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Thread: Primary pump in the transmission

  1. #1
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    Primary pump in the transmission

    Hi,
    Apparently, I have just broken the primary pump in the transmission of my E 500...
    It happened as I was driving at about 50 mph without pushing the car. The transmission suddenly started doing a whining noise when accelerating but only until something like 2500 rpm ; it has lost some oil but the oil left is of the right color.
    Trans is only 12000 miles old, OEM and fitted by MB. The car is at the MB dealer shop.
    Any idea, suggestion, bad news ?

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  3. #2
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    That doesn't sound good.

    How long ago was the transmission installed at the MB dealer? I believe they have a 2-year, unlimited-mileage warranty now.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    That doesn't sound good.

    How long ago was the transmission installed at the MB dealer? I believe they have a 2-year, unlimited-mileage warranty now.
    Well, that's the MBUSA parts warranty. Unless Alexis is in Paris, Texas, it may be different in his Paris...

    That being said, the most common cause of premature primary pump failure post replacement or repair is failure to transfer the locating dowels to the new transmission housing if required...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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  7. #4
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Hi,
    Unfortunately, more than two years...
    The transmission is going to be opened ; I'll update.

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  9. #5
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Hi,
    OK an update on the gearbox. Apparently, the gearbox drains itself when the car is not driven very often, which is my case (about once every two weeks since about 3 years), the anti return valve always being leaking. Because of that, at every start, the primary pump begins it's cycle not oiled and ends up sizing...
    Convertor, primary pump and labour : 4300 €, about 5000 $ !
    What do you think of that ? Especially considering that Mercedes does not especially restrict our cars to stand still for few weeks and that there is no special procedure for starting a car with a drained convertor. We just have to await for the bill.
    This problem should have been solved by the engineers !
    Last edited by alexis; 09-07-2018 at 12:35 AM.

  10. #6
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    The converter cannot drain itself. Literally impossible. However, the fluid can drain out of other transmission internals over extended periods (weeks / months) which normally just results in higher fluid level in the pan, nothing else. I've parked cars for 3-4 YEARS and never had a problem with the trans pump losing prime. Fired up and drove away without issue. You should have zero problems parking for a few weeks at a time.

    Sounds like a fishy story to me, but experts like Klink or Jono would know for sure...


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  12. #7
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Your are right Gsxr, I meant the gearbox and not the converter.
    And, yes, it also sounds fishy to me...
    The gearbox is 14.000 old and I guess the return valve should be able to do it's job properly without leaking.
    Furthermore, I don't see why we should change the converter in such circumstances whereas it was working properly...
    I go to the dealer's today and will ask for more informations.
    Let's wait for more advices (Klink, Jono, Garry, etc.)
    Last edited by alexis; 09-07-2018 at 12:41 AM.

  13. #8
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    I don't believe in this draining story. The oil stays attached to the parts and provides sufficient lubrication on start up. Inside the gearbox you have mainly rotational forces on the bearings but not high loads the same applies for the pump itself.
    Imagine what happens in a engine, there the oil has way longer ways to travel, the connecting rod bearings have only the remaining oil film during start up and have to take the load and all the pounding - incomparable to transmission loads.
    So I think something went wrong with the installation as KLINK stated (dowel pins) or shit unfortunately happens. Did you face any issues before or noticed anything like delayed engagement of gears, soft/hard shifting etc. Oil level was correct?
    Last edited by Rouven036; 09-07-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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  15. #9
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by alexis View Post
    Hi,
    OK an update on the gearbox. Apparently, the gearbox drains itself when the car is not driven very often, which is my case (about once every two weeks since about 3 years), the anti return valve always being leaking. Because of that, at every start, the primary pump begins it's cycle not oiled and ends up sizing...
    Convertor, primary pump and labour : 4300 €, about 5000 $ !
    What do you think of that ? Especially considering that Mercedes does not especially restrict our cars to stand still for few weeks and that there is no special procedure for starting a car with a drained convertor. We just have to await for the bill.
    This problem should have been solved by the engineers !
    This is not a satisfactory explanation for the failure. There’s gobs of fluid everywhere in that front pump, even if the torque converter “drains”. Within a second of start up, probably even while the engine is still cranking, oil is flowing through the filter, through the passages, and into the primary pump, and from there, to everywhere else. A “drained” converter is not a failure promoting issue. Additionally, note that the converter cannot drain any lower than the shaft. As soon as that converter starts to spin, copious quantities of oil will be getting evacuated from it. It should be additionally noteworthy that the converter is completely drained whenever one does a full fluid change. If there was any “special procedure” required, it would be noted then. This was caused by a material or component failure, or almost infinitely more likely, assembly errors.
    Again let me repeat that this is exactly the failure that takes place when one or both of the two locating dowel pins between the engine and bell housing are omitted during assembly.
    Last edited by Klink; 09-07-2018 at 03:49 PM.
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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  17. #10
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Hi,
    Apparently, the dowel pins were in place when they got the gearbox out... But I wasn't there to check just as they won't be able to prove it.
    Rouven036, the gearbox, changed 14000 miles and about 7 years ago, was working fine and of course, the oil level was good because regularly checked.
    The dealer did not provide any other explanation but the draining due to the lack of use (about 2000 miles a year).
    So, the dowel pins excepted, what else could explain such a failure ?
    Last edited by alexis; 09-09-2018 at 03:06 AM.

  18. #11
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Hi,
    Well, I update... Mercedes France has still not responded to my registered letter demanding a financial cover of the problem. That was a month and a half ago...
    Apparently, this story is going to finish on court.
    That said I have to repair the car. Would anyone have the part number of the convetor and the primary pump please ?
    If the Mercedes dealer is not able to maintain the car properly, I don't see why I should let them repairing this primary pump problem...
    Thanks

  19. #12
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    If I am not mistaken, is this the primary pump you are looking for?
    Which part number in the diagram is the primary pump?
    I may be wrong, but as per EPC about a year ago for my 1992 500E is this the pump?
    I maybe wrong so please check yourself.
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  20. #13
    Senior Member Duh_Vinci's Avatar
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    This story of how the dealership is treating your transmission issue is terrible! One would think that a dealer installed part, such as transmission would be well covered, for 3 years/36k miles, but I guess not...

    Regards,
    D

  21. #14
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    Re: Primary pump in the transmission

    Eno, I couldn't tell as I didn't see the part.
    Duh_Vinci, The dealer and mercedes Benz France... That is why it may weel ends in court...
    Has anyone the web url of the part numer catalog ?

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