Gear Selection Problems W639 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Gear Selection Problems W639

Hi chaps can someone shed some light on an issue with my Vito.
My Vito is a 54 plate 111CDI that only has 36'000 miles.
When I start the van from cold I am unable to select any gear especially reverse, this has become worse now the weather has been below zero.
I have to start the van from cold in gear but once moving I can select gears ok, however if I stop before the van has warmed up and select neutral I struggle to select a gear again, lots of moving the gear stick and trying every gear before I can select 1st.
This goes away when the engine is warm however.
I have read all the stories about the van being a 6 speed in a 5 speed size box but surely MB know how to put a gearbox together especially in a Van!
Could the issue be oil and the fact it is fully Synthetic in a Vito?
Can the cables be adjusted to help gear selection? bearing in mind that once warm the van selects gear without any issues.
Any ideas would help.
Thanks.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 05:42 AM
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Hi ya, it wont be cables if it selects gears once it is warm. Can you give a better discription of what happens eg resistance on the gear lever, gears grating??

Cheers Martin

There is a problem with second gear and reverse on these box's
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Gears do not grate together because I can't get it to enter any gear, it is like I am going to snap the gear lever off before it will go in gear.
I switch off the engine then select gear turn engine back on again.
I have tried revving the engine slightly to get the syncro so I can select gear but even this doesn't do anything.
I think the next service I take it to I will probe the service engineer.
Just feel sorry for the people behind me at traffic lights cause by the time I select first when the engine is cold the lights have started to change.............Sorry............

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 09:52 AM
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Does the clutch drag at all when its in gear?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Not at all, I have full power....... Well a bit of a lie I have a tunit box fitted and set to 6 so the van has plenty power.
I will have a chat at MB just wondering if other W639 owners have the same issue and if anyone has cracked it.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 12:11 PM
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The main complaints with the 639's seem to all be with gearbox syncro failures starting on second and reverse. The 638's can suffer from cable adjustment problems and seized linkages on the top of the box where the cable attatches which can make gear selection almost impossible but that doesnt get better as the box warms up.

Cheers Martin
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 01:43 PM
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Mine occasionally when it's really cold have problems putting it in gear (found this out in the sub-zero we are having at the mo), releasing the clutch and pressing it again seems to allow it to be put in gear. This is especially noticable in 2nd. I think its history as a police van's partly to blame. I think this is a syncro problem rather than a clutch problem.

Adam.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 01:54 PM
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yeah i think its a common problem with most vito boxes, an oil change in the box will help, but marginally, 36,000 miles is not a lot and is certainly wouldn't be due for a gearbox oil change. my 2000 110CDi is the same when cold, but perhaps not as bad as yours, mine just gets a little stiff to locate but as you mentioned its fine when its warmed up a bit.


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 02:22 PM
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I have seen this on other marques and it tends to be the clutch plate somewhat sticky on the spline shaft, it wont release the friction plate when you press the clutch in. It tends to be rust or maybe someone has put some grease on the splines and its gone hard.
It may help with some new oil in the box but try to get one that will condition the synchro cones. If its an ex-police van or one that's been hammered then there's no cure except a new box. This is your first option....its easy to do. Use a 60/70 grade gear-oil and see what happens, maybe some nutter has put EP90 in there!
The answer I found was to remove the clutch and refit the disc with total dry non-lubricated bone-dry nadda nothing-at-all to the gearbox splined shaft. The clue is the fact it gets better as it warms up, therefore I think the linkage/synchro is fine. If it were the synchro, I doubt it would ever improve.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awiserbud View Post
yeah i think its a common problem with most vito boxes, an oil change in the box will help, but marginally, 36,000 miles is not a lot and is certainly wouldn't be due for a gearbox oil change. my 2000 110CDi is the same when cold, but perhaps not as bad as yours, mine just gets a little stiff to locate but as you mentioned its fine when its warmed up a bit.
Hi ya, try lubing the linkage where it attaches to the gearbox, mine got real stiff when it was cold a while back and we traced it to the nylon bushes being dry, once we gave them a good lubing it went back to been nice and light all the time

Cheers Martin
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