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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, most of my parts showed up for my SLK350. I got my work cut out for me. It's time to refresh the suspension and address that transmission once and for all. I couldn't even fit all the parts on my desk 馃お
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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, that 3-2 coast down clunk as you come up to lights has been bugging me for years so I'm going to nail down everything in that tranny and get 'er done. I did a print out of the adaptations in DAS and it's not adapting for some of the clutch packs so there's something up. It's also been smoked more than a few times due to my failure to just buck up and buy the conductor plate some years back :) At any rate, the two things that have always really bugged me have been the bearing knock on startup (turned out the be the oil pump and the O-ring) and that's been fixed and the other thing that has bugged me for years is that tranny, so it's getting done. As for the suspension, that's maintenance, albeit a significant one. After that's done and the alignment then it's on to tires I fear. It's going to be an expensive month for the car but I'm looking for a one and done and not having to revisit anything serious for years to come....but then, I've said that before....
 

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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's not always easy but I look at this way, doing the oil pump and o-ring myself pretty much paid for the hoist. Every job after that is saved money, and it's a lot. While this level of work is more/less expensive, retail for it up where I am is probably close to $20k. Mercedes at one point quoted me something like $15k just for a reman tranny. There are no tranny shops up here that have done a 722.9 (last I checked) so....

Then factor in my parents car, and my neighbors car. I did some work on my neighbors car, saved her a bunch of money, and the labor went straight into buying shop equipment. Pullers and the like. So, one afternoon of work, help her out, and get new gear. Everyone wins.

My cost on the suspension parts was +/- $1,500 CAD from Spareto. Trans parts was about the same from San Antonio. So, roughly $3k for suspension and trans. Add in $2k for the hoist and we're at $5k CAD pretty much all in. In USD we're talking $3,700...

The value of doing the trans and suspension yourself? Priceless. At least it's done right. My biggest mistake was not buying the hoist right away. That cost much more than this major servicing alone. The $2k outlay for the hoist is not lost money either. It will still be worth $1,500 when I'm done in recoverable costs if a person wants to go that way.

Anyone that gets a good shop to repair their car knows that $2k is more/less normal for a bill these days. The hoist paid for itself just on the oil pump and O-ring job. Everything else gravy. It's still a tough pill to swallow, but it's the quality of repair that is as important to me as the cost savings. One & done. Mind you, I drive the car. In the time I've owned it I've put 100k on it. If you're going to own one of these cars, and actually drive it, either have a good income or do it yourself or, ideally, both.

Could be worse though. Fair number of Ferrari's up here. Only one guy actually drives his 'regularly'. There's a reason they all have low miles, you have to have a lot of money to drive a Ferrari like a normal car. Hell, tire costs on my car alone are horrible! Up here most people drive their SLK's on special occasions. That works too. Low miles equals lower costs.

I drove mine in the snow shortly after I got it, just to see how it did (horrible, worst I've driven). You would not believe how many people on the road gave me the stink eye for driving a car like that in the snow (from their perspective). I limped it back home in shame and haven't driven it in the snow since.
 

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2010 SLK55 AMG
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JUST don't cheap out, do a PROPER wheel and suspension setup by a professional! Not just a four wheel alignment, any fool can do that. It's not enough!

I mean corner weighting, adjustments and setup. I did mine here after doing pretty much the same updates to my suspension and it cost me 拢600 here in the UK! NOT cheap, but holy moly, what a difference it made!! It's like on rails now, there no warning, no surprises and no "You just stepped out of line, I'm going to kill you" :).

Just calmly, sedate and mature "oh, me thinks we loosed a bit of traction there, but no worry, we got this, you steer and I follow". :D :D
 

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The pictures with the desk and cooking clutches are in the garage, next to the car, right?
I have not seen a garage here (UK) that can fit a car that fully opens 1 door, not a car a desk and a chair. Forget about toolrack or ...nice set-up for sure!
About tranny rebuild @Dave2302 might be of help if the correct info/questions are given/asked.
 

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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hahaha...I'm taking it to K-Mart for the alignment but I'm waiting for the Blue Light special. You pay for 3 wheels and get the 4th for free :)

The alignment shop that did it last time bought $6k in Mercedes equipment. They load the car and do all sorts of weird things. They're very good. That's one area where I'm laughing because I can sublet something to people that know what they are doing.

