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  #1  
Old 04-21-2003, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
190E clutch replacement. Any tips?

Has anyone replaced a clutch in a 190E? On the weekend I noticed that the clutch in my 2.3 5-speed has just started to slip slightly at full throttle. It also disengages with very little pedal travel. Pressumably it has worn beyond the limit (I will make up a the test gauge shown in the Haynes manual to confirm this). Reading through the procedure to replace the clutch, it appears to be awkward due to restricted space around the transmission (access to bell housing bolts). It also states that it may not be possible to leave the slave cylinder with the car (meaning separating the hydraulic line which necessitates pressure bleeding on re-installation). The entire exhaust system also needs to be removed prior to removing the transmission. If the crankshaft rear main oil seal is leaking then the starter motor and flywheel must be removed before the seal can be replaced. Sounds like I've got some unplanned work ahead of me. Disappointing considering I have only driven the car 4,000km. It has covered a total of 215,000km though.

Has anyone done this job before? Can you comment on any aspects of the job that require special tools? Are there any tips worth observing to simplify the procedure? The only transmission removal and replacement I have done on a Mercedes previously was the auto on my 107, and that was awkward from memory.
__________________
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2003, 05:36 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
Nobody replaced a 190E clutch?

Hasn't anyone here replaced a clutch in a 190E?
__________________
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2003, 06:58 AM
LarryBible
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Posts: n/a
Greg,

The reason that you have received no replies is probably because the vast majority of the attendees on this site are in the US. In the US people primarily drive automatic transmission cars. I am one of the very few exceptions on this site.

For this reason MB brings VERY few manual transmission models to the US. I have an '88 300E with a manual. There were only 300 or so brought to the US that year.

Anyway to your project. I have never done a clutch in your particular model, but I have done clutch jobs on a number of other similar models. There are really no tricks to it, but your questions do bring up a few points.

The driveshaft is a little different situation than many or most other cars. There is a large nut in the front section that must be loosened to allow the driveshaft to collapse. It will collapse barely enough to move out of the way once the flex disc bolts are removed. Mark the driveshaft in front of and behind the big nut so that if the splines were to slip apart, you will be able to put it back in its original relationship so that you don't upset it's balance.

Also mark the position of the driveshaft at the transmission so that it goes back in the same position related to the companion flange at the rear of the transmission.

Do not disconnect the slave cylinder from it's hydraulic line. Just unbolt it from the bellhousing and swing it out of the way.

I'm sorry I can't help you much with the rear main seal. I'm not sure if yours is a two piece or one piece seal. If it is a two piece and indeed it is leaking, I expect that the pan will have to come off to replace it. If it IS leaking, I would expect that you would be seeing oil puddles underneath.

Good luck and let us know if we can provide any more help.

Have a great day,
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2003, 09:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
Thanks Larry

Thanks Larry,

Your situation in the US is not unlike Australia, for Mercedes at least. Manuals are very rare here (I see from your signature you enjoy manuals). The very reason I bought the 190E a few months ago was due to its rarity being a Sportline (possibly only 15 in Oz), a 2.3 (most here are 2.0 and 1.8 and the occasional 2.6), and the fact it was a manual. I really have been enjoying driving a manual again and it's ironic that the first thing in the car to let me down is due to it being a manual. At least it will be less costly to repair than an auto transmission rebuild would be.

I guess my main concern with doing the job is that I remember when I was looking under the car at the time of purchase, I noted how tight the clearance is around the transmission and bell housing (ie. for access to bolts securing trans to engine). My Haynes manual also makes mention of this and the fact that it may not be possible to leave the slave cylinder with the car due to insufficient space to separate it from the transmission.

I am familiar with the two-piece driveshaft (tailshaft) setup and have done a transmission removal and replacement (and centre bearing replacement) on my SLC some 15 years ago now.

