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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I recently had my front left axle replaced with a GKN axle. Upon returning from the shop, I noticed shaking (at varying intensity) when the car is stopped in all gears except N. The vibration gets stronger if the car is on an incline. Thinking it may have been a defective axle, I ordered another one (GKN) and had it re-installed. Same problem. Here's some more data points:

-- Car: 2007 E350 4Matic Sedan
-- There is no vibration or abnormalities when driving at all speeds
-- The vibration seems to be coming from the left tire. Can be felt on the right but not nearly as prominent.
-- Upon jacking up the front wheel, there is no vibration if there is no tension on the wheel/axle. If I turn to the tire/wheel ever so slightly, I feel the vibration (predominantly on the left side) in the rotor and onto the tire.

At the same time of replacing the axle, I also had the struts and coils done.

I've scoured through the Internet on this issue and found very little info out there. I'm hoping you guys can help. I'm pulling my hair out here!

Thanks so much in advance!
Kervin
 

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Did you keep the old axle? You should just have rebooted the old axle. It's disappointing to hear that it was a GKN axle, that's supposed to be a good replacement axle.

This seems to be a common problem with aftermarket axles. Many threads claim that GKN makes good ones that doesn't have this problem.

You can get the MB boot kits for around $40 and rebooting is cheaper than a new axle anyway.

I also did my struts and springs recently, no issue with any vibration afterwards.
 

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You have vibration on stopped car? How did you come to conclusion that might be the axle?
Non-turning axle can't create vibration.
Check your engine for running smoothest and replace Motor Mounts.
 

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As Kanten said, it isn’t the axle. However, it is also possibly not engine-mount related at all, but rather an idle problem. Do you c=have a check engine light?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your replies! Unfortunately I didn’t have my shop save the axle as they told me the part was shot. I’ll ask on Monday if they still have it but highly doubtful since it’s been 2 weeks. By chance it is, is rebooting a DIY? My shop says they don’t do it.

The engine runs perfect and there are no shakes on the engine itself, I’m pretty sure the vibration is related to the axle (or installation related to either the axle or suspension ). It didnt shake before the swap. Also, the fact that it’s coming from the left side (same as new axle) makes me believe it is so. Finally, as mentioned in my original post, I vibration is only there when there is tension places on the tire (by lightly turning the tire forward or backwards).

any other ideas besides possibly a poorly built GKN axle? Maybe something with the installation of it my shop wasn’t aware of?

thanks!
 

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US dealers "Don't do boots" neither.
Why do $100 job, getting your hands very greasy, when they can charge you $1500 for installing new axle and keep the hands relatively clean?
Anyway, do MM test. Put floor jack with wood plank on top under oil pan and "take some weight off" from MM.
If the shaking stops- you know it is MM.
MM of last generations are short lived. If you don't have records of them replaced in last 50k miles, you should not hesitate to replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your suggestion, Kajtek1. I just tried the MM test and there was no change in the vibration to the wheel. Having spent a great deal of time crawling underneath the car this morning, here are some additional observations:

(1) While there is vibration on the CV axle itself, they didn't feel significant. Moreover, both sides (right side has original on it) have relatively the same level of vibration (left side ever-so-slightly stronger). BUT, the vibration on the left tire is SIGNIFICANTLY more intensive than the right.

(2) The vibration varies depending on the position of the wheels. When on the jack, I can turn the tire to a "neutral" position when there is no load on the axle with no vibration. Pushing it in either direction causes vibration. The right side does the same thing but a lot less pronounced. Surprisingly I was also able to replicate this when car is in N when the car was jacked up (by turning the tire forward/backward), but NOT when on the ground.

(3) I felt the engine mount itself and it didn't seem to have much vibration on the rubber part nor the housing.

(4) When the car is jacked up, I only feel vibration (again, not significant) on the axles themselves. No other suspension parts had any that I can tell.

---------------

This is driving me nuts. Any suggestions are most welcome and appreciated!
 

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Lots of threads about this in the other forum.






It's not really a DIY if you've never done it before. You may have to call around to find a shop that can do it. My mechanic was an ASE mechanic and he used to replace cv boots when he worked at a Ford dealership. Probably just the skill level of the mechanic. Basically a lot of hammering to get the joint off and also more hammering to put the joint back on. Maybe some experience to see that the joint and ball bearings are in good shape.

The other threads mention that GKN is supposed to be a good axle. If you don't have the old axle, you could see if you could find a rebuilt axle instead of a new one as the rebuilt one might be an actual MB axle with new boots. I don't think there's any missed installation step.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
CetiAlha5, thanks a million for this info! After reading through the posts, many others and spending some time under the car, I'm thinking it's either the GKN axle (after 2 tries!) or the motor mounts. Do you or anyone know how I can eliminate one of the two being the culprit without actually replacing them in order to find out? If it's the axle, sounds like CJV does a good job with their rebuilds.

