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Old 07-14-2003, 11:39 PM
wielder of thor's hammer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 321
slew of 87 300e questions

Hello everyone, this is my first post being that I just bought the 300e a week ago. First and foremost, I have a transmission question. I've noticed that the Transmission shifts slightly late when accelerating from first to second and from second to third. There is also a metal rattling/spinning sound when it does this. It is no big deal right now but I don't want it to become one. Should I leave it or get it serviced? I've heard mixed opinions on servicing transmissions. I have an inkling it has been serviced before, as the previous owner was good with maintenance (can't get in touch with him now), but I am not certain. The second of my questions pertains to the adjustable driver's seat. It is electronic, but the bottom does not move up and down on one side, causing the seat to tilt and become crooked when i try to adjust it. The head rest has also ceased to move. Are problems like this easily/cheaply fixed? How would I do it? My final question is about the headlight "doors" or "rims" (plastic pieces that encompass the headlight and cover the bright bulb). Anybody have or know where to find them online for under $40? I can only find them for $70 a piece, too much for a penny-pincher such as myself. thank you much everyone.
headrivenoise... listen.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:49 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Spend the money on the headlight rims, $70 is cheap. List is more like $120. I have a cracked one I've not replaced for the same reason.

Your tranny starts in 2nd gear unless you floor it HARD and hold the kickdown switch under the accelerator down or start off in 2 or 1 rather than D on the shifter. It is shifting normally.

Sounds like one of the gears on the seat is broken, haven't had this trouble myself.

I bought an 88 300TE for my mother three years ago with 196,000 miles on it, and I found that the vac lines in the engine compartment were all bad. Replacing them helped with tranny shift feel, rough idle, and serious heistation on takeoff (I have a rough idle problem again, but I think its something new related to the fuel distributor). I also replaced the idle control valve hoses and cleaned the idle control valve to fix an intermittant stalling problem.

I've recently replaced engine mounts -- made a huge difference, and isn't very hard to do.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 1
Seat problem

If you look behind your seat on the lower right hand corner you will find a Silver unit with 4 screws. Inside is the seat adjustment mechanism that is driven by a worm gear. This worm gear is driven by the electric motor on the left side of the seat. The problem is that the cable that is used to drive the worm gear needs to be longer. I will ocassionally remove the 4 screws on the gear unit and move the drive cable so that it will adjust the seat temporarily. It will help if the seat is way out of whack. You can probably get a replacement cable from MB but I would imagine that it is overly expensive.
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:48 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 30
Regarding the late shift, my 1993 300E does the same thing when the engine is cold. I read in the owner's manual that there will be a late shift (my shift occurs at 3000 rpm's when cold) in order to help out with emissions control. It truly is a pain the in butt, at least it happens to me only when the car is first being driven..
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:09 AM
csnow's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127

Mr. Frugal may want to consider used for his headlight bits.


Junkyards bid for your business!
Unbelievable price deviations come back.
I have had good luck with this service.

Sometimes you can manipulate the headrest while pressing the down switch, if it has gone "off track". Worked for me.

Listen for the motors trying to operate. If they are not even making the attempt, it may be the switch itself. This requires poking at it with a multi-meter to diagnose.
If the motor is kicking in, but the seat is not sliding, it may just need a 'clean and lube' on the tracks to unstick it.

Best of luck with your 'new' 124.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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