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Thread: HOW-TO: Change Mercedes-Benz 722.3 transmission fluid and filter

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    HOW-TO: Change Mercedes-Benz 722.3 transmission fluid and filter

    All,

    Here's a very comprehensive set of instructions on how to change the transmission fluid, filter and drain the torque converter of the 722.3 transmission. Specifically these instructions were made for a 560SL, but as our E500E transmissions are so close to the one illustrated, these instructions should be very relevant as well.

    I thought it would be a good, illustrated reference for those of you who are interested in doing this job on your own.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I skimmed that VERY long file, here are a few comments:

    1) This procedure shows draining the converter with the crossover pipe in place. If you attempt this, expect a big mess (even more than usual). The factory procedure calls for removing the crossover pipe, and it's really not that hard - four bolts and it's off (the one exhaust gasket can be re-used). In some cases, you will not be able to remove the trans pan with the crossover pipe in place... depends on the alignment of the exhaust system; it can bolt up in a slightly different position from car to car, and each time it's removed/installed. Finding out the pan is held captive by the crossover pipe, while there is still a bunch of fluid in it, is a GREAT way to take an ATF bath.

    2) I drain BOTH the pan and converter before putting in the new filter & pan gasket. Might not make much difference, but I prefer to get all the old fluid out before cleaning & reinstalling the pan. The tranny internals continue to drip into the pan the whole time you are working, and I think some fluid migrates from the converter into the pan, and I don't want any old fluid staying in there if I can avoid it. Try draining the pan sometime (remove it & wipe it dry), then put it back on and let the car sit overnight. You'll be surprised at how much more fluid shows up in the pan after it sits for 8+ hours (especially if the converter is still full!). BT, DT.

    3) For the 400E/500E tranny, you need 8 quarts of ATF. Not 9, not 7, eight quarts. When the converter is fully drained and pan has been removed for filter replacement, there really is no need to perform the painstaking fill procedure he describes on page 15. Pour in 4 or 5 quarts, start the engine & move gear selector to each position briefly, then shut it down and pour in the balance of the 8 quarts. Then skip to the last step, checking the level with the tranny hot. 99% of the time, the level will be perfect. If you let the trans drain overnight, you may need to top off and add an additional 8-16 oz (1/4 to 1/2 quart). Aim to have the HOT fluid level near the max mark on the dipstick; the trans can experience WOT shift hangs when the fluid is cool/warm if the level is near MIN. Be very careful to not overfill, remember the level must be checked with the trans fully hot, not just warm. That means 15-30 minutes at freeway speeds, not 10 minutes puttering around the neighborhood.

    4) The note about Mobil-1 ATF on page 16 also applies to many (most?) other brands of ATF on the market today. 2016 UPDATE: I've come to grips with the newfangled stinky ATF. Mobil-1 ATF "Multi-Vehicle" formula is fine for our cars. Red Line discontinued their old, odorless Dex-II formula in late 2010 or early 2011. I now use Red Line D4 or High Temp (which is just a thicker D4). I do not recommend using D6 or any other Dexron-VI fluid in a higher-mile used transmission. Dex-VI is a thinner viscosity and may cause issues... be prepared to adjust your vacuum modulator and/or fiddle with Superior spring kit if you use Dex-VI fluid in a high-mile transmission. Dex-VI is ok in a fresh rebuild (but may still need modulator tweaks).

    For posterity, here is my previous rant from 2010 - please disregard: This is one of several reasons why I personally choose not to use Mobil-1 Synthetic ATF in my Mercedes cars anymore. If you also prefer (as I do) to use a fluid that doesn't stink and smell burnt when new out of the bottle, buy Red Line Synthetic ATF... the original Dexron-II formula, or D4, or High Temp... but not the newer D6 formula. The old Dex-II fluid is nearly odorless, like good old-fashioned ATF used to be. D4 and High Temp both have the sharp odor like the new M-1 fluid. Whatever ATF you choose, DO NOT use the newer Dexron-VI spec fluid, it is a thinner viscosity. The factory spec calls for Dex-II or Dex-III.


