Well, we are just over 41,000 miles on our 2007 E350 4Matic, so time to do the next scheduled service (due in about 800 miles, per the dash indicator) and the 39,000 mile "one time" transmission fluid/filter change and transfer case fluid change.
Here's an overview of how it has gone so far:
1. NAPA carries filter and gasket kits for the 722.676 transmission in our car, about $20, plus Mobil 1 0W-40 (per MB 229.5 spec) at ~$7.50/qt., and also the Mann HU718/5 fleece filter at ~$16. Oil change goes smoothly - I really like the topside mounted filter setup, but on the other hand the oil pan drain plug is at the R front corner of the pan and when you pull the plug, some of the oil splashes around onto the frame. But all in all, an easy job - the underbody splash shields come off with an 8mm socket, and the drain plug is a good old 13 mm. The 8.4 qts of fresh Mobil 1 go in quickly. Materials/parts for oil change: about $88 plus tax. That oil ain't cheap.
2. Transmission fluid and transfer case fluid are from the local M-B dealer. The ATF is 236.14 spec (latest and greatest, mandatory for 7 speeds and OK for the 5 speed in our 4Matic as well), part number A 001 989 68 03 10, and is $17.50 a quart. The service guys say ~4 qts to do the pan and filter. Apparently draining the torque converter is now passe
..... The transfer case stuff is an oddball item, 236.13 spec and the only known supplier is .... (drum roll please) . . . M-B!
The part number is A 001 989 23 03 10 and is a $23/qt. hit. Fortunately, the refill quantity is only ~0.7 quart. Materials/parts cost for transmission and transfer case: about $115 plus tax.
3. The transmission fluid and filter go smoothly - drain the pan (use male Torx 30 to remove drain plug), then drop the pan (6 Torx 30 bolts with "sprags", as the DVD calls them, I would call them "standoffs", to give a secure attachment without bending the pain rail). Pan drops right out, and the filter pops out easily. Good news: fluid smells and looks great, the valve body is clean, and the pan is not too heavily coated with the usual debris film. The round magnet at the back of the pan has some gunk on it, as would be expected, but everything cleans up nicely and goes back together quickly. NOTE - the transmission filter has a little standoff/locator tab that fits into the underside of the valve body, and then the filter's inlet pipe pops the rest of the way into the valve body.
My loving wife (well, since she gets to drive the car all the time, she OUGHT to be loving
) helps me pour and measure the ATF that we drained, and it adds up to 3.4 liters. There was not much spillage, etc. in the process so I allocated another 0.3 liter for that, and will be refilling with 3.7 to 3.8 liters. I don't have the trans dipstick so will perhaps need someone at the dealer to kindly check it next time I am over that way.....
4. The Transfer Case - well, now it gets a little more challenging. Remove the heat shield off from behind the transfer case, undo the rear drive shaft from the rubber donut joint at the back of the transfer case, drop the rear crossmember, and remove the rear engine mount. All of this is a mixture of 15, 16, and 17 mm nuts and bolts. You want a jack under the transfer case to support things as the crossmember, etc. come off. Access to the 3 driveshaft bolts is such that you will want to have the car in neutral and parking brake off, so you can rotate the driveshaft by hand (not easy, but doable) to get at each of them without too much cussing. This is one reason that jack stands at all 4 corners are a good plan, rather than ramps at the rear.
NOW - we need to remove a "vibration damper" on the transfer case to access the fill port, and the "check port" (where it dribbles out after you've filled it enough). And M-B has decided to use a fastener I don't have a tool for!!!
I've got male Torx, male XZNs, hex, and lots of regular sockets, but these 3 bolts appear to have a Female Torx socket (6 lobes on the bolt head), which I unfortunately do not have. The good news is these are not too exotic and appear readily available locally. Looks like a stop at Sears tomorrow morning on the way to the airport, and I can grab a set.
THE PLAN: once I get those Torx sockets, it looks like the damper will come off easily, and the fill/drain/check plugs should be no problem. The fill port is up top, where access is a little tight, but a pump and tubing setup will do the job - plus, the engine/trans could be dropped a bit to allow better access of need be.
Once that is done, it appears that everything will go back together pretty easily. Then, refill the transmission, reset the FSS, fire her up, do the usual checks, etc..... and we're done!
Total materials and parts will be about $220 including tax - oops, make that $230 to include the 6 pack of Sam Adams for the Service Technician
No special tools needed other than the Female Torx socket(s) and the M-B service DVD which although complex and a little unwieldy is a huge resource, I would not tackle the transmission and transfer case servicing without it or something similar.
Will report further tomorrow.