Tumble Flap Actuator Replacement - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Tumble Flap Actuator Replacement

I did this task on Saturday, I have a few pictures and thoughts.

The hardest part about this procedure is getting the engine wire harness out of the way. I will not go into much detail there but suffice to say it is a little difficult and requires time and patience to make sure you do not break anything. Once the harness is more or less out of the way, the injector fuel rail can be easily removed and the eight bolts that hold the intake can be removed. I did not completely remove the intake manifold as there are connectors below the MAF that I found difficult to get to & in any case I had enough room to work on the front of the manifold (where the actuator is) just standing it up in the 'valley'.

I must emphasize here that it is very important to be sure you do not let any debris fall into the intake ports of the cylinder heads. I stuffed paper towels into the ports and protected the mating surfaces with clean shop towels.

In the pictures below, shown is the front of the manifold with the broken actuator in place, next is a closeup of where the break occurs, next is a comparison of the broken and replacement aftermarket part and the last picture shows the aftermarket part installed.

Be sure you order new manifold gaskets with your new part. Mine were only @ $4.50 each, cheap insurance to make sure there are no vacuum leaks once back together. It was a little tricky to get the manifold back in place with the gaskets doing it the way I did it, but do take care to make sure the gaskets do not move or slip when you place the manifold back over the head ports. There are locating pins on the mating surface of the intake manifold for the gaskets, so this helps.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of keeping debris out of the intake ports.

Reassembly went fairly quickly. Once the engine started I had a problem with cylinders 4 and 6 misfiring badly as fuel was not getting to the injectors. I have had this problem in the past when I have had to pull the fuse for the fuel pump in order to depressurize the fuel system for other repairs I have made. #4 cleared up pretty quickly but #6 took a long time to get back into the game, really had me worried for a while there... I have a feeling air pockets form in the injector rail and the affected injectors starve for fuel until the pockets disburse. Just my theory, if anyone else has an answer to this problem please chime in.

In any case the operation was a success, full power restored.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 03:05 PM
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Bill - A very interesting post. However, some of us might be wondering (as you have not stated) -

a) What car/engine were you working on? I suspect it is a CLK 350 with engine 272.
b) What symptoms did the broken tumble flap actuator produce? Did this generate an error code?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Good points!

Yes it is a M272 CLK 350 engine.

The main symptom was a very noticeable lack of power at times, especially from a stop. I have a scanner but never saw a code generated as a result of this condition. A visit to a dealership to explore options regarding the engine's balance shaft issue resulted in a stored code for the tumble flap actuator and a $1.8K estimate to replace the intake manifold to cure it (yeah right!) on top of the charge to replace the balance shaft. That is a subject for another thread as I intend to do that job as well. For the time being my wife just wanted the car to be able to get out of its own way, as it used to. .

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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I realize the original post is somewhat lacking in details on doing the actual work, so if anyone is now inspired to try this themselves I am happy to answer any questions either in the thread or via PM. I really did not have time to take a lot of detailed pictures & did not really intend for this to be a step-by-step DIY thread.

I am just thrilled not to pay a dealership $1,800.00 to replace a part that can be fixed for @ $100.00.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 03:50 AM
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No - it's fine with your explanation. It's also great to have pictures to go with the story.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this issue has been raised on this forum, so I am interested to learn a litle more adbout it here.

Any idea why the part fractured? It looks plastic. Is the replacement metal? You appear to have recovered the broken piece.

I looked up my EPC to find out what the broken piece is named, but I could not find it there. However, this WIS picture below shows it clearly.
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File Type: pdf W209 272-273 inlet manifold control.pdf (116.7 KB, 472 views)
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyhole View Post
No - it's fine with your explanation. It's also great to have pictures to go with the story.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this issue has been raised on this forum, so I am interested to learn a litle more adbout it here.

Any idea why the part fractured? It looks plastic. Is the replacement metal? You appear to have recovered the broken piece.

I looked up my EPC to find out what the broken piece is named, but I could not find it there. However, this WIS picture below shows it clearly.
I have no idea why the part broke & yes it is plastic. The part that broke off stayed with the long rod that attaches to the actuator, it is a ball joint. I do not have a detailed picture of the faulty part right now but the area around the ball joint that broke has some "relief" grooves around it and this may be a weak spot. I theorize that heat eventually weakened the part as I could find no real resistance in the linkage to the tumble flaps & there was no excessive carbon buildup in the manifold. I have noticed over the years that German manufacturers put plastic pieces in some of the most idiotic places and MB seems to be no exception.
The aftermarket actuator is aluminum and I do not expect any more issues.

The M273 engine has the same system and potential problem & as I have one I expect to have to do this again someday.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:29 AM
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Bill - you referred to changing your 272 balance shaft in the future. Not ALL 272 & 273 have faulty balance shafts - just those with certain engine numbers that throw known fault codes. Are you in the 'suspect' group?

The W209 stickies have many posts in this topic, including the official MB DTB detailing the fault codes and other symptoms, which could be useful to you.

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/c209...ppi-index.html
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:35 AM
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I will be doing this on my 2009 E350 when the time comes.

keyhole, I know the OP and we can confirm his engine falls under the production of affected cars (VIN confirmed with dealer). It definitely is exhibiting the telltale signs of failure.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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As Andy stated above, our CLK 350 is afflicted. I was getting the 0016 & 17 codes and took it to a dealer to confirm and see how much they will compensate. I posted in one of the stickie threads about it. My wife loves the car so I will fix it.

It was while at the dealership that the tumble flap code was found.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to post one more tip about diagnosing this problem. The tumble flap levers on each side of the intake manifold can be seen if you look down the front of the manifold (Front engine cover removed). They are the black plastic pieces attached to the long metal bands from the actuator in my last picture. If you are able to easily move the levers back & forth from above, you have a broken actuator. You should not be able to move them if it is intact. I have a feeling this is how a dealer diagnoses this problem if the CEL code appears.
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