Date registered: Mar 2007
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Ml320 drive shaft support replacement
After searching the entire internet on how to tackle a broken Ml320 drive shaft support replacement, I decided to attempt it. Boy, this could be fun if you like wrenching.
For the faint hearted, pay a shop or call MBenz to pick it up let them split their knuckles for your big bucks.
A very good jack.
4 Axle stands
Good 12" handle Socket wrench.
8mm socket plus applicable elbow extension.
(You are better off purchasing an Air ratchet - $29.99 from Advance auto parts.
One air compressor, $90.00. Air Connectors and hose $20.00. You're still saving money because you'll have these tools for future use and overall cost of the project is still less than your dealership will charge. Note you still need the strong wrench to loosen the 2 rusty bolts holding the obscured darn stupid Benz contraption)
Start by jacking vehicle up.
The ML is a full time 4wd heavy vehicle; so all 4 wheels must be free off the ground. I only jacked up the 2 rear but that wasted a lot of my time - I repeat, all 4 wheels must be free (Use 4 strong reliable axle stands. Your life could be at stake if you cut corners. Be CAREFUL not CAREFOOL)
Now that all wheels are off the ground, get yourself a mat, and crawl under the truck. You'll cause at how much space Benz left their techs here.
This is a high velocity joint assy you are dealing with so Note how tight all bolts are and remember to tighten them back accordingly when done.
1. With the right Allen key, loosen and remove all the intermediate shaft (or Mid-shaft) attachments to the transfer case Drive. (This is where you’ll start appreciating having all the wheels off ground.)
2. With the 8mm socket plus applicable elbow extension, loosen the 4 bolts holding the U joint assy to free the prop shaft.
3. With a little more space gained, push the intermediate shaft out of the way, and use the 16mm wrench to loosen those 2 rusty bolts - This is where the pain is. It is hard to maneuver, you can only make about 2/3 turn each time. The bolts don't come off easy; if they do, you are in huge luck. Use copious rust freeing liquid e.g. "liquid wrench" (Start making wet from previous night. Do realize you might break the bolts if you work it too much in it's -hard to loosen state-. This is where the air ratchet comes in. Spray the bolt, loosen it, when it gets tight spray it again and tighten back. Spray from the bottom and loosen again repeat this several times until the air ratchet completely drives it out (You could do this for days if you don’t have an air tool -trust me on that one if you live in snow salt ridden area like here in RI, New England.)
Once this 2 nightmare bolts are out, maneuver entire mid-shaft and driveshaft support out via right side of vehicle.
Ha-ha you are now 3/4 through
Avoid wrong assembly; observe the direction of things.
Loosen the center bolt holding the U joint end to the intermediate shaft. (Use the air ratchet as a vice might be necessary if doing it by hand)
Spray some "liquid wrench" on the center the intermediate shaft to penetrate the spline. Also spray the bearing seating on the shaft rod (Take a break and let things soak)
Remove the old messed up support from the intermediate shaft (this may be another challenge if you don't have the right puller (I had to hammer mine out but be careful not to hammer the threaded area or the less thick area or the main shaft itself. Hammer the thicker lower end.
Hammer a flat head screw driver to drive out the bearing - Again tap on the bearing carefully, avoid the spline rod.
Clean the mess put the new unit in - right direction- You need to maintain proper symmetrical force on the bearing. Push in as far as you can. Put the washer and bolt back and air ratchet back in. The bolt will push the bearing back in place.
Replace assy back in vehicle just the way it came out.
Assemble the U joint back FIRST. Ensure the dust caps on the U joint seat correctly if not, you'll crack them and open a new can of frustrating worms.
Now put those 2 lousy bolts back
Install the 6 Allen head bolts back last.
Tighten all bolts accordingly.
Wallah -----------------------------YOU ARE DONE------------------------------
How much money will you save? Only you can tell.
I got my part for $88.00 from eBay and was thoroughly satisfied
Except you are like me or other curious guys out there, I'll advice you to let the pros handle this one.
Good luck guys