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'91 300D
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have a '91 300D, non-turbo (OM603.912), with a 5-speed manual, and since I got it the biggest issue I've had is that when moving off in first gear, I feel a strong judder and the car shakes, plus it is extremely easy to stall... I have to give it some revs to overcome that, and moving off from a stop is very tricky, specially when the engine is cold.
A few months ago, I have rebuilt the differencial, and noticed a bit of oil between the engine and the transmission, but nothing significant, since the oil level is stable and there's not a single drop of oil on my driveway. Still, can this issue be cause by having oil contamination on my clutch?? Once moving, the car behaves well, the gears don´t slip, and this issue is much less significant once the engine has warmed up.
Does anyone have any advice?
Thanks in advance.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,297 Posts
You appear to have similar symptoms to mine. Mine is transmission oil spilling into the clutch friction plate area if it it is not driven for >week as the leak is minor.
Driven daily, does not happen and leaks less too. Mine is a W201 BTW,

If it sits for over a week to 2 weeks for the first few minutes I have to be careful to avoid that "judder", seems the contamination washes away quickly during usage.

I have a solution that is better than dropping the transmission to fix the leak. Drive it daily :)-))

- Cheers
 

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'91 300D
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You appear to have similar symptoms to mine. Mine is transmission oil spilling into the clutch friction plate area if it it is not driver for >week as the leak is minor.
Driver daily no effects and less leak too. Mine is a W201 BTW,

If it sits for over a week to 2 weeks for the first few minutes I have to be careful to avoid that "judder", seems the contamination washes away quickly during usage.

I have a solution that is better than dropping the transmission to fix the leak. Drive it daily :)-))

- Cheers
Unfortunetely, I do drive it daily, it is my only car, and the problem still persists... Each morning, specially if it is very cold, the judder is quite severe, and worse than that, it's hard not to stall it...
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,297 Posts
Does it go away in a few minutes completely or does it persist though out the day?

How many miles/km's on the clutch?
 

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'91 300D
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Does it go away in a few minutes completely or does it persist though out the day?

How many miles/km's on the clutch?
After the engine is at operating temperature, it gets significantly better, but the problem doesn't disappear completely.
I have no idea how many Km's are on this clutch, I bought the car about 10 months ago and I've put about 3 000 Km's on it since. Maybe I should just go ahead and replace the clutch... Just for reference, the car has about 375 000 Km, or about 230 000 miles, so I couldn't really guess for how long that clutch has been in there...
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,297 Posts
It does sound like a worn clutch. Mine is original at 200K miles/~320K Km's. Very little highway travel. It probably has another 50K miles left on it. So yours could well be the original though if not serviced, I would have expected transmission fluid leaks by now after so many miles and 30 years.
The clutch is built to last but depends on the driver of course.

- Cheers
 

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'91 300D
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It does sound like a worn clutch. Mine is original at 200K miles/~320K Km's. Very little highway travel. It probably has another 50K miles left on it. So yours could well be the original though if not serviced, I would have expected transmission fluid leaks by now after so many miles and 30 years.
The clutch is built to last but depends on the driver of course.

- Cheers
Thank you for the tips!!! I'll keep investigating...
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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13,090 Posts
I tend to agree that the clutch is about done with its useful service life. By the time you begin to experience "shudder" when taking up the pedal, the entire clutch assemble needs to be replaced. Clutch, pressure plate and throw out bearing. I would also have the slave cylinder replaced or rebuilt. When the time comes for this to be done, have the flex disk and differential bushings inspected.

This maintenance will last the life of the car in all likelihood.

Good luck

Jayare
 

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Premium Member
2016 E350 wagon; 1994 E320 wagon
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7,718 Posts
so on these cars, do they pull the engine or drop the transmission to change the clutch? or pull both as a unit, then split them on a bench ?

last clutch I did myself was a 1971 VW bus in the mid 80s, hah hah. did it entirely with hand tools and a floor jack, in the driveway. clutch was oil soaked from the engine output shaft seal, so I had to split the cases to replace that, used the same flywheel after a light spin with a fine sanding disk to smooth it off, cleaned and degreased everything, new clutch, new pressure plate, new throwout bearing, and wham bam. whole job took me 4-5 hours.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,297 Posts
On a W201, you drop the transmission. A lot easier than pulling the engine out. Since W124 has even more room under the hood I assume it is the same.
Dropping the transmission is easy. Putting it back in would be a bit more difficult since you need some sort of a lift to prop it up.
 

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W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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168 Posts
It does sound like a worn clutch. Mine is original at 200K miles/~320K Km's. Very little highway travel. It probably has another 50K miles left on it. So yours could well be the original though if not serviced, I would have expected transmission fluid leaks by now after so many miles and 30 years.
The clutch is built to last but depends on the driver of course.

- Cheers
I agree with you on that as I have the same problem but the problem clears up within the first 2 or 3 attempts to move on, i have replaced my crankshaft oil Seal but it only lasted for 7 months, I guess the mechanic used a crap quality seal since we couldn't find a known brand for that in our local market.
 

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'91 300D
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Discussion Starter #12
I have arrived to the conclusion that I probably have a slightly warped flywheel, since the clutch doens't show any indication of being worn, it has never slipped or anything like that. If I release it VERY slowly, even on an incline, I can get the car moving without any accelerator input, so I doubt the clutch is gone. The car is perfectly driveable, I just have to keep in mind that if I want to accelerate fairly quickly, I'll have to give it some revvs to compensate. I think I'll leave it as is for now, because I really don't want to spend that kind of money on a minor issue like this.
 

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W124, 230E 5 speeds Manual, 1987
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168 Posts
Warped flywheel? what would have caused that? those flywheels are very robust to my knowledge. i have never experienced a warped flywheel condition in my >1Million Km 34 years old w124 manual.
 

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'91 300D
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Discussion Starter #14
Warped flywheel? what would have caused that? those flywheels are very robust to my knowledge. i have never experienced a warped flywheel condition in my >1Million Km 34 years old w124 manual.
I don't really know what could have caused that. It might be another problem... I'm just really skeptical about my clutch being worn out, I really don't think it is... I'll install some new engine mounts in the near future to see if the surging/shake gets better...
 
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