    The factory transmission fluid change procedure is at this link.

    I also attached the 1994 Mercedes Service Products list, which shows the original Red Line Synthetic ATF (Dex-II) as formally approved by MB USA for the 500E / E500. See the bottom of page 2.

    Skip down to post #16 for some additional tips...





    Updated May-2016 with my current comments.
    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Dave,
    Thanks for the clarifications, I plan on doing this in the future.
    How anal do you have to be about using(or not using) paper/shop towels to clean out the pan after the fluid is drained? Seems like rinsing out the pan with water/degreaser would be kinda difficult and not so enviromentally sound(for those of us without a parts washer).
    Thanks!
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
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    95 Mazda Miata (104k miles)
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I've done this job several times now on the E500 and E320 and Dave's tips are spot on. What I have also found to be helpful is to lay out a large piece of plastic under the car while doing this. Doing so will catch any extraneous drips (or accidental spills) and make clean-up much easier.

    re: cleaning the inside of the pan. I have only had to rinse the pan with new fluid to clean any minor debris. You don't need much.
    '94 E500 (744) | '94 E500 (199)         Misc. snapshots

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    To clean the pan, I wipe it out with rags or even paper towels, and then rinse it thoroughly with solvent (I use carb cleaner). Just make sure there are not any fibers left in the pan from the rags or towels. I do NOT touch any of the tranny internals with rags or paper towels though; but I will wipe the gasket sealing surface with a solvent-soaked, lint-free rag to clean it prior to bolting up the pan.

    Final tip - do not overtorque the pan bolts! They are very low torque (7-8Nm, IIRC) and if you overtighten, you can either split the gasket in half, or warp the pan, or both. A low-torque torque wrench is highly recommended for the final tightening. I do it in two stages, first to 5Nm, then to final torque.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
    Click here for my website
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr

    Final tip - do not overtorque the pan bolts! They are very low torque (7-8Nm, IIRC) and if you overtighten, you can either split the gasket in half, or warp the pan, or both. A low-torque torque wrench is highly recommended for the final tightening. I do it in two stages, first to 5Nm, then to final torque.

    :cheesy:
    Good advice. Previous owner of my car overtorqued the pan and broke it. I had to replace it. Not as expensive as I expected but not good anyway.
    Esteban

    1971 Seat 600E, 1981 Mercedes 300TD, 1984 Mercedes 300D, 1992 Mercedes 500E, 1995 Range Rover 4.6 HSE, 2005 Audi A4 2.5TDI Avant, 2007 Triumph Bonneville

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Glad you gents found my BenzWorld tutorial helpful enough to post here. Concerning your concerns...

    "This procedure shows draining the converter with the crossover pipe in place. If you attempt this, expect a big mess (even more than usual). The factory procedure calls for removing the crossover pipe, and it's really not that hard - four bolts and it's off..."
    Removing rusty, 20+ year-old catalytic converter bolts has the potential of making a Sunday afternoon chore a week-long nightmare if they strip or break on removal. I accepted the additional mess it created in order to let "sleeping dogs lie." Just drape a long piece of aluminum foil over the crossover pipe with the edges folded up into a dam if you wish. And by the way, the R107 service CD version of MB procedure 2702 makes no mention of that pipe at all.

    "I drain BOTH the pan and converter before putting in the new filter & pan gasket. Might not make much difference..."
    If drained warm, draining goes quicker and more completely. But good point, and next time I'll do as you suggest, too; I just wasn't confident I was going to be able to get the plug out of the torque converter, so I finished the case draining and filter change, and then buttoned it back up before taking on the converter.

    "...there really is no need to perform the painstaking fill procedure he describes on page 15."
    Painstaking sure, but that's the factory recommended procedure, bud. I was simply paraphrasing the "Bible", Mercedes Service Procedures 2702 and 2710. It's not the quickest method...but it is the safest for the first-timer this tutorial was written for.

