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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an issue with my 2004 E500. I searched the forum but was unable to find a solution. My E500 has the 722.9 transmission and has approximately 240000 miles. I did the oil change at about 100000 miles and it is my understanding that this transmission is not suppose to require any additional servicing.
My issue is when the vehicle is cold and downshifts from 2nd to 1st I get a very hard downshift. Once the vehicle has traveled 1/2 mile or so the problem goes away. I do not have and issue if I take off and do not slow below 2nd in that first 1/2 mile or so (as the temp is coming up).
I am not getting any codes and there is no leak in the transmission seals.
Should I go ahead and change out the fluid, or is something else going on?
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,037 Posts
You have first generation of 7G, who had the only service scheduled at 40k miles. But service manual ends at about 140k (depends on MY) and you are well past that.
I did experience on high-mileage 5G that old fluid will thicken up and develop goo, so changing the fluid is by all means recommended.
Wipe the pan clean, clean the magnets and new filter & gasket.
 

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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kajtek1. That was my thoughts as well. I don't care how good the fluid you put in a transmission is, they all break down over time. I just wanted to make sure there was nothing else going on that I should be aware of.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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You might have 1 of the highest mileage sedan with this transmission, but I just bought Sprinter van with 7G+ transmission, closing on 260k miles. The seller said he had transmission converter replaced last year, but not only the transmissions work much harder in big vans, but in my search I run into 1 with 640k miles, still running strong.
Meaning beside initial bit***ng about transmissions, who makes mechanics go under to check fluid level, they do prove themselves to be very good units.
Funny I noticed, those transmissions do have dipstick tubes on vans.
 

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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It has been a good car. I purchased it a number of years ago with 70k on it. Hoping to get another 100k before I have to replace it. It still looks and drives great, although I have had to fix a few things along the way, but what car don't need a little love. Thankfully I am able to do most repairs myself.
 

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Immoderately Caffeinated/ Vintage Moderator
T5
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How's the SBC? I imagine it's been replaced at some stage.
 

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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have replaced/repaired several things through the years. The SBC was replaced under the Mercedes extended warranty they gave us. I have replaced ball joints (x2), tie rod ends, rear air bags (Arnot's), rear shocks, one front shock, water pump, Fuel pump seal, Coolant reservoir, SBC Pressure tank, engine and transmission mounts, radio control head and I am sure there are a few small things along the way that I have forgotten. The fuel pump seal did not fix the tank leak problem but I waited too long to get it fixed by Mercedes so I just don't fill my tank all of the way. It still runs and drives like the day I bought it. The interior and exterior are still in excellent condition, except for the sun visors, they need replaced.
 

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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
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872 Posts
Does your car have the transmission connector? I think the 7 speed also had it along with the 5 speed. Try changing that out if it has it. Usually it's wicking up fluid causing weird shifts like you described. And yeah, MB changed the specs from filled for life to changing the fluid every 39k. Get the Shell ATF 134 from a shell distributor, around $60 for a case of 12 quarts, much cheaper than the dealer or online.

 

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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input CetiAlpha5. I will check that our while I am under it this weekend. I read several similar issues involving the 722.6 and the connector but did not find anything on the 722.9. The fluid needs changed no matter. I ordered the kit from autohausAZ that included the fluid. A little steep but it has everything needed. I will post the outcome if the problem is resolved.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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7G has the plug above the fluid level, so never heard about anybody replacing pilot bushing on it, but there is 1st time for everything.
Than again, per my experience high-mileage fluid is getting heavier and makes for harder shifting.
 

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2004 E500
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Finally had a chance to change out the tranny fluid today. The fluid was dark but did not smell burnt. Seems to shift much better during the test drive. Never had any hard shifts during the warm up. I believe this has solved my issue.
I forgot how big of a pain this transmission is to change out the fluid in. A task that should take less then an hour takes over two just because of how you have to drain and fill the unit.
While crawling around under it I did find that my outer tie rods need to be replaced. A project for another weekend.
 
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