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2000 ML55 AMG // 1997 E420 Sport
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey y'all,

So I pulled a Hoovie and picked up a used "mint condition" 2000 ML55 AMG sight unseen from a guy in Canada for a ridiculously low price with only 46,000 miles on it.

Of course, it wound up having a ton of issues as a 20 year old truck -- that have already cost me more than I paid for the thing. It's already had new rear suspension, new power steering pump, new front left inner/outer tie rods, redone U joints on front driveshaft, AAM soldered to fix headlight operation, and we changed all fluids. Also had to have the parking brake lubed as it seized up after being imported :( :(

Now that we have the truck driving well -- and thank God, it does drive pretty damn well -- one of the big issues that remains is that as you accelerate, the rear end is making a sound like a riding lawn mower that gets worse with wheel speed.

One mechanic told me wheel bearing, another better mechanic who looked in more depth told me it's the rear diff bearings. We changed the fluid, but he says the little that drained was black sludge. I guess with the little mileage on it, no one probably ever looked at the diff fluid in 20 years .

Of course, I can't afford to spend another $4 grand on a new rear diff from M-B. My current plan is to take it to another local guy that specializes in these kinds of things and says he can open up differential carrier to replace the diff bearings --- does it often on Land Rovers and Volvos.

Before I put another $1000-2000 into this thing, I have to check in with you all. Anyone had similar noise from the rear and how did you resolve?

PS: of course the door locks remain to be fixed ;)馃拃
 

Registered
1999 ML 430, 2001 ML55
Joined
649 Posts
Hey y'all,

So I pulled a Hoovie and picked up a used "mint condition" 2000 ML55 AMG sight unseen from a guy in Canada for a ridiculously low price with only 46,000 miles on it.

Of course, it wound up having a ton of issues as a 20 year old truck -- that have already cost me more than I paid for the thing. It's already had new rear suspension, new power steering pump, new front left inner/outer tie rods, AAM soldered to fix headlight operation, and we changed all fluids. Also had to have the parking brake lubed as it seized up after being imported :( :(

Now that we have the truck driving well -- and thank God, it does drive pretty damn well -- one of the big issues that remains is that as you accelerate, the rear end is making a sound like a riding lawn mower that gets worse with wheel speed.

One mechanic told me wheel bearing, another better mechanic who looked in more depth told me it's the rear diff bearings. We changed the fluid, but he says the little that drained was black sludge. I guess with the little mileage on it, no one probably ever looked at the diff fluid in 20 years .

Of course, I can't afford to spend another $4 grand on a new rear diff from M-B. My current plan is to take it to another local guy that specializes in these kinds of things and says he can open up differential carrier to replace the diff bearings --- does it often on Land Rovers and Volvos.

Before I put another $1000-2000 into this thing, I have to check in with you all. Anyone had similar noise from the rear and how did you resolve?

PS: of course the door locks remain to be fixed ;)馃拃
You may want to try FB W163 for more people? I鈥檝e had my ML430 for 20 years and a long time member of Benzworld, but I don鈥檛 remember ever hearing of that problem? I also bought a 2001 ML55 last month which I鈥檝e been restoring for personal use, but have not come across this issue, but would like to know what this is...
 

Registered
2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
Joined
1,777 Posts
Before I put another $1000-2000 into this thing, I have to check in with you all. Anyone had similar noise from the rear and how did you resolve?
I take it you have checked the drive shaft center support bearing? That sound seems like it can be coming from many places put 4 people in the ml they will all tell you it鈥檚 from some place different.

What are the rear differential carrier bushings like?

Get it on a lift and see if wheel bearing is the issue by spinning the wheel or lift one tire at a time and try rocking the wheel.

You check the drive axle joints.

A rear differential problem is very uncommon, especially with 40 k. If that is the true mileage? 20 rear old fluid will be black regardless.

But you said the rear suspension was rebuilt more details on that?
 