    "To clean the pan, I wipe it out with rags or even paper towels..."
    Risky business, IMHO. Ever wash a window with a paper towel or rag in the bright sunlight? Amazing how much lint they shed. I think a sponge would be a safer choice. (Think I'm obsessive? Mr. Benz suggests you use a chamois to wipe the transmission dipstick!)

    "Final tip - do not overtorque the pan bolts!"
    Couldn't agree more. And that's why I suggest using a torque wrench calibrated in inch-lbs.

    Good road,

    GlueckAuf
    Sterling Heights, MI

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by GlueckAuf
    "...there really is no need to perform the painstaking fill procedure he describes on page 15."
    Painstaking sure, but that's the factory recommended procedure, bud. I was simply paraphrasing the "Bible", Mercedes Service Procedures 2702 and 2710. It's not the quickest method...but it is the safest for the first-timer this tutorial was written for.
    The factory service procedure 2702 (ATF fluid & filter change) says, and I quote, "Gradually add remaining fluid" after adding the initial 4 liters. It says NOTHING about the entire page worth of added work described on page 15 of that document. It won't hurt to do it, but IMO, it's a complete waste of time if you fully drained the pan & converter, and know the proper fill spec. Procedure 2710 is for checking and adjusting fluid level, which is separate from the drain & refill. If 2702 is done properly, 2710 will not be required, as the level will be correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by GlueckAuf
    "To clean the pan, I wipe it out with rags or even paper towels..."
    Risky business, IMHO. Ever wash a window with a paper towel or rag in the bright sunlight? Amazing how much lint they shed. I think a sponge would be a safer choice. (Think I'm obsessive? Mr. Benz suggests you use a chamois to wipe the transmission dipstick!)
    You left out the next part of my sentence. I said I rinsed it with solvent, which removes any trace of lint afterwards. Pretty much any cleaning method is fine as long as there is no residue, lint, or other debris in the pan before it is reinstalled.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr
    1) This procedure shows draining the converter with the crossover pipe in place. If you attempt this, expect a big mess (even more than usual). The factory procedure calls for removing the crossover pipe, and it's really not that hard - four bolts and it's off (the one exhaust gasket can be re-used). I'm not even sure if you can get the 500E trans pan off with the crossover pipe in place... thought I tried this once and it didn't work. (?)
    The Pan:
    The pan will come off with the crossover pipe in place. [Admin edit: This may vary from car to car.]

    The Crossover Pipe:
    The bolts on the lower end of the crossover pipe are a cinch to remove (13mm bolt head; 12mm nut; one bolt is longer than the other on mine). However, the upper bolts are tucked away deeply within the solitary confinement of the engine compartment.

    I can understand why GlueckAuf opted out of its removal. On my 500E, the upper bolt heads are facing down. No problem getting to them with socket wrench extension. But the nuts on the opposite side of the flange... at first glance look like a major PITA to gain access to.

    It looks like the nuts on the dark-side of the flange can be accessed after removing the fresh air delivery tube (leading from the lower bumper intake to motor mount base), and reaching in thru the exposed cavity with an appropriate tool.

    I guess it depends on whether one wants to spend the time mopping up the aftermath like a "haz-mat"er (hazardous material handler), or removing additional items to gain clean access.

    I haven't decided yet, but will have to rather soon. Plastic sheeting in place, my pan & lower crosspipe flange bolts are off & the tranny is in overnight drip mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr
    The factory transmission fluid change procedure is at this link.
    BTW, unfortunately ps2cho.net's domain appears no longer operational. A statement says it may be up for sale. A nice Benz reference base used to reside there.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Some of my Father’s words I live by: “when in doubt, sleep on it”.

    A good night’s rest while pondering the next day’s strategies for problem solving always leads me to some worthwhile plans of action. Interesting discoveries the next day made my decision on how to proceed with draining the 500E torque converter an easy one.

