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1997 G320, 2001 CL55
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone rebuilt their drive shaft?

My 97 G320 has 79K miles on it and I'm told that the bearings in my drive shaft are going bad or getting old and that's why my transfer case shifter shakes so bad at low rpm's. I was looking to replace the bracket or rubber transfer case mounts, but they are O.K.. Sean at Eurotruck is helping me look into alternatives, but seems MB only sells factory "rebuilt" shafts as replacements.

Figured others beside MB could do this, but haven't found my solution. Wondered if any of you had to do this and what you did to get the drive shaft "fixed"...

I really appreciate any help or advice....

Thanks,
Robert
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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3,504 Posts
In order to rebuild your drive shaft you'll have to find a driveline shop or machine shop who can machine away metal of the shaft to release teh staked-n bearign cups, then find a suitable replacement U-joint, and last of all fabricate a method of holding the U-joint cups in place. It's usually not worth the work.

There are a couple of shops in the US that have successfully built brand new drive shafts to the original specification, including replaceable u-joints and the G wagen 8-bolt flanges.

One such shop is Drive Train Industries in Colorado springs, Colorado. If you want an exact replacement the best thing will be to send them your old shaft and then discuss it with them after they receive the part. The new shaft will be on the order of $650, but it will have u-joints that can be replaced at any NAPA in the future. And the price still beats that of the factory shafts by a long shot.

I think someone on the list had drive shafts serviced or built by some shop in the Pacific Northwest someplace too, but I don't know the particulars of that one. I've visited and spoken at length with the guys at DTI though, and know their work is first rate.

Good luck!

-Dave G.
 

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1985 300GD LWB 5 Speed
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1,079 Posts
Yes, I have had great luck with a rebuild job at Drivelines NW, in Tacoma, Washington State, US. They took my drive shaft and essentially made a replacement to match. It was around $627, or one-half the price of a new MB drive shaft. Their toll free number is 800-552-7647 to all stores in the US and Canada. Or 253-922-7350 to their store in Fife, WA.
 

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G-320
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113 Posts
Robert Hi:

I have a question; does your vehicle make a clicking sound (any type of noise from the transfer case area?)

I just noticed an increase in vibration at the transfer case shifter and recently intermittent clicking sounds from that area.

Could this be from the front drive, rear drive or small shaft in the center?

What is the difficulty in removing all of these shafts?

Thanks in advance

Tom
 

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exgowner
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126 Posts
im in agreement with dave g. your best bet is send the driveshafts (might as well do all three if you are going to have the truck forever) to somewhere like he suggested. i have talked to bill up at great basin rovers about some driveshafts for the g, and i think if the demand was there he might consider doing some rebuildable shafts for our trucks.

like dave said it's nice to be able to get a stock cardan bearing instead of having to get em from the fatherland. spicer makes one for their dana axles, and it is a very nice one.

if you want to get the stock bearings here is the info
I have no names of agents in the states but I can ship them to you direct at #48.00 each. How many are you looking for ? If you let me have the quantity and your address I will get a price from FedEx for shipping.
Payment can be made by credit card if that suits you
Regards
Jon Whittingham
[email protected]
the part number is HS300, they cost 24 pounds to ship to the states. they are staked, which you probably know. it's pretty easy to fab a retainer that screws to the yokes so you dont have to stake them back in.
 

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1997 G320, 2001 CL55
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Tom,

I haven't noticed any clicking noises, just shakes the transfer case pretty hard when I start from a dead stop or pull up a hill. Smooths out with speed, so I may have to live with it a little longer while I talk with some of the contacts provided.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the info and advice. I'll keep you posted on the progress as I take her apart and complete the work...

Thanks,
Robert
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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978 Posts
Another option is to use adapter plates to get out of the MB flanges. I had some made by Six States Distributing in Portland Oregon. This allowed me to go to Ford pattern flanges. These are held on with four bolts with a 12 mm head. The U joints are Spicer and are are around $10 or so to replace. I was also able to have a double cardan joint on one end to help correct the steep angles in the SWB rear shaft which is especially short on a diesel with a damper device attached to the Tcase. One great advantage of these is the driveshaft can be removed in 10 minutes tops. The stock shaft flanges use 8 itty bitty - extra special - does not exist in the US bolts that take forever to remove and replace. The driveshafts can be made locally or at Six States. The plates are now in stock there.
 

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exgowner
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dai, you are one smooth malt liquor picker. thats a great thinking out of the merecedes benz box. im going to look into the great basins double cardans for a d-90. so far some little stuff i've been buying made for d-90's seem to work fine.
 

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1987 GE230
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49 Posts
there is the thread when I replaced the uni's.
I have travelled about 10,000 km's and no problems

http://http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1190730

regards Steve
 

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85 300GD 83 300TD
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Hipine and MSerpe?

There are several great resources here for people to repair driveshaft issues. Could these be posted on the Clubgwagen tech page? That way when faced with the $1,100+ driveshaft at the dealer, folks could be pointed to the various options for alternative solutions to the problem. It could include the "Don't drive a 460 (461) with the front driveshaft removed with out shifting the T case into 4WD or you will fry your expensive transfer case" warning.

-Dai
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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RE: Hipine and MSerpe?

