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1983 W123 200T
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My W123 has a manual 5 speed. When pulling away in 1st, if I don't release the clutch gently I get a slight clunk.
This also happens when changing to 2nd and to a lesser extent 3rd.
There's obviously some play somewhere but I'd like advice where to look first.
If I grab the prop shaft, should there be any rotational play at the diff end? What about the gearbox end?
I read somewhere it could be engine mounts, but these have been changed recently along with gearbox mount and diff mount.
Could this be a sign the clutch needs changing?
 

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W123 300CD, W123 300TD, W202 C250D Turbo
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171 Posts
What about the centre bearing on the drive shaft and / or the flex plates ...... I had a worn centre bearing that used to shudder when taking off (auto trans in this case).
 

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1989 W124 260E
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1,784 Posts
If not a good brand they have now gone bad .Mercedes parts only for these rubber flexi plates .Check it again to be sure .Along with propshaft nuts and bolts .I have had the nuts come loose on one car i had ,And if those are ok then it would be final drive play .;
 

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1983 W123 200T
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi, thanks.
Just to be clear, the centre bearing and support have been changed, but neither of the flex discs.
They both appear OK but I realise it's better to examine when off the car.
Could worn flex discs cause the symptoms I'm getting. I assumed they would have to look pretty knackered on the car if they got to the point of making a clunk.
Just about only happens in 1st and 2nd.
 

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85 Audi Coupe Quattro, 91 Mercedes 300CE, 71 BMW turbo 2002, 73 BMW 2002tii, 85 BMW 635csi
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18,430 Posts
What about those plastic dog bone looking things on rear axle hubs. Forgot the name of them..sway bar link?
 

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1983 W123 200T
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Replaced those last year too.

Forgot to mention I can reduce or even stop the clunk if I release the clutch very slowly.
 

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W123 300CD, W123 300TD, W202 C250D Turbo
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171 Posts
I gather it happens when the torque is rapidly applied from releasing the clutch (not too slowly).
Assuming the cross member if bolted on tight, as is the trans to the car
, looks like it is gear box / clutch related as we have eliminated everything else.....
 

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1983 W123 200T
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's what I'm thinking too.
I do sometimes get some clutch judder when cold, but that seems to be less frequent now that I use the car every day
 

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85 Audi Coupe Quattro, 91 Mercedes 300CE, 71 BMW turbo 2002, 73 BMW 2002tii, 85 BMW 635csi
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18,430 Posts
and the front end is all good (ball joints etc ?)
I was thinking where the sway bar connects to firewall. Had similar clunk issue on my once upon a time W116 many years ago.
 

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1983 W123 200T
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
sway bar bushes replaced a few months ago and the problem has been present before and after.
Upper control arms, rear subframe mounts, shocks and all steering arms changed recently.
Car only has 107000miles so I was hoping gear box and diff will be OK.
No apparent play in lower ball joints.
 

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W123 300CD, W123 300TD, W202 C250D Turbo
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171 Posts
I have had a cracked rear trail link (on an imported UK wagon) that was caused by internal rust. The trail links arms OK
 
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