BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Aug 2012
Vehicle: 1987 Mercedes Benz 300SDL, 250K miles
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1987 300SDL Transmission Question
I recently bought my first Mercedes and my first diesel—a 1987 300SDL for $2000 in pretty nice condition. It has needed a few old age repairs, but the mechanics I've been to have all commented that the trans and engine are both looking really great.
Anyways, one of the first repairs I needed to do was have the bushings replaced in the trans. Afterwards, I took the car on a 3,000 mile road trip from Chicago through the Rockies and back to test the car out. It performed wonderfully the entire time, despite being a little smokey on startup in the mountains.
Since I've been back, I begun to run into a problem where after starting the car in neutral (the neutral safety switch is broken so I have to start it this way) the gear stick would not move into reverse. It feels stuck and wont move forward. Sometimes I could fix this by putting it in drive for a few seconds first, or moving forward a few inches in drive, and then it would slide into place nice and easy.
However, there were a few times when I was in a parking space where it took about 15 minutes before it would move into reverse. Not good. I need to be able to pull out in reverse regularly when parking in the city.
In addition, the car would sometime shift real nice and smooth, and yet other times, particularly after driving in stop and go traffic, would shift fairly hard. Most recently, it also seemed to be getting stuck in, or jumping gears a bit.
So, I brought it back in to the transmission place, they looked at it and said they couldn't find anything wrong. There are not leaks, nothing is worn, nada. They suggested I get an engine tuneup, but that was it.
So, to get to the question: what gives? Why does it seem like my trans is acting funny, but the mechanics cant find a thing wrong with it? Any ideas?