Regarding the rear main seal, according to the Haynes manual, it does not appear to be a big job to replace once the transmission (and obviously flywheel) are removed. I suspect it may be leaking very slightly since there is the occasional drop of oil from the bottom of the bell housing. This would obviously be the time to replace it if required. I don't believe it to be the cause of the clutch slip though. I suspect the clutch is just plain worn out and I will check it with the gauge shown in the manual this weekend. Likewise, if the transmission front seal is leaking (I don't believe this to be the case) it appears to be simple to replace with the transmission out.

Like most people, I hate working on my back under cars with confined spaces, particularly with large, heavy or awkward parts. I also hate getting half way through a job only to find I don't have the necessary tool or part to complete it. I do my own work simply to save money and know that if it is not done right I've only myself to blame.

Thanks again Larry and I'll let you know how I go with it.
__________________
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2003, 08:41 AM
LarryBible
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Posts: n/a
I certainly understand the "working on you back" complaint. I hate doing clutch jobs so much that I actually pulled the engine on my 240D last time to replace the clutch. I have a walking beam down the middle of my shop with a chain hoist hanging on it, so I am better equipped to do it this way. That coupled with the fact that the 240D four cylinder is so quick to pull made me try it. I was done in five hours and spent virtually no time underneath. It has always taken me longer to do a clutch job on the same model from below.

To get past the space constraint problem you just need plenty of extensions, universal joints and patience.

So, it sounds like your research showed that your engine has a one piece rear main seal.

Good luck,
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2003, 09:29 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
Unexpected turn of events

I made up the test tool for checking clutch wear as shown in the Haynes manual. On the weekend I got under the car and fully expected the tool to confirm that the clutch needs replacing. I was very surprised when the tool indicated that the clutch is not yet worn out. While underneath I did confirm my suspicions of a slight rear main oil seal leak. Only minor though and not sufficient I would think to be contaminating the clutch.

Again I test drove the car and confirmed that the clutch takes up near the top of the pedal travel but possibly I am imagining that it slips. The slightest movement of the clutch pedal will allow it to slip though. Other than a little shudder when cold (maybe oil contamination), there appears to be no other possible indication of a problem. The pedal "feels" good and there's nothing to suggest anything else is broken and nothing to explain the top of the pedal travel take up. The hydraulics should allow the slave cylinder to self adjust as the clutch wears. I guess for now I'll just play that wait-and-see-what-happens game. If it continues to drive OK that's fine. If things get worse then maybe I'll have more symptoms to work with and will be able to justify pulling things apart. While under the car I also confirmed just how little space there is between the transmission and transmission tunnel in the floor, not a job I'm looking forward to.

Thanks again Larry for your comments. I'll keep you informed if anything further eventuates.
__________________
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2003, 08:51 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 627
Possible diagnosis?

Larry (and others), you may like to think about the following as a possible diagnosis as to what may be happening with my clutch.

I thought about the self adjustment of the hydraulic slave cylinder to compensate for clutch wear and how this occurs. Presumably, the hydraulics use either or both limits of the pedal (master cylinder) travel as a reference point for the automatic adjustment. What then would be the result of being "lazy" with the clutch and not pushing it firmly to the floor on every gearchange? The reason I ask this is that I considered that perhaps I was being a bit lazy with it. Previous manuals I have owned have had shorter clutch pedal travel than the 190E (about the only aspect of this manual I am not fond of) and I am not used to having to move my left leg quite this much on gearchanges. If this was the case and it was causing the take up point to progressively get higher in the pedal travel, then there would be even less reason to push the pedal firmly to the floor. I decided the only way to prove this is to conciously fully de-clutch at all times. Guess what? The take up point seems to be moving back down to where it should be! Maybe it had progressed high enough to cause a little slip and I hadn't imagined it, and now it has gone back towards where it should be, eliminating any slip.

What do you think of this theory? I will conciously be deliberate with my left leg action and monitor the situation. Hopefully I have "fixed" the problem without dismantling anything!
__________________
107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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