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1998 E430
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone, my name is Cullen. My sister drives a '98 E430 with 175k miles on it. Just like most W210s, the tranny is going. It rarely shifts, and when it does shift it is violent. It also slips when it downshifts. Slips bad. There's isn't even quick left in the car anymore, it's all slow.

Anyways, we're currently looking at solutions to this. She's in college and doesn't have a lot of money, so buying a new car or going to a dealer for parts/service aren't an option. I've been trolling around for used trannys, but as you can imagine they're pretty rare for this car.

Anyways, I was just at a junk yard and was presented with two options: They currently have a 93 500SEL and a 96 C280.

Since there's not much of an aftermarket or cultist fanbase, it's rather difficult to come across information as to what's swapable and what's not. Is the 500SEL engine (Physically) a direct swap? I know that wiring and what not would have to be done, but are mounts/general dimensions the same? Is this a viable option?

My other question is does the C280 tranny bolt up to the W210 4.3 engine? I seriously doubt it, but it's worth asking...

If neither of these options are realistic, what parts should I be keeping an eye out for?

Thanks.

EDIT: Note that the fluids are good and were recently changed by Feldman's imports (Specialize in German cars)
 

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96' E320
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101 Posts
Hi everyone, my name is Cullen. My sister drives a '98 E430 with 175k miles on it. Just like most W210s, the tranny is going. It rarely shifts, and when it does shift it is violent. It also slips when it downshifts. Slips bad. There's isn't even quick left in the car anymore, it's all slow.

Anyways, we're currently looking at solutions to this. She's in college and doesn't have a lot of money, so buying a new car or going to a dealer for parts/service aren't an option. I've been trolling around for used trannys, but as you can imagine they're pretty rare for this car.

Anyways, I was just at a junk yard and was presented with two options: They currently have a 93 500SEL and a 96 C280.

Since there's not much of an aftermarket or cultist fanbase, it's rather difficult to come across information as to what's swapable and what's not. Is the 500SEL engine (Physically) a direct swap? I know that wiring and what not would have to be done, but are mounts/general dimensions the same? Is this a viable option?

My other question is does the C280 tranny bolt up to the W210 4.3 engine? I seriously doubt it, but it's worth asking...

If neither of these options are realistic, what parts should I be keeping an eye out for?

Thanks.

EDIT: Note that the fluids are good and were recently changed by Feldman's imports (Specialize in German cars)
I know that if you can pull the tranny out yourself, having it rebuilt isnt a bad option. Those motors are capable of well over 300k and im sure a rebuild kit couldnt be too bad. Just take it to a reputable transmission builder in your area and ask for a quote. More than likely they'll want to rebuild the transmission with their parts because of warranty issues. But you are right, finding a replacement tranny is hard to do.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
There's not a lot that is swappable. The 210 is basically a computer on wheels and even if you could bolt in the engine, getting it to play with the rest of the car (not to mention the wiring harness) would likely challenge a pro, not to mention the casual mechanic.

Assuming there is a serious problem with the transmission, your best bet is to source a used or rebuilt 722.6xx transmission. Rebuilt units are not inexpensive, but it's at least going to work and will have a warranty. Changing it out is DIY-able if you have good skills.

That C280 transmission won't work, either. That year would be a four speed, you'd need the five (also a computer-controlled transmission). If you are shopping for a used transmission, you're better off looking at newer, it would have a few re-designed parts. You might want to read through the 722.6xx FAQ thread linked in the stickies, it's chock-full of good information.

FWIW, unless it's very new, there's no Mercedes that is a good option for a college student. By comparison, my niece has a 97 Camry V6 with 190K, and all she's had to do is a starter solenoid and a water pump/timing belt.

Last, please update your profile with vehicle and location. It's useful information, and as to the latter that may open the door to someone in your area that can give you a hand or direct you to a reputable indie trans shop.
 

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2003 Mercedes S430
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806 Posts
Rebuilding the 722.XXX transmission is not difficult. I did the very first one on a 2001 Mercedes E320 that came through the dealer auction looking like new, but with "bad trans".

I didn't have much to do so I had my shop pull it out and I pulled it apart. I had the rebuild manual in hand. I spent $850 on parts, fluid and the conductor plate. While I was there, I replaced the flex couplings.

I have the Snap On software and I cleared the codes, reset everything and she is available to purchase!

You don't even want to know what I paid for this car.
 

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1998 E430
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, we both know that there's no good option for a college student here. The car was given to her by my parents and told that it's hers to do with what she will and service. She's been saving up from her job for a while to do something about the tranny.

About the rebuilding business - how hard would you say it is? Could you give me a general outline? For reference, I'm quite mechanical - I turbo'd and tuned my Miata, I've rebuilt the tranny and helped with engine builds. But I've never even touched an Autotragic.

Thanks for the help guys.
 

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1997 E420
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347 Posts
I know this is an old thread but I wonder if the OP checked for any problem with the transmission conductor plate and speed sensor. Symptoms seem like it could be describing that problem and at this number of miles the plate is almost certainly in need of replacement. Easy fix, maybe $150 for the part. Also sounds like the tranny could have been in limp home mode? (Although I don't think it would be shifting at all in limp home mode, though putting it into gear might seem "violent".)

It's hard to say without knowing a few more details about what the symptoms were. But my transmission did experience slipping and such and rough jumps from time to time before throwing any codes for the conductor plate. The OP doesn't mention any codes but I'm kind of surprised that if it is as bad as described that any were not mentioned.
 
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