Gear change problem! - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:09 AM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Jul 2006
Vehicle: Vito 114 tourer 2015: Vito 108d 97: 108d 98: Traveliner 2003 ; Aixam; z1100; xbr500; z440 ++++
Location: lancs/Mcr/mersey
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obviously I cannot diagnose your vito but I can tell you what commonly happens or is reported.

most gear change problems on 638s are due to wear of the "kit" or "cage" you have replaced and you will have found how easy it is to do.

unfortunately most owners and garages are morons and rather than do 15mins work, at little cost, they will strip the dash out and fiddle for hours with the cables.

of course it doesn't help much as the mechanism has worn out (the cage you've replaced) but it does mean they feel they've saved money by not buying the "cage" and the garage can charge big labour fees for adjustments, again and again.

now you have a good "cage" and accurate gearchange (yes I know its not perfect at the moment) you can try cable adjustment..... it is probably not correct and has been "fiddled with" by various mechanics in the past.

I attach the info on adjustments... you need to remove the ashtray and lower parts of the dash but I have found its often an advantage to remove the dash panel itself for easier viewing... its not complicated but getting to the bits takes time.

I wish you luck and I just wish garages etc would do things correctly.... unfortunately if this doesn't cure the problem, it probably needs a new selector, for this I will need your vin number (you may have given this before but I tend not to keep them) but hopefully it will be ok.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf COMPOSITE gear cable adjustment.pdf (973.1 KB, 682 views)
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:44 AM
BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jul 2009
Vehicle: Vito 108 CDI
Location: Bulgaria
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Thank you Malcolm - you're so helpful as always.
My VIN is early in this tread - VSA63819413232619

Please tell me the part number of this selector unit to check and have it just in case.
I'll try cable adjustments first.

Thanks and have a nice weekend
kadet4o is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 08:12 AM
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Date registered: Jul 2006
Vehicle: Vito 114 tourer 2015: Vito 108d 97: 108d 98: Traveliner 2003 ; Aixam; z1100; xbr500; z440 ++++
Location: lancs/Mcr/mersey
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try the adjustments... check a couple of times if necessay.

the selector is a complex part that goes under or next to the "cage".... the cables fit one to the "cage", the other to the selector (the 2 cables you removed to replace the cage)

the actual selector can be quite expensive.... I really do hope you can solve your problems by adjustment alone (you wouldn't be able to do the adjustments, properly, with your old worn "cage")

good luck


(if it doesn't work..... and ONLY then.... I will post the workshop notes on selector changing and will try and get the mb price on the bits as well.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 12:03 PM
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Date registered: Jul 2019
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Hi Malcolm

I’ve come across your posts regarding the w639 gear issues as I’ve been trying to pin point my own issue on my 2004 Vito 109cdi

Gear changes were a nightmare so I replaced the small white block in the gear lever base and gear changes are no much smoother - all except reverse

Getting into reverse usually meets with a grounding noise but then after a few attempts it finally goes into reverse

I was guessing it needs a new reverse linkage mechanism - the one that bolts into the top of the gearbox but I’m unsure what the part number is - do they even maybe have a reverse gear kit for the w639 Vito??
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