I just finished buttoning up all the bits and pieces on the green 164 last night, so today the gearbox explodes on the freeway. It really is true - fix one thing, another breaks.
The sad story:
Getting ready to exit the freeway - Driving in 5th gear, downshift to 4th and almost simultaneously the car shudders. Massive amounts of smoke billowing from underneath the car from gear oil spilling onto the hot header pipes. Managed to get the car pulled off the the side of the exit ramp.
As I was stopping, when I reached about 5 or 10 MPH the car seemed to "lock" up as if I had slammed on the brakes.
At first, I was not able to shift into any of the gears except reverse. I tried again later as I sadly sat in the car and was able to shift into all gears. The car starts and runs just fine, and will move forward in all forward gears and backward in reverse BUT only for a very short distance (perhaps 3/4? a revolution on the driveshaft/wheel). The gear oil (yes, gear oil) spilled out almost entirely - it looks as if the ATF was dumped for some 80 or 90 WT royal purple garbage. Think this may have caused it?
Car is a 1991 (4/90 production - probably retains the old style pilot bearing...) 164L. It is green with a butternut leather interior, and I love it dearly. 129,000 miles EXACTLY (coincidence?).
Anyways - since the gearbox is transferring power in all gears, could it be something on the output shaft(s) at the CV joint that may have caused the problem? Or will I be stuck with having to replace the gearbox??
Thanks in advance