Gear Shift Assembly Replacement (COMPLETED) - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 01-28-2015
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Gear Shift Assembly Replacement (COMPLETED)

The issue: condensation from drink shorted out the Gear Shift Assembly.

I started this project a couple of weeks ago after my car went back into LHM. I had been successfully driving it after using isopropyl alcohol to clean the circuit board. It finally reverted back and I needed to replace the gear shift assembly.

I searched and found some great step-by-step instructions on removing the dash components. If you are doing this yourself make sure you label each of the screws that come out. I found an old plastic compartmented box and dropped the screws and slips of paper identifying them into each of the little bins. Worked great.

I had a used assembly that I purchased off fleabay for what was described as a 2001 SLK230. After getting everything from the dash either off or loose I went on to remove the assembly. 3 bolts and 2 wires shouldn't be difficult right? Bolts...no problem. However the wires were a different story. I ended up buying a pair of long needle-nose pliers that are curved at the end. This allowed me to pull and twist the two connections free. Disconnecting the linkage was simple. Be careful you don't drop the clip. I actually used a wire coat-hanger to feed through the top section of the clip to make sure it wasn't dropped. A long-handled flathead screwdriver did the trick releasing the clip.

With the old assembly out I was ready to put in the new(used) one. It slid right in and I connected everything up. I started to put the center console back together and when I was finished there I tried to put the car in Park. It wouldn't go all the way. Frustrated I disassembled the center console again and removed the assemble. It was not an exact match to the one I pulled out. Lesson learned I purchased another on fleabay and patiently awaited its arrival a week later.

I am happy to say I have the new assembly in and dash put back together. I drove my girl (I guess I need a name for her) to work today for the first time in weeks. I can't complain too much as my father-in-law let me borrow his 05 Vette Convertible. As fun as that was to drive, I think I still like my little SLK.

Here are a few pictures of the dash. The final picture is of my dirty little car after sitting under the tree for so long. She received a bath this morning and is back to her sparkling self.

I do not consider myself a mechanic by any stretch. However I was able to disassemble the dash, replace the assembly, and reassemble the dash with the knowledge gained from this site. It is truly a blessing to be part of this group.

Regards,
Keith
Attached Images
File Type: jpg slk230_DriverDashRemoved.jpg (53.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg slk230_CenterConsoleRemoved.jpg (43.9 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg slk230_GloveBoxRemoved.jpg (59.9 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg slk230_GearShiftAssembly.jpg (65.4 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg slk230_Side.jpg (56.5 KB, 24 views)
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#2 Old 01-28-2015
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Glad you got it sorted , there's a nice feeling about getting something fixed yourself , right !
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#3 Old 01-28-2015
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Congratulations and nice job! There is a certain satisfaction accomplishing something worthwhile and challenging. Good success story

Thanks for sharing.
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#4 Old 01-29-2015
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It was definitely a little nerve-racking. My wife told me on multiple occasions to not talk to her unless it was good news

I have two assembly modules I will now try to return on fleabay or maybe sell them.
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#5 Old 02-17-2015
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Hello,

I'm very interested in this as a specialist told my wife that the ESM could not be replaced with anything other than a brand new item from Mercedes! He said they are coded to the car and once done cannot be changed.

On her car, the shift action goes to pot if you touch the W/S button after the transmission guy has set everything back up properly. At least that's what we've been told!

Could I also buy a used ESM and swap them out in light of this?
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#6 Old 02-17-2015
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Very impressive! These are the kind of jobs, or anything to do with wiring, I'd hate to tackle.

There is an electronic lockout on Park to prevent it from being moved without starting the engine with the foot on the brake. There is tons of wiring that are vulnerable to moisture in the cockpit of the SLK or any car. Besides the OP's issue, the movement of the seats is particularly open to problems. Consider when you open the door in a heavy rainstorm. Guess what gets wet?

So no drinks or smoking in my car, and I don't open the door until the rain stops!
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#7 Old 02-18-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Cartay View Post
I'm very interested in this as a specialist told my wife that the ESM could not be replaced with anything other than a brand new item from Mercedes! He said they are coded to the car and once done cannot be changed.
I was worried about this as well as I had read the very same thing. I talked with my indy and he couldn't seem to find anything concrete one way or another. He said at the very least he would take it over to the local MB dealer and they could program it for about $100. I decided to just give it a try and see what happens and the one I installed worked without a hitch. At first it seemed a little sluggish but after a reset of the ECM all is well.

