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2000 ML320
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone replaced their own steering rack?

Is a remanufactured ZF the best part?

The Mercedes instructions starts with removal of front axle. Is this step required, or is it possible to replace the rack without removing the axle? Does anyone have the Mercedes instructions for removing the front axle?

Six months ago I replaced the whinning Power Steering Pump and Reservior. Everything has been good, but Now I have excessive PS fluid leaking from the rack on the drivers side.

2000 ML320 160k
Any recommendations welcome.
 

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Premium Member
Current (2002 ml320, 2002 ml500, 2005 ml500 sport 2006 bmw 525xi)
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68 Posts
Installation of Steering rack help needed from the W163 GURU's
This is for my 5th ML, but recently acquired 2002 ML500, 115,000 Miles. Purchased 2 weeks ago with a pull to the right, and the front end that would wander back and forth (left or right) on rougher payment. Took to my alignment shop who has aligned my last two ML's. He called me and told me he could not align this because one because the rack is worn out. Outer tie rod ends good he said (I verified) and inner ones also, but he said there was play in the rack and pinon and that is the source of the wandering. So, he said, bring it back after you install the rack. I read as many posts as I could about these racks and purchased a Maval, reconditioned rack with 3 year unlimited warranty.

Read some more and since I don't have a lift at my house, I called my suspension guy back and asked him what he would charge for the privilege to work on my car :). We agreed on a price and I took it in this morning. I gave him all of the downloads pics, and information gained from this site, including bleed procedures. (thank all of you for sharing your knowledge).
He just called me concerning the thin and thick shims/spacers on the right side of the rack (thin one on top, thick one on the bottom). (reposting this pic for reference) He said that both of my Shims are the same thickness. He said they fit in with no binding, so I need your advice, and thoughts. He wanted to know what I wanted done since it is not corresponding to the info that I gave him.

1.) Should I seek out the thin and thick shims (I have no idea how thin or thick they should be- and don't want to keep this at his shop for days while I source these. How hard to replace these if I get the correct ones. It looks like one bolt.
2.) Has anyone seen a rack with equal thickness shims?
3.) Will this mess with my alignment? (I guess I can ask him this)
4.) Would this lead to premature rack wear (torque on the internal rack and pinon) causing premature failure?
5.) My guess this has been worked on prior?

Some experienced advice is greatly needed.








2637670
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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4,670 Posts
Camobob,

I was just doing some evening reading thru the many posts on this subject this weekend. You are the 2nd BW member I know of, that has mentioned this shim thickness - having both the same thickness. And possibly reinstalled incorrectly by some indie.

Every re+re Ive seen up close, and read about, has a thin and thick shim.
I presume you've read the thread regarding the one member having to "improvise" with a thinner shim? (as that 'shim' component is not sold separately, although it shows up in the WIS.) If you havent read it, the OP does mention it has caused alignment issues for him.


here--------->

I believe the above thread addresses your Qs and concerns.

The vets can chime in.
 

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Dallas, Texas
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He just called me concerning the thin and thick shims/spacers on the right side of the rack (thin one on top, thick one on the bottom). (reposting this pic for reference) He said that both of my Shims are the same thickness. He said they fit in with no binding, so I need your advice, and thoughts. He wanted to know what I wanted done since it is not corresponding to the info that I gave him.
Shims were used to compensate for imperfections in frame welding process. Put them back in same place.
 

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Premium Member
Current (2002 ml320, 2002 ml500, 2005 ml500 sport 2006 bmw 525xi)
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Thank you for your responses.
I stopped by my suspension place this morning and asked him to make a 6mm and a 3mm and install as per instructions.

Witek_M, are you saying IF there were two evenly sized shims, put them back? I have owned this '02 for two weeks, and am going thorough it since it has 115,000. I have many dealer records including trans flushes, plugs, etc. I understand an indie may not report the same way, so there is no way to know if someone has worked on the steering rack in the past. So do I trust what is on the car, or return it to what other ML's have?

My '05 ML500 (checked this last night) the two different shims sizes with a thicker one and a thinner one (6mm and 3mm). This would indicate if there were welding differences, all ML would have various thickness shims and no uniformity??

Should I tell my shop to undo what I have asked them to do this morning?
 

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Here is another document. The way I understand it you put it back together the way you found it.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Here is another document. The way I understand it you put it back together the way you found it.
Interesting.
Document also says the washers are different in thickness.
 

