The silver S430 has been getting a lot of TLC from yours truly. This stuff is fun.
The transmission's shifting felt kinda sluggish. It's never failed to shift, and it's not in limp-home mode, but the shifts would feel just slightly klunky--no banging noises, just a feel--and it was starting to get very gradually more mushy, if you will. There were no codes. It'd probably be fine for another 10,000 miles, but I just don't like sloppiness on a Benz. Better to deal with it sooner, when I can take my time and do it right.
Some Googling and STFF'ing said something about the speed sensor typically causing this, and the way to deal with one of those on the 722.6 transmission is replacing the conductor plate with a new one. Since I already had a plate handy, I thought, might as well try an experiment.
Sure enough, it worked. Shifts did firm up considerably, which I consider a good thing. The "klunky" feeling is pretty much gone. I had done the transmission fluid and filter exchange (the full 14 liter version) about 5,000 miles ago, and apparently dropping the tranny pan really does result in a loss of nearly exactly 4L of fluid. Four more liters of the good stuff took care of things. Also replaced that made-in-Taiwan Meyle filter with a genuine M-B filter, as well as a new trans electric connector (also M-B brand). Hey, those have to come out anyway, so might as well, right?
The job took me about 5 hours, since it was my first one, and as usual, I'm doing it on the street, i. e. no lift. Actually, since my buddy's borrowing my jack, I did it with the car's front end up on a pair of Rhino Ramps.
Yes, it can be done. It's a little awkward getting the valve body back in, especially if you have long arms, but it's certainly doable. Next time, it'll probably take me about 2 hours since I now have a better idea of how to do it.
While I was at it, I checked the resistance of the solenoids. All of 'em are right within spec; matter of fact, they're at dead-center of the acceptable range.
Miles on the car are 143K. Tonight's test drive was a pleasure. Well, driving that car always has been, and now it's even more so.