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installing axle assembly in 123

1580 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  areusche
Using my Haynes manual I've got one axle out and have got the new one almost back in. I reversed the taking out procedure installing the differential side first and I'm finding I am hanging up on the wheel side by about 1/8 inch. I jacked up the diff but I'm wondering if reversing the taking apart procedure meant putting in the wheel side first. This is on a 84 300 d. I'm new to this forum and this Mercedes is new to me. The boots were shreded on the old axle assemblies. Yes - I did try the search function first. If anyone could advise if it's best to reinstall putting in the diff side first or wheel side first that would be great. Any other helpful tricks to this job would be appreciated.
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axle assembly sources

I got the axles on E Bay. If you go to auction number 32043919211. They were $65 per and shipping for two was $25. The seller is apxautoparts and their phone as listed on my order details is: 910 653 7101. They are discribed as and appear to be new and there is no core charge. There were some FEQ ones listed at several vendors at about the same price but they are not available. I can't really tell you if they will now last 100,000 + miles but they have got to be better than the knocking ones with shredded boots that are on the car now.
still can't get wheel side to fit

I've raised and lowered the diff and raised and lowered the trailing are - took off the shock to get more play, compacted the axle, and stretched it out so it would bend and I'm not finding the last 1/8 inch. I don't want to go to bfh technology so I think I'll loosen the four nuts holding the diff to the car so I can swivel the front a bit. I've measured the new axle to the old and they are the same length. Anybody had to loosen the diff to get their axle in?
Figured out the problem - bad axle

After raising the diff, disengaging the shock, jacked the trailing are down I got the axle in. When I turned at the rotor/hub they didn't turn together bunching the boots. I looked at the old thrashed axle and found there is a splined end inside the boot at the inboard or diff side that meshes with another piece that swivels on large ball bearings. The new axle was shipped with these pieces disengaged so it wouldn't compress. I'll see how the vendor takes care of me replacing the defective axle. No problem installing the good axle. What a pita and waste of time.
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