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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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Discussion Starter #1
I have some binding on tight turns, so I put the car on the hoist today and I see the inner boot on the right side has pulled away (or is split for the full circumference) from the base of the joint. I see the telltale oil spray, and I think there is too much play in the joint to bother repacking it.

First: Anyone know if these are available from a remanufacturer? I see them on the OE discount site for $952, and I see rear reman units on Rockauto, but nothing for the front.

Second: I am just about to dig into it, so any help on the disassembly would be appreciated. I do have access to separators and pullers.
Thanks,
John
 

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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Well, I subscribed to Alldatadiy to get this underway since none of my 123, 107, or 126 manuals have anything like this covered.

While I didn't need to remove the brake calliper according to the instructions I already had if off, It also made the area easier to work in.

First I removed the tie rod end from the steering knuckle. Picture 1
Next I removed the ball joint from the steering knuckle. Picture 2
Then you can rotate the knuckle forward and out enough to first pull the shaft back in toward the motor and then out toward the rear of the car. If the shaft does not move freely in the wheel bearing you can loosen it with a puller, or carefully hit the axle bolt after it is partially out.

Since my boot was split the shaft came out easily. However the end housing will not come out of the differential. Picture 3. EPC shows a snap ring at the end of the shaft.

Alldata does not seem to indicate how to remove the snap ring.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
 

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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Working through this I have revised my plans.

I had a look at the exposed cv joint and it actually seems fine. I temporarily put it back together and the play I thought was there was only normal differential play. So I think I caught the joint in time. I will order the boot and grease kit and reassemble the shaft even if I can't get the flange off the diff.

Further, the shudder I am getting in slow tight turns (parking) seems more likely to be transfer case related then a fairly well greased cv joint even if the boot is torn. It turns out this is a common problem for 05 and 06 E and S class 4matics. I am changing the transfer case fluid with the MB fluid which is the first course of action. Most report an improvement for a period of time and then the problem returns. The only solution is a transfer case replacement with an upgraded model. For some time this was done under an extended service program for little or no money. With the age of these vehicles I doubt that program is still available, but I will check.
 

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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
For the sake of completeness, I'll finish this off.

I picked up a CV boot kit at MB since time was of the essence here, cleaned up the shaft and repacked it with the fresh grease that comes in the kit. I was not able to remove the portion of the CV joint that mounts in the front differential. In looking further through Alldata it appears the way it's done is with a special chain tool that is clamped around the circumference of the CV joint just next to the differential, then you use a pry tool pushing against the chain to push the shaft end out. The left side does not have this issue as the left axle is fully exposed and you can pry it out easier. So I repacked the joint and filled the hub with grease and shoved the axle back together. Unfortunately there is no way to use the included CV clamp on that end since the tool won't fit in the area after the shaft is back together. So, as you can see in the picture I settled on a screw clamp which can be accessed once the shaft is back together. Not perfect, but workable.

I will say that you should inspect these boots regularly so you can repack the joint in time. It’s not like the old days when the rubber boots on a 123 or 126 would last 20+ years; these plastic boots seem more delicate. If you wait until you feel a problem from a dry joint it will likely be too late, and the shaft is $1,000.

While the shaft was out I also changed the front diff oil which is a little challenge since they didn't provide a drain and you have to suck out the old oil.

And finally I changed the transfer case fluid per the instructions, and indeed the slow speed turning shudder is now gone. I will see how long it lasts. I did check with an MB dealer here in Canada and they said the service campaign is over and you are on your own for this problem.

I am sill interested in any work around to remove the shaft just in case I need to remove it in the future.

John
 

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97 sl320 Sport Pano
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Left side front half shaft...

Hey John, Excellent write up, Thanks!
I have a bit of shudder from the transfer case on my 2003 s500 4matic, did your fluid change hold up? I've read that a quick couple of changes may yeild better success. The MB part number here for the fluid 001 989 23 03 10 in soon to be frozen Canada costs $24 per liter so I was hoping to run Mobil 1 Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid for a week or so, then dump drain and dump the good stuff in. Thoughts?
I'm also shopping for a good left side front shaft, did you ever find anything under the $1000 mark? Thanks again for your write up - Steve

2003 s5004m - In general, this car is my mistress, she always needs something. When she gets it she then demands something else.....but I do care for her...
1994 e420 (wife hates - I love)
1988 Jeep YJ (wife calls death trap - makes me smile)
 

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97 sl320 Sport Pano
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Purchasing on-line repair manual to help with this job

Thanks Warren but that TC recall appears to be over
It now appears to be the grooved bearing (part# 112900115) on the intermediate shaft that has the play on my front left axle, not the half shaft CV joint! I want to purchase the best help for this so I can confirm this is what I need to order, Are you happy with the AlldataDIY John,? Is there a online BETTER GUIDE TO BUY? Anyone?
 

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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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Discussion Starter #8
Steve, the shudder has stayed away and I have put about 4000 KM on the car since the drain and fill on the transfer case. I bought enough fluid to do 2 changes, but I was heading to Florida at the time and didn't have the time to do the repeat change. I'll do it in the next few weeks when I change the trans fluid again (picked up the proper Shell ATF 134 fluid in FL).

I think AlldataDIY is worth it, and I believe there is a discount code somewhere on the site.

John
 

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2006 R230 SL55 AMG
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48 Posts
How long did it take you to do the strip down, boot replacement and reassembly?

I am not entirely clear from your write-up if you actually removed the drive shaft from the car or how you got the new boot over the CV joint onto the shaft?

I have to do both of my front boots. I have the 220 330 01 85 kits and the tools, but maybe not the snap ring tool as I don't know what that looks like.

I started to do this, got the steering arm ball joint off, but the lower ball joint under the brake rotor would not come free at all. I worked on it for 3 hours and tried pullers, ball joint fork splitters. In the end, I gave up and reassembled.
 

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1982 240D, 1986 560SL, 1987 560SEC, 1990 300SE, 2002 E320, 2002 SA 500SL, 2005 S500, and others
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It's been too long to accurately remember how long it took. As I recall the job was fairly straight forward if you have the proper ball/tie rod joint removal tools. These protect a good joint, unlike a pickle fork which can be used when the joint is shot. I would allow an afternoon.

Yes, I did fully remove the right shaft, other than the "can like" end which I could not get free from the diff. I did not need to do the left but removal of the full shaft is easier. As I explained, I just cleaned the stuck end in place, lubed everything up and put if back together. The clamp that is mentioned is like a chain clamp that goes around the outside of the "can" a gives you something to pry against. According to what I read the shaft end is just held in by the friction of the spring clip, but that must be a fairly strong spring, as I could not pry it free using any makeshift methods.

I now have thousands of miles on the repacked joint using the screw clamp to hold on the boot, with no problems. I did retighten it after 6 months or so when I was doing some brake work.

Also, the transfer case remains smooth.
 

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w211 front passengers shaft

So I have the W211 but in terms of the front passengers half shaft, there is an extreme lack of room to work. On mine I have a motor mount right there, so I'm going to try and remove the motor mount, which should give me just enough room to put an L-shape pry bar and possibly pop it out. Hopefully this works, however I'd be interested in knowing more about this "tool" that can be chained around the can and then pried against if anyone knows.

thanks!
 
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