Is this a valve body plastic check ball? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: Aug 2016
Vehicle: 1999 ML320 (198k as of Aug16)
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Is this a valve body plastic check ball?

Hi all. Am new to the forums as a posting member, but not as a user of good info here.

My question is, can a plastic valve body check ball be found in the transmission pan without any catastrophic failure?

This is the best picture I could get for now. The ball is not metal, about .25" in diameter, but slightly burnt and more flat than spherical (think shape of a Chinese bean bun in Kung Fu Panda).

The transmission (197k without any service) was not having any significant slippage in any gears. A little downshift sticking on stopping (3-2, or 2-1, not entirely sure which). Also have had engine quit or "stall" on occasion from stop to accelerate (gear 1-2, or 2-3). This has happened somewhat randomly with rain, no rain, cold, hot, beginning or end of around town trip. No CEL, Transmission Light, Limp home episodes. A slight whining was coming from below on highway speeds under headwind load with roof rack.

Planned to replace plug to pin receptacle, conductor plate, pressure regulator spring, filter/gasket, and replacement fluid.

Today, I could not get the drain plug to budge so got out the MityVac and shoved a clean tube down the dipstick tube (seemed like a good idea at the time). Vacuumed 2.25L of fluid out and eliminated any spills when dropping the pan. The pan had about a quart inch of fluid left. The fluid is dark and burnt/smelly but there wasn't any copper or any metal shaving visible. There is no magnet in the pan, but I did find this roundish ball.

Any thoughts? Would a ball like fall out from the valve body, or might it have come from somewhere else?

As far as I know, this tranny has been "sealed" for its life. I haven't filtered the vacuumed fluid into another container yet (might find some other items) but I am not wanting to open the valve body yet as there are so many breakable and losable things in that process.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC03685.jpg
Views:	226
Size:	22.4 KB
ID:	1958218  
dminpdx is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 03:23 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320 06 ML500
Location: Bronx, New York
Posts: 16,547
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Check balls, both metal and plastic, are sandwiched between the two halves of the valve body and are the size of small ball bearings.

The photo of the piece you posted looks more oval & flat as opposed to round.
43sqd is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: Aug 2016
Vehicle: 1999 ML320 (198k as of Aug16)
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Valve body/Conductor plate/Adapter plug housing

Just an update on this unidentified ball-ish thing I found in my transmission pan.

I am beginning to think that it is a berry/seed that was lodged in the transmission pan gasket and THEN fell into the pan when I dropped it down. The object is burnt so I suspected it has been near the tranny/exhaust system for a while.

The good news is I now know how to remove (& reassemble) my valve body. There is great information on this forum, especially if 722.6 related – though you might be forced to look outside the 163 area 

The better news is my transmission is running great and it’s QUIETER. I didn’t realize how bad the transmission sounded before - really whiny. Shifts are smooth and only a slight flare at 60mph on 4-5, but just once so far. A transmission shift-point reset procedure should fix that.

So here is what I did with some cautions. (If you have any comments, those might be helpful for the next home mechanic tackling these fixes.)

Part I. Drain and Disassemble.
1. Couldn’t budge the pan drain plug (with allen key) so MityVac’d out transmission fluid through dipstick tube, about 3 liters
2. Put the ML320 on ramps, front only – truck nose up about 10in – placed safety stand and blocks.
3. Twisted transmission electric plug down (counter clockwise), and removed plug.
4. The plug was dripping ATF so left hanging with blue paper towel around it to drain/wick any ATF from the pin connectors.
5. Removed six torx-30 bolts and fasteners – as carefully as I could with a socket wrench.
6. Dropped pan and checked for anything amiss with 197k+, circa 1999 aged fluid.
7. Found aforementioned round thing in pan, FREAKED, and then posted on this forum.

Part II. Valve body
8. Left pan off and collected dripping ATF under truck for the next week while I gathered the courage to pull the valve body off – my original goal.
9. Total combined ATF collected => 5.72L (of black gunk, looked like espresso and smelled burnt)
10. Removed the adaptor plug housing using a deep socket wrench (9mm?). ML320 exhaust is adjacent to work area so did these procedures with engine cold.
11. Used torx-30 and socket wrench to remove 10 bolts holding the valve body/housing/conductor plate.
12. Carefully placed valve body onto a clean garbage bag and tray and transported to my workshop (i.e. kitchen island) – CAUTION: I tried to be as clean as possible since I didn’t want to have to wash any internal parts with solvent or water – figured a new ATF filter and flush should do what is needed on what I didn’t wipe off.
13. Removed solenoid covers, three screws securing 6 solenoids on conductor plate, pulled solenoids from plate, removed conductor plate. CAUTION: Didn’t force anything and organized where everything came from.
14. Sat down and studied valve body & housing – while ATF continued to drip all over garbage bags and tray.

