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1997 e320
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I decided to start looking for the area where noise was entering the cabin. I removed the knee bolster on the drivers side dash and removed the cover. Well I quickly found where the noise is coming in. The rubber boot at the firewall where the steering column/shaft goes through is shot. It is torn and not connected at the firewall. I have to assume that the only way to replace this would be to remove the steering shaft and fit a new boot on it.

Has anyone had this issue and what was the $$ damage to fix it?
 

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1996 210.020
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3,972 Posts
If you look in the manual for the instructions, note that the tube around the steering shaft in the cabin is called the "jacket tube."

I don't recall how invasive it is to remove the jacket tube. It's not simple. I am pretty sure that the ignition lock must be removed, along with parts of the dash.
 

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Mercedes Benz 1997 E320
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9 Posts
I have the same problems and been doing alot of search on how to replace it but got now results. Hope some experts will come forward and help. thanks
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,467 Posts
One of the house remedies I've been using on rubber repairs.
Roofers polyurethane caulk (Home Depot) dries to rubber. If jacket has just a cut, but is in good condition otherwise you can clean it and build up a "weld" with the mentioned caulk. If the jacket deteriorated, you can avoid removing whole column by cutting new jacket and gluing it with the caulk. Piece of old jacket might serve as a overlap.
 

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2000 E430 4M (SOLD) 2002 Jetta TDI 5MT Stage 2 tuned
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238 Posts
Regarding this rubber jacket where the steering meets the firewall - I am thinking of getting this roofers caulk to seal it up.

Would you apply this from inside the cabin, or from inside the engine bay? Which side of the firewall?

I had a tech tell me my rubber jacket at the firewall was torn and that he needs to take out a bunch of stuff, exhaust/steering, to get access to it. I said don't do it it yet, because I know they would gouge a couple of hours labor to get it done.
So would you go about this from under the car looking up at the firewall, or have you calked it from the inside somehow, just by crawling under the dash?
 

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Mercedes Benz 1997 E320
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9 Posts
I had bought the rubber jacket ($15) and have replace the worn one. Just unscrew 1 bolt from underneath, then pull the shaft toward the steering and it should come out. Then just R/R the rubber jacket.
 

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Don't caulk it! The part is $12. I just did this project last month on my W210 - not sure of other models. While it is not the easiest piece to replace you need no special tools. Like the other respondent said, you remove one bolt under the hood, pull the column out of the coupler and work out the old boot and replace it. Make sure the wheel is locked before you start so it does not turn once it is removed from the coupler or you can damage the clockwork spring!

The challenge comes in getting the new boot in just right. Half of it is inside the car and you need to really work it to get it seated on the firewall to get the proper seal. It is intuitive but physically draining. Took me a couple of hours fighting with it to get it right. You also have to grease it where the ends connect so it won't tear again. M-B makes a special grease but any grease which withstands cold without hardening will do. I used a special white grease from the Genie garage door company which is sold at home improvement stores because I found it extremely good at resisting cold weather.

I am amazed at how quiet my car is now...literally sounds like a completely different car inside. It is also nice not to have the draft which blew on my right foot every time a semi passed me on the highway.
 

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2000 E430 4M (SOLD) 2002 Jetta TDI 5MT Stage 2 tuned
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238 Posts
Uggg, thanks guys, I thought it wasn't going to be a piece of cake. I don't have a car jack anymore, no garage, and my driveway is sloped... Looks like I'm going to have my indy do it, though I will mention I heard it is only one bolt that needs to come out. You definitely need to be under the car to get at that bolt right? You dont need to disconnect any exhaust pipes do you? Would it take a pro, with a lift, 2 hours to do ?
 

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2000 E430 4M (SOLD) 2002 Jetta TDI 5MT Stage 2 tuned
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238 Posts
So back to this job.... Rubber jacket that seals out engine noise from the cabin. My vault-like benz sounds annoyingly loud with the windows up and ac on. It should be way quiter.

Called up my Indy and they stated 3 hours labor to get at and replace the boot. The said the 4matic system makes it more challenging.
So total $275-300 range... GOD what a waste of $.

Called stealership and they said $350 labor + whatever the part is.


