Date registered: Jun 2012
Vehicle: 1980 300TD w/ '84 OM617.952
Location: Upstate New York
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A leak anywhere in your vacuum system can cause all sorts of gremlins to pop up in seemingly unrelated places, like your transmission.
Fortunately, there's an easy test: disconnect the "accessory" vacuum line feeder from your main vacuum line under the hood, and cap it off. There are plenty of threads to be found on where that line is - a picture is worth a thousand words!
Take the car for a drive and see if it shifts different - not necessarily perfect... just different. That way you'll know if even PART of your problem is your door locks. If it drives like a brand new car, you've solved your problem. Good luck!
"Otto" 1980 300TD - '84 Turbo OM617 & a modified single tank WVO system
38,000 miles on WVO and growling along happily!