In this case one of the cable retainers to the Sprinter gear selector had broken away and required a new cable set to be fitted. For information a genuine new set of selector cables are approximately £100 plus vat from Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Sprinter to 2006 part number of cable assembly – A 901 260 14 38 Please note this part number is for ‘cables only’ and does not include any retaining clips for the gear selector or locking pawl adjusters on the gearbox lever arms, you would have to order these items separately if any of yours were broken or missing.
Before starting replacement work, if possible select neutral.
First unclip the gaiter from around the gear selector and remove the dash fixing self tapping screw beneath. Now remove the cubby box beneath the pen holder by removing the two screws at the back and pulling it out, then remove the central dash fixing beneath, unclip the paper clip/note holder and release this hidden self tapping screw. Withdraw the plastic centre dashboard facia. Note the position of the electrical connectors on the fitted switches behind and remove their plugs. Disconnect the cigar lighter and LED illumination bar. Once all electrical connectors are removed you can fully remove the panel and store it clear of the work area.
Remove the floor tool box lid and polystyrene foam wedge from the passenger side footwell and pull back the rubber floor covering. Undo the single fixing screw to the wrap-around console under-panel trim section on the passenger side and draw the back edge forward and out to unclip the centre join. Once this first half is removed this reveals a central fixing that needs to be removed, along with a final single fastening on the opposing edge by the pedal-box. Remove the remaining lower section.
Undo the two torx pins that hold the selector cable grommet to the floor. Undo the two bolts that fix the gear selector to the dash frame, pull the assembly forward at the top and up-out of its retaining ears. Once released remove the spring clips from the cable retainers and unclip both the eye and ball ends of the control cables from the underside of the selector lever. Remove the complete selector from the dash.
From underneath the vehicle, unclip both plastic lever cable locking pawls on the selector arms, open them up slightly to their disengaged position, being careful not to damage them. With a 10mm spanner and socket undo the pin and nut that secures the locking plate to the cable guide and remove it. Slide out both cable restraints and pull the ribbed end sections of the cable inners free from the adjustment locking pawls. From inside the cabin pull up the released control cables, threading them through the floor (two person job) and up behind the dash section to remove them.
Thread the new cables down through the floor, following the same route of the originals. Offer up the selector and thread in both cables into the locator holes at its base. Use the two steel slide fork clips to secure the cable outers by their retainers to the base of the selector assembly frame. Clip in the cable ‘eye’ and press on the ‘ball joint’ to their relevant levers under the selector lever. Locate the gear selector into its lower dash locators and fold it inward, replacing the two upper fixing bolts.
Correct the cable lengths through the floor grommet and fix it in position by fastening the steel plate into the floor with its two pins.
Align the gear stick to an approximate central/neutral position, locate and push down fully the locking staple into the gear lever ball. This locks the lever in a known central ‘maintenance’ position.
From beneath the van, slide in the adjustment ribbed ends of the cables into the two pawls on the gearbox selector arms, once in position push the cable ‘outer jacket’ retainers into the brackets (Grey cable uppermost) and replace the locking plate. With the gearbox in neutral, gauge the forward and backward play in gear selector arms and set the adjustment mid-way of the measured play, latching down the lever lock and pressing it firmly closed, captivating the selector cable end into the pawl type clamp on the gearbox selector arms.
Back inside the cab, withdraw the locking staple from the selector lever ball, latching it fully upward on its slide releasing gear lever motion. Test gear selection. It should be perfect, if not calculate where adjustment needs to be made and shorten or lengthen the rods underneath the vehicle using the pawl locks to obtain the desired result.
Rebuild the remaining dashboard and console in the same way as removal.
5 thoughts on “Mercedes Sprinter Gear Selection Cable Replacement”
Just as an approximate estimate, how many hours would it take a garage to do this job?
On a 4 post ramp, no more than one hour – hour and a half absolute tops.
All the best
Hi Steve, many thanks for an instructive and easy to follow guide, as a total novice just replaced the cables in a little over 1 hour on the ground. I did subsequently get a bit stuck on readjustments, as I could not get into 5th gear, kept returning to 3rd. After a fair bit of trial and error and round the block runs, finally twigged it was the top cable which needed lenghtening slightly – inexperience led me to think that this cable was only responsible for reverse gear, so I thought it might be an idea for you to go into a bit more detail on final adjsutments for the likes of me? Anyway got it all sorted and works better than before, so thankyou very much
Yes the important thing to note is – no threaded ribbed section of the cable end should be visible outside of the ball joint clamp end. If there is, reverse will usually not engage at all.
Fantastic write up, thanks!