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Engine or balance shaft?

955 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cowboyt
I recently acquired a 2006 E350 AWD for $740. The interior and body are in great shape. The car needed a new secondary air pump, an upstream oxygen sensor, and tires. The transfer case (Car shudders on low speed turns) is low on oil or gone. The SBC and cam magnets were done at the dealer a year ago. Everything works on the car aside from the mentioned problems.

It’s been garaged (and dealer maintained) for most of its life and has 78,500 original miles.

My question is should I start saving for a used engine or the balance shaft replacement? Can someone please give me a definitive number on the cost of either the replacement or balance shaft fix? Or should I just dump the car? It looks and drives beautifully at the moment aside from the shudder.

Also would a dealer install a used engine? I’m going to talk to independent shops as well but wanted to see if I could negotiate if need be.
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There's no safe mileage where your car won't be affected. But you can check to see what the status of it is, there's several youtube videos on how to check it. For $740, you could just drive it until the problem shows up if ever. There's no real good estimate of what percentage actually develop the problem, some say 10% others say more. Even if you get the problem though, you could still drive it for a few thousand miles before one day it leaves you stranded and the car won't start. May people had a theory that not changing the oil was the problem, but MB basically used too soft an alloy in the balance shaft so it wore down. I don't think the evidence is conclusive that using the correct oil and more frequent changes would help with a manufacturing defect. And it's also not clear if every single one was too soft or if there was just a manufacturing problem that was later corrected and cars after that period don't have the problem. Remember correlation does not imply causation.
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