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Won't shift to REVERSE

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breeg222's picture
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Hi there,
I have a 92 400SE and my problem is when i start the car in the morning, i don't have any problem in putting it in reverse/back-up, but when i drive it like 30minutes or so, it won't engage in reverse anymore unless i park the car and not use it for 3hrs or so. Anyone who has the same problem or who can give me an idea what's going on with the transmission? Do i need to replace the transmission?
Thanks,
ROB

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rogo's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Based on your post, I would seek professional help from a shop with Mercedes transmission experience.

You are unlikely to find it at a dealers shop.

You can also save yourself a trip to the shop of one of the national chains. They will tell you that your transmission needs to be rebuilt. $2,500 please.

Some imaginative places will offer to flush your transmission for $150. That will lighten your wallet but it will not fix your transmission.

There are plenty of good shops in the Bay Area. It should not be too hard to find one.

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Virginia Beach VA

87 300SDL
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johnmci's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Ah, been there done that. Yes a rebuilt transmission in your future.
Your choices are:

(a) find someone you trust to rebuilt yours.

(b) swap your wornout one and $$ with mercedes and get a factory rebuilt one with 2 year warranty.

In both cases the $$ is dependent on your ability to negotiate, however (b) likely is less risky. Personally I took (b) because (a) offered me a transmission good for 5,000 miles or 90 days.

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jtripp's picture
Babylon, NY
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1995 S350
Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

My '95 S350 slips in reverse all the time hot or cold. All forward gears work perfectly.

I just finished completely rebuilding my original 722.3 transmission. I installed a used '95 S350 transmission from a salvage yard last year and now it slips just the same. I will do the swap next week and rebuild the salvage yard trans. I have two of these cars.

The reverse clutch pack was badly worn. The inner piston seal was ruptured and allowed a pressure loss to the clutch pack. I expect the same problem with the salvage yard trans.

However I completely disassembled the trans and found that the other two clutch packs were like new. You could still read the printing on the clutch friction surfaces.

I bought just enough parts to do the reverse clutch on the salvage yard unit for $106.00 plus tax at the dealer. The complete rebuild on the original unit cost me $232.00 plus tax. I use Mobil 1 ATF.

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New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Does anyone know what the R&R hours are on a 722.370, it will help negotiating at the dealer MB club members get 10% on parts here.

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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Labor rates are based on the item to be changed and the car on which it is located. More info please.

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

92 500 SEL R&R the automatic trans, a 4 speed six bolt automatic

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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Your car is a 140.051 and apparently has a 722.370 transmission. R&R time in the STAR (Mercedes) Time Guide is 7.3 hours. My local dealers charge $125/hr making this a $875 job plus shop charges, hazardous waste disposal fees and anything else they can tack on. To their credit, they will do a good job.

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Robert Goodwin;135403 wrote:
Your car is a 140.051 and apparently has a 722.370 transmission. R&R time in the STAR (Mercedes) Time Guide is 7.3 hours. My local dealers charge $125/hr making this a $875 job plus shop charges, hazardous waste disposal fees and anything else they can tack on. To their credit, they will do a good job.

I figured 4/5 but they will find other things, they always do!

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

I took the plunge, MB reman trans, smooth as silk. It was pricey but a good warranty, some of the shops were not so reassuring. They all claimed to save me money, the reman showed up at my dealer 2 days later, I got loaner car for 4 days. 2/24 warranty. Brakes hoses and things, I was surprized on how quiet it was, it seems they replaced a airpump hose. At $40, who cares, trans mount, brakes, 2 window regulators, $6000. Its a MB and her car, my wife did not squeek, had I purchased something for the "boat" another story.

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Tom Rovere's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

My 95 S420; W140.043 just started not shifting in reverse after warming up.
Any further ideas about probable cause?
Hopefully something not so expensive.
Where do I find the transmission number?

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

They tell me it is the fromt clutch pack, no way to fix without pulling trans.

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jtripp's picture
Babylon, NY
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1995 S350
Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

This problem and the solution is covered in an earlier post on this forum.

http://mbca.cartama.net/showthread.php?t=25009

Look over entry #6.

The transmission model and serial number is stamped on the side of the transmission housing just above the pan mounting surface.

__________________

New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

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Tom Rovere's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Thanks for the timely response and info. The condition deteriorated; now it completely slips in reverse. Finally got it to my independent mechanic here in Santa Barbara, CA. He tells me that 1) Mercedes has updated the transmission controller; nobody around locally rebuilds the transmission, they send it out to some place where all they do is remanufacture the original from top to bottom, estimates several thousand $$! Any alternatives in So Cal?

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Tom Rovere;137306 wrote:
Thanks for the timely response and info. The condition deteriorated; now it completely slips in reverse. Finally got it to my independent mechanic here in Santa Barbara, CA. He tells me that 1) Mercedes has updated the transmission controller; nobody around locally rebuilds the transmission, they send it out to some place where all they do is remanufacture the original from top to bottom, estimates several thousand $$! Any alternatives in So Cal?

Tom, MB went to an electronic transmission in 96 I think the older trans was used from 89 up in 92 they removed the rear pump, what fails is the front clutches it is still a R&R MB does not rebuild any more and it is a crapshoot if you can find a good rebuilder, you need to find someone who stands behind their work. I just went the MB route but 2yrs/24 makes sence $4K...

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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

jtripp;134220 wrote:
My '95 S350 slips in reverse all the time hot or cold. All forward gears work perfectly.

I just finished completely rebuilding my original 722.3 transmission. I installed a used '95 S350 transmission from a salvage yard last year and now it slips just the same. I will do the swap next week and rebuild the salvage yard trans. I have two of these cars.

The reverse clutch pack was badly worn. The inner piston seal was ruptured and allowed a pressure loss to the clutch pack. I expect the same problem with the salvage yard trans.

However I completely disassembled the trans and found that the other two clutch packs were like new. You could still read the printing on the clutch friction surfaces.

I bought just enough parts to do the reverse clutch on the salvage yard unit for $106.00 plus tax at the dealer. The complete rebuild on the original unit cost me $232.00 plus tax. I use Mobil 1 ATF.

i will not advise buying a transmission of a junk yard. You get junk. I think that since the car will be more or less the same age as yours, then it may have the same transmission problem... I know you may get lucky but thats a cost chance to take.

I saw a company that rebuild them on ebay for $1,800. When they are posting more auctions I will tell you all.

:cool:

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jtripp's picture
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1996 S420 LWB
1995 S350
Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

With the salvage yard transmission my wife was able to use the car while I rebuilt the original. I could rebuild it at my liesure. I did a complete teardown on the original and found that the only damage was the reverse clutch pack and a broken lip seal in the reverse clutch. Original clutch plates and bands still had part numbers in ink stamped on friction surfaces. Both transmissions worked perfectly in all forward gears.

After installing the rebuilt original last weekend I just replaced the reverse clutch parts in the salvage trans. The lip seal was torn in the salvage yard trans just like my original. This took less than 4 hours.

Now I have a dependable spare at the ready. I have two of these cars. And I saved a lot of $$$$.

__________________

New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

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Peter Guenther 1's picture
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Re: Won't shift to REVERSE

Joe you are amazing, Mb did mine with a genuine MB rebuilt, $6k, including the usual parts that you dont think of, trans mount , new cooler lines etc. It is what you decribed, it starts out clicking in reverse, then pausing to engage in reverse.
It must be a bear to get out since they loosend some exhaust flanges.

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