    Removing only the lower crosspipe bolts provides enough freedom of movement to easily insert a long-shafted 5mm T-handle hex wrench firmly & straight-on into the drain plug with no fear of rounding out the plug’s hex hole.

    Since it made great sense, I also chose to wrap the crosspipe with aluminum foil, handforming the edges to direct the fluid into the drainpan below. This method worked spectacularly…HazMat cleanup team unnecessary. It is best to drain the pan first, then the converter. Less fluid force means less splattering about over the edge of the crosspipe.

    Regarding the upper crosspipe bolts; I really didn’t want to create anymore work than necessary if possible. Too many subsystem removals for my liking would need to be addressed in order for upper flange nut removal. Plus I did not want to upset the exhaust manifold donut gasket.

    I bumped the starter over as GlueckAuf did until I could see the torque converter drain plug. I then turned the crank by hand to properly lineup the drain plug.

    I test-fit the 5mm hex wrench & was very happy to gain full contact. Removing the lower crosspipe flange bolts provides the necessary full clearance.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Yesterday I performed a much needed transmission service. However, I was unable to remove the torque converter plug. Apparently someone had tried to remove it at one point in time and failed only to succeed in damaging the alen bolt. There is mention of a stripped alen removal tool in the .pdf by GlueckAuf. Can someone point me in the right direction to get my hands on this tool and tackle this issue..? I don't mind dropping the new ATF and replacing the filter again, I need to take care of this to keep the tranny in good shape. Btw, with this half there service it improved significantly. The ATF that was drained was in bad shape but there was hardly any sedimentation to point out concern at all...
    1995 E420 131K Daily D.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Hi All,

    I changed the fluid in my transmission this weekend, with the help of the instructions I found in this topic.

    The first frustrating issue I ran into was locating the bung in the torque converter. I've attached an image here of the crank position, as viewed from the top of the engine, that might be useful to anyone doing the same thing. With the crank in this position, the bung was perfectly positioned. The 180 degree mark can be seen just to the right. I'm assuming of course that the torque converter is always mounted in the same relative position on every car.

    I left the crossover pipe in place and was able to perform the drain of the torque converter. I found the tip of using aluminum foil to drape over the pipe worked extremely well allowing me to direct the draining oil effectively.

    The bung in the torque converter was extremely tight and the allen key bent before it finally shifted. The bung on the oil pan was even tighter and I elected to drain as much as I could through the torque converter and then drop the oil pan itself. I got about 4 litres out of the torque converter. The overflow from the oil pan was not too bad and I consoled myself with the thought that at least it was washing any dirt away rather than in.

    The part number for the gearbox is 140 270 21 00 722. I thought it might have a 129 part number...

    Regards

    Cavanman

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    Can someone point me in the right direction to get my hands on this tool and tackle this issue..?
    Do a websearch regarding the item Easyout
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Sounds like all the proper data has been shared, don't have anything really to add.

    I use Redline High Temp ATF, it allows operation at up to 70°F higher while maintain thicker viscosity than traditional ATF fluid.

    Given the demands on the 500e transmission, it's a good choice.
    1993 500E
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    1) The bolts for the crossover pipe to manifold will unscrew without needing to access the nuts on the opposite side. The nuts are attached to the exhaust manifold. It's a good idea to spray both ends with Kroil (or equivalent) and let it sit overnight before touching them. Apply anti-seize to the threads when re-installing, and if the bolt heads are at all damaged, replace the bolts too. I've never had a problem removing these pipes, on four different M119's now. I'm not sure why everyone is so afraid of them. There is no gasket to the manifold either.

    2) When you find the drain plug on the converter, mark the balancer with white or yellow marking paint somewhere that you can easily see it next time. I mark a line pointing straight down as this is easy to see while under the car. The converter can bolt up to the flywheel in 3 different positions (it's not keyed) so the marks on one engine's balancer only has a 1 in 3 chance of being the same on a different car.

