w108 280 SEL - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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w108 280 SEL

Hello all, I'm a new member and a new benz owner having just bought an 81 w123 300d with 395,00 km seems ok so far does blow a little blue after it warms up I suspect valve guide seals other than this it is a very solid car.

My father in law has a 1969 w108 280 sel which he has owned since 1970 and it is in great condition but it currently has a problem, it is in the garage and stuck in park, lever will not budge,the question is is there a vacuum or electrical sensor to release the lock on the shifter the vehicle does not get driven much these days maybe once a year so plenty of sitting around bad for any car I have the job of moving it, where do I start? any advise.

Kind regards to all

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 07:57 AM
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Vehicle: 1981 300TD 310k--1966 230 165k--1970 280se 172k
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This car does not have an electrical or vacuum lock on the shifter. There is a neutral safety switch on the linkage that locks out the ignition if the car is not in park or neutral.

Could be a number of things but it may just be binding due to wear. Look down the firewall on the drivers side below the brake booster near the steering box and you will see a gate that indexes the various positions of the shifter. There is also a cam that operates the neutral safety switch. Have someone try to move the shifter and see what's going on. Make sure that the shift lever is pulled all the way back toward the driver and notice if the pin clears the gate notch. Try some Kroil or PB Blaster on the mechanism and see if it can free up. Try pushing and pulling on the connecting rod to the transmission.

If that fails, disconnect the connecting rod and see if that makes a difference. I suppose it's possible that the problem is in the transmission, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hi there thanks for your reply, I will look at this and let you know how I get on.
Kind regards B
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2012, 10:25 AM
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I'm not sure this car has a locking mechanism on the shifter, and if it does it surly would not be electronic, it more than likely would be cables running from the brake pedal to the ignition switch then to the shifter (like that of the 92-95 W140)... However you do have a neutral safety switch at the shifter. That would not prevent you from shifting.

I'm willing to bet you problem is between the linkage or the tranny. Have someone rock the car back and forth while you try to shift from park. If not, Disconnect the shifter linkage from the side of the transmission and see if it can be shifted from there.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 05:51 AM
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I have a 1968 280 SEL convertible with automatic transmission and it does not have a safety switch to prevent starting the car in gear, but it is not stuck in any gear and will start. One thing that I do notice is that I am not sure if it is shifting into 4th gear when driving the car. I do not hear the last shift.

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