ATF choice for new to me MB W124

Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
815
Location
Brittany
The car is a 1993 220E with the 722.4 transmission and it has 133,400 km on the clock. I don't know when the ATF was replaced but it has been done a few times over the life of the car, just looking at the drain plug i can see that it has been screwed and unscrewed a few times. Right now the ATF looks more amber than red on the dipstick but doesn't smell burnt at all.

Bevo says MB236.1/7/9/10 for the 4 speed transmissions but I've been told that Dexron IID, MB236.6 was the factory fill and what was available at the time. Total Fluidmatic ATX meets Dexron IID and MB236.6 and is available everywhere and the price is very good. I don't really want to use anything synthetic in this car as it already has a few leaks. The transmission looks dry but I don't want to gamble, especially until I replace the cooler lines.

Also, since I don't know the last time it was done, I don't want to take the risk of dislodging too much dirt like clutch material and such and take the risk of clogging the valve body or even the filter. I've seen it happen on similar transmissions on MB forums. What about just opening the drain plug without dropping the pan and draining the torque converter and just change half of the fluid, do it again a few thousand kms later, maybe this time with a new filter and then go back to a normal procedure of draining the torque converter, dropping the pan and changing the filter every 50,000 km?

Does it make any sense not wanting to "shock" the transmission if no ATF change was performed for many years?
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
1,702
Location
Ontario, Canada
FWIW with 133K Km and a few ATF changes under the belt, I don't think that you need to worry about dislodging deposits.
I agree that if it looks dry and consequently so may be the seals, to use synthetic ATF may be risky, but are you sure that they are dry?
 

CleanSump

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
875
Location
Bolivia
My 1992 owners manual said Dexron III in trans and power steering. I used it in my old 1992 300D for 348k miles on the original trans when I sold it. Yes, anecdotes mean nothing to the "science purist", but at least it is real. Grandma's cousin's dog did it to a Ford and it crapped out is cxxx hearsay with no basis. Old fluid does not hold the clutches together nor block leaks. The clutches are worn or not; the seals are bad or not.
If you drain both the pan and the TC you'll get close to the 9 qts total capacity. If you're only looking to drain half now, drive it a few k, then do it again, I'd only drain the pan fluid. Then go for a full change with filter when you're comfortable.
 

wlk

Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
222
Location
Pennsylvania
I'd run Valvoline Maxlife in it, would do a couple drain and fills and not change all the fluid at once. If it has a drain plug on the pan, drain it there or siphon out the dipstick tube- how I do most of mine.
 
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