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'72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
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The answer is yes, you can replace the fan clutch without pulling the radiator. PITA working the shroud clear and you'll learn to curse Mother Benz while removing the four bolts holding the fan clutch. You'll also find out why I refer to radiator fins as "lettuce shredders".

There is a drain on bottom of the radiator (19MM hex head usually) which you can use instead of the turkey baster. Don't forget to "burp" the system when you refill the coolant.

I prefer to pull the radiator but it can be done.
 

· Registered
'72 250C, '74 280C, '85 500SEL, '81 300CD.
Joined
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1,172 Posts
There are a couple of different ways.

One way is to park the car with the nose elevated, radiator cap off, top off coolant, wait 24 hours and fill as needed. Works but not always the first time.

The way I prefer is to fill the radiator, leave cap off, start car, allow to run for five or ten minutes with heater controls in "heat" position, loosen the center hose of the heater manifold (the valve mounted on the firewall), allow the air to exit the system until fluid begins to flow, replace clamp and top off the coolant. It is messier but much faster.
 
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