Removing the engine on a 500SL, step by step - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2011
Vehicle: 1985 500SL + 2009 GLK (previous 250, 280SL, 230TE, 430 ML)
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Removing the engine on a 500SL, step by step

A worn flywheel causing the starter to spin, forced me to take the engine out. I found limited information about this on the Google Academy and some general info on Benzworld (Mach4).

At the time of writing I have not put the engine back in, but expect that to be the reverse of removing it.

Three mistakes I did:
1: The leveler handle should be at the rear of the engine to avoid interference With the hoist arm when lifted.
2: The front chain to the lift hook should be as short as possible to allow for the very steep angle required to get engine and transmission out
3: I ran the chain to the two rear lifting points through the leveler hole, one side interfered with the fuel distributor, no damage, but uncomfortable. Next time I will use a shackle.

Here is the step by step procedure:

1. Introduction
Removing the engine and transmission is a major job, but can be done by a single person. This tutorial summarizes the steps for removing the engine on a 500SL without catalytic converter and with air-conditioning.

The job is not difficult, but entails many steps. This is not a job that should be rushed. The engine and the transmission should be removed as one unit.

It is not possible to remove the engine and transmission without a 2 ton hoist and a good engine leveler.

The estimated time spent was 40 – 50 hours, this includes several hours cutting rusted exhaustmanifold bolts, hard to reach engine damper nuts, removing wrong parts, finding the right tools to remove a part, preparations and cleaning.


2. Tools needed:
Standard handtools
Spanners (7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 27, large adjustable and 46 mm for driveline)
Sockets (8, 10, 13, 17, 19, 27 mm)
3/8” 13 mm sockets on long extender (downpipes)
10 mm socket on long extender (battery bracket)
Allan keys (3, 5, 6, 8, 10 mm)
Allan sockets (10, 14 mm)
Phillips screwdriver
Flat screwdriver
Sidejaw cutter for tiewraps
Vicegrips
Engine hoist (2 ton)
Engine leveler (the engine/transmission has to be tilted about 45 degrees for removal)
Chocks
Floor jack and blocks of wood for transmission support
Rope to prevent engine from rotating
Ramps to raise front and rear to provide space for tilting the engine and transmission. With hindsight, it was probably a mistake to put the rear on ramps.
Masking tape to prevent dirt ingress into hoses
Duct tape to fix lines and hoses out of the way
73x 42 cm plywood sheet used to protect the AC condenser, I would have done serious damage to the AC condenser without it.

3. Service parts
Engine oil (9 l)
Oil-filter
Automatic transmission fluid
Transmission filter
Transmission pan gasket
Coolant (10 l)
Front exhaust seals
Exhaust captive nuts 8x A000 990 2552
Refrigerant drier/reservoir A107 830 1183
Transmission shift-rod clips (2x) A0009942960
Transmission shift-rod bushings A115 992 0310+ A115 267 1250
AC tank/filter
Front engine mount bolts
Tie-wraps for cables and lines
Locktite antiseize
Engine degreaser

4. Parts that should be checked/changed
Driveshaft center bearing
Flex discs
Shifter bushings on both the transmission and shifter
Rear engine seal
Transmission seals
Heating hoses


5. Step by step procedure
Step 1: Preparation
Drain engine oil (14 mm Allan socket), 9 litres
Drain automatic transmission fluid from transmission oil pan (5 mm Alan key)
Drain radiator, 6 litres (19 mm drain bolt on LHS bottom)

Step 2: Disconnect hoses and remove radiator
Remove the four fan bolts (10 mm spanner)
Remove both ends of coolant hoses
Top
Overflow
Bottom
Reservoir
Drain and disconnect transmission cooling hoses from radiator, cover holes (19 mm spanner)
Remove radiator shroud (8 mm bolts on top), pull up
Remove radiator (clamps on top, tight fit bottom, push from below)
Protect AC condenser with 73x42 cm sheet of plywood