After typing this out I looked back at your post. By ESM you are referring to the gear shift assembly module right? I have seen it called many things so I just want to make sure we are speaking of the same part.

What year is your SLK? What does the module look like? I have two others that weren't an exact match to what I had in my 2001 SLK230 Sport that may match yours.
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#8 Old 03-01-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longship View Post
I was worried about this as well as I had read the very same thing. I talked with my indy and he couldn't seem to find anything concrete one way or another. He said at the very least he would take it over to the local MB dealer and they could program it for about $100. I decided to just give it a try and see what happens and the one I installed worked without a hitch. At first it seemed a little sluggish but after a reset of the ECM all is well.

After typing this out I looked back at your post. By ESM you are referring to the gear shift assembly module right? I have seen it called many things so I just want to make sure we are speaking of the same part.

What year is your SLK? What does the module look like? I have two others that weren't an exact match to what I had in my 2001 SLK230 Sport that may match yours.
They referred to it as the electronic shift module, but in all honesty I thought it was all part of the shifter mechanism. I'm not too clued up on these cars.
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#9 Old 12-11-2018
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I know, very old thread, but my car seems to be having this issue.


The car sat in the garage for a week and a half, started normally, put in reverse, backed out went to move
the car forward and it banged into gear. Went for park and the shifter would not go past N. Turn the car off
and it goes into park. BTW, check engine light is on. Drove it around the block and it's in limp mode, 2nd gear it seems.


Pulled codes last night and got the P18-- code (forgot to last 2 numbers) that was stored in the gear shift section, also found a
code in the trans for a problem with the shifter. Cleared all codes, CE light is now off but gear display is showing a all black screen.


Called the dealer for part numbers and a price, seems 170-267-08-24 is the old number, new number is 170-267-11-24, cost is $536.25.


I'm leaning towards buying used but it seems all the ones I see on Flee Bay have a different number stamped on the side. Is there a
way to be sure I'm buying the right part? Also it seems a used part does not need to be programed to the car, does a new part need to
be programed?


Thanks all Steve
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#10 Old 12-11-2018
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To answer your coding.

@i860
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I 'think' I am correct in saying that like for like ie a 2002 320 part 'should' be ok.
Earlier, or later swaps may need coding, but these folk will know.

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#11 Old 12-13-2018
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Thanks for the help, I plan to remove it this weekend and see if it
can be repaired. It does seem to still work 1 out of 10 try's so maybe a switch needs
cleaning or something.


I'll keep this page posted.


Steve
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#12 Old 12-16-2018
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I'm not totally sure about the external parts on the gearbox but all the R170 auto cars use the 722.6 transmission and they are all the same except for the AMG versions. But obviously as can be seen in the original post a difference is possible so care should be taken when sourcing a used part. I don't think any coding would be required for used SLK320 parts (which is a facelift car so earlier units may differ) but a new part may have to be told what chassis it is being fitted to ie. slk, E class, C class etc. Good luck with your repair
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#13 Old 12-19-2018
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I pulled the shifter out over the weekend. Came out fairly easy with exception of the parking brake handle, spray silicone is your friend here!


Checked for power, checked the wipers to see if they were loose, they ohmed out fine, Ohmed all the jumper wires out, all fine.
I could not find a way to get to the circuit board to check for bad solder joints or any other problems.


A note here, this seems to be a simple multiplex circuit, no CAN buss's or anything I can see. With that in mind I don't see it
needing to be programed to the car, hope I'm right on that! LOL


Going to order a used one today.


Steve
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#14 Old 12-19-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racerstev View Post
I pulled the shifter out over the weekend. Came out fairly easy with exception of the parking brake handle, spray silicone is your friend here!


Checked for power, checked the wipers to see if they were loose, they ohmed out fine, Ohmed all the jumper wires out, all fine.
I could not find a way to get to the circuit board to check for bad solder joints or any other problems.


A note here, this seems to be a simple multiplex circuit, no CAN buss's or anything I can see. With that in mind I don't see it
needing to be programed to the car, hope I'm right on that! LOL


Going to order a used one today.


Steve
You are right .It's not programmed to the car. Another note: They use the same shifter assembly on ML320/430's.
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