Drive line advice please. 280se - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Drive line advice please. 280se

Hi All
i just pulled my drive shaft from my 280se to repair a knocking sound, that was caused by the center support rubber bushing breaking down. it would shake and knock when i drove over bumps etc. Anyway that all seems very straight forward, that and the bearing which i will replace.
My question is in regards to the uv joints. I thought while i have it on the bench i would check them. This shaft has two, which i have been told is a little unusual. When i move them around there is no play as such, but to me they feel a little notchy and stiff and not completely smooth. I ordered new ones and took it to the machine shop to have replaced and he told me they have been pined over and are not easy to do and it has to go to a drive line service shop. My question is would it be best just buying a rebuilt unit all done? Center bearing, uv joints, and balanced etc or send this one out? I'm thinking it may end up being more expensive to take this to a shop? Has anyone here replaced their drive shaft cv joints etc? And any idea of cost? Also were can i buy one?
All the best John.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 05:47 AM
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I replaced the entire thing. I tried the machine shop route too and was told more or less what you heard - "not what we do normally and cheaper to buy the whole driveshaft." I ended up paying about $425, which also covered the cost of shipping (and after the core return). It included new joints and a balanced driveshaft and made one heckuva difference in how the car rode.

I spent half an hour going through my email and couldn't find the e-receipt, and when I sold the car, it left with all the paper receipts included. However, I started with a general search for "Mercedes driveshafts," and a few clicks later, I found a shop that specialized in such a thing.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 05:49 AM
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One more thing - there's a bushing at the rear, where the drive shaft meets the rear end. I'm not sure the new drive shaft came with one, but I'd recommend replacing it at the same time. I replaced mine on a 114 I used to own, and it was beat to hell and back. Cheap part and a good "while you're in there" replacement
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 08:18 AM
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I just got my driveshaft balance for about $120. You may just want to get a quote from a driveshaft shop also to compare. The big ones do truck drivelines and can probably take care of yours.

I think mine had 2 u-joints also.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that Grubeguy. I was thinking I would just replace it as you did. I don't remember seeing a bushing at the rear? Just flange to flange. What I don't understand is at the front were it connects to the transmission there is a rubber seal to hold in the grease. Whats the greade for? All I can see is a chamber for the grease, but I don't see its purpose?
Thanks John.
ps im taking my shaft to a guy today to see if he thinks the uv joints need replacing. He told me they very rarely need to be changed.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 10:05 AM
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you could use 90w oil or motor oil at the outside of the u joints , then move them around [ it may take a while ] the oil will seep in and lube the needles in there . the rear u joint could be left soaking in a can over night , maybe also the front ones .
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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I went to the Merc mechanic today and he thought the uv joints were fine and told me just to replace the center bearing and rubber doughnut.
The front bushing is new so no worries there. I fitted it all back together tonight while cooking chicken on the barbeque It all went back nice I'll tighten everything down tomorrow if the weather permits.
The chicken was pretty good to
Cheers John.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 11:59 AM
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I pulled mine this winter to do pinion seals, and driveshaft maintenance. Never touched the u joints as they appeared fine with no slop.
The design of this drivetrain doesn't put any stress on these u joints because the center support is always aligned with the rear end because of the swing axle geometry.
Mine has an estimated 400k+ on it and I believe the u joints are original. Just make sure you put the driveshaft halves back together the same way it came apart. The driveshaft is balanced as a unit, not each half individually.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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I fitted it all back today, everything went back real nice. As you suggested I made sure it went back in the same orientation as before. The trouble is im getting heavy vibration from the rear. I believe its coming from the rear uv joint.
I confess to trying to get the uv joints out, but when they would not budge because of the stakeing, I gave up. But im worried that in the process I may have damaged the needle bearings? The rear uv joint seemed to be very stiff. Not sure what to do now? Weather to remove it and soak the joints in oil to help free them, or cut my loses and get a reconditioned one from Portland driveline specialist's? They apparently specialize in older classics. The shop here locally in Sacramento I have been told do good work but my mechanic friend said when his came back it did not look original to the car anymore. I guess that's not a big deal but it would be nice to keep it original looking.
Cheers John.
ps. I was to frustrated to cook tonight. I got take out Chinese instead

Last edited by wroding; 04-07-2015 at 09:54 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Mar 2014
Vehicle: 1968 280se, 1972 280se 4.5, Land Rover disco II, Triumph Thruxton, Triumph Tiger. +boring Chevy Van
Location: Grass Valley california
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I wonder if this sold at the auction? And how much?

1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
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