Step 4: Disconnect engine mechanical, vacuum, fluid and electrical connections
4.1 From the top of the engine
Remove air-filter (10 mm bolts), cover air intake with cardboard and tape
Remove battery (13 mm spanner for connections, 10 mm long socket for clamps)
Remove battery tray (10 mm socket)
Remove coolant tank (Phillips screws) and bottom hose (8 mm)
Remove terminal strip bracket next to battery
Remove RHS exhaust top shield (Phillips screw, clip in front)
Remove windscreen washer tank (Phillips screws)
Disconnect heating hoses
The RHS one may be easier to undo at the circulation pump
Disconnect vacuum lines:
From rubber intake manifold at LHS behind hood hinge, remove engine vacuum control line
Brake-booster line, both ends (14 mm open spanner)
Remove main vacuum feed to central locking etc. at LHS rear of engine, close to hood-hinge
Cover openings with tape
Disconnect fuel lines, (14+17 mm open spanners) cover with tape
Disconnect ignition wires:
TDC sensor cable (green) to Ignition Control Module
High voltage cable to coil
Disconnect diagnostic socket lines, note plug at underside of socket and plug in wiring loom
Disconnect engine transducers and free line attachments from engine:
Idle-speed Control Valve
42C temp switch at RHS top rear
Coolant temperature sensor on water-pump
Auxiliary fan switch on water-pump
Oil pressure sensor RHS bottom rear
Warm-up regulator front
Cold-start valve and time/temperature sensor front left, the u-shaped metal clip should be pushed out in the middle using a flat screwdriver
Disconnect starter cable at terminal strip next to battery, mark the two cables
Disconnect generator
Plug at rear
Remove V-belts
Generator
Release bolt at rear, counter-hold bolt at front (2x 17 mm spanners)
Power-steering pump
Loosen Allan key (8 mm)
AC compressor
Loosen 19 mm nut with wrench, counter-hold pulley arm with 21 mm spanner
Remove power steering pump
Drain oil
Remove pump (3x13 mm nuts)
Disconnect hoses (17+19 mm open spanners),
Disconnect cruise control actuator
Plug in front of ABS pump, remove ABS plastic cover to get access
Disconnect AC compressor clutch wiring
Plug under compressor
Disconnect accelerator linkage, and remove the mechanism attached to firewall
Remove engine shock absorbers
Pin rubber top with flat screw to prevent pin from rotating, remove 10 mm nut
Lock bottom pin using 7 mm open spanner, remove bottom 10 mm nut. It is
difficult to reach on the LHS, tape a 7 mm open spanner to a screwdriver and position.
It can be difficult to compress and remove the engine shocks, the lower attachment is part of the engine mounts and is removed later, the shocks can be removed then.


4.2 From the underside
Remove exhaust (12 and 13 mm spanners)
Support rear end during removal, remove rubber rings and bolts (12 and 13 mm)
Remove balance pipe (13 mm)
Remove both downpipes (13 mm on long 3/8” extender), avoid upward pressure on the bolts to prevent the captive nuts from rotating
Disconnect engine grounding strap, next to power-steering box on LHS (13 mm spanner)
Remove both exhaust shields next to transmission tunnel (8 mm wrench)
Remove tunnel front brace (13 mm spanner)
Remove both tie-wraps from LHS of transmission
Remove neutral safety switch plug (LHS)
Push white lever up until end stop using flat screwdriver
Use two flat screwdrivers and wiggle the connector off
Remove kick-down solenoid connector (LHS rear, single wire)
Pry out connector
Remove electronic speedometer sensor rear LHS of transmission (13 mm spanner)
Wiggle out by hand
Remove clip at gearstick end of shift-rod using flat screwdriver
Remove shift-rod lever at transmission end (10 mm nut and bolt)
Lift out shift-rod
Undo the two front engine mounts
From below (10 mm long Allan socket (3/8 “set)
Hidden in the holes next to lower wishbone hinge
Remove heat-shield and engine shocks
Remove driveline flexible disk
Support rear of transmission with jack and block of wood
Remove front and rear braces (17 mm socket)
Put gear lever to neutral
Loosen 46 mm nut at driveline
Remove bolts at rear of transmission (all 6 bolts, 19 mm spanner and socket)
Position car to place with enough height to use the engine hoist
Mark all wires and hoses, and make sure they won’t get pinched during removal
Undo rear engine mount (13 mm socket)

Step 5: AC system
Discharge AC system according national regulations
Disconnect compressor input and out line (22, 29 and 32 mm open spanner)
On some cars it may be possible do remove the compressor from the engine without evacuation the system.

Step 6: Verify that engine is not attached to any part of the vehicle.

