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Old 05-01-2000, 02:28 PM
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I have a 1984 300SD that is shifting weird. It seems to shift ok when it's cold, but when it gets warmed up it seems to shift into 4th gear too early. It shifts almost straight from 2nd to 4th, spending 1/2 second or so in 3rd. And I can see the revs go way up on the tachometer in between, like it stays out of gear too long. If I use the shifter to force it to stay in 3rd, and then go to "drive" when I want 4th gear, it shifts beautifully.

I just bought the car from a used car dealer and had to take it back the next day to get a big oil leak fixed. It was shifting fine before they fixed the oil leak, and then when I got it back the shifting problem started.

When I check the transmission fluid, there are bubbles in it. Any ideas what causes these bubbles, whether they're related to the shifting problem, and how to fix it?

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Old 05-01-2000, 07:20 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
Did you check the ATF level. When you get bubbles (are these visible on the dipstick?), it usually indicates an overfill condition which can lead to foaming and loss of oil pressure inside the tranny. I'd start checking the level when the tranny is warm. They may have put the oil in the wrong place.

Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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Old 05-01-2000, 08:28 PM
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I checked the transmission fluid yesterday when it was good and warm, and it looked like it was a bit high. However, I checked it again today (when it was warm) and it was at the lower of the two lines on the dipstick. Sometimes when I check it, it has fluid on one edge of the dipstick going way up past the fill line, so it's hard for me to tell what's going on.

Also, it seemed today like my dipstick is bent a little bit. Could this be significantly affecting the reading to give an apparent fluid level that's lower than the actual one? Like, is there enough room in the dipstick pipe for the dipstick to bend such that it doesn't go as far down as it should?

I am still trying to get ahold of the mechanic at the used car dealer where I bought it to see whether they filled it when it was cold or warm.

How long are 300SD transmissions supposed to last? My car has 117k miles on the odometer.

I'm pretty sure they put the oil in the right place, because the oil level is good now, and the transmission fluid on the dipstick looks like normal transmission fluid (except for the bubbles of course).

Thank you for your help.


[This message has been edited by dean (edited 05-01-2000).]
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Old 05-01-2000, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
The bend could be normal and should not affect the level reading. I would check cold and just see if it is just below the bottom line (10mm is the spec)

Donnie Drummonds
1992 500E (very soon I hope
1981 280GE SWB
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Old 05-02-2000, 09:21 AM
Nick Jamal
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Old 06-03-2000, 02:13 AM
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It turns out the transmission needed rebuilding. After the guy started rebuilding it, he said it was so bad that he couldn't rebuild it, and that he installed a new transmission. This increased the price from $1100 to $2100. Is this guy out of line, or is $2100 about right for a new transmission plus labor for a 1984 300SD? How many hours of labor should I expect to pay for? How much is the new transmission supposed to cost for that car?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Santa Barbara, CA
ICQ #300030
1974 280C
1984 300SD
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Old 06-03-2000, 04:26 AM
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That sounds high to me. I am sure one of thr indepedent service guys can give a better
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