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Registered
1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My first post...

I'm thinking of buying my first benz, I'm looking at an 85 300sd automatic tran. It's for sale locally and I have already went by to look at it. The car looks decent in and out for a car it's age. Known issues with the car:

1. Tranny is out
2. A/C is out
3. drivers seat has some tears
4. ODO is out currently reads 240mi
5. Drivers window doesn't roll up.

I can pickup the car for less than $1000, how much less is up to negotiation.

I'm a confident DIY guy, I do as much of the work on my own cars as possible. I rarely visit a repair shop.

My main concern with the car is the transmission. The owner wasn't home when I looked at it but he left the car open. What struck me about the transmission was that I was able to shift through all gears, R F N, etc even without pressing brake and not having key in ignition? Is this normal? If not then I'm assuming this is part of the problem - the owner said that everything was fine then one day it wouldn't move. I had my wife shift while I peaked underneath and could feel the shifter move the linkage that leads into the transmission so the problem must be internal. My question is, is this a simple fix or rebuild?

My next biggest concerned would be the AC. Clicking the schraeder (sp?) valves indicates no refrigerant, I'm assuming there is a leak. I'm thinking I could find the leak repair it and convert to r134a for little investment. Worst case replace compressor and/or condensor, $500? Is this this a wrong assumption?

Power windows seem to be a common issue on this car. I've replaced power window motors and regulators in the past but can't seem to find much information on this problem much less parts. Any help?

I was going to walk away from the deal completely but I then found a used transmission for sale locally for $150. I feel confident in replacing it if necessary but would rather keep what's in there if it's an easy fix.

My goals for this car is to have a reliable daily driver that can give me decent fuel economy (hoping for 25mpg mixed driving). I currently drive a suburban and I love to tinker with mechanical things. If I can park my burb save a little on fuel to pay for tinkering on my Benz then I would be happy.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Joined
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40,143 Posts
Have you tried a forum search? The archive has a wealth of information.

Please click 'User CP' on the top tool bar, and complete your profile with a location and model of your car.
It makes it easier for members to offer advice. MB produced different, and region / Country specific versions of our cars.

Welcome, to take advantage of all the forum features, please re visit the 'Welcome to the Forum' tutorial sticky on top of the W126 page, as well as the two DIY stickies.
It will show how to search the forum (3 words min.), and has a link to the Russian MB site where you can run a VIN#.
Cheers
 

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Registered
1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
Joined
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response.

I've updated my profile and gone through all the welcomes and DIY pages. I think I found the answer to all but one question.

Are you supposed to be able to shift the transmission without the key in the ignition or the brake depressed? If not then what could cause this problem? As stated before I've already verified the linkage from gear selector to tranny is OK. I've read posts where people couldn't get it into or out of park because of bad/worn shift rod bushings. Don't know if these bushings could cause this problem. Also read about the b2 piston problem but it doesn't fit my description. Don't know if it helps but the shifter moves very easy with little or no effort. Maybe there is a connection loose inside the tranny that I can check by dropping the pan?
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Joined
·
40,143 Posts
Thanks for your response.

I've updated my profile and gone through all the welcomes and DIY pages. I think I found the answer to all but one question.

Are you supposed to be able to shift the transmission without the key in the ignition or the brake depressed? If not then what could cause this problem? As stated before I've already verified the linkage from gear selector to tranny is OK. I've read posts where people couldn't get it into or out of park because of bad/worn shift rod bushings. Don't know if these bushings could cause this problem. Also read about the b2 piston problem but it doesn't fit my description. Don't know if it helps but the shifter moves very easy with little or no effort. Maybe there is a connection loose inside the tranny that I can check by dropping the pan?

To be able to shift the lever through the gears, without depressing a pedal or inserting / turning the key as you describe is normal.
The neutral safety switch will let you start the car only in P. or N.
Cheers
 

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Registered
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Sport Package, 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500sel US Spec
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302 Posts
check the mbcoupes guide...it helped me out....should be with the first few permanent posts
 

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Registered
1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
Joined
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So I can shift the car into nuetral without the key or pressing the brake????

If this is true then I think I'll steer clear of this car based on this alone. I have three small children that I love dearly. So all of the safety features are for not? Surely this can't be right?

The car is currently sitting on an incline and if I put it in park it will roll when I let off the parking brake. Same in all gears, like it's not engaging anything.

Sorry to be a pest but I've scoured this entire forum including the coupe pages and didn't find any useful info. I think I've read every sticky in every forum. Am I missing something, maybe a link please.
 

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Registered
1982 280 se aut. ecc. - sold
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1,607 Posts
It should hold in P although it's not designed to hold on a hill. Use the E-brake

gr J
 

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Registered
1985 300SD, 1984 500SEL Euro (for sale), 1977 450SL (adopted)
Joined
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340 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Understood, but once in park I should not be able to move it out of P until I either put the key in and/or press the brake correct? In this case I don't have the key in or my foot on the brake and I can move the shifter around wherever I want and the car is always essentially in neutral. Not a very steep incline by the way, just a driveway.

I'm sorry if I'm missing something obvious but I'm just not familiar enough with MB to know if this is normal behavior. :confused:
 

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Registered
1989 500 SEC, Arctic White (147)/Sato Grey (7738) - Dark Blue Leather (262)
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124 Posts
Understood, but once in park I should not be able to move it out of P until I either put the key in and/or press the brake correct? In this case I don't have the key in or my foot on the brake and I can move the shifter around wherever I want and the car is always essentially in neutral. Not a very steep incline by the way, just a driveway.

I'm sorry if I'm missing something obvious but I'm just not familiar enough with MB to know if this is normal behavior. :confused:
It's perfectly normal - this is how mine works. If you apply the handbrake then it avoids any question of the car rolling away if someone moves the shift lever.

I use the "P" setting to hold the car on inclines without the handbrake but not on very steep hills, even though I know it will do so without problems.

J.
 
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