I think it's a great idea. Mike's running the CGW stuff now, so he'll have to work it into his priority list somewhere.

Of course, anyone can SUBMIT material for the site. If you want to pull something together for what you'd like to see, that would give Mike a significant leg up toward getting it posted.

Just write it up in paragraph form, even post it here. Then send Mike a PM and he can pipe it over to CGW.

-Dave G.
 

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It is only reading your threads that I realise how lucky we are in Europe, Drive shaft rebuilders are almost a cottage industry here, I have just had a complete set rebuilt to original standard for less than £500.00.
 

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4x4rancher - 3/30/2005 3:33 PM

It is only reading your threads that I realise how lucky we are in Europe, Drive shaft rebuilders are almost a cottage industry here, I have just had a complete set rebuilt to original standard for less than £500.00.
Maybe it's the same difference in philosophy that appears to be when it comes to old buildings. In Europe you guys do what you can to repair and preserve the beautiful old buildings. Here they tear them down and build something new and ugly. (The disposable society!)
 

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BenzWorld G Class Host
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I'm not so sure I would jump and do all new driveshafts on the 320. Have you replaced the t-case mounts yet? There is a normal amount of vibration in the t-case lever as well. You will never get rid of the shake completely, in fact not even close in my experience.

The next consideration is that the G320 has a CV jointed center shaft, nothing after mid 1992 used the u-jointed center driveshaft. I did have that one go out and naturally it was ~$1000 even though it is like a foot long and uses fairly standard looking CV joints and a wimpy looking shaft.

I am just concerned that you will throw a LOT of money at this to solve something that is pretty much normal. First do the mounts, they are the least expensive. If you still feel that there is too much vibration, try replacing the center shaft. I just don't know that I would run out and buy three new shafts at 79k miles.
 

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I know a company here in the USA that builds driveshafts and U joints based on your vehicle's specifications. And if you want, they will assemble the entire setup and ship it to you. As far as I know, they are the least expensive and do an excellent job.

Let me get back to you with that information.
 

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1997 G320, 2001 CL55
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Discussion Starter #17
The case mounts were my first alternative. I had the performance shop that works on my carrera and is/was authorized by Europa look at them and couldn't find any issues with the rubber mounts or bracket. They are the ones that told me the shaft bearings were worn out. I realize the shifter is going to shake a little and that doesn't bother me...it's now shaking the entire truck and that's what concerns me.pretty hard shake at low RPM, especially going up hills... I live in mountians and can't avoid the steep inclines....

I priced out the single shaft with Eurotruck and found a factory rebuilt from Germany was around $1300...so replacing all of them is almost inconceivable for me right now..don't want to have nightmares about that figure....Needless to say, I'm living with it for now and looking into alternatives. I had thought about a larger engine and trying to make sure I plan for the future as I have no intention on ever selling her....

Can I tear anything up by waiting to replace the shaft? Figured the bearings are blown, but can that have negative impact on other parts?

Sorry for my off road ignornace...I've been a speed demon that gets them low to the ground all my life....Just found joy in my G.

Thanks to all of you maybe I'll survive my first 4x4!

STILL SHAKIN...

Robert[:D]
 

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Tom Woods

These guys will custom make your driveshafts and will give you the best price out there.

http://www.4xshaft.com/

It's been a while since I purchased anything from them, but when I was looking for a new driveshaft for my YJ, these guys had the best product.
 

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I'm not so sure I buy the "bad bearings" in the driveshaft bit. The front and rear shafts will give you more of a rythmic hum , normally over about 20 mph. If you have a bigger vibration that starts at step off then I have suspicions of that center shaft going bad. I have replaced that on on my 320. It is a CV jointed shaft as mentioned. What mine did was shake pretty badly and then sometimes, once you got going faster it would go away. I attrributed this to the ball and cage CV assembly popping out of joint but with enough speed everthing would settle back in, until you slowed again. Is this what you are experiencing?

I just do not recall big vibes with the front and rear shafts. They were much more of a drone than actual shaking.

If you can be without the truck for a few days, I would pull the shaft and take it to a reputable driveline shop. They may be able to get the parts to rebuild the CV's. There is still the goofy MB flange issue but CV's are definately rebuildable. Just a matter of getting the parts, and with yours in hand who knows....I bet they could do it for half the $1300.
 

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DUTCH - 3/30/2005 3:09 PM

4x4rancher - 3/30/2005 3:33 PM

It is only reading your threads that I realise how lucky we are in Europe, Drive shaft rebuilders are almost a cottage industry here, I have just had a complete set rebuilt to original standard for less than £500.00.
Maybe it's the same difference in philosophy that appears to be when it comes to old buildings. In Europe you guys do what you can to repair and preserve the beautiful old buildings. Here they tear them down and build something new and ugly. (The disposable society!)
Don't put my fine city into that category. With some of the greatest architecture in the world developers and property owners go to great lengths to preserve old buildings. I prefer old buildings and probably wouldn't buy new construction. I live in a 1920s structure, which has proven it will last. My building isn't even considered old for Chicago standards. Anything that survived the Chicago Fire is old.

Southern cities and new cities like Vegas/Phoenix are completely different. 1950 is old there.
 
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