NOTE: So this is where I chose NOT to believe the recommendation by 43sqd.
16. Decided to open valve body and check for presence of plastic check balls
17. Removed leaf spring from bottom
18. Removed selector valve and two screens from two solenoid holes.
19. Removed 19 of 20 torx-30 bolts using a socket wrench.
20. Stripped the 20th bolt and again FREAKED.
21. Regained composure and called neighbor to borrow an electric impact driver.
22. Successfully removed last torx bolt (not as stripped as I thought, just needed more torque and direct pressure).
23. Carefully slid/opened valve body from separator plate. Removed dowel.
24. Checked top of separator plate for any items stuck to it – none found.
25. Carefully slid/opened separator plate from lower housing & again check for items on the bottom of the plate – none found.
26. Used a printout ‘map’ of the valve body channels to look for plastic check ball locations.
27. Wicked away ATF where plastic check balls were located and found all four require balls.
28. Wicked away ATF where metal check balls were located and found all 8 metal balls and central screen too.
29. Confirm that all check balls were present and looked like “bearings” as previously described.
30. Did not clean or otherwise disturb channels or interior of valve body or housing.
31. Did not remove side plates or any other valves
32. Wiped the separator plate off with lint free paper towel – both sides
33. Reassembled in reverse order.
34. Torqued all 20 bolts to 71.5 in-lbs (8nm). Tighened short side – to long side row order.
35. Attached leaf spring and selector valve – CAUTION: make sure selector value is correct orientation – Reference and read forum notes of others breaking the plastic on installation to tranny.
36. Clipped on new OE conductor plate.
37. Wiped off solenoids and lubricated same o-rings with new ATF, installed by gently, but firmly, seating through plastic plate – remember to reinstall the two screens.
38. Installed solenoid clips and plate holders – torqued to about 45 in-lbs (couldn’t find specs but side screws are 4nm & previous top bolts are 8nm)
39. Wiped down exterior top of valve body, particular attention to sides where it attaches to transmission – the well machined and smooth surfaces.
40. Covered up valve body, drank a Guinness (two actually) and took a break.
41. Cleaned around pan opening and wiped out the plug adapter opening.
42. Wiped inside tranny area where valve body attached – machined smooth area.
43. Installed valve body to transmission – careful not to touch anything or contaminate – the underside of SUVis really dirty. CAUTION: don’t force anything and line up well – particularly plastic selector valve. Torqued screws to 8nm.
44. Installed new adapter by lubricating plug adapter o-rings and tightening seating adapter center bolt – hand tightened as unable to locate torque spec. CAUTION: Adapter is tightening metal screw to metal socket both housed in plastic.
45. Installed pan gasket on clean pan, lined up pan and torqued retaining bolts to specification in alternating order.
46. Cleaned electric plug with MAF cleaner multiple times. Let dry. Seated and locked into new adaptor plug.
47. Got up, danced a jig, and realized I still needed to fill with tranny fluid.

Part III. AT Fluid
NOTE: Definitely NOT looking for any opinions with regard to ATF here, but just telling you what I did and will update you on any further issues.
48. Poured 3 liters Fuchs 3533 (236.12) down dipstick tube.
49. Started engine, 10 seconds in each gear: P,N,D,4,3,2,1. Left engine running.
50. Poured 2 liters Fuchs 3533 down dipstick tube. Left engine running 10 minutes.
51. At 90 F engine gauge temp, checked fluid level. Did not register on aftermarket dipstick.
52. Began pouring Shell 134 (236.14) down dipstick in 3-4oz increments, alternating dipstick check and pour. NOTE: dipstick checked when in Park.
53. At 5 L + 0.5 qt (236.12 & 236.14 , respectively), ran through gears 20 seconds each: P, N,D,…,1.
54. Brought up to level of lower 80 F mark on dipstick – engine at normal operating temp, but in Park.
55. Total fluid added: 5 liter of 236.12 and 1.09 liters of 236.14. Collected 5.7 liters of old ATF – about a beer can’s amount of ATF missing from normal operations before this maintenance. That might explain the transmission whining sound . . . and all the gunky stuff on the under carriage.
56. Took a 3 mile neighborhood drive manually shifting through all gears up and down and autoshifting in Drive.
57. Checked ATF level in Park and registered at lower 80 F mark.
58. Parked for 2 hours.
59. Drove 15 miles to meet family for dinner (around town driving). Drove back.
60. Check transmission fluid level. In Park, right at lower 80 F mark. However, still stopped but in Drive gear (with spousal assistance), ATF level is centered between low and high 80 F mark. Right on the money!

