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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a 1979 300D automatic. The previous owner had the transmission rebuilt about a year ago, and I have the record for it. I didn't notice it before buying it, but now I'm positive that my car is not using first gear. I start in second, and end in fourth. One might be able to imagine how hard it is to climb a hill from a dead stop with this problem, which is something I do many times every day. If I stop, I can put the shifter in L and the car drops into first gear. Then while at the same stop, put it back in drive, and it'll take off in first. Does anyone know why this happens? I'll take it to a mechanic, but I'd like to have some ideas first as to what to expect.
 

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96 E300D
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Yes that is how it works, 1st is a towing gear to help get started when towing something heavy. Floor it in D and it will start out in first gear but you only have like five seconds to do so from a stop.
 

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Wow, that's kinda funny. I searched after asking my question (which should have been the other way around) and I found people with different models having the same questions or complaints. Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, if you start out in "first" and it shifts 3 times, you're in forth. :p
Mine was REAL slow off the line until I adjusted tne valves & ALDA.
I had the valves and injector pump adjusted today, and it idles a whole lot better. It used to shake like crazy, but now it just does it a little bit. Does the '79 have the ALDA or even the rack damper screw? I couldn't find either one on my car, even after searching this site for pictures and comparing them with my car.
So my car IS supposed to start in second, right? Is that what you're saying?
 

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1990 300GD SWB, 603 Turbo
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Mercedes of that vintage started in 2nd and as mentioned if you wanted to start in first you would need to floor it to actuate the kickdown switch under your gas (diesel) pedal. Check to see if this switch is functioning properly by stomping down on the pedal from a stop. It should jump down into 1st, if not the switch may be at fault.
Additionally the valving for the transmission is located on top of your valve cover. go here: (Transmisson Vacuum Valve Lever Replacement)

And finally If your 300 has a turbo it has an ALDA. No turbo no ALDA.
Mark
 
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