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1977 280CE EURO, 1979 280CE EURO
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I was out driving and was shifting in to second gear when I heard a slight grinding sound. I backed off the gas and when my rpm's dropped proceded to shift. Then noticed that I no longer had first or second gear and my shifter moved freely back n forth between the two positions. Made it home in third. Reverse, third, and fourth are there does anyone have any idea what could be going on with the tranny? Is this problem minor or major and could it be a gear alignment issue?
 

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82 300D VNT, 80 240D 3.0T
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Could be as simple as a shift linkage bushing on a lever or as big as a chunked gear inside. You'll have to crawl under and look at the linkage.

If there is no problem with that then you should drain the oil, check for chunks or specks of metal in the old oil and fish around inside the case with a flexible pen magnet to see if you can catch any loose metal left behind.
 

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1980 300 TD
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and my shifter moved freely back n forth between the two positions.
This also gives me the idea there's something wrong with the linkage rod..
 

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Yesterday Then noticed that I no longer had first or second gear and my shifter moved freely back n forth between the two positions.
Sounds like a busted plastic shift lever bushing, or the clip fell off, then the rod fell off. Fairly simple fixed from under the car if that is the case. Otherwise you're probably looking at removing the tranny. Get a helper and have them shift through the gears while you look from under the car. You should see right away whether the shifter is moving all the tranny levers or not. If they all move, then it is in the tranny itself.
 

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1977 280CE EURO, 1979 280CE EURO
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the input, as soon as the rain subsides I will be out in the driveway checking things out. Hopefully thats it because it seems like there is nothing there at all when I move the shifter.
 

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If its totally free then the linkage came off not just a busted bushing.
 

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1977 280CE EURO, 1979 280CE EURO
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pulled the car in the garage and looked underneath. The bushings on the linkage are fine, watching everything move the problem seems to be internal, but if something came off inside why do third, fourth, and reverse still work and why is there no grinding or funny sounds when i move the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can the linkage come loose from the inside the tranny and if i take it out and open it up what am I getting my self into. Can things be realigned and repaired.
 

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Can the linkage come loose from the inside the tranny and if i take it out and open it up what am I getting my self into. Can things be realigned and repaired.
Yes. Did you shift the arms on the transmission by hand? Did you hear clicking for the troubled gears? PM me your email address, I have some useful pdfs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
pm sent, thanks

No, I didnt shift the arms by hand, and the only sound that I heard was the sound of the gears linking up in third fourth and reverse.
 

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pm sent, thanks

No, I didnt shift the arms by hand, and the only sound that I heard was the sound of the gears linking up in third fourth and reverse.
Ill send you what I have when I get home. The bad news is that if there is damage, replacing anything will be costly and difficult without replacing the whole transmission. You will certainly want to replace the wear parts in there. syncros are $50 a pop last I heard. You should be able to get a decent used one on carparts.org locally for under $400.

Please please please take pictures of the tear down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have looked all over the city for w123 that are still hanging around in local salvage yards and pick and pulls and have come up with nothing. Last week I drove to an import yard about an hour outside of town looking for a light switch only to come up with empty hands. Alot of places around here are crushing them, I guess the demand for there parts around here is low, and they figure that they are just taking up space so they get rid of them.
 

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I have looked all over the city for w123 that are still hanging around in local salvage yards and pick and pulls and have come up with nothing. Last week I drove to an import yard about an hour outside of town looking for a light switch only to come up with empty hands. Alot of places around here are crushing them, I guess the demand for there parts around here is low, and they figure that they are just taking up space so they get rid of them.
I'd be willing to pull one for you for parts and labor and ship it. No gauruntee other than I can verify that the gears all turn and shift appropriately outside of the car. I have a spare already but am hesitant to give it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That would be great if I pull the bad one off and the work on it is to extensive for me to fix it. Do you know about the rear differentials on the gas benz vs the diesel models and if I replace my bad one with one that has a different ratio than whats on my car what are the pros and cons?
 

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That would be great if I pull the bad one off and the work on it is to extensive for me to fix it. Do you know about the rear differentials on the gas benz vs the diesel models and if I replace my bad one with one that has a different ratio than whats on my car what are the pros and cons?
Oh ah I forgot you are a gasser. What side is the starter bump on? Is this aluminum or cast iron tranny? Most of the gearing is the same across all the manuals you will find in a W123 in the states. The ones that are diff are only diff in 1st gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My starter is on the passenger side of the engine. I am not sure if my tranny is cast iron or aluminum. Both of my w123's are graymarket but I cant really be particular seeing that my resources are so limited. One needs a tranny and the other needs a differential but I think that I have found a good lead on the differential. Have you ever heard of silver star salvage? In the next two weeks I will pull my tranny out and post pics. I am going to go look for reading material on trannys to get ready for this.
 

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My starter is on the passenger side of the engine. I am not sure if my tranny is cast iron or aluminum. Both of my w123's are graymarket but I cant really be particular seeing that my resources are so limited. One needs a tranny and the other needs a differential but I think that I have found a good lead on the differential. Have you ever heard of silver star salvage? In the next two weeks I will pull my tranny out and post pics. I am going to go look for reading material on trannys to get ready for this.
That is good, most gassers have the starter drivers side. If you look at the arms on the transmission, if they are mounted on an oval like plate it is a cast iron. Let me know if you need the trans.
 
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