PART IV. Follow-up and Notes.
61. I plan to do multiple partial drain and refill of 134 ATF in 500 miles and again at 1,000 miles. Right now, assuming my tranny is 8.5 L capacity, it is 59% (5L) of 236.12, 13% (1.1L) of 236.14, and 28% (2.4L) of 236.10 old espresso.
62. I figure that after 197,750 miles, I don’t want to shock the system too much. You know us old guys are prone to heart attacks and embolisms .

CAUTIONARY NOTES:
63. Keep your work area as clean as possible.
64. Kitchen garbage bags are clean, cheap, and easy work/transport/cover up tools.
65. Use an electric impact driver (18v or stronger) to REMOVE screw/bolts. A socket wrench is slippery when oily – only one quasi stripped bolt this time but one time too many.
66. Purchase more ATF than what you think you may need. If you sourced it locally, you can usually return it. If you source it via mail, waiting for more to arrive is painful.
67. Also, it would likely be better to use only a single type of ATF. Mine are all MB spec list approved, but just at different times in the ML’s life.
68. Definitely use a fill funnel with a screen or filter on it. After pouring the first bottle of ATF, there was a piece of white plastic the size of a finger nail clipping that was caught by the filter screen. Whew!

Hope this is helpful. Any comments would be appreciated for others tackling this, but I am off to my next project: fuel line and filter change. Thanks.
dminpdx is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 05:04 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320 06 ML500
Location: Bronx, New York
Posts: 16,547
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dminpdx View Post

NOTE: So this is where I chose NOT to believe the recommendation by 43sqd.
What recommendation?
43sqd is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: Aug 2016
Vehicle: 1999 ML320 (198k as of Aug16)
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
That check balls are "round" and are "the size of small ball bearings" . . . I assumed you correctly identified the photo as something other than a check ball.

In either case, thanks for the info. I now know what I should be looking for AND it was a good learning experience opening the valve body up.

By the way, just got back on a 150 mile round trip (to my steelhead river) through stop-and-go traffic and 75 mph highway speeds and the transmission is running great! No flares after the shift point reset and feels smooth both up and down. Will give it a few hundred more miles before I start pulling the drift boat again.
dminpdx is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 03:23 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320 06 ML500
Location: Bronx, New York
Posts: 16,547
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
I did not make a recommendation, I made a statement in that the check balls are round and are the size of small ball bearings.

And no, I have not identified the item in your photo.

Watch this YouTube video of the conductor plate tear down and all the parts are identified.

mattml430 likes this.
43sqd is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 03:46 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
mattml430's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2008
Vehicle: 2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 4,286
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 774 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
WOW!!! 10 out of 10 to the guys that wake up in the morning and say i might design and build a valve body today. My head hurts just thinking about how that works. Incredible , and thats close to 20 years old i guess. just trying to imagine what a 9 speed tranny looks like. Cool video Jim...
mattml430 is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 03:51 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320 06 ML500
Location: Bronx, New York
Posts: 16,547
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattml430 View Post
WOW!!! 10 out of 10 to the guys that wake up in the morning and say i might design and build a valve body today. My head hurts just thinking about how that works. Incredible , and thats close to 20 years old i guess. just trying to imagine what a 9 speed tranny looks like. Cool video Jim...
matt, the 722.9 is exactly the same. The only big difference is the ETC is built into the conductor plate but it can be removed and replaced.
mattml430 likes this.
43sqd is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Newbie
 
Date registered: Aug 2016
Vehicle: 1999 ML320 (198k as of Aug16)
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
My bad on the "recommendation" terminology.

Thanks for the video link. I should have watched this before scratching my curiosity itch.

By the way:

I assume that check balls are used as some type of back-flow device in the valve body. But if one did fail and slip past the plate that separates the valve body/housing and somehow exits that maze, where would it go next? I assume it would have to find its way through the rest of the transmission (clutch plate space, torque converter) and cooling system before ending up in the pan right?
dminpdx is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 06:56 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320 06 ML500
Location: Bronx, New York
Posts: 16,547
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dminpdx View Post
My bad on the "recommendation" terminology.

Thanks for the video link. I should have watched this before scratching my curiosity itch.

By the way:

I assume that check balls are used as some type of back-flow device in the valve body. But if one did fail and slip past the plate that separates the valve body/housing and somehow exits that maze, where would it go next? I assume it would have to find its way through the rest of the transmission (clutch plate space, torque converter) and cooling system before ending up in the pan right?
No way to any of your questions or assumptions.
43sqd is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Vans/Trucks/SUV/Others > W163 M-Class

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 

Title goes here

close
video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome