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M-Class (W163) 1998-2005: ML 230, ML 320, ML 350, ML 400 CDI, ML 430, ML 500, ML 270 CDI

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Full W163 transmission fluid change

Hello all, I want to change the transmission fluid in my 1998 ML320. I got the fluid, the filter, the gasket and a dip stick. I want to drain the torque converter and want to know how to get accesses to it. There is a black plastic cover on the transmission that is where the toque converter looks like it should be. Any hints from those who have done this before?
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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DIY Trans Service

There is no provision to drain the torque converter, they are welded shut and do not have a drain plug.

If you really want to "change" all the fluid, a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach is to purchase enough fluid for approx. four 'pan only' changes. Then remove the transmission pan, drain the fluid, place new filter in place, thoroughly clean the pan, reinstall the pan with the same gasket and run the engine about 5 minutes to circulate the fluid (run the shift lever slowly through all the gears).

After the 5 minute run time, place in park/shut off the engine, remove the transmission pan again, drain the fluid (leave the new filter in place), reinstall the pan (old gasket) and fill with new fluid again/run 5 minutes. Do this two more times with the last time installing the new gasket.

Now you have effectively diluted the fluid to somewhat close to new conditions. (I.E. the 1st change dilutes the dirty fluid by about half, the second change to 1/4 dirty concentration, third change 1/8 dirty fluid, fourth change 1/16 dirty fluid, etc). This is the approach I use.

Be sure to keep everything meticulously clean as no automatic transmission reacts to even small dirt particles well. Good Luck!
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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Thank You u100 elg I will follow your advice
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
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Take it to a shop and have it flushed. Cost a little bit more but well worth it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:05 AM   #5
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Incorrect post, the 98 and 99 MLs DO have a drain plug on the torque convertor. I had mine drained along with the pan and that took out almost all of the fluid... (was around 7qts I think drained). You have to spin the flywheel to get access to the drain plug... I had my indy do it for me so I can't tell you specifics.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Thanks Kar Don,
I thought that might be the case as there is that plastic cover where the torque converter is. I have a warm dry place to work on my ML320 and quite frankly enjoy doing the little things myself.
I'll let you know and post the results.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Ha, I wish I had a facility like that. Let me know if you want to share
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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Yeah sure I have around 4000 SF of space in Medfield Ma.that I rent out for heated dead storage. Not many takers this year because of the economy. ( 2 Alfas a 1930's something Dodge pickup and a fire truck) So if you got something you want to store I get $100.00 a month but if you need a place to do some work let me know I would be happy to let you use it, no charge for a day keeping dry and getting those things done that are no fun doing outside in this cold New England weather. I have a small air compressor and a good floor jack that your welcome to use. Let me know, I don't mind sharing.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
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Here's some pics I found
Full W163 transmission fluid change-1.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-2.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-4.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-5.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-6.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-7.jpg
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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Full W163 transmission fluid change-8.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-9.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-91.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-92.jpg
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:53 PM   #11
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Many thanks anzxtacy! This helps make my life easier.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #12
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Here are some of the tools and things you needFull W163 transmission fluid change-0.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-01.jpg
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:49 PM   #13
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Is there a fill tube? The W164 apparently does not, from under the hood at least.

Awesome photos...nice job on the post and the DIY.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #14
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The W163 has a fill lube (transmission), however, you need to break the red seal on it and buy new ones after you fill it up. You will need to buy a deepstick as it does not come with one.

I bought mine from here
https://www.autohausaz.com/search/pr...0Filler%20Tube


Full W163 transmission fluid change-93.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-94.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-95.jpg

Full W163 transmission fluid change-99.jpg

Last edited by aznxtacy; 02-02-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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Unfortunately the W164 does not have that fill tube. I will question it on the forum and see....

outstanding post and pics....kudo's
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:07 PM   #16
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aznxtacy how you've manage to do this and keep your fingers so clean
Nice post I have to do mine soon.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #17
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not my pics, I just found this from some website.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:43 AM   #18
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After reading posts I thought I must have missed something on my ML350.

Dropped the trans bell-housing converter cover and rotated the flywheel (torque converter plate) 360 degrees. Nope, no converter drain plug.

Either the seven speed doesn't have this feature or the converter was replaced prior to me purchasing this vehicle as a CPO.

Sorry for any confusion with those vehicles that have provisions to drain the torque converter.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:14 PM   #19
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like i said, this is the W163 forum (2006 ML350 is a W164) and we are discussing the 722.6 trans not 722.9 (like in your 2006 ML350). Only the 98 and 99 model year have the T/C drain plug.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:53 PM   #20
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How much would an Indy shop charge for a transmission and transfer case flush? I just bought my ride and it seems to be running and shfiting great but from everything ive been reading this sounds like maintenance im going to want to have done here soon.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:27 PM   #21
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don't flush, just do a normal change. It's a very easy DIY. Buy the parts from www.autohauz.com. Use Valvoline 75000 ATF
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:26 PM   #22
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Use transmission fluid that is spec'd 236.12 or 236.14. There is some older fluid out there that dealers will try to put off on you that is 236.10. DO NOT USE IT!

Don't do a flush. Drop the pan, replace the filter and refill. It'll take about 3.5 liters (4 qts.) to do it this way. In 30 to 40,000 more miles, do it again. That way, you're not changing all the fluid at once on an old transmission.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:15 PM   #23
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I just ordered my parts from autohaus last night. I'll hopefully be doing this next weekend if everything is here by then. Thanks for thread and pics-this is really helpful.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:50 PM   #24
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Doesn't look like a DIY for me

After reading through the posts I may end up having my leak at the gasket fixed at the shop. While I'm fairly handy and have done my fair amount of oil changes and the like (albeit to my MINI) this looks like I need special tools and such to do it.

My local mechanic, whom I have trusted to perform other work on my ML, estimated changing the gasket at $350.

While gaskets looks to be inexpensive, the rest of the stuff (time involved) look to be where the cost lies.

True?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:51 PM   #25
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hii

iwondering If I can use this oil for 722.622 ml320 2001
Valvoline DEX / MERC Synthetic Transmission Fluid




http://www.carpartsdiscount.com/auto...ml?3593=125436
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:51 PM
 
 
 
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1998, 320, change, filter, fluid, flush, forum, mercedes, ml, ml320, oil, tansmission, trans, transmission, w163



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