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  #1  
Old 08-27-2003, 11:40 AM
edge's Avatar
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arrrrghhh, no reverse!

Well I'll be bringing my 94 E320 with 83K miles into my indy to check my trans which stopped engaging in reverse last week. He quoted me $1800 for a rebuild, if needed. My local MB dealer quoted my $3560 for a rebuilt +10 hours of labor at $97 per minus a credit of $1500 for my trans, or a total of $3030 plus 6% tax! Damn, with only 83K miles should I just replace the reverse clutch or rebuild the entire trans as the labor cost is somewhat identical? What would you do?
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2003, 06:01 PM
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I'd check the fluid level first and then flush out the tranny fluid system a bit and see if this cures it first as it often has for me. Also maybe the tranny linkage is buggered-up and just needs a slight adjustment to engage reverse.. Indy says it needs a rebuild but do they have any idea why without cracking it open ? Maybe it's best to get 2nd opinion from dealer first and there may be an easy fix the dealer would see... either way - correct diagnosis before any money changes hands is the most important part of wrenching !
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2003, 06:58 PM
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If you use reverse constantly, it will wear a little quicker than normal.

The thing I would do is remove the trans and pull the front pump. If the reverse clutches are worn, I would replace just them and not rebuild the whole tranny.

If this is the problem (and it is most of the time), It would cost about $1,200-$1,300 to fix at my shop.

Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2003, 07:15 PM
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The reverse clutch problem is the most common failure. We used to do a lot of reverse clutches when were were resealing the front pumps. Its only a little more labor than the complete front pump sealing.

We do not just do the clutches, when they go to failure. By that point clutch material is throughout the trans. The reason it failed was likely a failure of one of the 8 year old rubber seals. The problem with spending 1200 or so on the reverse failure is that 90% of the necessary 8 year old rubber seals will still be there waiting to fail in some other fashion.

The combined reasoning is why we don't just repair the reverse clutches once they have failed.

We do the whole tranny for about $1600 to $1800 (depending on damage) so the shop is in the ball park price wize.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2003, 08:25 PM
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Can I asked where the 10 hours of labor will be spent?
If it is a remove/replace transmission job, I don't think it should take 10 hours.
I had a rear crank oil seal replaced last week, which includes removing/re-installing the transmission. Total labor charge was 5.75hours.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2003, 10:26 AM
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The R&R labor for pulling that 722.3 (or 4 in your case - 2.6l) varies by body style from 5.5 to 7.5 in the 140 cars.

The proper reseal of the front pump will include the large o-ring that seals the cast iron pump body to the aluminum trans case. To do this the front of the trans has to come apart ( as the retaining bolts are inside the trans). We charge 3 hours for this and maybe another to disassemble and replace the reverse brake clutches.

We used to do a lot of those jobs but the labor is over half of the 16-18 hours we get for an overhaul. As the cars got older the value of such an extensive repair wasted away. Now, no matter how many miles, the time frame is so long that seals will fail at any moment. Most clutch or band problems started with seal leaks. It makes no sense anymore to just reseal the front and do clutches for 10 hours when the whole rebuild is 17. Labor being the greatest portion of cost.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2003, 03:43 PM
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Arrow

Just a question...on a '95 E420, I am hearing a hissing sound when the car is in reverse...could the hiss be the symptom of one of these "seals" not sealing properly? Reverse is working properly with no problem...just that when the car is in idle in reverse, I hear the hiss with the window down...
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2003, 10:33 AM
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That 10 hrs labor on the trans swap is from the MB dealer, which is always so high from this dealer. My indy who has always been fair with me will take the cover off and see if by chance anything is jammed. He says the trans rebuilt provided by a spealistic shop is better than MB. He once fixed a rear window for me for $15 whereas MB quoted me $725 to replace the window regulator. If needed, he suggests replacing with a rebuild which includes the torque converter rather than replacing the reverse clutches. Thanks for your input guys.
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83 300D Manganese Brown 109K
97 E420 Midnight Blue 197K sold
98 BMW 328i Vert White 100K, sold
95 BMW 525i White 125K, sold
93 BMW 525iT Red 193K, sold
95 E320 Green Wagon 125K, sold
94 E320 White 127K, sold
85 300SD 156K Grey (Annie), sold
84 300D Lapis Blue 170K (Judy), sold
99 ML 320 Black (lease), 1998 C230 White (lease)
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86 Mercedes 300E (sold)
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