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1983 280SL 5 Speed
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I have been having an issue with my 280SL. After doing a mountain drive, the car would resist going into gear, but I could still actuate the clutch like usual. I let it cool of and it would sometimes let me put in some gears like 4th. However, after sometime, I could turn off the engine and start it in any gear. Once I got home, the clutch pedal stopped working and would just go to the floor. Anyone experience something like this before or have some advice? The brake steering reservoir is full as well.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,526 Posts
The brake/clutch reservoir and power steering reservoirs are separate parts. Are you certain the rear chamber of the brake reservoir is full? If it is you need to check the slave cylinder.
 

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1983 280SL 5 Speed
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
This is what I am referring to when I am talking about the brake reservoir, is this the right thing to be looking at? If so, it is full, yes.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,604 Posts
Well....you have a clutch master under the dash attached to the clutch pedal that gets fluid from the brake reservoir.
You also have a slave cylinder attached to the side of the trani.
Either one of these fail....and you won't be able to shift with the clutch.
The car is new to you?
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,526 Posts
Yes. That is the brake/clutch reservoir. That one has enough fluid to operate.
 

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1983 280SL 5 Speed
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well....you have a clutch master under the dash attached to the clutch pedal that gets fluid from the brake reservoir.
You also have a slave cylinder attached to the side of the trani.
Either one of these fail....and you won't be able to shift with the clutch.
The car is new to you?
Yes, I just purchased the car a few days ago. I'm also super new to SL's and working on them.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,526 Posts
Here's what yours will look like. 280SL Brake-Clutch Reservoir.jpg

The blue hose on the right goes through to the master cylinder. Yours may not be blue. Note the fluid level in the rear chamber is low.
 

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1983 280SL 5 Speed
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I see what you're saying, the reservoir is divided into two sections, and the area with the blue hose is lower. I'll check it out and get back to you.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,604 Posts
I thought 3 sections?
Front / rear / clutch?
Memory, or lack thereof, sucks. And my SL is miles away.
I dunno.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,526 Posts
Nobby. You know better than I do. I just assumed it is the same as the auto trans.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,604 Posts
Nobby. You know better than I do. I just assumed it is the same as the auto trans.
Rowdie....I am guessing, now. I really can;t recall.
 

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Registered
1998 ML320, 1975 280C
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184 Posts
I know clutches, but I've NEVER worked on the MB manual, so here goes.
Looking at the photo from pelican parts, you can see the fitting at the rear of the reservoir . Yours should have a hose going to the clutch master inside the car, and a hard line going from it to the slave next to the transmission. If the fluid is below the seam like the photo, you are probably too low. You may have heated up the fluid in the hills, and lost a little going down. this MAY have caused the clutch side to go low, and introduced air into the system. This is just a guess, but if the fluid in your car is as dark as that, it may be a problem as well. Time for a fluid flush.
So, what to do?
1. Make sure you have fluid in reservoir.
2. Get help and bleed the clutch, making sure not to let the fluid get too low.
3. If you can't bleed the clutch, or it still doesn't seem to work well, you may need a new slave or master for the clutch.
 

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1983 280SL 5 Speed
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Here's some picture. Sorry if it is hard to see, but the reservoir is slightly tilted and the back compartment looks entirely full.

What are your thoughts now? Probably the clutch slave cylinder?
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,604 Posts
Hard to see? LOL. I don't see any pics on your post.
In any event....make sure the reservoir is FULL.
Make sure there is no fluid under the dash around the brake and clutch pedal.
Now the fun part....get under the car and make sure there is no fluid on the slave or dripping out the bottom of the bell housing.
If all checks out....the cheapest thing to try first is bleeding the clutch system.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,604 Posts

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1998 ML320, 1975 280C
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184 Posts
No, I can't see them. What are you using to post them? what browser are you using?
 
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