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2010 ML550, 2012 GLK350 4Matic
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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

I have a question to the guys who can share some info about the front diff issue... What is the sound or noise like when the diff is about the crap out and is there anything that can be done to prevent the diff from failing?


Just had the valve body conductor plate replaced and not sure what can be next... Vehicle was not faultless during warranty but no major issues that kinda put me in a spot to question its reliability...

The truck has about 105k miles on it so I'm starting to question myself if it is worth looking for another car now or just roll the dice and stick to it...

Would really appreciated all feedback...
 

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His 2013 RAM Cummins Turbo Diesel Laramie; Hers 2007 ML320 CDI P3; Kids 2010 "4Matic" Impreza
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334 Posts
The sound is a low pitch metallic rumble that gets louder and faster as your speed increases. Usually a bearing fails and causes this. It is repairable, but you have to find a tech willing to do that rather than replace the entire unit. Timkin makes the bearings.

It's hit or miss on the failure rate, but changing the fluids at 30000 miles is what I am trying now. (MB says 39K miles, but mine still failed by that point.)

I am considering replacing my ML with a newer one, but I am waiting to see the "bugs" worked out of the W166's before that happens. And since my 07 is paid off and running just fine, I am in no hurry.:D
 

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2019 X350d, 2017 GLE500e, 2012 ML350BT (sold), 2013 A200 Exclusive(sold), 2009 ML350CDI(sold)
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Before you start pulling things apart, best to get an expert to diagnose the exact problem.

No point replacing the diff if the wheel bearing is the problem or vice/versa.

The symtoms would seem the same from the drivers seat. Lift it up on a two poster and a different diagnosis may arise.


dgiturbo,
Timken do make tapered rollers which suit most cars on the US market and maybe some MB's, but FAG is the favoured supplier with SKF secondary. Some euro diffs use off the shelf bearings but most use specials.
 

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12 ML350 Bluetec pkg 2, 08 BMW 135i, 2012 F250 PS Diesel
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Easiest thing to do would be to have the front diff fluid changed. If you see metal shavings in the fluid, the diff is toast. Anyway, with 105K and the diff fluid is original, it might not be a bad thing to do regardless.
If you are not comfortable doing the fluid change, its about a 15-30min job, a good indy shouldnt charge much to do the job.
 

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2019 X350d, 2017 GLE500e, 2012 ML350BT (sold), 2013 A200 Exclusive(sold), 2009 ML350CDI(sold)
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If there is a metallic rumble, then new diff oil is going to do nothing but cost you money. Get the thing properly diagnosed first!!!
 

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His 2013 RAM Cummins Turbo Diesel Laramie; Hers 2007 ML320 CDI P3; Kids 2010 "4Matic" Impreza
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dgiturbo,
Timken do make tapered rollers which suit most cars on the US market and maybe some MB's, but FAG is the favoured supplier with SKF secondary. Some euro diffs use off the shelf bearings but most use specials.
Thanks. For my US model ML, Timkin is the OEM supplier and the bearing I replaced was from them. I am familiar with FAG bearings, and do prefer them, but in this case I just swapped what came out with identical parts. Hopefully I never need to do this again.
 

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2019 X350d, 2017 GLE500e, 2012 ML350BT (sold), 2013 A200 Exclusive(sold), 2009 ML350CDI(sold)
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I'll drink to that! :baby bottle:
 

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2010 ML550, 2012 GLK350 4Matic
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the input guys... I just wanna know what that noise is going to be like and fortunately I haven't had that rumble. Will change the oil tomorrow and see if I find any metal particles.
 

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12 ML350 Bluetec pkg 2, 08 BMW 135i, 2012 F250 PS Diesel
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The noise is very metalic in sound. Also when ours went out, a vibration/buzzing could be felt through the steering wheel.
 
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