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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #1
Why is this so hard?

I've just gotten a call back from the indy Mercedes specialist mechanic I took my 1983 300TD to this morning, to figure out why it only has 3 gears. His answer: It's a 3-speed. It's written right there on the side of the transmission: 722315... The 3, he says, indicates that it's a 3-speed.

Now, I've read a lot about this, and I've looked at transmission service manuals (though I have not yet seen one for the .315). And based on all of that, I'm sure he's wrong -- the 722.315 is a 4-speed transmission -- which makes the missing gear a mystery.

So, who's wrong, me or my mechanic?

Next, can someone point me towards some PROOF that I can carry in and point to? As in, an official description of the 722.315 that makes it clear it's a 4-speed? I've got something close -- a manual for slightly later 722.3 transmissions describing the various 722.3 models as "4-speed torque converter transmissions" -- but the .315 version isn't covered, so it isn't proof.

This is the second indy MB specialist I've taken this car to. I took it to the first one before I realized I was missing a gear. They didn't notice the problem. Now the second one thinks its a 3-speed because there's a "3" on the side.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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4,021 Posts
Your mechanic is the moron. The "3" does NOT mean 3-speed. I wonder if he thinks the 722.0 transmission has no gears? I wouldn't bother trying to talk some sense into him. If he's supposed to be the expert and doesn't even know that your car is supposed to have 4-gears, look elsewhere.
 

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money pits of various forms
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What gear is missing?
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
^Agreed, which gear?

Some cars start in second gear, making two upshifts having you think it's a three speed.

But if your mechanic needs proof it's a four speed, you may want to find a new mechanic!
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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163 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If he's supposed to be the expert and doesn't even know that your car is supposed to have 4-gears, look elsewhere.
Good point. I should probably be thankful he didn't start taking that thing apart.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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163 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
What gear is missing?
First.

^Agreed, which gear?

Some cars start in second gear, making two upshifts having you think it's a three speed.
True, but not this one -- or rather, it DOES start in second, but it's not supposed to, and it won't downshift into first -- ever. I've tested this out pretty thoroughly. See this thread.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #8
^Agreed, which gear?

Some cars start in second gear, making two upshifts having you think it's a three speed.

But if your mechanic needs proof it's a four speed, you may want to find a new mechanic!
I forgot to thank you for the documentation. Thanks a bunch!

Jim
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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You're welcome.

My SD did start in second until I adjusted the ALDA, now it starts in first.

You can test it and put it back if that isn't the problem.

I removed the screw cover, loosened the lock nut and backed off the screw.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #10
My SD did start in second until I adjusted the ALDA, now it starts in first.

I removed the screw cover, loosened the lock nut and backed off the screw.
Were you able to put it in first AT ALL? Or was it just the gear it started out in in D?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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1984 300D Turbo, 2009 GL320
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This is the second indy MB specialist I've taken this car to. I took it to the first one before I realized I was missing a gear.

Jim, I don't think it's you who is missing a gear! :D

Time to hunt for a real Mercedes specialist. If you have to drive it down to Boston to find someone who knows what they are doing, I'd do it. It might even make sense to check with an MB dealer and see if they've got an "old guy" on staff who recognizes a W123 two out of three times.
 

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1983 300TD, 115,000 miles. Anthracite Gray
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Discussion Starter #14
Jim, I don't think it's you who is missing a gear! :D

Time to hunt for a real Mercedes specialist. If you have to drive it down to Boston to find someone who knows what they are doing, I'd do it. It might even make sense to check with an MB dealer and see if they've got an "old guy" on staff who recognizes a W123 two out of three times.
Thanks Iridium; good idea. I sent some emails around this morning, including one to a local high-end indy shop. He admitted right off (in his prompt reply, which I very much appreciated) that his shop wasn't the one for the job. And then he recommended another local guy who's just setting up an independent shop. We'll see how it turns out, but so far, looks promising.

Jim
 
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