85 300SD trans starter lockout is bad, what to do?

The starter relay shorted out recently, and I replaced the starter with a rebuilt one. I couldn't get the replacement to energize and start car....
I found it still did not work because there was no starter control power reaching the the rear terminal on that terminal strip (C105) at the right wheel well. The rear terminal goes direct to the starter relay. I figured that repeated attempts to start car with shorted starter relay had fried the tranny starter lockout switch. So to get the car going, I ran a new wire all the way from the ignition switch to the starter control terminal at C105. This of course works, but the car can start in drive. Well, I finally got underneath and checked the starter lockout contacts at the tranny with a meter. I have good power going in on violet/ white from the ignition switch, but no power going out on violet (temporarily removed my "jumper" of course)....and the car is in PARK. So my hunch was right, the tranny switch is permanently opened. Nothing wrong with the connector. I might get a couple of more years use out of the car....and there appears to be no way to fix the internal switch except by removing and repairing the tranny, which is out of the question. I usually drive the car, and can probably remember to always have it in Park...but my wife might need to drive it someday, and hit something when it lurches forward because she didn't put it in Park. I am going to have to rig up something, I guess....maybe a microswitch positioned so that the tranny shifter linkage opens the switch when not in park?
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Jimbo wrote:

How about a relay on the brake light switch so it can only be started if your foot is on the brake? That might be easier than fooling with the shifter mechanism.
--

- RODNEY


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Huh? What 'internal switch'? The neutral switch bolts on the side of the trans. It is replaceable by itself. Remove the 10mm headed bolt that goes thru the shift linkage on the out side of the switch. Slide the shift are off the trans. Make SURE the dogs are not broken off that fit into the neutral switch to rotate it. If one or both break off, the switch appears bad when it really isn't! The lever piece is available separate.

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Thanks Karl! Didn't look like something replaceable, particularly as there only around an inch clearance between it and the sub-frame. Thanks again!

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Karl, is that something you can get from from a parts supplier like THEBENZBINS.COM, or do you have to get it from a Mercedes dealer?

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All online parts stores have it.
There is not much space but is still workable. The switch is held by 2 10mm bolts. Remove the bottom one and loose the top one. Turn the switch forward (or backward, I don't remember) to remove. Get the replacement part first then you can figure what I mean. It's less than 30 minutes if you know what to do.
You are lucky this is W126. W201 (I have a 190D) has even smaller space!
Jimbo wrote:

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