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2001 E55 AMG
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3,294 Posts
To anyone who has the dreaded 40mph vibration and has been unable to find a solution, this may be your lucky day!


For the past 18months I've been chasing down this issue without success, until I stumbled upon this thread over on MBClub UK. Now all of my vibration is completely gone!

MBClub UK - Bringing together Mercedes Enthusiasts - View Single Post - [SOLVED] W210 E55 oscillation/Vibration Issues
Most members on that site are conservative voting parasites.
However if you finally after that amount of time sorted your problem/////well done!
 

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2000 W210 E55 AMG, Silver/Black - Stock
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611 Posts
Thanks for posting up! This is a tough one to solve and you went through a lot of steps and finally got it. Thanks!!!
 

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02 E55T
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Vibration between 80 - 110kph

Post 40MPH is post 65KPH

I'm a 30-day owner of a 2002 E55T and during the last month have noticed this in my car.

The MB specialist here in the UAE thinks its tire-balance (I'm running on OEM 235/40R18 spec). I haven't gone to the tire dealer but it doesn't feel like a front end wobble; the steering wheel when held doesn't buck left-right. I'm willing to go just to eliminate its a tire weights issue, perhaps when its more cool, and we're done with the Ramadan season.
 

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1998 E300TD
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430 Posts
My 1999 E55T has a chassis vibration (felt in the seat) under cruising and coasting conditions right around 55-60KPH.

Motor mounts are shot, which definitely throws off the driveline alignment, so getting those changed out first (this week) to see if that fixes the vibration.
 

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W210 E55
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149 Posts
Apologies in advance for the long post...

Well, this was a $4k shim for me.

For the record, mine was not always a '40mph vibration'. It started at 60mph...then over time seemed independent of speed before finally becoming a 40-50mph (worse) vibration in the last few months.

When I first bought my car, it was obvious to me that the PO had not pushed it hard at all. He was a Dr. So, needless to say I (reasonably) romped on it a few times in the first week...then popped the hood to make sure everything was still intact. Low & behold, some god awful looking rust colored splatter all over the front cross member. I freaked, thinking it was rust that my PI had missed before buying the car. After I stopped spraying sweat from my brow, I sprayed the cross member with a pressure washer and it was nice and shiny black...as it should be. A short bit of digging (welcome to the forum) found the car had hydraulic filled motor mounts. WHEW!! It was just some fluid from where mine had busted. In the shop and fixed. Only problem was that I now had this annoying hum/vibration/rumble around 60mph and only when the car was (figuratively) cold. By the time I could reach a mechanic, it was all but gone. I put new front bearings in with no luck. So I left the car with my indie overnight and he got to experience it first hand. Off we went on the spending spree!! After new flex discs, new tires, umpteen wheel balances, MB infamous 3hour alignment, dropping the diff to check for damage, change diff fluid, replace weeping axle seals with updated ones and install new rear bearings...the vibration remained, but I was done! It was annoying, but bearable. Over the past year I noticed some odd things that would make it get better, if not completely go away. Hitting a nice sized dip/bump, reversing rapidly, reversing lightly then jabbing the brake had me convinced it was a sticky/warped rear rotor...some sharp turns might also lose the vibe and it always seemed weather/temperature dependent [hot/cold=mild/strong R].

In the past few months, it had graduated to a rumbling vibration for a few miles (like constant driving on highway rumble strips {+/-2 miles}), could now be felt in the steering wheel (never before) but didn't seem rack related and was happening on every 'first drive' of the day (or after sitting for a few days[3-5]). It also seemed more urgent and potentially damaging than before. I knew I would need another crack at it.

So I hopped on the forum and boom! Right there it was. What looked like an easy contender that fit all of my symptoms. Could it really be this easy? I only had 1 (what looked to be a 4mm) spacer. I had not driven the car for 2 days, so this was prime-vibe-time! I took the shim off. I have no vibration. NONE. The car shifts smoother, drives like a dream and no hint of vibration!!

I'm not one to wave the checkered flag prematurely, and the other money spent (along with the intermittent nature of the vibration) has fooled me before. I only went for a 15 minute drive...but one that I'm fairly certain would have manifested the vibration prior to this tiny modification. We'll see, but I'm pretty optimistic for the first time in 2 years.

I'm thinking that the newer motor+trans mounts may sit a hair higher and therefore change the angle of the driveline 3-5mm. Could also be an OEM vs. after market issue? If so, the motor mount/trans mount DIY posts should probably be updated to strongly recommend a driveline alignment or at least testing with the various shim configurations if vibration is encountered.

FYI:

A) My car had a 16mm top bolt, opposed to a 17mm I saw listed in another post. It's difficult to get at, so be prepared to curse some. Have a magnet handy too!!
B) I don't understand how it could be related, but I also seem to have lost my idle shake (another common problem)!! I started the car and let it idle several times tonight, which usually produces the shakes after 10-15 seconds. If it was there, I could not feel it as I had so many times before.

