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1995 C280
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was scoping out changing the transmission fluid and filter and the only part that looks hard is getting the drain plug for the torque converter lined up. I was doing a quick check to make sure I could get everything lined and am really confused now as to whether the 95 has a drain plug for the torque converter. What is the easiest way to rotate the engine slowly enough to see if there is a drain plug and to also get it lined up to remove? There isn't a whole lot of room in the front to get a socket on the crank shaft nut. Is there some other way besides having someone bump the starter? Thanks for any help on this.
 

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2000 E320 4Matic Black on Black - Decked out!
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298 Posts
Yes, there is a drain plug..

The easiest way to get the plug accessible is to use a socket and ratchet on the crank bolt and turn by hand (clockwise only) until the plug is visible in the access plug area of the transmission housing.

If you don't have enough clearance for the wrench, take apart the fan shroud. (no tools needed)

I forget the size of the socket...

It's really easy, just be warned.. DO NOT fill the transmission completely before starting!

Fill a few quarts, stop, start the car, run the selector level through the gears and the fill the rest.

If you do it all at once, your gonna have a lake of fluid under your car ;)

Been there, what a mess.
 

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1995 C280
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips! Good tip on the fan shroud removal. I think that will do the trick. Gonna try this tomorrow, hope it goes smoothly.
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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1,593 Posts
It's really easy, just be warned.. DO NOT fill the transmission completely before starting!

Fill a few quarts, stop, start the car, run the selector level through the gears and the fill the rest.

If you do it all at once, your gonna have a lake of fluid under your car ;)

Been there, what a mess.
Why not fill all at once? Why would there be a leak if the drain plug is closed?
 

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2000 C230 Kompressor
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141 Posts
b/c you will not get all the fluid out even with the torque converter drained; and you definitely overfill and potentially damage the transmission. The procedure is outlined in the Bentley manual and states not to put all the fluid in at once.
 

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1994 C280 1996 C36 2002 ML500
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513 Posts
It's really easy, just be warned.. DO NOT fill the transmission completely before starting!

Fill a few quarts, stop, start the car, run the selector level through the gears and the fill the rest.

If you do it all at once, your gonna have a lake of fluid under your car ;)

Been there, what a mess.
Thanks for the reminder!
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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1,593 Posts
OK I understand. I was just thinking I would measure what comes out and replace exactly that amount. Much easier and quicker than going back and forth.
 

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2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
What gearbox do you have?

If it is a 5-speed 722.6 (like mine) the final level is checked using a dipstick, and the ATF should be at working temperature, ie, 80 degrees C. You can point a cheap IR digital thermometer at the gearbox pan to get that right.
 

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1995 C280
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Almost finished the job yesterday. I was shocked when I drained the old fluid. I bought my 95 C280 with 36k miles on it in 2000. It now has 113k and the trans fluid had not been changed. It actually drained really clean, clear red, not muddy at all. I didn't get the pan gasket on quite right and lost about a quart of fluid on the garage floor. I put 4 quarts in and ran it through the gears. The last problem is actually getting a good reading off of the dipstick. It has the markings for cold and hot temps, but I can't seem to get a good read off of it. Seems like it gets fluid on it as I push it down the tube. I'm using Pentosin ATF which is essentially clear (and not read) which adds to the difficulty.
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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1,593 Posts
Almost finished the job yesterday. I was shocked when I drained the old fluid. I bought my 95 C280 with 36k miles on it in 2000. It now has 113k and the trans fluid had not been changed. It actually drained really clean, clear red, not muddy at all. I didn't get the pan gasket on quite right and lost about a quart of fluid on the garage floor. I put 4 quarts in and ran it through the gears. The last problem is actually getting a good reading off of the dipstick. It has the markings for cold and hot temps, but I can't seem to get a good read off of it. Seems like it gets fluid on it as I push it down the tube. I'm using Pentosin ATF which is essentially clear (and not read) which adds to the difficulty.
Your original fluid seems clean and didn't quite need changing. There is a lot of talk about changing the fluid every 30-50K miles, and then there is what the manual says-- it is sealed for life. Then there are people saying they have found MB technical bulletins that say MB has changed their original stance. I have yet to read the actual bulletin.

Anyway, I have never heard of Pentosin. Does it conform to the standards listed in your manual? How much did you pay for a qt?
 

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2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
Then there are people saying they have found MB technical bulletins that say MB has changed their original stance. I have yet to read the actual bulletin.
SI00.20-P-0022A is dated 18/2/05.

It refers to models 203, 209, 215, 220, 230 with specified serial numbers, using 722.6 and 722.9 autoboxes, and states that the ATF should be changed (once) at 60k km.
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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SI00.20-P-0022A is dated 18/2/05.

It refers to models 203, 209, 215, 220, 230 with specified serial numbers, using 722.6 and 722.9 autoboxes, and states that the ATF should be changed (once) at 60k km.
Good info. I'll have to look this up. i wonder why they would specify serial numbers. usually it goes by engine numbers or transmission numbers. i'll have to get the bulletin from the dealer and read it.

are those "model" numbers chassis numbers?
 

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1995 C280
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I read quite a bit on the transmission fluid debate. I incorrectly assumed that my 95 was a "sealed for life", but when I actually read the service intervals, it does specify changing every 30k miles. The Pentosin is a german brand that meets all the specs. Both import places recommended and carried the Pentosin (Pentosin - Motor Oil). Both places also had Molylube. The Pentosin is designed for German.European cars (MB, Audi, Porsche, VW). It came up to $15/quart. I msut admit, that the whole debate is very confusing which is why I went ahead and changed. I hope I didn't do the wrong thing. BTW, thanks to everyone for all the help in this thread. What a great community. I hope I can return the favor for someone in the future.
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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1,593 Posts
That's weird. My manual says it is sealed for life and needs no attention! I see the confusion.

I am happy you got it all taken care of.
 

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1995 C280 (165K mi)
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1,593 Posts
Aah... they could be.

Here is the SI I referred to:
Excellent stuff. Thank you.

Interesting to see that this doesn't affect my old model. Mine is a 202 with transmission 722.4. Mine still falls under the sealed for life doctrine!

It seems the newer models need changing. Either way I check my transmission regularly and looks great.
 

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2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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11,377 Posts
I don't think that MB have ever officially explained their change of policy wrt ATF change for the 722.6 and 722.9 auto gearboxes, but I suspect that it has something to do with their choice of materials within the gearbox. For a while they really believed that there would be near-zero wear on the moving parts, and the ATF service change was therefore eliminated.

When subsequent events showed this not to be quite true, the company reverted to something like their original philosophy....
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Any on line pdfs of the Bentley manual? I was able to get a full version of the Bentley for my 1990 BMW 525i - just wondering if I can save a few bucks.....

Also, I bought the A/T dip-stick from Autohaus for $56 - do I need it or is there a work around? Would like to return and save the $56 if possible!
 

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2010 C200 CGI /W203/SLK230/W202/230E/280SE
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3,301 Posts
1 metre of flex curtain wire will cost you $1 - here are the HOT measurements (you may want to double check with your $56 unit

5.3cm low --- 6.4 cm high -- HOT (80deg C)

Works OK for something you'll only ever use 2-3 times - I dip it a few times to double check reading - good idea to let fluid settle down in the tube before reading

Oberoi
 

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