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Discussion Starter #1
This week my transfer case has been vibrating like hell...
I can't figure it out.
The gear shifter vibrates and shakes REALLY BAD.

• It only happens when while I am accelerating (when it's under load). The second take my foot off the accelerator, it stops vibrating.
• It only vibrates between 0-40mph. Once you reach 40mph, the vibration smoothes out to normal and does not return at any other higher speeds.
• I have also removed the front drive shaft and sent it out to be balanced. Even with the front drive shaft removed (and the transfer case locked) it still vibrates the same.

Please let me know if you can help...
 

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1997 G320, 2001 CL55
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Looks like you cut and pasted one of my posts from six weeks ago. I had the same exact problem. Transfer case shifter started shakin really bad when I started from a dead stop or had to pull up a hill. Smoothed out as I reached about 40ish, but kicked right back in when I slowed.

I had my front driveshaft removed and sent it out of town to be balanced....Ends up that the U-joints were shot and could not be replaced. I had a hard time believing the joints couldn't be replaced, but after several weeks without my ride, a LOT of research and desperate attempts...I gave up and bought a new factory shaft.

It worked!....I still have a lil vibration that I want to cure, but the out of control shaking that made the truck nearly undrivable was fixed. By the time I took my truck to have the shaft removed, it felt like my front right wheel was going to fall off....really started shaking bad after a while and I thought it was the front CV, axle or bearings...

I feel your pain...Please let me know what you do to fix the problem. My solution worked, but pretty expensive.....

Good Luck!
Robert
 

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One other solution might be to check the T-case mounting bracket or the three rubber donut gaskets that bolt the case to the truck. I had hoped that this was my issue, since these parts totaled only a few hundred bucks, but had no luck.

Hope that's it, think that's a pretty easy job...(coming from a novice that's never done it before)

Robert
 

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Hello,
Had this problem few years ago on my 230G, it was the T case mountings that were shot. They costed me 98 us dollars (back to 98)[:)]

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right now, the front drive shaft is removed. I'm leaving to pick it up from the drive shaft balance shop after I write this message. I will have the truck on a lift later today in order to install it again. While I am at it, I will think about removing the rear drive shaft to see if it helps.

When I dropped off my front drive shaft, we looked it over, and it seemed to be in pretty good shape (especially for having over 100,000 miles).

How much were the T-Case mounts when you looked them up?
How much were the replacement Drive Shafts?
Where did you get them?

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One other thing...
When I dropped off my drive shaft, we looked it over. He brought to my attention that they were 45 degrees out of phase!
The joint knuckles did not line up on both ends. He told me that having them lined up, could reduce vibrations.
Since the reason that I brought in the drive shaft was becuase two of the balance weights flew off, I was going to let them correct it and give it a try.
Do any of you know anything about this?

Chuck
 

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Chuck,

if you would be so kind and let us know which of your two G has the problem and whether it is a swb or lwb we could possibly help you. Bt the way, the U-joint offset on a 460 is 78 degrees for the front shaft (swb and lwb). It makes you cry when "driveshaft specialists" tell you, your U-joints are misaligned. That's why I created the stickers: "It's NOT a Jeep... you wouldn't understand" http://4x4abc.com/its-not-a-jeep.html

Also, I have made the drive shaft specs available a long time ago to all who can't afford the $34 for a proper manual: http://www.rubicon-trail.com/public/4151propshaft.pdf
http://www.rubicon-trail.com/public/4161propshaft.pdf
http://www.rubicon-trail.com/public/4121propshaft.pdf

Harald
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think that I found the problem. While testing the truck, I drove it in low gear. Instead of smoothing out around 40mph, it smoothed out around 20mph.
My vibrations seem to be coming from the CV shaft between the Transmission and Transfer Case.

I'm also going to check if the mounts are getting a little worn or soft too. The truck was still too hot when I was under it last.

That brings up another question...
Does the Transfer Case have a cooler?
Everything under there seemed hot as hell. That might just be perspective of crawling under a hot truck touching everything with my bare hands...

Can these be rebuilt? or must I buy a new one from Mercedes?

