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420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My transmission works fine on my 420SEL, it shifts smoothly with no slippage but I have noticed lately that when I put it into gear from park there is a second or so before I feel it engage. Any ideas as to why, is this a problem developing or is there an adjustment that can be made? I had the fluid and filter changed about 2k miles ago.
Thanks in advance......[:)]
 

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1988 420SEL, for sale
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317 Posts
How many miles on it? Mine has about 110K, and just had the clutches replaced and new seals all around. Mine had a slow leak (for several years), and while they were in there fixing that had the clutches done also. I think the engagement delay of one second is normal. Mine still has that.
 

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-85 380 SEL
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56 Posts
Normally the engagement delay comes from internal leaks in the transmission. Because of the leaks some oil will escape to other parts of the transmission, and it will take a little bit longer time to build up pressure. Often this will be most noticeable when you start driving and set the trans into the drive position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have around 80k miles on mine at the moment so I don't think I should be seeing much wear, as I said I have had the filter and oil changed recently but I don't know how long it had been prior to that....
 

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-85 380 SEL
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With so low miles on an old car it is likely that it has been out of use for longer periodes, and that can cause the sealings to dry out. Do you know the history of the car?
 

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-85 380 SEL
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And in that case I would suppose the problem to be caused by wear. The sealings can both dry out AND wear out [:D]
 

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1990 300SE
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1,466 Posts
My car does this, mostly with going into reverse. I pretend it's normal because I'm too scared of the costs.
 

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-85 380 SEL
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56 Posts
As long as it´s not very explicit, I wouldnt mind. You can drive ten-thousands of miles with internal leaks, but of course it is a warning. That said, taking the transmission apart and change the seals doesnt have to be THAT expensive. Cheap parts, but of course, quite labour-intensive.
And, the delay can be caused by other faults than leaks...
 

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1990 420 SEL
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84 Posts
I have my 420sel Auto Transmission re-conditionded/Rebult a few yrs ago, when it has done 400,000 kms.

Before that it worked as smooth and normal. No delay after engagement, but one day, it refused to shift to higher gear. That is it !
 

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420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input, I don't have a full history on the car other than it was a one owner and it sat for a couple of years before I got it. I'll keep on driving it and if it gets worse I'll get it checked out further. I drove it this evening after changing the plugs to fix a rough idle problem and it shifts so smoothly it's hard to believe it has a problem at all.
Rod.........[8D]
 

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1987 & 1991 C126
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5,879 Posts
Hi supersport6,

Some years ago, after experiencing a 1/2 second hesitation during the 1 > 2 upshift on my then 200+K miles Volvo 740 (when the transmission was cold only), I had Jiffy-Lube flush the transmission. They hooked up their machine in series with the transmission cooling lines at the radiator, then introduced fresh fluid until the color of the outgoing fluid matches that of the new going in...... Gets all the fluid, including the torque converter. Cool!

That ZF transmission always shifted perfectly following that service, and lasted at least 4 more years without a problem. All that for $80 (at the time). Yes, I'm aware that this flush operation doesn't address the transmission filter issue, and additionally, I'm not speaking directly about an MB in using that particular example.

Last Summer I attempted to have them do my 560 at the same shop. No Dice! They (the shop) didn't have the correct fitting... Oh well. [xx(]

A week ago I enquired at another local service shop if they could do the car when I bring it out in the Spring, after the salt is off the roads. "Oh, yes we can & What kind of car?" MB 560SEC. That will be $180 to do... Wellll, I think I'll find another shop thank you.

Sorry to digress there, but the point I'm trying to make is that you (my opinion) may have a high probability of getting good & lasting results from a simple transmission flush at a local service center. Your car has been 'resting' for a bit. Perhaps something internal has stuck due to disuse, varnish buildup, maybe some sediment getting stirred up - I don't know. I do think a good flush is really worth a shot at this point, rather than living with the symptoms and perhaps causing additional wear on the transmission internals.

Just my 3 cents worth. [:)] MBL
 

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Depends on the day!
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Just a bit of info, but you can drain the torque converters on MB's, they have a 5mm Hex bolt in there just for that purpose...no need to hook it up to the fancy machine made for american junk;-)

Jonathan
 

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1987 & 1991 C126
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Hi jhodg5ck,

I acknowedge your long time MB experience & knowledge. I am also aware that the MB torque converter can be drained. Thank you.

What I'm merely suggesting is a simple and inexpensive ($100 or less venture to diagnose/resolve the problem. At the very least, supersport6 would be able to figure out if the problem was mega-$$$ or not, with little cash outlay, & without DIY. He has already had the fluid & filter changed, so maybe my suggestions don't hold water at all........ :eek:)

RE DIY: Personally speaking, since we moved here, I've not had a garage to work in. We've a carport. As we are located here in New England, I've observed it (at best) as a wet wind tunnel. For example: just last week, I had 8 inches of snow on top of the Jag car cover & at nearly a foot underneath the rear of the '30 Ford too. Additionally, this AM the temp was 4.9 degrees F.

Luckily, the 560 resides elsewhere..........

Chilly in Concord, MBL
 
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