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Registered
2000 E320
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219 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
and "How do you melt the seal"?

This is related to an earlier post about a gasoline odor coming from my ML. From what I have read removing the backseats is quite a process. I have seen references to those that have cut their carpet rather than completely removing the seat. The problem is I don't where exactly to look...I don't want to helter skelter start cutting carpet. Has anyone done this without removing the backseat?

Also, I have read where removing the seal is a job as well. I don't have access to a heat gun, and I am sure a hair dryer won't do the trick. Any suggestions there as well.

As I posted earlier, I need to get to the bottom of the gasoline odor coming from the back of the ML- from your posts it is likely either the pump seal (nut), a plastic nipple, or a gas line.

Thanks
 

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Registered
1990 190E 2.6,.... 1998 ML320, 2005 ML500SE
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3,094 Posts
When I did the fuel filter update on my 98ML I moved the front seat all the way forward, tilted the rear seat backs forward removed the seat bolts and just tilted the back seat forward. However I think I did finally remove the seat all together. That was a long time ago.
I used a 1200W hair dryer to loosen up the seal but it was July and the ambient temp was already quite warm. I did mangle the cover's edge a little but once out I removed the excess sealant material straightened out the cover and repainted it. I also cleaned and repainted the cover's hole to protect against any future rust.

Having thought the hair dryer through, and since you have fuel vapors in that area, you may not want to use anything that produces an arc like the brushes in a hair dryer motor. How about using your wife's best clothes iron and just sit it on top of the cover for a few minutes?
Mike
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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21,797 Posts
The seat is really not that big of an issue. I just remove the bolts at the back of the seat
and tip
it forward as far as it will go. The sealant can be cut away and then the cover can gently
and evenly be pried off. Then you will see the pump and lines.
If one of the lines are leaking you will see it. The other issue facing you is that if it is the
original pump and filter they have been updated. You may have to get the updated
filter and new lines that go from the pump to the filter.
Resealing the hatch is very important and there are many products that will work. I use
Panel Bond from the auto body side of the shop.
 

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2015 S550
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28 Posts
Taking out the rear seat is a breeze

Not an ordeal at all....

I just did this on my 99 ML430 to replace the fuel pump, lines and filter. All you need is a ratchet wrench set and the right torx bit and you are good to go. There are about 9-10 bolts holding the seat in place. Just work your way around them and it comes right out. There are some that are under the seat so you have to reach under and find the right angle but it is hardly a big deal to do.

Once all the bolts are out, I just pushed the seat into the cargo area and exposed the fuel pump cover under the carpet.

Hardest part from my perspective is taking off the fuel line connectors by hand....I think the old ones get crusty and are hard to get to release. You might not have to do this depending on what your problem turns out to be but be prepared to be patient (and have some replacement lines ready as you might need them if you break one).

The other challenge was the connectors going to the fuel filter. Even after taking off the tire and wheel well panel, it is stuck in a very narrow opening and the connectors on it are even harder to release just because it is hard to get your fingers to them. I found disconnecting them at the pump first and then completely releasing the hose clamp holding the filter was the best way to get it out enough to undo the connectors.

Regarding the leak, one thing I found after replacing my fuel pump was I got the smell of gas and a puddle on top of the pump after filling the tank. Turned out the rubber gasket that seals around the pump to keep the gas in the tank had not seated properly and was allowing leaks when the car tilted at a steep angle (as in going in the underground garage of my bldg). It's possible you have a leak in this gasket vs. one of the fuel lines. Only way I could tell was that there was no leaks at all when the pump was running but after driving it on the incline with a full tank I did get them.

Good luck!

XBM
 

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Registered
2000 E320
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219 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, all. Is there a particular product I should use to re-seal the fuel pump cover? Is it available at any autoparts store?
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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21,797 Posts
I use the 3M Panel Bond, but I get it free from the body shop side of the shop.
It may cost something like $40 at Amazon. A good strong auto grad silicone
should do the trick. Just give it time to cure before putting the carpet back on.
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
Joined
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21,797 Posts
That is a perfect choice. It is a lot less expensive than the Panel Bond and is easily
gotten at most auto parts places.
 
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