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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm trying to seek any advise on from you guys regarding the dreaded "Balance Shaft Sprocket" issue on my '07 C280. The car runs fine without any misfires or hesitations. But I'm getting the CELs for p0017 p0016 p1208 p1200. Now I checked the VIN and my engine supposedly have the "updated balance shaft sprocket" according to the engine number. VIN: WDBRF92H27F882047. Has anyone else with a later c280 experienced the balance shaft issue? Any other symptoms besides the CEL? My car runs perfectly smooth and there's no lost of power anywhere. Am I at the beginning of the inevitable doom? Or could it be something else? Any help please? Thanks!
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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According to your VIN, the car was built with M272 engine 30 499492, which is beyond the known "balance shaft" problem range, which ended at 30 468993. Those codes are pretty much tell-tale symptoms of the timing chain idler sprocket "shrinking" which introduces slack in the timing chain between the crankshaft and the right bank cams. In terms of how this could happen on your car, I see a few possibilities. First of all, maybe the engine in the car is not the one it was built with. It's not easy to see, but you can find the engine serial number laser-etched on the the edge of the bell housing, looking down on the right *USA passenger) side of the car. Another possibility is that there were a few bad balance shaft's still in the supply chain and MBZ miscalculated the engine serial number range. Finally, mechanical parts will fail, some earlier than others. You could just have a stretched timing chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I kind of figured that was the case. The reality is that I'm hoping to hear a "better" news. I've already bought the Balance Shaft Kit from MBZ and Timing Chain Kit. Trying to shop around for an indy shop to do the work. I already figured that even if the Balance shaft was good, the timing chain is probably stretched. I'm at 122K miles and counting.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Hopefully you will find a reputable shop that is not too expensive. When you are searching, ask them if they understand the special process required when re-mating the engine and transmission. If you get a blank stare or some BS, go elsewhere.

The issue is that the torque converter output shaft just sits in "input" of the transmission, which is the fluid pump. When moving things around, It tends to slide out. If it is not fully seated, the two halves of the bell housing will not fully mate. They will be off by maybe 1/4 of an inch. Many mechanics will just ignore this and "pull in" the bell housing with the bolts. If they do this, it is likely to damage the fluid pump and the flywheel (a.k.a. flex pate). The problem is, the damage sometimes takes a while to manifest itself as it starts with a small crack on the flex plate or stress on the fluid pump bearing.

Getting the torque converter properly seated is a bit of a chore because you have to line up notches on the edge of its output shaft with two tiny ears inside the fluid pump. When you rotate the torque converter to try to align these, it tends to also spin the fluid pump, so it never mates. Even once it's mated, it can easily slide out so you have to use something to hold it in place as you mate the bell housing.

So, if you have this discussion with the shop and they seem to understand, and will even agree to warrant the flex plate and fluid pump from this damage for a few years, then you have a winner.
 
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