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Old 02-14-2006, 09:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 300 SE 1991, nice
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
Posts: 14
Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

My engine is surging under moderate acceleration. It surges in any of the gears not just 3rd. I have to be careful not to let this happen because after a surge, the transmission will not change gears. However if I pull off the road, place the transmission into park, then switch the car off and on the gears shift normally. The car goes up fairly steep hills without problem.

Recently I replace the vacuum line to the modulator valve. One month ago I replaced a leaking transmission gasket and installed a new trans filter. The transmission was flushed, the torque converter was drained.

Thanks to all for you input.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 1991 300SE
Location: Tucson, AZ
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RE: Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

Wow BK, that's weird. My 300se has 198k miles and, thankfully, I've had no probs. I just recently did a 200K inspection myself and when I replaced the filter/fluid, I used the MB stuff that my buddy handed me from over the counter. Like you, I also drained the TC. Do you remember what the old fluid looked like? Metal shavings? Unusually brown or dark? Smelled like it was burnt, bad? If any of the above, then it's the tell-tale signs of slippage. I try to service my tranny every 50K. When was the last time yours was serviced before recently? Just my $.02, hope it helps some.[:)]

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Old 02-14-2006, 09:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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RE: Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

Thanks for your input BK,

One of the guys on my hockey team works for a auto-repair shop, I wanted to give him some business so I let him install the gasket and filter, unfortunately I didn't see what came out however the junior mechanic told me to him "it looked normal". The car was serviced by the MB dealership, of which I got a copy of the service history. The previous owner, a doctor, kept to the service schedule. I am taking the car to one of the best shops in Seattle on Thursday, very strong in there diagnostics skills (Ravelli's, hope it's ok to mention names), they will figure it out with a test drive. I talked to one of their mechanics over the phone today, from my description, he thinks it might be time to replace the valve modulator, he said that's something that should be done right around 130k miles. He said the bill will be about $180. I'll know more on Thursday. I drove the car to work and back today, the engine is surging in any gear (except 1st, but not always, I did do some hard acceleration without a problem. This makes me think it's not the bands, what is the chance that all bands would suddenly start to slip. Less than 2 weeks ago I was doing full out accelerations, without trouble... This tells me it's something else, and since I have only been a Mercedes owner for 1.5 years, I am lacking diagnostics skills to figure this one out myself.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 1991 300SE
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RE: Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

Hmm, you got a point there. (or two) VM could very well be a suspect in the problem, as well as the mech saying the old oil looked "normal". I've changed fluid in trannys before when I worked for a Chrysler dealership and I've seen some bad examples! Sounds like you got your problem in the crosshairs. I really hope it fixes your problem. That way, if these symptoms ever happen to me, I'll know the problem.[:D] Good luck!

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Old 02-21-2006, 11:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 300 SE 1991, nice
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
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RE: Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

Well, this past weekend I put ~400 miles on the car, and the tranny was shifting perfectly. I took the car to Revelli's (Seattle)last Thursday and Moris took the car for a test drive that included highway driving. He put the car through it's paces and reported that the car is "real good". He said 1st gear change is a little lazy, and recommened another 1 turn of the modulator valve, but do it in 1/2 turn increments. I have not done this yet. When I first started reporting shift problems (about 3 ago) the engine was surging, since then the temperature has dropped to near freezing, so I wonder when things warm up, if this surging problem will come back? I also should report something that I am a little embarased about. When the engine surges, I immediately take my foot off the accelerator. After driving like this a few days, I started thinking that some surging is normal when accelerating hard. So I decided not to let up, and to my suprise, the engine surges (a little) then shifts and the car rockets ahead. So now I am wondering if operator error is the problem? I need to drive the car for a few more days (weeks) under different temperatures to figure things out a little better. Thanks everyone for your input...
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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RE: Transmission slipping 300SE 1991, 134,000miles

Now that you mention it, my car also surges (a little though) when shifting from 1st to 2nd, which is usually followed by the rear tires breaking traction! Lots of fun when doing a "u". As you drive it more, try to perform 1st gear starts and take note of the car characteristics. When I first bought mine, I did this for a few weeks and determined this "abnormality" as a properly functioning mercedes transmission. My local buds agree with my logic, so it must not be too far off.[:)]
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