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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at my case i see that some of the spots are dark on it. implying that there is indeed a leak or was there. sometimes when i drive, mostly lately, i notice that like 1st gear or second tend to carry on into a high rpm without changing for a while like it cant find the next gear or something. do you think that my transfer case fluid is low? and if i take it to a jiffy lube or when i get my oil change if they can do it?
 

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2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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It sounds more like low tranny fluid. The wet spots could be from the tranny also. Check around the transfer case to see where the leaks coming from if you can. Jiffy lube can top off the transfer case, no problem.

It's real easy to check. All you need is a 3/8 ratchet. Remove the top fill nut and add Dextron III ATF until if flows out.

As for the tranny, you need to have a dipstick.

Hope it works for you.
 

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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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Discussion Starter #3
hey precision, i was able to get under the car and the leak looks like its comming from one bolt that is parallel with whatever shaft that goes into the case. I'll buy some of that Dextron and just put some in. I guess the sticky on how to put in the fluid is how i'm supposed to do it, right??? as for the tranny fluid, i'll make the guys that do my oil change to check it out in like 3 weeks when i go there.
 

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2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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Yea the sticky is excellent. I usually change the transfer fluid once a year. It's real easy and cost less than $15 (2 quarts of Dextron III ATF, I use Mobil 1 ATF)
You don't even have to jack it up. Just crawl under there. Not bad at all.

I wouldn't wait 3 weeks to check the tranny fluid. It sounds low. You definitely don't want to drive hard.

Only use Mercedes ATF for the tranny. (Take a quart to your guy)

Mercedes Benz ML430 Transmission Fluid - ML 430 A/T Fluid - Mercedes Benz - 1 Liter Trans : 722.663
 

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from personal experience and from working there i would stay away from jiffy.....they dont even have the right ratchet for german cars....i would take it to your preferred guy if you want it done right
 

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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
from personal experience and from working there i would stay away from jiffy.....they dont even have the right ratchet for german cars....i would take it to your preferred guy if you want it done right
the transfer case fluid i'll do myself probably on monday.

i'll buy that mercedes tranny fluid and have my guy check it
 

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99 ML430 - 13 328i
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Discussion Starter #7
oh, another thing. looking at the pic from the sticky, this bolt (circled) is the one its leaking from. can i just like take it out and put a new one? or is it that the whole gasket is messed up? i heard that job is a PITA

 

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1999 ML320
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Sorry to hijack your thread, but is there anywhere I can get a tranny dipstick for... cheap? I'm planning on doing my own fluid change and don't have a dipstick. Would it be a bad idea to just measure what I take out and add that much back in? *shrug* :\
 

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1999 ML320
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Yeah, 50s is the lowest I've found it for. I heard you could make your own? That'd be nice, but probably not accurate... Iunno. Also... How do you guys know the temp of your tranny for using the dipstick? It has to be 80 degrees and the only way I've heard of is a infrared temperature gun thingy, and I don't feel like buying something else...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i was told just to have the car running and the engine warm to check the temp. i'd run it probably to just a little bit below the center mark on the temp gauge.
 

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2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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oh, another thing. looking at the pic from the sticky, this bolt (circled) is the one its leaking from. can i just like take it out and put a new one? or is it that the whole gasket is messed up? i heard that job is a PITA

There is a gasket around the bolt. When you take the bolt out, it shouldn't leak any more than it already is.

As for re-sealing the leaking gasket, you should be able to remove the bolt and fill the hole with blue silicone (not thread locker) & then install the bolt again. This should seal the leak around the bolt. Wipe off any excess after installing the bolt.
 

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2003 ML350, Trabant P60, VWJetta, BMWG650GS
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As for re-sealing the leaking gasket, you should be able to remove the bolt and fill the hole with blue silicone (not thread locker) & then install the bolt again. This should seal the leak around the bolt. Wipe off any excess after installing the bolt.
How's the silicone supposed to work while the oil is leaking out? Besides, these bolts are being teightened in sequence and furthermore, they might be self locking screws that once used need to be replaced with new ones. Thread locker or whatever other compound is rated to certain temperature, is that lower than the temp the transfer case is running at?

I would just refill, check after a week or so and if the leak is still there I'd take it to somebody who's experienced with the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Small update: i went under the car and cleaned up the transfer case. got rid of all of the gunk under there. so far it looks like that bolt is not leaking at all. probably just some build up. i'm gonna do the oil change monday. i'll keep you updated
 

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2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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Great you cleaned it up and doesn't seem to be leaking. That will save you some work.

How's the silicone supposed to work while the oil is leaking out? Besides, these bolts are being teightened in sequence and furthermore, they might be self locking screws that once used need to be replaced with new ones. Thread locker or whatever other compound is rated to certain temperature, is that lower than the temp the transfer case is running at?

I would just refill, check after a week or so and if the leak is still there I'd take it to somebody who's experienced with the issue.
Here is a link to the Permatex ultra blue I was talking about. It is rated to 400 degrees and resists transmission fluids.

http://www.permatex.com/documents/tds/automotive/81724.pdf

Although everything should be as clean as possible, it will cure with some oil. I've used it and so far have not had any leaks. It is designed for superior bonding properties to oil contaminated metals as compared to other formed-in-place gaskets, and maintains outstanding oil resistance.
 
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