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Current (2002 ml320, 2002 ml500, 2005 ml500 sport 2006 bmw 525xi)
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Here is another document. The way I understand it you put it back together the way you found it.
Thanks again for the quick responses, willingness to share your knowledge, and the documents. Based on the document you sent, it confirms two different thickness shims. I will proceed with the 6mm and 3mm size shims with proper upper and lower installation. Now on to why this car is running consistently 5 C than my other ML500. Already replaced coolant tank, thermostat, coolant. But that's next weekend.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Thanks again for the quick responses, willingness to share your knowledge, and the documents. Based on the document you sent, it confirms two different thickness shims. I will proceed with the 6mm and 3mm size shims with proper upper and lower installation. Now on to why this car is running consistently 5 C than my other ML500. Already replaced coolant tank, thermostat, coolant. But that's next weekend.
If it's not in the red range, I dont see that as a concern.
 

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Current (2002 ml320, 2002 ml500, 2005 ml500 sport 2006 bmw 525xi)
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Living in AZ, and owing 5 ML's, all running similar temps (except this one) I believe it is an indicator of something going wrong. Also, this will be my Son's ML for the next 3 or 4 years (he will fly-in and drive back to DC), so I need it to have no repairs for 4 years. Never had to put in a water pump in any of my ML's, but have put in radiators, and aux heater motors. Doing a pressure test to make sure it is not something major such as head gasket, then will put dye in oil to see if coolant has dye in it. Electric fan seems to operate as it should. I have only had this car 2 weeks so, trying to shake out all of the bugs. Surprise so far was acceleration position sensor failure (P0121) code. Car will be too far away for me to fix as we go. So major PM on all systems in the next 2 weeks.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Now on to why this car is running consistently 5 C than my other ML500.
What is the gauge reading at operating temp? Best to start a new tread or tag on to the many where this question has come up before and answer there.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Living in AZ, and owing 5 ML's, all running similar temps (except this one) I believe it is an indicator of something going wrong. Also, this will be my Son's ML for the next 3 or 4 years (he will fly-in and drive back to DC), so I need it to have no repairs for 4 years. Never had to put in a water pump in any of my ML's, but have put in radiators, and aux heater motors. Doing a pressure test to make sure it is not something major such as head gasket, then will put dye in oil to see if coolant has dye in it. Electric fan seems to operate as it should. I have only had this car 2 weeks so, trying to shake out all of the bugs. Surprise so far was acceleration position sensor failure (P0121) code. Car will be too far away for me to fix as we go. So major PM on all systems in the next 2 weeks.
No repairs on an w163 for the next 4 years? .....that is how old now??
assuming daily driving somewhat....
:ROFLMAO: (respectfully....)
 

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1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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So with you owning five ML's, I have to assume that your son is familiar with some of the issues the W163's can present. That will be a big help if he is to be the caretaker of the ML for the next four years. It would be advantageous to also have a shop in mind if he does need to have it tended to. Dealers can be expensive, particularly if they are just throwing parts at it. Maybe some members in the area could provide a recommendation for a trustworthy option.

The drive back from Arizona to DC should be a good indicator of overall mechanical condition and you might want to have all the fluids changed and tires rotated and balanced.....if everything checks out well before he goes, hopefully he will have a safe and dependable car for the long haul. You might want to go ahead and budget for some repairs over the years and make sure his insurance is up to par .

And it might be helpful to go ahead and get a spare key to hide under the bumper somewhere......
 

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2002 ML500 / 2002 CL500
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Living in AZ, and owing 5 ML's, all running similar temps (except this one) I believe it is an indicator of something going wrong. Also, this will be my Son's ML for the next 3 or 4 years (he will fly-in and drive back to DC), so I need it to have no repairs for 4 years. Never had to put in a water pump in any of my ML's, but have put in radiators, and aux heater motors. Doing a pressure test to make sure it is not something major such as head gasket, then will put dye in oil to see if coolant has dye in it. Electric fan seems to operate as it should. I have only had this car 2 weeks so, trying to shake out all of the bugs. Surprise so far was acceleration position sensor failure (P0121) code. Car will be too far away for me to fix as we go. So major PM on all systems in the next 2 weeks.
how did the shims work out ?
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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how did the shims work out ?
Clvannoy1,
===>>> Please update your user CP info....

click on your icon----> click on Account Settings---->
goto Account Details----> add vehicle details---->
ADD your make model YEAR ----> click save.
 
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Anybody know if you should run grease under the dust cap for the input shaft? Thank you in advance
 
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