    3) Always drain the pan first. If possible, drain the pan, then put the plug back in, and let it sit overnight. Then pull the plug again. You'd be surprised how much will drip down out of the trans internals overnight. This will at least somewhat reduce the amount that drips into your hair while you're underneath replacing the filter.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr
    1) The bolts for the crossover pipe to manifold will unscrew without needing to access the nuts on the opposite side. The nuts are attached to the exhaust manifold.
    I was hoping that was the case (like some other vehicles I work on), especially since the 500E's upper flange assembly is so tightly packed in location. I chose my course of action because an epc diagram review made it look like the nuts were separate from the manifold, so I didn't venture further in pursuit. FSM 2702 just basically says "Remove the pipe". No other info for the procedure besides torquing values for the flange bolts. Now it makes sense why they didn't elaborate.

    Good info to know for next time. Thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr
    You'd be surprised how much will drip down out of the trans internals overnight.
    Absolutely. It's amazing how much fluid is in there. I was happy to come out relatively clean.

    That's the reason I'm doing this job in the first place. The car sat nicely all winter, then I walked into the garage one day & discovered a lot of ATF puked on the floor like a gunshot victim who bled out. I was scared as hell that a primary seal failed. Looked like leak came from the rear pan area toward passenger side. Didn't see any evidence of blown seals above the pan sealing surface...yet.

    The tranny was rebuilt exactly 3 years ago & has been performing fine. That's why this regurgitation came as a complete surprise. I decided on fluid & filter change since I had a kit on hand. I'll torque the pan bolts to eliminate that possibility...then drive & see if leak is fixed or continues.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Probably >90% of the time, the leak is not from the pan, unless someone over-tightened the pan bolts and crushed the gasket. It's usually one of the O-ring seals north of the pan. Next up is blasting everything with degreaser to get it all dry, tucking white paper towels around & under every possible leak point, and seeing which one(s) turn red.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr
    Probably >90% of the time, the leak is not from the pan... It's usually one of the O-ring seals north of the pan.
    Agreed. If it were not for a fit of semi-denial, I'd say the leak is most likely from one of the seal rings for epc item 214 Solenoid (It's just difficult to imagine such an amount of fluid passing thru a blown oring under no real pressure)

    The white-paper test will tell.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I torqued the pan bolts & plugs to spec. Loaded 8 quarts of Dex III ATF. Went thru the process of lubricating the entire gear range. Went for a nice drive. Returned home & parked over a plastic sheet on the garage floor.

    I'm not about to claim victory yet, but it's been several days since the replacement & there's no sign at all of leaking from the car.

    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions


    I am now claiming victory. It has been one week & several hundred miles of powertouring the twisty backroads of New York State's beautiful Finger Lakes wine country.

    The car is performing flawlessly, the garage floor & the tranny pan exterior are bone dry. The leak must have been enabled by a couple overtorqued rear pan bolts.

    Time to reinstall the belly pan & ride on.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I have an excessive roll when I put the car on P. It will roll about 6"-8".. And sometime makes a loud clunk when engaging from P to D.. Should I be concerned..?
    1995 E420 131K Daily D.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    I have an excessive roll when I put the car on P. It will roll about 6"-8".
    The transmission case pawl (p/n 126 991 00 01) may be in need of adjustment or deformed and in need of replacement (see attached pic). 6"-8" inches does seem excessive.
    The topic has also been mentioned here:
    http://500eboard.com/forums/showthre...en-put-in-Park.

    (Perhaps the moderator can move this particular topic to the existing thread).

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    . And sometime makes a loud clunk when engaging from P to D.. Should I be concerned..?
    I'd be concerned. Depending on location of clunk, could be anything from deteriorating flex disc coupling to adjustment of tranny modulation controls. When was tranny last serviced?
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    The clunk feels towards the rear. More of a differential lock sound of the gears engaging, but I could be wrong. It was last serviced a couple weeks back. The pawl looks like a pin, access must be a biatch huh..?
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    Re: Clunk!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    The clunk feels towards the rear. More of a differential lock sound of the gears engaging, but I could be wrong. It was last serviced a couple weeks back.
    Could be several possibilities. The propeller shaft has flex discs on both ends & of course the u-joint in the center.

