Harsh shifting 190 2.5td 1989 model - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Harsh shifting 190 2.5td 1989 model

I have been looking at a good car at a local garage, serviced (still to see documents) and only 2 owners with 150k miles (I am in France so french LHD model). Car seems okay apart from 2 things.

Slight 'tick' on the engine when idling but not too worried. Engine bay is spotless but I think it has been cleaned.

From cold there is a definite thump from 1st to second, seemed better when warmed up a little but still there. As well maintained I would assume the vacuum pipes are okay.
What else could cause this ?

I will be going back to check out the car so need to know of any possible problems. Also any tests I can do when driving to establish what the problem could be ?
After a run I will want it up on the ramps to check underneath and for oil leaks, as engine cleaned so I will look for drips underneath.

All in all for 2,500 Euros the car seems a reasonable deal, just trying to cover the bases as to potential gearbox problems. 'Push comes to shove' I can just replace the box or have it reconditioned, but I would like to drive the car for a while before having to do that.

I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to machines and I don't like to see them suffer, so will want to sort this out at some point.

Any help or advice apprecieted. Also do these have a locking torque converter ?

Last edited by charentejohn; 05-18-2011 at 04:40 PM. Reason: missed a question on torque converter
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 06:48 PM
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Being perfectionist with 23 years old car will sure put you to good test.
Noise is impossible to diagnose over the Internet. Those diesels are noisy animals and it is normal that chain tensioner takes some time and make big noise for few seconds on start up.
Hard shifting is most likely triggered by vacuum leak. The transmission needs vacuum to operate and when no vacuum is present it can knock your teeth out on shifting.
The car is W124 body and you will find lot of topics how to test and restore vacuum system. Good luck on the purchase.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, just wanted some reassurance that noting serious really.

Funnily enough I do have a W124 manual, but can't find it, as I was looking to buy one a year or so ago. From the look of it most of the mechanical side is the same.

I am one of these people who doesn't like funny noises or thumps and knocks in a car. No reason why these shouldn't, eventually after some work, be nearly as good as new. That is the main reason for wanting such a car.
I can then spend some time maintaining it and keeping it as close to 100% as I can, it is fun to track down problems and fix them, honest it is..

I just wondered why the 'thump' in the gears would improve as the vehicle warmed up, and by how much it should improve.

Do the gearboxes really tend to start in 2nd gear for steady acceleration from a standing start ? If so this one didn't seem to, one thought is that it has been driven hard in town causing it to always use first gear.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Partly answering my own questions I think but having read some more I now think this may be the case ??

The harsh 1-2 shift is common and based on vacuum problems, or may be pressure valves in box that need replacing. Should improve when warmed up, maybe it will so I will test that.

Still not too happy that this is the answer, 'better when it has run for a bit'.
Not exactly the definitive solution is it ?

All else seems okay, just this one main problem for which there seems to be no real driving tests to perform to identify the cause, and no real solution.
Still worth buying I think, wife not so sure so if it has serious problems later that will be my fault for ignoring the warnings..........
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 05:36 PM
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The vacuum leak should be easily diagnosed with a gauge. W124 has excellent repair manuals and the links are in its section.
I had 2 of those cars with vacuum leaks and both of them changed to heaven after fixing the vacuum. The vacuum valve is adjustable as well, so once you fix the leak, you can perfection the shifting.
Your price looks high to me, but than each market is different. I know that in Europe you can buy W210 diesels very cheap when they end their taxi carriers. Those are way more advanced cars than W124, but than less rigid.
About starting on 2 gear >>> diesels have such big torque at low rpm, that difference is almost unnoticeable. I have a switch on W210 that can change that and even having high mechanical senses, have hard time to feel the difference. Bot gears will spin wheels on wet.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 05-19-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for following up on the problem, I don't mind replacing vaccum parts as not a big job. I see we are in well spaced time zones.

Price here is reasonable, this is the ad Mercedes 190d 2.5 td Voitures Haute-Vienne - leboncoin.fr the site is the most used here for selling cars, and everything else. German one is mobile.de ? Gebrauchtwagen und neue Autos ? Deutschlands größter Fahrzeugmarkt. overall european one is The European Marketplace for Used Cars and New Cars Just in case you or anyone else wanted to compare prices, google translate can translate any of the languages used.

I like the W124s too, and did manage to find my 'W124 owners bible' which has lots of info but strangely nothing on the vaccum problem. 124s are slightly cheaper here as there are more around, France has loads of 124s not so many 190s left.

Thanks again, I will let you know what happens as and when I buy one.
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