Thanks again all!
 

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CetiAlha5, thanks a million for this info! After reading through the posts, many others and spending some time under the car, I'm thinking it's either the GKN axle (after 2 tries!) or the motor mounts. Do you or anyone know how I can eliminate one of the two being the culprit without actually replacing them in order to find out? If it's the axle, sounds like CJV does a good job with their rebuilds.

Thanks again all!
Not really. I had replaced my mounts a couple years earlier so I doubt it was the mount when I just replaced the axle with a Cardone axle from Rockauto. That was a new one. They also sold a rebuilt one with a core charge. So of course I bought the new one and right after putting it in, it had the vibration. Should have tried the rebuilt one. I had saved the old one so I had my mechanic replace the boot and put in the old axle and the vibration went away.
 

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So of course I bought the new one and right after putting it in, it had the vibration. Should have tried the rebuilt one. I had saved the old one so I had my mechanic replace the boot and put in the old axle and the vibration went away.
Was it driving vibration, or parking vibration?
 

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Was it driving vibration, or parking vibration?
It was very noticeable once you put the car in drive. With the car in park or neutral, you didn't really feel it. Don't remember how bad it was while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you! Sounds like exactly what's happening with mine. I'll likely order a rebuilt one from CJV. Will provide update with the results.
 

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Would somebody come with explanation how axle can cost vibration on non-moving car?
Could it be rattling?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not really. I had replaced my mounts a couple years earlier so I doubt it was the mount when I just replaced the axle with a Cardone axle from Rockauto. That was a new one. They also sold a rebuilt one with a core charge. So of course I bought the new one and right after putting it in, it had the vibration. Should have tried the rebuilt one. I had saved the old one so I had my mechanic replace the boot and put in the old axle and the vibration went away.
So I called CVJ this morning and learned the rebuild cost is $400. Since my shop already disposed of my original MB axle, CVJ will charge another $225 for the core. So for $625 + tax and shipping, this is way beyond what I want to spend. My question is whether I should consider A-1 Cardone Reman. Thoughts?

BTW...the CVJ guy I spoke to was surprised the GKNs (he says they're OEM) were giving me problems.

My shop is going to take a look at it this week to see if they can find anything.I'll post an update with any results.
 

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It doesn't cause a vibration, it transmits it from the engine just like a bad motor mount.
Brainstorming how that might happen, the axle inner joint is allowing for movement in and out, while axles have different lengths per side.
The only way to transfer vibration is when inner joint is pushed all the way in against end of the housing.
Meaning the axle is too long?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not sure if this says anything but here's some more info:

-- Both axles vibrate but left is more pronounced. When putting my hand on the boots (both inner and outer, left and right), it feels as though something is "spinning" instead. Having said that, I suppose it's normal for the axles to vibrate. The question is whether the GKN one is vibrating more or absorbing less.

-- There is a direct relationship between the vibration of the engine and the left wheel. For example, by placing my hand on top of the engine and the tire, both vibrate stronger when put in R vs. in P.

Thoughts?
 

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So I called CVJ this morning and learned the rebuild cost is $400. Since my shop already disposed of my original MB axle, CVJ will charge another $225 for the core. So for $625 + tax and shipping, this is way beyond what I want to spend. My question is whether I should consider A-1 Cardone Reman. Thoughts?

BTW...the CVJ guy I spoke to was surprised the GKNs (he says they're OEM) were giving me problems.

My shop is going to take a look at it this week to see if they can find anything.I'll post an update with any results.
Seems kinda pricey. There's a few other places out there too like raxles.com.

My other suggestion is to try some local junkyards. If you search car-part.com, you'll see they go anywhere from $50-$100. Joints don't really go bad unless the boot gets ripped so if you pick up a junkyard one, if the boots look good, you're probably good. I think with junkyards, they sometimes have a 30 day warranty. I think I got a bad part once and they just swapped it for another one which ended up being good.

You could give the reman a shot too. I believe there's some debate as to whether those boots are good or not. Usually the cheaper aftermarket axles use cheaper boots that don't last as long. In some of those threads I mentioned, there might have been one that mentioned the difference being that Mercedes parts had some hollow bits in their axles and the aftermarkets were solid so more likely to transmit vibrations. My mechanic did note that the center of the axle was hollow so you didn't even need to take the boot off to pack it with grease, all you had to do was take the bolt out. Wondering if that's what they meant when they were referring to the MB axle having hollow sections. They're also supposed to be one time use bolts which is why the boot kit comes with a new one, but I've reused mine before when changing out struts and nothing happened afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks CetiAlpha5 for the detailed info. Well, my indy went through the car pretty thoroughly and doesn't think it's the axle. He was also able to eliminate the tranny mount being the issue. I'm going to have the left engine mount replaced and hope this does it. Will keep you all posted!
 
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