pedal pad, but 0.5'' at the MC pin. I thought maybe the pushrod isn't long enough. I know on some older Mercedes models the MC's came with 2 rod lenghts. The Centric MC might be wrong somehow? Or maybe there's a way to adjust? I tried removing the plastic pedal stop and did not gain additional travel.

Right now, the clutch pedal pad is slightly higher than the brake pedal pad. Is it supposed to be considerably higher like on some cars?

Honestly, the only thing that might be wrong other than improper bleeding or wrong MC pushrod lenght/adjustment would be a bent clutch fork. All the other parts are new.

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