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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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Discussion Starter #21
Update:
I bought a brake light switch. Didn't install it.
I crawled under the truck and disconnected the rod from the trans module to the tranny. The tranny lever will move to all positions P through D.(y)
Lubed the pivot on the rod before reconnecting and reinstalled the clip. Then found that the shifter will now go to park and reverse as well as neutral and drive. I now have all my gears back.:D
Apparently just BUYING a brake light switch corrects this problem.
Witek; Please explain to me the technical reason that there can be no drive movement with the front drive shaft removed. I believe you ( I tried to move my truck), I just cannot understand why. I used to have a Bronco, it would move with one driveshaft all day. I had a friend that took the front DS out of his Ramcharger and drove it for 5 years before wrecking it. I don't understand why Mercedes makes things so complicated.
 

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Dallas, Texas
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Sometimes just buying lottery ticket gets you into another level. Your R/P lock got stuck in extended position. It is normally extended. Electromagnetic coil retracts it when you push the brake to get it out off P.

When vehicle speed exceeds ~8 km it extends again. Keeps you from moving shifter in R while vehicle is in forward motion.

For explanation of traction systems see #2 here:
 

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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Update:
So I get the driveshaft replaced and do a material run of about 30 miles. Everything works fine. Come home and now again the shifter will not go into reverse or park. OK, I have a new brake light switch...I'll install it! NOPE...the switch is not on the brake pedal. I search the forums here and find the switch is in the booster!!!! That has to be the stupidest idea in automotive history.
Why would something simple, ( like the switch on the pedal) be replaced with a switch in the booster!!!!!! o_O
So now the question...can this switch be bypassed and wired into a switch on the pedal? Also I'm told there is a solenoid that locks out the shifting, this causing the problem I have. Is there a way to get to that solenoid to disable it and remove the possibility of this problem ever happening again? I don't think I will have the occasion to be driving and suddenly decide to slam the tranny into reverse or park.
Again thanks in advance for any help.
 

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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
yes they do. However I was told that is not a good indication of full switch functionality.
 

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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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Discussion Starter #32
I do get a display on the dash for D or N when I am in those gears. The vehicle runs and shifts great on the road. No hesitation from one gear to the next. Downshifts are good.....just can't physically get the shift handle into R or P.
Did this before and went away on its own...so it's intermittent. I'm thinking a sticking solenoid.
 

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Dallas, Texas
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I do get a display on the dash for D or N when I am in those gears. The vehicle runs and shifts great on the road. No hesitation from one gear to the next. Downshifts are good.....just can't physically get the shift handle into R or P.
Did this before and went away on its own...so it's intermittent. I'm thinking a sticking solenoid.
It does sound like sticky solenoid. Signal for R/P lock comes to shifter from traction system over CAN network.
 

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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
I took out my shifter assembly and removed the cover expecting the lock lever to be broken. It wasn't. It is the newer aluminum part as well, not plastic. The solenoid was in the retracted position and the lever down, but I still could not move the shifter past neutral. I tried pulling the solenoid to the extended position but still the shifter was not going past neutral. I removed the lock lever and VOILA! movement to all gears. I cleaned and lubed the assembly and reinstalled the lock lever....again could not shift past neutral.
By now I was tired and aggravated, so I reinstalled the shifter with the lock lever removed. Now can get the vehicle in all gears. I was also able to verify that the solenoid was activating (extending) when I pressed on the brake.
I'm going to drive it without the lock lever installed for a few days and see if I have any other issues.
Thanks for the help
 

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Dallas, Texas
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I took out my shifter assembly and removed the cover expecting the lock lever to be broken. It wasn't. It is the newer aluminum part as well, not plastic. The solenoid was in the retracted position and the lever down, but I still could not move the shifter past neutral. I tried pulling the solenoid to the extended position but still the shifter was not going past neutral. I removed the lock lever and VOILA! movement to all gears. I cleaned and lubed the assembly and reinstalled the lock lever....again could not shift past neutral.
By now I was tired and aggravated, so I reinstalled the shifter with the lock lever removed. Now can get the vehicle in all gears. I was also able to verify that the solenoid was activating (extending) when I pressed on the brake.
I'm going to drive it without the lock lever installed for a few days and see if I have any other issues.
Thanks for the help
Those and other safety features are in place because:

 

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04 ML500, 98 SLK230, 92 500SL
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
I hear you brother,
I grew up driving 3 and 4 speed stuff with no lock out, air bags, seat belt warnings or other safety features. I survived.
I have to have my vehicle for my business. My plan is to drive it for the week then see if I can find what little anomaly is causing the darn thing to screw up on me. It must be something worn or out of place.
I did notice the replacement levers came with a spring. Mine has no spring. Could that be the issue?
 

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Registered
Dallas, Texas
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7,712 Posts
I hear you brother,
I grew up driving 3 and 4 speed stuff with no lock out, air bags, seat belt warnings or other safety features. I survived.
I have to have my vehicle for my business. My plan is to drive it for the week then see if I can find what little anomaly is causing the darn thing to screw up on me. It must be something worn or out of place.
I did notice the replacement levers came with a spring. Mine has no spring. Could that be the issue?
I do not know of any repair kit for W163 shifter. W220, R230 yes. Those are notorious for plastic lever brake.
 
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