With respect to the garage, it's just a regular 2 car garage. Most people up here (Canada) have 3 car garages. It's just a little house, 1,800 sq ft I think. I did a bunch of work to it to get ready for the job. Extra lights, taking things to the dump, clearing the floor off etc. I had to install an HRV while I was at it. I've spent two weeks getting the garage ready :)

With respect to the transmission, I'm hoping I can do it all in-house. I brought in a pump plate and a pump bushing and bought a massive bushing driver kit etc. I've got very good pistons, clutches and steels. I won't know until I get into it. I know the pumps have issues with these transmissions but mine is working. It doesn't slip. It does have a bit of whine though. I do have some of the updated parts for it and I will be setting the clearance on each of the clutch stacks and the endplay. I'm very much looking forward to doing the transmission as it should reap some big rewards. I absolutely hate that 3-2 coast down clunk.
 

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2005 SLK350
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113 Posts
Totally agree with you Marvin. Fortunately, I bought my two poster hoist early and now paid back in spades. When you first started on the "Tranny" I was in the same space. I used "Ecutest " of Derbyshire, UK with their plug-and-play reco of the Conductor Plate. It worked a treat and has now given me 30 000 klm of faultless changes. I did thoroughly strip and clean the valve block and was pleased I did with all the crud that was in there.I do have your "clunk" though from 2-1 when braking, most un-mercedes. Best of luck mate, keep us posted on the results of the downshift please, may be a future project.
Drive safe all.
 

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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Totally agree with you Marvin. Fortunately, I bought my two poster hoist early and now paid back in spades. When you first started on the "Tranny" I was in the same space. I used "Ecutest " of Derbyshire, UK with their plug-and-play reco of the Conductor Plate. It worked a treat and has now given me 30 000 klm of faultless changes. I did thoroughly strip and clean the valve block and was pleased I did with all the crud that was in there.I do have your "clunk" though from 2-1 when braking, most un-mercedes. Best of luck mate, keep us posted on the results of the downshift please, may be a future project.
Drive safe all.
Well done sir! I went with a QuickJack (pictured). I used to own a shop many years ago and loved 2 post hoists. What I'm finding now is that I prefer the QuickJack. It might seem odd...but I bought a good creeper with a headrest and now my neck and arms never get tired. Given that the floor is always clean I can fly around under it like a mad man and I don't mind getting up and down off the creeper. Plus, since I'm older, I can also just rest on it under the car. I don't have the height for a two post so that was off the books right from the start. But yes, if there are any youngsters out there, if you can manage buying a hoist early on in life, do it. It will pay you back many times over!

Here's a little food for thought for you on the 3-2 coast down clunk (which often seems like 2-1 but in my case is actually 3-2). I never had the issue until I replaced my conductor plate. I ultimately did mine with a new OE unit from MB. Two things I noticed, the coast down clunk and it no longer seems to skip gears downshifting, which I miss. It used to skip several gears when you matted it.

When I did, I cleaned the valve body out. As you found, it gets full of crap which causes all sorts of problems. But...as mentioned, after doing the work I got the 3-2 clunk. In retrospect, I never changed the O-Rings on the solenoids when I pulled them out of the valve body. It is entirely possible this introduced the issue. After doing a lot of research I have found numerous reports from people about that. I talked to ATRA (American Transmission Rebuilders Association) and it's common for them to leak. So, I know it never did it before. Thus, it could be the new conductor plate or......the solenoid O-Rings. I was originally going to just do a major service to the trans (not rebuild it) and I kept getting the feeling I should buy new O-Rings as well, which I did. Food for thought, but I would consider that as a strong possibility with a high chance of success. It just makes sense.

As for the skipping multiple gears on the downshift, I hope MB didn't take that feature out with the new conductor plate. We shall see! I really enjoyed that as it rarely did it, but when it did, it took off like a rocket!

Message received on the alignment. The shop I use used to do all my alignments from back when I had my shop. I know these people well. My car has never been hit so it was always very close. The rear was spot on right from the factory. The front a little off. This time, with 4 adjusting bolts on the front, they will be able to nail it. Unless, of course, all the parts I am installing are off by a mile....
 

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2006 SLK350
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686 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Btw, I will post up pics of the trans as I go along. It will be interesting! Oh, lastly, for some reason I never updated the tranny pan so that it can use the new filter design. This was also foolish because, as we both know, the 722.9 is a bit of a 'dirty' transmission. Just look inside your valve body! This time I ordered up the new pan and filter. The new filter design is apparently much better and catches much more debris.

