BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jul 2004
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RE: 1977 280SE Transmission Problem
Ok, thanks. Hey Teky, I just read this one from the net, they're talking about manual transmission, but is this applicable too for auto trans? I've cut and pasted thearticle for you to read. Thanks again. It's quite long, I'm sorry. I just need all the help I can get!!!
While parking my manual trans 280 SL the other evening, the transmission misbehaved. I heard a "pop," then something in the linkage immediately went awry - the shifter went all floppy and refuses to go into any gear, though the clutch pedal is normal and there is no loss of fluid. A fellow owner told me he thinks the culprit is some kind of nylon bushing that sits above the transmission. Can anyone shed some light on this and will I have to drop the transmission to get at the part?
When I first got my 230 SL 5-speed, it had the same problem - I took it in to my mechanic and he fixed it pretty quickly. He called it the shifter bushing. He didn't have to drop the transmission to fix it.
If the bushings are your problem, the fix is fairly easy: Remove the carpeting covering the transmission tunnel, remove the three plates screwed into the tunnel, replace the bushings in the shifter linkage. All the work is done from inside the car. The parts are inexpensive.
When replacing the bushings, I found that the plastic is quite hard at room temperature and that if you place the bushing in a cup of water and warm it up in a microwave oven (do not boil) it will go on easily with a little white lithium grease.
Will Samples says: all work on the shifter bushings for a manual transmission is done from inside the car. It is a straightforward job, takes about 1-2 hours depending on your skill level, how skinny you are, and how much you want to restore the unseen linkage rods. You need normal hand tools and open/box end wrenches. Never heard of one that stopped shifting. Sloppy shifting and inability to go into reverse, yes, but never a complete loss. It helps to look at the shift linkage in the picture parts catalog that came with the car.
Pete Lesler: no you do not need to drop the transmission. I believe the bolt holding the shift lever to the main shift tube has fallen out. Even if all your bushings were bad, you could still engage gears. Simply remove your transmission tunnel carpet, then pull up the shift lever rubber boot, then you can see four ten mm nuts which hold down a plastic cover plate and some lower plates. Once these are removed you might see the problem. There is also a plate further forward on the transmission tunnel which gives you access to the front bushings. I would renew all bushings at the same time. All of the reputable parts sellers have the bushings.