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· Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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· Premium Member
1998 ML320
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221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

· Premium Member
1998 ML320
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221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is wrong with your transfer case?
Great question.**Everyone leaves out the most important detail.
You're both right and patient with me, I tend to focus on a solution rather than sharing the background info.

I'm the 2nd owner of this ML; picked it up in 2012 with 135k miles, it now has 255k on the odo.

This ML has the typical symptom of driveline binding during a tight turn.

In the past 6 months, the associated noise with the binding has gotten louder and now occurs with normal turns; i.e. turning from a stop under moderate acceleration.

The clunking/ deep ratchet noise is loudest at the tc and is transmitted down the rear driveshaft to the rear diff.

All axle boots are good, torsion bar bushing are in good shape and lubed, fluid levels good and changed as recommended. Trany shifts smoothly.
 

· Super Moderator
02 ML500, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4M Wagon, 99 ML430
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The 1998 into late 1999 us MLs had the TC set to a 50/50 split. Owners were feeling it in very tight turns. Mb told them it was normal.

However in the very last of the 1999 models and starting with all 2000 year models the TC split was changed to 48/52 which essentially cured the the early build years' isuues.
To this day our 1999 still gets a bit of a tightness/binding in lock to lock tight manuevers, but the 2000 320 is very smooth doing the same thing based the updated torque split.
 

· Registered
Dallas, Texas
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13,387 Posts
The 1998 into late 1999 us MLs had the TC set to a 50/50 split. Owners were feeling it in very tight turns. Mb told them it was normal.

However in the very last of the 1999 models and starting with all 2000 year models the TC split was changed to 48/52 which essentially cured the the early build years' isuues.
To this day our 1999 still gets a bit of a tightness/binding in lock to lock tight manuevers, but the 2000 320 is very smooth doing the same thing based the updated torque split.
There was also an intermediate solution of 49/51 split. Still to this day 50/50 is best for advanced off road trips.
 

· Premium Member
1998 ML320
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221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And how do you know its not the front propshaft CV joint or the u-joints ? Have you gone under the car & pushed/pulled the propshaft trying to replicate the sound?
Thx for the input!

I like to use a large screwdriver to pry on the driveline links / u-joints looking for looseness. So far, everything is tight, including stub-shafts.
 

· Super Moderator
02 ML500, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4M Wagon, 99 ML430
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23,700 Posts
Used transfer cases are out there.

About 2-3 years ago I found one for a member that came off an ML that had less than 50k miles and it was $300 plus shipping.

Sites like Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and https://www.hollanderparts.com/used-auto-parts are great places to check. You can even sort by didtance from your zip code. There are a lot of used ML parts in SoCal.

There is one in Van Nuys that is on an ML that had 82k miles when it was scrapped for only $250. It is at a place called Raymer Auto Parts.
 

· Super Moderator
02 ML500, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4M Wagon, 99 ML430
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It is basically that simple, but the weight of the TC is the issue. I have only done one, but had a lift and did use a post jack to hold the transmission in place and then a transmission jack to handle the TC.
 

· Registered
Dallas, Texas
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13,387 Posts
It is basically that simple, but the weight of the TC is the issue. I have only done one, but had a lift and did use a post jack to hold the transmission in place and then a transmission jack to handle the TC.
But you don't have Eastern EU accent.:elefant:
 

· Outstanding Contributor
2002 ML320, 2003 A160, 2002 ML500, 2018 GLS350d
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4,468 Posts
I used to feel a rhythmic thunking noise from the drivetrain when going uphill under power around a left-hand curve.

After I changed the diff oil, I haven't heard it since. My watchmaker says that oil goes stale and gums up mechanisms, so maybe that had something to do with it. My diff oil was older than my watch oil.
 

· Premium Member
1998 ML320
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221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Noise gone, used Tcase installed

Finally got a long weekend and got this issue resolved.

Luckily, my Austrian accent swearing helped. The biggest issue was getting the Tcase aligned and mated back to the Tranny.

I picked up a used Tcase from a 2002 for $225. Drained and refilled the oil. Swapped out the low range motor (mine was fairly new).

Now I can make turns at speed with no noise. Also the 51:49 bias from the 2002 Tcase has eliminated the binding at full lock (after 19 years)!

Attached a few photos. Really had to jack up the car to get the Tcase out (used a Harbor Freight Tranny jack [-25% off July 4th coupon:laugh]).

I know, 5 jack stands, but I'm a big believer in not damaging myself...:angel

Thanks all for helping me save 1000's!
 

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