So my hope is to create a factory fresh trans (so to speak) this time with proper filtering such that the wear is greatly reduced. Ie, a one and done. I don't mind doing regular servicing on it, especially since it's getting new clutches and pistons etc. I am concerned about the planetary gearsets. It seems the brass or bronze washers do wear out. The Russians, believe it or not, can replace those washers. Hopefully I don't have to sent parts to Russia as it will cause delays! :)
 

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2006 SLK350
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got her out today. What a little beauty. It always amazes me how compact that transmission is. The hoist worked like a top and so did my old floor jack :)
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2006 SLK350
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Oh, keep the pictures coming! I'd love to see how this works out! And what it looks like inside :)
You asked, you got it :)
Found some issues today during disassembly.....one is my own error.

The B3 brake feed pipe was installed backwards! This was my own fault as I had been into the valve body before. The second thing is the case mounted filter (not the pickup filter) was missing! Don't think that one was my fault. The other thing I noticed is that one of the B2 housing to case bolts was loose...I was never in there....

That stuff was interesting but I can't see any of it being a big issue in the scheme of things. The good news is that there is a new case-mounted filter included in the rebuild kit and also a new skirt for the B3 brake pipe feed. So we can address all of that in the rebuild. For whatever it's worth. Nevertheless, I hate to do shoddy work so I hit myself a few times (so that you don't have to) :)

The teardown got stalled right off the bat. I could not get the yolk off the output shaft (see pics of tri-lobe yolk). I removed the lock nut but it would not come off. I heated it up, it still would not come off. I tried various pullers, none were correct, and it still would not come off. I then went to the local auto parts store and looked at their pullers, none are correct.

At the end of the day, I got referred to a tranny shop in the neighboring town and he took pity on me and told me to bring it by tomorrow and he can likely help. Embarrassing, but that's the way it is. It is not coming off. Mind you, I don't have an Oxy/Ace torch anymore, if I did, it would be glowing and falling off all on it's own...but apparently there may be an O-ring in there.

Anyway, the converter is off and the hub looks OK. These transmissions have a history of the pump bushing welding to the converter shaft and doing a lot of damage. So far, so good. As a result, the pumps often have broken teeth and damage the bell housing. Can't get there because of the yolk. But, at least the converter looked good. Speaking of which, the tranny fluid looked very good. Which surprised me because I have changed it twice but was certainly overdue and it showed because the tranny was acting up. The filter did look clogged though and the conclusion I came down to, which I would never recommend, was that I could have just changed out the filter and probably addressed several of the symptoms I was seeing (but none of the big ones).

Anyway, here's some pics;

This is the stupid yoke, which apparently should fall right off after you take off the nut, but wouldn't

Window Wood Gas Machine Engineering


This is the B3 brake feed pipe which, at some point, I installed backwards. You can see that the skirt is deformed. In my own defense, I was in there several times so I probably got sloppy the last time. No defense, it's on me...but...I don't know if it really effects anything.

Automotive tire Automotive design Gas Automotive wheel system Engineering


The case filter is supposed to be in the large top hole. It's not!! I blame Germany for that one! Nevertheless, it's likely only there to catch big stuff but I really don't know for sure. I do have one to put in though, yes I do!

Hood Light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design


Here's a shot of the trans with valve body still in it. Not shown but underneath it is the new OE conductor plate from MB.

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This is a shot of the trans with the Valve Body and Conductor plate removed.
Motor vehicle Automotive design Office equipment Engineering Gas


This is a shot of the tranny pan with the old style pan and filter (will be updated to the new style during the rebuild) I was very impressed due to the lack of material and the color of the fluid. Like I said, I would never recommend this, but I could have drained the fluid into a good container and just replaced the filter as it looked plugged and probably noticed a significant improvement. Bear in mind, I've serviced it 3 times now but I was surprised that the fluid looked so good. The magnets aren't that bad in the scheme of things. The reason for the rebuild, more than anything else, is that it was clear that servicing the trans was just a bandaid and I knew the clutches had been smoked a few times. Since it's now at about 170,000 KM's it's time to renew.
Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive design


The input shaft had a fair amount of play in it but because the yoke has not been removed I cannot tear the trans down to see what the scoop is. But...I do have a new oil pump bushing and will check the clearance.

That's about it for now. Tomorrow, if all goes well, the trans shop that took pity on me will pull that yoke off and then I can get the case off and really strip it down and see what's what. But...the converter hub looks good so....I'm happy about that.
 

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2005 SLK55 AMG
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10 Posts
Woo! The world needs more folks brave enough to crack open their autotragic.

Face-value, it's intimidating, but they're really simple bits of kit when you look at what each component does. As long as you have good reference material and take your time, little can really go wrong. Well, and you need to make the requisite ritual sacrifice to the tiny wizards what who reside in the torque converter and pull the levers for shifting. You do NOT want to anger the tiny tranny wizards...
 
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