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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new to this forum...

Has any of you had to replace Center Bearing (for the drive shaft)? For my '98 ML320, When I open the door/window and drive slowly, I can hear a metal-on-metal whine. Some times it's pronounced, some times it's muted. The noise is more pronounced while driving in reverse on to a sloped-higher driveway.

1. Are the above symptoms of a failing center bearing?

2. Best place to buy a center bearing?

pcy
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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1,562 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Gary,

Thanks for your feedback. If the noise is from
the torsion bar, I would've only expected the noise if truck is swaying to the left/right. The whining noise, in my case, comes even if the truck is going on a relatively flat driveway/road...
Any other thoughts?
 

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2000 ML430, 2005 C320 4matic
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98 Posts
what about your wheel bearings? I think those are more common to go. do you feel any vibration from the shaft?

I would replace the wheel bearings first, if no driveshaft movement.
 

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98 ML320 / 06 S2000 / 12 E350 BTC
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856 Posts
It sounds more like the the Transfer case chain. It's normal on the older MY98 ML320 because of the 50/50 torque split. Until you change the gearing of the transfer case to 48/52. The sound will stay with you.


Denis
 

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dracul00 - 2/15/2005 10:13 PM

what about your wheel bearings? I think those are more common to go. do you feel any vibration from the shaft?

I would replace the wheel bearings first, if no driveshaft movement.
Wheel bearings tend to be noisy when the vehicle is turning, so a wheel bearing on the left of the vehicle will be noisy when the vehicle is turning to the right and vice versa.

Centre bearings tend to make a rumbling sound which is difficult to locate or they vibrate more at one specific speed, but in general they tend to be noisier when the vehicle is going faster.
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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1,562 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I crawled under the car. I was able to move the
propeller shaft by grabbing the propeller shaft
(where it connects to the center bearing). She shaft moves may be about 1/16th of an inch. I am attaching the picture of the bearing...

My question is, is that (shaft wobbling 1/16th of an inch) indication of bearing on it's way out?

I was surprised to see the bearing is made out of rubber material.
 

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PCY,

No bearing is made off rubber material, I have not crawled under my ML to look but if it’s the drive shaft going into the transmission or differential housing what you first encounter is a seal,, the housing of a seal is made of steel and the area that contacts the shaft is made out of a rubber compound.
There are also sealed bearings and the area between the two racers is sealed with a rubber compound, in both cases it is done to seal dirt from getting into the machinery.
 

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98 ML 320, BMW 3 series
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130 Posts
When my driveshaft bearing failed I was on the highway and heard a knocking noise as I was driving, pulled over checked the wheels and found everything looked ok.

I continued to drive and the vibration and knocking got worse, pulled over and I had it towed. Repair was ~$250 at my local independent shop.
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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Discussion Starter #10
Andrew,

Thanks for the explanation. What you said makes sense from what I see on the truck.

I checked around; center bearing is around $195 online. I will order one and have it replaced during the summer.

thanks again
 

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2014 ML350 BlueTec
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2,626 Posts
marcelc - 2/14/2005 6:04 PM

dracul00 - 2/15/2005 10:13 PM

what about your wheel bearings? I think those are more common to go. do you feel any vibration from the shaft?

I would replace the wheel bearings first, if no driveshaft movement.
Wheel bearings tend to be noisy when the vehicle is turning, so a wheel bearing on the left of the vehicle will be noisy when the vehicle is turning to the right and vice versa.

Centre bearings tend to make a rumbling sound which is difficult to locate or they vibrate more at one specific speed, but in general they tend to be noisier when the vehicle is going faster.
l had my Driveshaft centre bearing changed as well...and yes..it became louder, as l drove faster...
 

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98 ML320
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16 Posts
Howdy!
My 98 just had the mid bearing replaced two months ago. The symptons were identical to what you are experencing PCY. After two incorrect attempts to locate the noise, one by a inde garage and the other a stealership, the bearing decided to gave up the ghost on the tail end of a week long trip. The boys @ Beck MB in Charlotte, NC got us on the road again and the noise vanished. The MB pro's in Asheville said the noise we heard came from cheep, aftermarket brake parts. What a joke, they replaced the brakes for the previous owner not 8 months ago. At least the inde garage told me it was most likely rear drive train related! Take care of this 'caus it will leave you stranded.
 

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mercedes ML 270 CDI
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28 Posts
ae86pwr - 2/14/2005 5:48 PM

It sounds more like the the Transfer case chain. It's normal on the older MY98 ML320 because of the 50/50 torque split. Until you change the gearing of the transfer case to 48/52. The sound will stay with you.


Denis
DO you know when MB changed to 48/52 ?
Does my 270 CDI ML'2000 have 48/52 or 50/50 ?
 

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SLK55,CayenneS,XKR
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its about the 50/50 's on the early ml's 98/99 mine has the moaning or the sound when you turn left and right
lol i was taking my grandfather to the supermarket and he says why does your ml sound like an RC car when it runs
Th day after i took it to the dealer and they fixed it[:)]
 

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SLK55,CayenneS,XKR
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JALAFER YOUR ML HAS THE 48/
NOT THE 50/50 ithinked they fixed this problem in ML'S 2000+ AND UP SO your ml doesnt have the 50/50
SMILE[8D] AND DRIVE SAFELY
 

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2010 ML350 Bluetec
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519 Posts
This just happened to my mom today. She's having it towed to the shop now. So the price range is $250-$800? Huge gap.

@TheWheel - 2/15/2005 2:28 PM

When my driveshaft bearing failed I was on the highway and heard a knocking noise as I was driving, pulled over checked the wheels and found everything looked ok.

I continued to drive and the vibration and knocking got worse, pulled over and I had it towed. Repair was ~$250 at my local independent shop.
 

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ML 320, 320i, 328i
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73 Posts
Hi,

It sounds like brake pad scraping the rotors which can be normal. Are your brakes working ok? Do you have a little break squeal when you stop? If so than I would say it is your brake pad causing the noise you are hearing.

If you had a bad bearing in the drive shaft than you will hear a loud humming noise at highway speeds (50mph or higher). So if your ML runs quite when you are on the highway than I would forget about the noise unless the noise is getting louder.

Steven [:)]
 

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I have to same problem on mine! Here's what I found out.

I just got back from the dealer a few minutes ago, after describing the same sound you are hearing on my 1998 ML320. The SA says that I would need a new transfer case, $2600 part + $350 labor. Since they don't sell individual parts, they would have to replace the entire unit. The cause of the sound is due to a damaged chain or bearing within the transfer case itself.
 
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