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Registered 2002 SLK200
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Discussion Starter #1
Every time I start the car up from cold the first depression of the clutch is hard, and then it goes light and feels absolutely fine.

In the past I've changed over the oil and I've bleed the clutch, which btw made a huge difference in the pedal feel; changing out the dirty dot 4, it turned the clutch from what felt like a brake pedal to a very smooth linear feel (I recommend this for any manual drivers out there).

From what I can remember before I'd changed the fluids (4/5 months ago) I still had a very hard initial depress of the clutch, so I know it's not something I've done.

The car drives fine as I said, it's only the first depress, it shifts really nice at high and low revs, before the oil and dot 4 change it felt jerky shifting at high rpms and you had to buff out your left leg to even shift that quickly.

Can anyone tell me why this is happening? My guess is something to do with engine vacuum from cold start.
 

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I also experience this (my post a week or two ago - "slow at the start but give it some time"). I have not recieved any explanation. I figure the fluids need to warm up. Engine needs to be about 60 degrees F until the car drives normal.
 

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I had this problem and in the winter time the clutch would stick and 1-2 seconds before releasing. I had my mechanic flush the clutch fluid and refill it. It uses the same fluid as your brakes. My clutch is now very springy and all is well. I only paid $60 to have this done.

I was there when it was drained and the fluid was a bit sludgy.
 

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Registered 2002 SLK200
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Discussion Starter #4
I'm surprised you guys have manuals over the water, thought the majority would have been autos :p

I got under the car and bleed the clutch myself with the help of an extra pair of hands to pump the pedal and yes, sludge like substance came out and the difference was night and day when shifting, made the car more enjoyable to drive ten fold.

This is definitely something you can do yourself with a pair of axle stands, 500ml coke bottle and half a metre of either aquarium tubing or similar and of course some new fluid.

I went for a drive yesterday and the first depress was not as stiff as it usually is from cold, difference being it was a really hot day yesterday in England, or at least in Dorset, so possibly it is heat related.
 

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I'm surprised you guys have manuals over the water, thought the majority would have been autos :p

I got under the car and bleed the clutch myself with the help of an extra pair of hands to pump the pedal and yes, sludge like substance came out and the difference was night and day when shifting, made the car more enjoyable to drive ten fold.

This is definitely something you can do yourself with a pair of axle stands, 500ml coke bottle and half a metre of either aquarium tubing or similar and of course some new fluid.

I went for a drive yesterday and the first depress was not as stiff as it usually is from cold, difference being it was a really hot day yesterday in England, or at least in Dorset, so possibly it is heat related.
I just got my 6 speed on Monday and am doing some maintenance things since I do not know the last time they were done. I want to flush the brake and clutch fluid. Is the reservoir for the brakes the same and only one for the clutch?
 

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Registered 2002 SLK200
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I just got my 6 speed on Monday and am doing some maintenance things since I do not know the last time they were done. I want to flush the brake and clutch fluid. Is the reservoir for the brakes the same and only one for the clutch?
They share the same reservoir, although if you look inside after taking the mesh plug out, you'll see there is a divider wall (facing nearest the engine) and that's the clutch "side". The main and bigger area of the reservoir is for the brakes.
 

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I'm surprised you guys have manuals over the water, thought the majority would have been autos :p

I got under the car and bleed the clutch myself with the help of an extra pair of hands to pump the pedal and yes, sludge like substance came out and the difference was night and day when shifting, made the car more enjoyable to drive ten fold.

This is definitely something you can do yourself with a pair of axle stands, 500ml coke bottle and half a metre of either aquarium tubing or similar and of course some new fluid.

I went for a drive yesterday and the first depress was not as stiff as it usually is from cold, difference being it was a really hot day yesterday in England, or at least in Dorset, so possibly it is heat related.
Isn't the clutch reaction amazing after bleeding out that sludge? My leg no longer gets sore from driving in heavy traffic. It took a day to get used to the rejuvenated clutch. .I kept slamming the pedal into the floor board.
 

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Registered 2002 SLK200
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Isn't the clutch reaction amazing after bleeding out that sludge? My leg no longer gets sore from driving in heavy traffic. It took a day to get used to the rejuvenated clutch. .I kept slamming the pedal into the floor board.
Yeah, the most noticeable change is in traffic, it was like getting used to a completely different clutch in another car. Shame then that the manual boxes are pretty clunky, even when warm but I still wouldn't have an auto on a 170. I've driven both a 171 and 172 auto and enjoyed them, but I love my slk and it's a style of driving you get used to, double de clutching helps a lot :)
 

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Thanks Guys, this is the kind of info I've been looking for. Hardly any info to be found on a R170 manual transmission.

Anyone know of any write-ups on changing the transmission fluid, or the clutch pedal fluid (although, by the sounds of it, the clutch pedal fluid is easy). Also, seeing that the clutch and brake fluids share the same reservoir, would the clutch fluid not be considered "changed" when a brake fluid change is done?

Thanks,
Rob
 

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Registered 2002 SLK200
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Guys, this is the kind of info I've been looking for. Hardly any info to be found on a R170 manual transmission.

Anyone know of any write-ups on changing the transmission fluid, or the clutch pedal fluid (although, by the sounds of it, the clutch pedal fluid is easy). Also, seeing that the clutch and brake fluids share the same reservoir, would the clutch fluid not be considered "changed" when a brake fluid change is done?

Thanks,
Rob
This thread I created talks about the correct amount of oil that should be inside a manual trans, lots of nay sayers who hadn't done the research I had, and the end result was finding documentation on lowering the original amount from 1.5l to 1.2l. check out the link in the last post from me. It seems to be a general opinion filling the oil until it spills out the fill hole is the right way, not on an r170!

As for a guide on changing the oil, well there's not an easy way unless you have a ramp due to the position of the fill hole. I used a 100ml syringe and filled it up that way, took a long time and effort but it's accurate.

No, if you bleed the brakes that won't affect the clutch as in a my post above mentions; the divider wall inside the reservoir separates the clutch from the brake fluid and also you need to flush new fluid through the clutch lines by getting under the car/transmission, which you woundn't have done if you only bleed the brakes.

I'd remove the current fluid from the reservoir completely with a syringe, and fill up to the top with new fluid (not the max marker, the actual top) and begin bleeding the brakes and the clutch, this way you're not potentially pulling more grit and such through the lines, although the fluid will be black when you bleed it, keep topping up the reservoir to avoid pulling air through the system, and once it flows out of the brake/clutch nipple the colour it should be, you're good to go!
 
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