Anyone done this on a 4matic yet? Anyone ever take pics of this job?
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
I don't know if there is a big difference between your car and mine ( E300TD) but I have changed the rubber at the bulkhead and this is a relatively easy job. Just make sure the wheels will not turn and take the key out of the ignition to lock the steering wheel in place. The rest is just a bolt to undo, and the shaft move upward toward the bulkhead. Take the rubber out and replace it, this was a wee tedious but not that bad, if you have someone holding and playing a bit with the steering wheel when you put it bak together it's easier, I was alone and it was a wee awkward as the weight of the steering whell and the saft was of center a little. But really, not a big job.
Hope it help.
All the best.
Olivier
 

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1998 E320, 2005 e320
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47 Posts
I have a 98 e320 with the torn boot at the firewall. I just read these older posts and will tackle this problem very soon and update this topic. Thanks for the info all.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
Did a planetary user hack the dr's account?

JMHO, but such a response is wholly inappropriate in the tech and vehicle forums. OT and WOT are both available for those who wish to display their attempts at crude humor and abilities at insults.

One can only hope your patients are not subjected to such attitude and ridicule.


*****

In all the time I've been in the various MB forums, the resurrection of this thread is the first I've heard of this issue. Since it has so rarely arisen, I'm wondering if there was a single supplier among the many that was substandard.

In any event, I'm glad that the options (at least for non-4matic owners, apparently the jury is still out on that) aren't $600 of labor vs. trying to find some workaround as the repair isn't that ugly.

As to lubricants, I'd suggest being cautious about that. Many greases will deteriorate rubber rather quickly, so you want to make sure your choice doesn't fall into that category. Indeed, lubricating this boot is one of the TSBs for the steering noise, hopefully there is a recommended lubricant for that.

Good luck.
 

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1998 E320, 2005 e320
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47 Posts
I would have never thought I could have created such excitment on this site! This forum is a good tool to use with other information, you have to know how to pick out the good stuff from the bad. I like to give back helpful tips if I can after I complete the job.I do it the right way, or not at all.
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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2,946 Posts
another redneck approach is to stuff the boot with fiberglass insulation if you have some at home. it will eliminate the road noise, it works. ask me how i know:D
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,467 Posts
Yeah. Driving W124 yesterday in the rain, I was annoyed by constant wheel spinning on green lights. No traction control made me paying the attention to tachometer.
Old remedy would be put about 3 sack of potatoes, or concrete mix into the trunk.
In US I routinely get 40% or more discount at doctors offices for paying cash, while some negotiation lowered $2500 bill for MRI down to $500.
What is your discount Dr?
 

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1998 E320, 2005 e320
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47 Posts
Ok job complete!!! I just completed the replacement of the steering column boot located at the engine firewall on my 98 E320. The part was $20.16 at my local MB dealership,and took me no more than an hour thirty from start to finish.
Not a bad job at all, one 13mm bolt at the attach point fwd of firewall and that is it, not including the screws at the interior lower kick panel above your feet.Once the bolt is removed, go back to the interior side and pull back on the steering shaft at the pivot link and it should come apart. All work can be done at the top of the engine and inside!!! no need to go under the engine.Its takes just a bit of finesse to pull the old boot outward of the firewall and installing the new replacement boot. Once installed, but not complete, put the 13mm bolt back on when reattaching the shaft to the steering rack ( this may take two people) you may need someone to turn the steering wheel just a tad while you line up the attach point so it will slide in easy in order to install the bolt. Once that is done all that is needed is to get the boot seated properly on both ends, which is much easier when the bolt is back on. Also before I forget, make sure the steering wheel is locked in place once you turn it so the bolt head is up facing you when you need to remove it.Airbag clock spring wires could be damaged etc. I used a long 24inch 3/8 extension with a universal end to remove the bolt.
I no longer have engine noise and outside air coming in. Any questions send me a note.
Jeff
 

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2001 C320 W203 Black on Black. 1997 E320 W210 Silver (RIP). 1995 E320 W124 Pearl Black.
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595 Posts
What the part # for that boot, I need to change mine on the 97 W210 E320. TIA.
 
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