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Old 09-05-2002, 03:26 PM
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Screwdriver 4 Torque Converter: Mobil1 ATF?

I changed ATF and filter on my 96 E320 (722.329 transmission) last weekend at 87,000 miles. I used a 27mm socket on the crankshaft bolt to line up the torque converter drain plug. This required removal of the front belly pan. I have seen some discussion of using a long screwdriver (through an access hole) to rotate the torque converted instead of rotating at the crankshaft bolt. This would avoid the need to remove the front belly pan. Is the use of a screwdriver to rotate the torque converter an acceptable procedure?

I changed the ATF and filter a bit early because last winter in cold weather the transmission was unruly until it warmed up a little (say 0.5 miles). From a standing start, the engine would rev a little before the transmission would engage. I used el cheapo brand ATF that met specifications. If fresh fluid and filter fix it this winter, I will add a supplemental 15K fluid only change with fluid and filter at the recommended 30K. If not, can anyone comment whether Mobil 1 ATF helps tame cold weather transmission behavior?

As an aside, I was pleasantly surprised that my transmission pan was really clean: no debris. I was bummed out using a bar type torque wrench to torque the pan bolts and drain plugs. It's hard to see the bar from an angle at 3 inches. A click type torque wrench is on my XMAS list.

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Old 09-05-2002, 04:12 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 283
Just drained and replaced my filter on the 400, and my fluid was foul smelling. No trash in the pan, though.

Not sure whether this is kosher or not, but I know many do it. Just get a long screwdriver, and using the slots in the trans, with a prying motion, bump the t-c around until the drain plug is in position. There isn't a special tool for this.
1985 300TD 4-speed 212K
1992 400E 343K
2001 E320 72K
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:50 PM
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Mobil 1 ATF should definately improve cold weather operation. I've used it at -35 below. Great stuff.

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Old 09-06-2002, 10:57 AM
Fimum Fit
Posts: n/a
When you need a metric screwdriver - - -

put 30cc of vodka in 90cc of orange juice.

I'm sorry for repeating an old Porsche mechanic's joke from the early '60s in this forum. Actually, in those days European screws did have somewhat narrower slots than SAE.
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Old 09-06-2002, 08:54 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Second "sbr's" comments about Mobil 1 ATF; definitely improves the "molasses in the torque converter" sensation you get in cold winter weather when you first pull away...

'93 400E
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