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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,606 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 1979 280SL is equipped with a 4 speed manual transmission. Currently, it is filled with 90wt gear oil. I find shifting to be somewhat sluggish, and slow to warm up. It can be hard to shift cleanly when cold.

Many years ago, I had a 1979 240D with a 4 speed manual, and remember that the factory recommendation was for ATF, which is what I used. I don't recall any complaint about shifting in that car.

Any thoughts on switching this gearbox to ATF? I am assuming (but not certain) that ATF would have been the original lubricant. I am sure I would need to change the lube a few times, and install new shifter shaft seals. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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21,920 Posts
The gearbox is really similar to the much more common 240d manual transmissions. I bet you can use information about a 240d and assume it applies to the 280sl.


Edit: I found this for the 240d


 

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Premium Member
2007 ML320CDI, 1959 220SE, 1971 280SL, 1982 380SL
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585 Posts
The transmission should be filled with ATF. (Dexron is ok) They often get missfilled by those that make assumptions they should not.
 

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Registered
1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,606 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, this is what I was thinking. I am certain it will shift a lot better once done!
 

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75, 280Sl /5speed
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1,289 Posts
And don't go by Benz's fill amount recommendations. Like the transmission manufacturers say, "fill till it spills".
 

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Registered
1984 280sl 5spd, 02 E320 4matic, 79&79 450sl part-out, 78,79,81,83 300CD, 79 280CE
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1,354 Posts
My 1979 280SL is equipped with a 4 speed manual transmission. Currently, it is filled with 90wt gear oil. I find shifting to be somewhat sluggish, and slow to warm up. It can be hard to shift cleanly when cold.

Many years ago, I had a 1979 240D with a 4 speed manual, and remember that the factory recommendation was for ATF, which is what I used. I don't recall any complaint about shifting in that car.

Any thoughts on switching this gearbox to ATF? I am assuming (but not certain) that ATF would have been the original lubricant. I am sure I would need to change the lube a few times, and install new shifter shaft seals. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Registered
1984 280sl 5spd, 02 E320 4matic, 79&79 450sl part-out, 78,79,81,83 300CD, 79 280CE
Joined
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1,354 Posts
When I got my 84 280SL 5spd, the tranny had been filled with 90w. It to was hard to shift, and made a "whirring" sound almost like a bad throw-out bearing. I drained the 90w,and filled with ATF. Flushed the tranni about every 400 miles for the first 1200 miles or so. "Whirring" went away. and tranni seems to be OK, but I did fine these teeth after draining the 90w. That was 4 yrs/10K miles ago
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