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W126 -1989- 560 SEC- Replacing Shift Linkage Bush... [Benz Repair and Maintenance Tips]
Requested and Answered by Buckrey on 04-Apr-2005 02:50 (3530 reads)
W126 -1989- 560 SEC- Replacing Shift Linkage Bushing

Suddenly one day the transmission shift level becomes a little sloppy and makes a slight clank sound when shifting into any gear. This sound does not come from the transmission itself, but from the external linkage. It makes the sound even if the engine's not running. So don't confuse it with possible drive train problems. The transmission will go into gear without a problem, but if left unattended to, will most likely wear out the linkage, to where selecting the correct gear could be a problem.
This has happened to all my MB's, which all had over 120k miles and over 10 years. So I'd say it's a common failure. So if your car exhibits these symptoms, I'd definitely have it looked at before the car lets you down.


The shifting linkage assembly consists of a gear shift selector (Fig-6), which is coupled to an intermediate connecting rod (about 2 feet long), which is coupled to the shifting lever located on the left side of the transmission (Fig-2). The connecting rod is coupled at both ends through a neoprene bushing to the respective selector and transmission levers. These bushings in time become brittle and partially break away, leaving a metal against metal coupling between rod and lever. Fortunately on all that I've changed (3 cars total), the bushing always disintegrated the same way. The inner half between the level and the rod. Rather than the half between the rod and the clip. Otherwise, I'm sure the clip would have, in a short time, worked it's way off and would have left me stranded, not being able to select a gear. I'm not sure if it was designed that way, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.

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