    An inspection of your driveline components is probably due.
    http://www.w124-zone.com/downloads/MB%2 ... 1/4152.pdf

    Also check the level & condition of the differential fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    The pawl looks like a pin, access must be a biatch huh..?
    The pawl is a pin...but I can't comment on access biatchiness; I haven't had the need or displeasure of having to inspect one's condition yet.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Great, now after visual inspection if the discs seems to be in good shape, (which I doubt), I should pursue other possibilities like the pin..? The transmission mount seems to be making a small clunk as well. If I need to replace that, will I also have to hoist the engine up an inch like its required for the engine mount removal..?
    1995 E420 131K Daily D.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Benzer
    Great, now after visual inspection if the discs seems to be in good shape, (which I doubt), I should pursue other possibilities like the pin..? The transmission mount seems to be making a small clunk as well. If I need to replace that, will I also have to hoist the engine up an inch like its required for the engine mount removal..?
    It sounds like your car was unfortunately enrolled in the M-B PO Deferred Maintenance Plan. Plan coverage is provided by the new owner. I feel for you.

    You'll probably want to address the clunk issue first. An application of the parking brake will temporarily address the creeping issue.

    While checking the flex discs, also check the ujoint for lack of lubrication/wear/excessive movement.

    If you search some of the existing transmission posts, I believe you will see that you can replace the tranny mount after properly supporting the tranny from underneath & lowering it a bit as required (just keep aware of attached cable connection play). Messing with the engine should be unecessary, however if it hasn't been done yet, it is a best practice to replace all the mounts at the same time if possible.
    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Worn / deteriorated differential mounts will cause a distinctive clunk in the rear when putting the car in gear as well. DAMHIK.

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    Chris
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by DerFuror
    It sounds like your car was unfortunately enrolled in the M-B PO Deferred Maintenance Plan. Plan coverage is provided by the new owner. I feel for you.
    Hmmm, quite interesting maintenance plan. I think I am going to tract down the previous owner... and shoot him on general principle.

    On the bright side I will be well educated to take good care of a E500 when I purchase one.. Amazing machines considering I drive back and forth at least 200 miles to work locations every other week, and its still going.., and of course I will take care of these little issues before letting it go. On general principle and for self-gratification, as well.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Jerry,

    What is the recommended fluid change interval for my 1994 E500? My car is a daily driver and I drive about 7,000 miles per year with a lot of city driving. Thanks,

    Bill

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Walsh View Post
    What is the recommended fluid change interval for my 1994 E500? My car is a daily driver and I drive about 7,000 miles per year with a lot of city driving.
    Normal ATF service interval is 30kmi, severe service is half that (about 15kmi). Frequent short trips / city driving is considered severe service, so I'd change the fluid every 2 years or 15kmi, Bill. With synthetic ATF you could extend that if desired, but with dino ATF, I'd stick to 15k max.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Thanks Dave. I checked my service records and the last fluid change was at the 60,000 mile service 3 years ago. I now have about 78,000 miles. If I use Red Line Synthetic ATF would a three year interval be appropriate assuming 20,000 miles of use? Thanks.

    Bill

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Bill, I would say yes, a 3-year / 20k interval should be fine with Red Line synthetic ATF (original, D4, or High Temp... don't use the D6 formula). In normal/light service I've personally seen (and driven) a W124/722.3 that went nearly 60kmi on synthetic ATF that shifted perfectly, with no change in shifting after the fluid/filter was replaced.

    With dino fluid, I could tell a difference in shift quality past about 20kmi, and by 30kmi it was really noticeable (shifting rather harshly). A fluid & filter change would cure this. When I later switched to synthetic ATF, there was no discernible difference in shift quality by 30k.