I'll try to post back more feedback on both issues once I've had more wheel time. Fingers crossed one more time.
 

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W210 E55
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149 Posts
Happy to report that this seems to have resolved my vibration nightmare. I drove the car for an hour yesterday and the wife's been enjoying it for the past few days as well. I will update several of my previous 'vibration issue' posts to point at this one. Could one of the mods please update the motor mount DIY sticky to include a driveline alignment warning/suggestion? I think this is an issue impacting many people.

FYI: still have the idle wiggle. Guess it was part coincidence part wishful thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Glad it helped! I had an almost identical experience as you. I originally purchased a babied car, romped on it a few times, blew the motor/tranny mounts and after installing fresh ones started getting the vibration. Luckily I "only" wasted money replacing LCAs and not the full gamut. I still had to live with it for a year before discovering the root cause.

After removing the shim entirely I still feel a slight vibration, although nowhere near as severe as what I had originally experienced. I think I will need to purchase the whole assortment of shims of varying thickness and experiment to see which one eliminates the vibration completely. Either way, I am grateful that it seems this problem is nearly resolved... If I hear another mechanic tell me I need to balance my tires I swear I'll explode haha.
 

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W210 E55
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149 Posts
Well, I did have hairline cracks in the flex discs around the grommets and they were very dry, a weeping axle seal that was near leaking and the right rear bearing was pretty much shot (possibly caused by this vibration, as that corner is where most of the odd noises came from, but impossible to know for sure). As for tires, well I had the good sense to keep my almost new front pilots...rears were pretty low on tread but are all I will need next time around (+|- $600). The front bearings were fine, but I DIY'd them for about $250. So $850-$1k is all I feel was "wasted". Hard to put a$ figure on the frustration! The other stuff would have been needed sooner/later.

Funny thing is I've driven the car so much in the last few days, my CEL came on with the MAF code. Luckily I had bought one to have on hand thanks to this great forum!! Going to put it in now and reset codes (hopefully that simple) ...then off for some more AMG fun.
 

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W210 E55
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149 Posts
Vacuum line next to MAF popped out of it's rubber boot (see new post for details). Reset ECU/TCU with accelerator pedal trick and light hasn't come back yet. Fingers crossed.
 

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SoDiezl350,

Thanks to you, as well as others that have contributed to this thread. I too have been fighting vibration issues with my 2002 E55. I've recently replaced motor mounts (the driver's side was ruptured and the passenger side was in poor shape); both flex discs; the transmission mount; the center driveshaft support bracket and bearing; and had all four tires re-balanced. I'm not sure if the parts other than the motor mounts needed replacing, but I'm glad I did while there.

These changes helped greatly, but didn't totally eliminate the vibrations. I saw this thread and thought I would remove the spacer and see if it helped. It did! Just took the car for a thirty minute drive and it such a noticeable improvement! I believe I still have an issue and may need lower control arm bushings. But I'm thrilled with the ride and will look into replacing the LCA bushings at a later date.

I too don't totally understand why removing the spacer helped. Is it to compensate for the new motor mounts and slightly altered angle because of them? If so, it seems to me there would be a lot more talk about removing and adding spacers with as many motor mounts changes that must happen with W210's and other models. At any rate, I'm just glad it helped.

Some notes about removing the spacer: I removed the small panel that sits just inboard of the passenger side rear wheel. It is held on by four 10mm nuts. I also removed the bracket that supports the panel. It is held on by two 10mm nuts. Removing this panel just gives you a little more space to work, plus it allowed me to better see my headlight level mechanism which I thought may be broken (it was o.k. and I found the front level mechanism broken).

You need a 8mm hex bit to remove the bolt that holds the spacer in place and my car had a 17mm nut on top. It is a little difficult to secure the top nut in place to loosen and tighten the bolt. I was able to do it relatively easy using a 17mm ratcheting wrench with an articulating head.

A couple of pics. My spacer had 4 notches so I guess it is 4mm.







Thanks again for posting this information!

ddb
 

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Is removing the spacer not only curing a symptom. Normaly the hardydisk is flexible and must pick up the minimal misalignment. When driving, the front and back axle is moving a bit because of the flexible bushings, so the hardysisk is for that reason a flexible one?
 

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M113 SL500
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I just R&R'd all four rear subframe bushings and upon first drive I'm getting this steering wheel vibration all of a sudden starting at 40mph . I think I can feel the vibration slightly through the seat of my pants and if I rest my arms on the center console cubby and door panel, but it is faint, if it is related at all.

This shim is probably my issue right? Just replaced motor mounts and front lower ball joints within the last couple months. Front flex disk is new, and rear isn't in terrible shape.

Question is, given there are four sizes of shims, if I have a 2 or 3 dimple shim, how do I know which way to go, up or down in size?
 
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