Step 7: Remove engine and transmission
Put all four wheels on ramps
Raise hood to vertical position
Remove clips at bonnet and disconnect arm
Support bonnet with pole
Position hoist
Attach leveler (1 ton arm length)
Install leveler
Hoist arm was set to 1 ton position
The engine has two eyelets at the rear and one in front
Install leveler with swivel at rear of engine (did not, had to remove handle to adjust)
Make front chain as short as possible to obtain the steep angle during removal
Raise hoist arm to tension the chains
Remove driveline flexible disk
Support rear of transmission with jack and block of wood
Remove rear brace (17 mm socket)
Put gear lever to neutral
Loosen 46 mm nut at driveline
Remove bolts at rear of transmission (all 6 bolts, 19 mm spanner and socket)
Raise hoist
Slowly lower jack supporting transmission
Adjust leveler and remove jack
Remove engine out of the car
Adjust leveler and hoist arm
The engine front has to be lifted at a steep angle
If needed raise the front wheels even more to clear the transmission tunnel
Make small adjustments
Make sure no hoses or cables get pinched
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:56 PM
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Holy cow. That's quite a post! Thank you for sharing, but as they used to say around here....

Pics or it didn't happen. LOL.

(Clearly this happened though. Nobody writes that much about something that didn't happen!)

.


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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:58 PM
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Great notes and documentation.

Carl

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"You have chosen to drive a MERCEDES-BENZ, a car in whose construction and production we have taken great pains because we believe that quality is not a matter of chance." -- page 3, Owners Manual 380SL
Timing Chain, Subframe, wiring harness, Climate Control, Rust prevention, etc.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2011
Vehicle: 1985 500SL + 2009 GLK (previous 250, 280SL, 230TE, 430 ML)
Location: Oslo, Norway
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More Pictures:
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2011
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It did happen, more pictures
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2011
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Whenever I undertake a major job I plan it first and write a tutorial with as much detail as possible. After having done the job, I rewrite it to have documentation for later use.
Expect I could probable halve the time with details and tool sizes.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hchaugli View Post
Whenever I undertake a major job I plan it first and write a tutorial with as much detail as possible. After having done the job, I rewrite it to have documentation for later use.
Expect I could probable halve the time with details and tool sizes.
I think that's a great practice and I try to do it myself, but rarely as thoroughly as what you've written.

Say, you don't want to sell those exhaust manifolds do you? They look a lot better than the ones on my 560SL.

'79 240 D - Old Man Herman
'88 560 SL - Elsie
'02 C230K Sport Coupe - Kaci
'14 GLK 250 BLUETEC - Sadie
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 03:20 PM
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Very nice write up and pictures. The first time you do it it will take quite a long time because everything is new and must be figured out. I can now get my engine out in about 4 hours and back in in about 5 I've done it so many times (probably a bit easier since it's a 617 with a bit more room and fewer connectors).

You don't mention it but the use of a piece of plywood/MDF in front of the A/C condenser is a must as your pictures show. (Oops, I now see you did mention that)

A couple things I'd suggest for the next person is to take the hood off - it's only 4 bolts and two clips and gives more fighting room. One huge time saver was modifying the leveler to eliminate the little handle. I welded on a couple of bolts and use a BIG 1/2 inch drill with a socket adapter to spin the leveler. Takes about 45 seconds to go from level to full tilt. I didn't jack the car at all and find it easier with it lower (though I have to put a piece of 3/4 plywood under the front tires to allow the hoist arms under the lower A arms)

One other thing I'd recommend is to replace the steering coupler while the engine is out. It will make that job just tons easier.

Can't imagine doing that job in the snow - great job.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Nov 2011
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Thanks,
snow is not so bad as long as the temperatures are above freezing
.
Doing everything alone I decided to not remove the hood to minimize risk of damage to the paint. It is difficult to ballance and I found I had just enough space when supporting it with a skipole.

Bought the biggest leveler I could find, but noticed that the rear end of it was slightly bent afterwords. My hoist fitted between the wheels, and I did not have to remove the front bumper. (euro)

I was inspired by your earlier post above the topic, gave me courage to try the job and the use of leveler was essential, thank you!
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hchaugli View Post
Doing everything alone I decided to not remove the hood to minimize risk of damage to the paint.
Good point...on my engine swap project, I was working alone as well, and literally the only thing I couldn't do myself was remove the hood! My wife was kind enough to help with that one task. I almost built a sling along the lines of a roof hoist so I could do that alone too.
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