    If there is a noticeable improvement in shift quality after you change the fluid/filter, in general that's a sign you should reduce the interval slightly, for the fluid being used.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Thanks Dave. I noticed you mentioned High Temp as an option. In an earlier post 2phast said he also uses this. I'm in San Francisco and the temp here is pretty mild most of the year. Would High Temp be a good option or it that overkill?

    I got a quote from the dealer for a fluid change and it was $475.00 and took 4 hours. A local indie quoted $360 and 2 hours. Interesting pricing differential.

    Regards,

    Bill

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Bill, the High Temp is a bit thicker fluid... probably preferred for high-performance use (i.e., racing) or in very warm climates (not the Bay area). The original or D4 formulas should be fine, although I wouldn't expect any issues if you did use High Temp. The price is about the same for all three.

    Official MB book time for the 500E transmission fluid & filter change is 1.3 hours, and I could see a place charging 1.5-2.0 hours labor. It takes 8 quarts of ATF with the trans+converter drained and filter change, so figure ~$100 for synthetic ATF at ~$12/qt. The OE filter is ungodly expensive ($97 list, $76 wholesale) but they are available aftermarket for $25-$40 or so. Both places sound high but low $300's would be reasonable with synthetic ATF. If those prices were with dino ATF, they're nuts.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Why does the tranny fluid/filter take so long? It's not as simple as draining the oil, like with engine oil change?

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by jano View Post
    Why does the tranny fluid/filter take so long? It's not as simple as draining the oil, like with engine oil change?
    Because you have to drop the trans pan to R&R the filter.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    As Glen said - you need to drop the pan, and there's a lot of careful cleaning involved to make sure no debris gets in the pan. And you have to drain the torque converter, which usually requires removal of the exhaust crossover pipe. All that little stuff adds up. The book time of 1.3 hours is a pretty realistic estimate, IMO...


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Aha, got it, thanks Glen and Dave!

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Somehow the original document didn't make the cutover from the 500Espot conversion, so I re-uploaded and attached it to my original post.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I was about to place an order for fluid but it seems as if Red Line no longer lists the original synthetic formula ATF http://www.redlineoil.com/Products.aspx?pcid=9 Any thoughts on D4 or High Temp for me here in hot Miami? I'm hoping the heavier fluid won't affect shifting.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I put Red Line High Temp in my E500 over the winter, so far it's working fine. Otherwise I would use D4 and will likely use that in our daily drivers (300D/E420).

    I would NOT use the D6 in any 722.3 transmission. I'm not sure why Red Line ditched the original formula but it was a pretty recent change.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    I will add,

    I crack the oil cooler line at the transmission passenger side. Then the fluid runs out of the oil cooler.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Yep, I believe the FSM says to crack one side or the other (I forget which), to allow air in for smoother draining of the converter. (?) You can drain the cooler hoses if desired but it's a pretty small percentage of the total capacity.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Well I finally got around to doing this job tonight. My car had just started slipping out of 4th gear and then refusing to re-engage in the last week, so it had to be done pronto. It was painless (except for the scalding fluid) and fairly rapid. I left the exhaust pipe in place and let the converter fluid just gush out everywhere. I skated around the pool until the job was done and then mopped up.

    Anyway, I used the Redline High Temp stuff and so far it shifts great. $28 for filter kit and $85 for fluid. Labor was saved and spent on beer. Tomorrow I'll check for spillage on the driveway.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Just changed my trans. fluid and thanks to the suggestions on this forum it surely helped. I have a 95 E420 and I only loosened the bottom bolts on the crossover pipe and was able with a ball end 5mm hex key get to the converter drain plug. Yes it took some time and patience but it is done now. Replaced fluid with Redline D4. Didn't realize how much the fluid must have deteriorated in the last 30k even with Mobil 1, but now the car with 71,000 miles shifts like new.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Did the job today on my 500E, went very smooth, although the PITA was trying to get the drain plug lined up for the torque converter. Last record I had of it being done was in 2007 and although the car only did 15K since then, the fluid certainly needed changing. Luckily the exhaust was not super difficult to loosen and get out of the way. The car shifted nicely before, but driving home from the auto skills center it was much smoother.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Good job! Glad to hear about the shift improvement. I need to do the same thing.

