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1999 ML 430
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586 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here is my story

After reading topic after topic webpage after webpage I got scared into using my low range for the fact the older models have a defect and break, and since my ML has never used low range it is probably broken

well I was on a grassy/muddy 45 degree hill getting ready for my offroad trip to browns camp in oregon, I was about half way up the 20ft or so hill and hit the point where I was sliding back and forth diggin a hole in the grass going backwards, I tried it again, no luck, I backed off and said well I mise well try low range now i'll take my chances, I lifted up my armrest to make sure I put it into low range right, shift into neutral at 0mph, press low range and shift into D, and boom I hear a large crack and my transfer case falls out of the bottom of my ML...gotcha [:D] but really I put it into low range on neutral at 0mph, watch my low range light flash 4 times hoping it will be solid, it is I smiled put it into drive heard that metal against metal clank sound, realized it was normal and retook the hill, no problem whatsoever for the ML, I WANT MORE im hooked
 

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ML550, W212 E350 4 matic, 1966 Corvette C2 convt.
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2,675 Posts
If you don't use it it will break. Should be exercised once in a while
 

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1999 ML 430
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586 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
just to make sure is the cling sound when I put it into D after low range is engauged normal?
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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BlackHawk - 2/8/2005 9:46 PM

just to make sure is the cling sound when I put it into D after low range is engauged normal?
100% normal bud ... WOOT.

Just thought I'd share, I'm going on a huge off-roading trip next weekend with many Land Rovers and a G owner. Should be VERY fun. I'll take tons of pics for you all !! [:D]
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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Roger that ... [:)]
 

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2000 ML430
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657 Posts
sosh - 2/8/2005 8:24 PM

If you don't use it it will break. Should be exercised once in a while
I make it a point to put the truck in low range once a month and drive around the development to exercise the gears... I also put it in reverse too.[:D]
 

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That tranny is not going to break! They have no defect! just defective procedure to engage. Go ahead and use it, I have towed over 8000Lbs in off road conditions in deep dirt and uphill where the rolling resistance of the trailer is greatly increased as opposed to paved roads, it was nothing to it.
Five years later my ML drives like new, still getting driving satisfaction from the excellent driving handling and dynamics, no thin can compare.

Should it not tell you something that the same ML has won so many world rallies.
Always, stop to 0, neutral, engage low, wait for it to engage, and then go, not following the procedure exactly can be detrimental.

My guess is most people don’t know that big beefy transmissions that sits under the skin, I took this picture a few years ago at the plant in Alabama.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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21,261 Posts
My guess is most people don’t know that big beefy transmissions that sits under the skin, I took this picture a few years ago at the plant in Alabama.
The part with the fluted casting that the gentleman has his hand on is the transfer case and center differential. The part in front of it with the smooth bell-shaped casting is actually the transmission. If you look on the backside of the transfer case, right above the 2nd catalytic converter and below the rear driveshaft, you will see a black cylinder. This is the solenoid (technically a motor) that is used to engage and disengage lo-range.

- RODNEY
 

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BenzWorld Post Whore
10 E350 4MATIC
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"Kerrplunk!"

[:D][:D]
 

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Your description is right, the part where my son has his hand on is the casing for the planetary reduction for low gear also, the thing to keep in mind is when engaged stress is reduced from the main transmission as the planetary gearing is multiplying the torque.
As with all mechanical things when different additions compliment each other the total is more than each individual.

As far as the main transmission it is pretty though by itself, at the injection shop where I have my diesel injection pump and injectors serviced they modify diesel engines also, the same W5 three channel transmission was adapted to a Cummins diesel, I thought that was pretty impressive, they reported good service.
 

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03 ML500
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789 Posts
Well, my story with the low range is different.
My first time out in Death Valley, new BFG's. Everything was fine and dry and rocky. Then I found an old mine, and another trail with a little water. I see a Jeep go thru very cautious, kind of deep. I said, oh well I can do that. I wanted to try my low gear. Move the stick to N, press Low range, light blinks four times, hear clank, but no engagement. I check the directions again, try again, no low gear. Tried three more times with different steps, didn't work.
So there I was, in the middle of DV with no low gear. Came back, took truck to stealer, and was told the electric motor was broken and needed to be replaced. After that was told to engage low gear at least evey month, so no I do it like an oil change maintanance thing.
Use that sucker!!!
 

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It is always some little stupid part...
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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GreenM3 - 2/9/2005 4:09 PM

It is always some little stupid part...
Yup, I just had mine replaced the other week. Paid about $270 for the install and diagnostics.
 

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2000 ML 320
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32 Posts
Had my 320 since Aug 2000. Never engaged the Low Range. Should I leave well enough alone or do I run the risk of loosing the tranny if I dont use it?
 

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1999 ML 430
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Discussion Starter #17
well I was faced with that decision, I guess the safest thing to do if your not a "daredevil" is next time you take it to the dealer ask them to test it, they will usually do it free and if it fails you can argue that they did it [:)]
 

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03 ML500
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Ditto.[:D][}:)]
 

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2008 GL 550, 2012 C250
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Cool!! I had never used my low range, so as soon as I read this post I ran out to use it...... and it works!!!!
Thanks for the post, you guys rock!
 

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2011 GLK350,1998E300D, 2004SL500, 2006CLS500,2006ML500
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BHawk:
That was funny! You know the old saying "you broke it, its your fault"




BlackHawk - 2/10/2005 12:05 AM

well I was faced with that decision, I guess the safest thing to do if your not a "daredevil" is next time you take it to the dealer ask them to test it, they will usually do it free and if it fails you can argue that they did it [:)]
[:D]
 
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