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Old 07-12-2000, 07:39 PM
Ron D. Harriman
Posts: n/a

Busy rehabilitating an '83 380SL here. The
fluid in the P/S reservoir was pure coal
black when I checked it. Thought I would at
a minimum suck out the old fluid and examine
the screen, perform a temporary ATF refill,
then order a new screen from the PartsShop
for a full drain job later on.

Drained reservoir using a suction tool from
the top, expecting based on other posts here
to find a filter at the bottom of it. Nada!
No filter! Only a ring of round holes that
might possibly filter a pachinko ball. And
I can't see where a filter would go, either.

There is a shaft coming up from the center
of the ring of round holes, with a spring
concentric to it. The reservoir cover mounts
to this shaft. But that's it.

Looked in the 107 svc manual and there is no
reference to a filter in the P/S system. But
the PartsShop has one listed for the 380SL
for that year. Am I confused? Is there no
filter from the factory, or did some inept
wrench just leave it off this car at some
point in the past? I assume that the guys
running the PartsShop are up on their game.

Anyway, I refilled with clean ATF, drove,
steered lock to lock a few times, found the
fluid filthy again. I'm going to drain and
refill a couple of times (Dexron III) as a
stopgap until this question is sorted out.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can solve
the mystery...

Ron H

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Old 07-12-2000, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Under the metal ring w/holes you should find the filter, it's bonded to the ring. Remove the spring to replace it.
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Old 07-12-2000, 10:38 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
The plate with the holes in it is the steady plate. Remove the spring, the steady plate will lift off, the filter should be right beneath the plate. It stands about 1 - 1 1/2 inches tall and approx 2 1/2 in diameter.

Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5
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Old 07-13-2000, 01:02 AM
Aaron's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

To properly do a complete flush and fill of the steering system, you should empty the resirvoir, then drain the steering gearbox. Next, replace the filter and fill the resirvoir to the top and disconnect the return line at the side of the resirvoir and plug the open connection. Get an old washer fluid bottle or something equivalent and put the return line in it to catch the fluid that will come spurting out of the line. Next, start the car and have an assistant quickly turn the steering wheel lock to lock and be prepared to quickly keep the resirvoir topped up with fluid, as it will be sucked through quickly. When clean fluid comes out of the return line, shut the car down and reconnect the line to the resirvoir. The fluid will be foamy but just let it settle for a while then check the level again and restart the car and make sure the steering operation is nice and smooth and quiet. That's it!

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'84 BMW 745i Turbo
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