W163 and General Mercedes Host
Joined
3,270 Posts
Hey y'all,

So I pulled a Hoovie and picked up a used "mint condition" 2000 ML55 AMG sight unseen from a guy in Canada for a ridiculously low price with only 46,000 miles on it.

Of course, it wound up having a ton of issues as a 20 year old truck -- that have already cost me more than I paid for the thing. It's already had new rear suspension, new power steering pump, new front left inner/outer tie rods, AAM soldered to fix headlight operation, and we changed all fluids. Also had to have the parking brake lubed as it seized up after being imported :( :(

Now that we have the truck driving well -- and thank God, it does drive pretty damn well -- one of the big issues that remains is that as you accelerate, the rear end is making a sound like a riding lawn mower that gets worse with wheel speed.

One mechanic told me wheel bearing, another better mechanic who looked in more depth told me it's the rear diff bearings. We changed the fluid, but he says the little that drained was black sludge. I guess with the little mileage on it, no one probably ever looked at the diff fluid in 20 years .

Of course, I can't afford to spend another $4 grand on a new rear diff from M-B. My current plan is to take it to another local guy that specializes in these kinds of things and says he can open up differential carrier to replace the diff bearings --- does it often on Land Rovers and Volvos.

Before I put another $1000-2000 into this thing, I have to check in with you all. Anyone had similar noise from the rear and how did you resolve?

PS: of course the door locks remain to be fixed ;)馃拃
pummer, Welcome.

You should record the sound and upload fro all to hear. A verbal description can be interpreted a handful or more ways. Nobody, including myself, wants to play whack-a-mole. :)
 

Registered
2000 ML55 AMG // 1997 E420 Sport
Joined
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
pummer, Welcome.

You should record the sound and upload fro all to hear. A verbal description can be interpreted a handful or more ways. Nobody, including myself, wants to play whack-a-mole. :)
Hey, here is the sound.


Hope you can hear it on this. I think daily ML drivers should be able to pick it out. It almost sounds like the Capristo exhaust on a Lamborghini, except it varies with wheel speed not engine speed...
 

W163 and General Mercedes Host
Joined
3,270 Posts
Hey, here is the sound.


Hope you can hear it on this. I think daily ML drivers should be able to pick it out. It almost sounds like the Capristo exhaust on a Lamborghini, except it varies with wheel speed not engine speed...
I heard something out of the ordinary at the 21sec mark.

EDIT: are you able to replicate the sound in park mode and revving?
 

Registered
2000 ML55 AMG // 1997 E420 Sport
Joined
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I heard something out of the ordinary at the 21sec mark.

EDIT: are you able to replicate the sound in park mode and revving?
No, it does not occur while revving in park. As I stated, it seems to increase linearly with wheel speed.

I heard what you referenced at 0:21 and I think that was just me driving over a rough road patch. In this video, and in real life, the sound I'm talking about sounds at first like the exhaust note. It sounds like the exhaust note is higher pitched than it should be, like a Lamborghini or a turbo Porsche. But then you realize that this "exhaust note" varies with wheel speed, not engine speed, and finally you realize that it's not the exhaust note at all, because the stock exhaust is actually fairly quiet, as Mercedes typically are. At 60-80mph or more, the rear end sounds like a riding lawn mower.

I can't tell for sure if I'm hallucinating this or not, but the more I drive the truck, the more I feel there seems to be intermittent bounces or vibrations from the right rear as well, almost like the right rear feels loose (but the struts were just done). Feels somewhat more drive-related than a wheel-bearing...

Also when I'm at speed (60mph) and I swerve a bit to the right, the sound momentarily dissipates.... right rear wheel bearing hopefully, diff bearing maybe? :/
 

W163 and General Mercedes Host
Joined
3,270 Posts
Perhaps, open up the rear wheel hub and check the ebrake setup too, on that side to inspect.
Simple pop the wheel off and open it up to inspect
 
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