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73MB280SEL 11-07-2000 06:26 PM


I have a '73 280 SEL (108) with 3 speed Auto and I'm having a problem on cold days. On warm days, I can put the auto into reverse and all is good, but when it's cold, it won't take any load and reverse the car. It eventually warms up and will lock into reverse. When started warm, I never have this problem.

The trans shifts in forward gears flawlessly and it appears that the previous owner has had it rebuild (new-ish case).

The service manual I have has a troubleshooting guide that mentions this problem can be attributed to a wrongly adjusted B3 band. I'm not even sure this is for my transmission, I suspect it is for a 4 speed.

Any suggestions out there?



Lt. Blue 1973 MB 280 SEL (108) with sunroof and console shift.
1996 Chevy Camaro Z-28 LT1.

WDurrance 11-10-2000 05:44 AM

The band adjustment is at the front of the transmission on the passenger side. You should see a threaded stud with a 10 mm head on it and a larger locknut around the outside. If that's the problem, you'll see that it has backed out of the case. If not, it's likely to be the lip seal for the servo
(on the driver's side of the trans opposite the adjuster)is leaking. Either one can cause the problem you're having.
Randy D.

ASE Master Tech
Mercedes Tech 21 Years
68 250SE
68 SAAB 96 Ice Racer
69 300SEL 6.3
70 300SEL 3.5
81 300TDT
W.R.Durrance Engineering

73MB280SEL 11-13-2000 11:18 AM


Probably not the best thing for a home mechanic to do, but I did make a slight adjustment to the B3 band over the weekend. It was out quite a way and I moved it in slightly. This seems to have fixed the problem as I now have reverse and it's 25 degrees in OKC.

We'll see if it holds and if it works when it gets warmer.

Thanks for the help.


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