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1999 ML430
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128 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay i have searched all over and the only thing i can find regarding shift knob removal on my ML430 is that is says to rotate the conical plastic piece directly below the shifter knob counter clock-wise and pull up on the shift knob. Well i did that and now the little plastic piece is completely loose (even loose from whatever metal it was covering up) this did nothing as far has enabling the shift knob to be removed.

The plastic retaining piece appears to be nothing more than a cover over a piece of metal. That piece of metal still appears to be connected to the shift knob.

I have attached a picture.

Thanks!
 

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ML320,C230, F250, Bayliner, Mountain Bike, Fleetwood Motorhome etc...
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1,836 Posts
You need to peel off the MB emblem on top. It is held on by 2 sided tape. There is an allen screw under it...
 

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It was fun while it lasted
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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11,148 Posts
You need to peel off the MB emblem on top. It is held on by 2 sided tape. There is an allen screw under it...
The 99 ML430 doesn't have a star emblem on the knob. Just a burl knob. Mine was removed by twisting the knob itself off the plastic piece, which was GLUED to the steel shifter.
 

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1999 ML430
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128 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Mods-feel free to delete thread. If not, for anyone in the future trying to remove the knob, just pull up with a LOT of force. I took a chance-it actually felt like something was going to break but the knob came off (looks like it may have been glued on im not sure).

But as for all the other threads out there that say "Just remove the retaining ring and lift the knob off", let me add to that: Pull up on the knob as if you are trying to pull the tranny up through the console!!

Hope that helps to anyone in the future.
 

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W163 2001 ML430 and 1999 ML320
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11 Posts
I have no idea about Allen screws under the Mercedes emblem on the gear knob but would I be able to put a burl wood gear knob from a 2000 ml430 onto a 1999 ml320 to replace the leather gear knob I currently have ?
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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1,564 Posts
Yes been there done that, replaced the existing leather for wood. You may have to pull up with some force to get it off. You would swear it is screwed on but it is not.
 

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1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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251 Posts
So just to clarify, the vast majority of shift knobs for the W163 (and many other Mercedes during this time period) had the black (sometimes chrome) plastic on the bottom that you first turn counterclockwise and then pull up on the shifter to remove. This includes SOME of the wooden knobs. However, other wooden shifters are exactly as OP described. The bottom ring does not turn, instead you need to pull upward as hard as possible, and yes it feels like you are pulling the transmission through the hole.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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1,564 Posts
To get the donor knob off, it's been a while but I dropped the collar down. Slid an open end wrench slightly bigger then the shifter under the knob and with a hammer sideways, hit upwards. The knob went flying off hit something got a slight ding the size of a ball point pen tip. I tried pulling first did not budge. If you attempt it that way I would bring a old sock or use the one you have on, and cover the knob with it.
 
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