    I wonder what happened to the Glueckster, who posted once at the beginning of this thread ....

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    After a day or so, all is running and shifting fine, but checking the fluid level when warm and running, it looks to be about 2-3mm above the max line, should I remove some or is that close to the tolerance so that it cause problems?

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    If the tranny is fully hot (20+ minutes at freeway speeds) and it's only 2-3mm above, and there is no evidence of foaming, I'd leave it alone. If you're really concerned you could drain out about 4-8 ounces of fluid.

    Just curious, do you recall how many quarts of fluid you put in after draining the pan + converter? Also, did you drop the trans pan and replace the filter?


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Dave, drained both the converter and the pan, replaced the filter and gasket, re-filled with Redline High Temp, 2 gallons total (7.57L).

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    For what it's worth, it pays to buy your pan gasket from MB and not use the one that comes with the filter kit as they seem to have a bad habit of leaking.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by herb5998 View Post
    Dave, drained both the converter and the pan, replaced the filter and gasket, re-filled with Redline High Temp, 2 gallons total (7.57L).
    I think you should be fine. I do the exact same thing (drain pan, converter, replace filter+gasket, pour in 2 gallons fluid) and only do a cursory check on the level afterwards. It also can be difficult to get an accurate reading on the dipstick, make sure you look at both side of the dipstick, and I usually read whichever side is lower.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Thanks Dave, All is good and the car is fine.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Changed transmission fluid and filter today with Redline D4. Marked difference in shifting now! Feels like a new tranny with nice tight shifts.
    Trae
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    How about OEM ATF fluid which is offered by MB dealership ? is it ok to use or still it is better to stick with Redline ?
    Another question, I used Mobil-1 before, is that ok if I switch to Redline ?

    Thanx
    Roman

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    The consensus on this thread is, if there are no leaks, Redline High Temp or Redline D4 synthetic. If there are leaks, you may want to stick with a Dextron II/III.
    Dave said to stay AWAY from any Dextron VI fluid as that is too thin for these old transmission.

    Do not know about switching FROM Moble 1 TO Redline. I would not think there would be a problem, however, others will chime in later.
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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    FYI

    "drained both the converter and the pan, replaced the filter and gasket, re-filled with Redline High Temp, 2 gallons total (7.57L)." You can get a little more out if you crack the trans line at the transmission or you can do it at one of the flex cooler lines in the front. The other 1/2 quart stays in the oil cooler/cooler line.

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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    OEM ATF from the dealer is most likely not synthetic, and depending on the part number, could be Dexron-VI. I would not use OE/dealer fluid for the 722.3 transmission in the E500E.

    Mobil-1 ATF is ok, I personally think Red Line is better than the current Mobil-1 formula (years ago they were probably about equal). No problems switching from Mobil-1 to Red Line.


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    Re: 722.3 transmission oil change -- instructions

    Thanx to all of you guys.

    Actually the reason I am start thinking about Red Line is your comments that the Mobil 1 now is not really that good for 722.3 as it was before.

    Last time I changed the fluid, my mechanic had a hard time finding a screw on the torque converter to drain the fluid and finally he could not find that , maybe it does not have it ? I mean some 722.3 trannys do not have one ? The old fluid was pretty good , so we just took the pan off and replaced the filter and flushed the fluid.

    So I worry if I am not be able to drain fluid out converter and put a Red Line what may happen because of mixing ....


    P.S. How about engine oil ? what do you guys use ? I used to Mobil 1 synthetic in all my cars. For 124.036 using 10w-30 for late spring/summer and 0W-20 for autumn (when it is little colder).
    And I do not drive it in the winter so I do not worry about oil for the winter time.

    I read lots of discussion regarding synthetic or not and what is the appropriate ratio for the M119.
    Last edited by Roma_500E; 01-31-2013 at 11:11 PM.

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