Chuck
 

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Chuck, which truck are you having the problem with? The 460 has a cardan u-joint shaft. The 463 uses a C/V shaft. The transfer cases do not have a cooler. A good reason for using a full synthetic oil like Redline MTL or something that can withstand high temp running.

-Dai
 

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Braingears - 5/15/2005 11:51 AM


That brings up another question...
Does the Transfer Case have a cooler?
Everything under there seemed hot as hell. That might just be perspective of crawling under a hot truck touching everything with my bare hands...

Can these be rebuilt? or must I buy a new one from Mercedes?

Chuck
No cooler. Switch to Redline MTL or a similar synthetic; and you'll run quite a bit cooler.

There is a "parts kit" for the drive shaft. Don't know what it includes or if it's even considered to be a rebuildable item.

TC's can be had rebuilt, but you best try to find one out of a wreck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dai - 5/15/2005 12:17 PM

Chuck, which truck are you having the problem with? The 460 has a cardan u-joint shaft. The 463 uses a C/V shaft. The transfer cases do not have a cooler. A good reason for using a full synthetic oil like Redline MTL or something that can withstand high temp running.

-Dai
Right now, I only have the G320.
Today I installed the front drive shaft. They must have screwed something up. I swear it vibrates more than when I dropped it off!
Damn I hate crap like that...

Chuck
 

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Braingears - 5/15/2005 7:40 PM

Dai - 5/15/2005 12:17 PM

Chuck, which truck are you having the problem with? The 460 has a cardan u-joint shaft. The 463 uses a C/V shaft. The transfer cases do not have a cooler. A good reason for using a full synthetic oil like Redline MTL or something that can withstand high temp running.

-Dai
Right now, I only have the G320.
Today I installed the front drive shaft. They must have screwed something up. I swear it vibrates more than when I dropped it off!
Damn I hate crap like that...

Chuck
The arrows on each side of the slip joint need to point at each other. If they balanced it with them out of line, you're going to have vibrations.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DUTCH - 5/15/2005 7:51 PM

The arrows on each side of the slip joint need to point at each other. If they balanced it with them out of line, you're going to have vibrations.
Mine has an arrow (next to the grease nipple), and what appears to be a long pointing line (about 1 inch in length on the U joint). Since it's only on one side and lines up with the arrow, Jackpot.
(--> <=======).
There is no matching arrow that it shows in the manual
(--> <--).
 

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Didn't you say they were going to re-align the shafts or something like that since there were out of phase... maybe they pulled it apart and re-slipped it together in what they thought would be a new more "in-phase" orientation... only to be wrong... so the side with the arrows is still lined up, but if the other side doesn't have arrows, unless they remember what they did... the correct position for that side is lost?

i could be way off base here, just speculating...
 

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Chuck,

the arrows are sometimes hard to find under the thick coat of paint.
I had to use a wire brush to make mine visible and even then it is hard to see (img 1).
Checking some of my shafts I noticed a common feature - the arrow on the joint is always next to the nipple (img 2).
Properly aligned a 460 front shaft has to look like in image 3. Since yours is a 463 it will look different (offset 50 degrees - which is pretty much what your "experts" told you was wrong - well, its not). Get the wire brush out and clean below the nipple. I am almost certain that that's where you'll find the missing arrow.

Harald
 

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Discussion Starter #16
AMAZING!
The axle shop removed the short shaft between the transmission and the transfer case.
They took apart the CV Joint and found virtually no grease. The stuff that we found in the joint was more like a very thick tar (with characteristics of a thick putty too). It was so thick that it did not allow the ball bearings to roll properly in the CV Joint.
Although I had been driving through some pretty deep water several weeks before, there was absolutely no sign of water contaminating the joints. They were sealed tight! There was also no signs of the boots tearing and/or leaking grease.

They were able to rebuild the joints!
They welded a bead in the wear points, then (very carefully) ground them back to a perfect bore.
They also replaced all of the bearings in both of the joints.
They re-packed and assembled the joints and shaft again and tested them.

They are charging me less than $200 to remove, rebuild, and replace the drive shaft (with new bolts).
They are also going to re-install the re-balanced front driveshaft at no additional charge. Once I gave them a copy of the driveshaft manuals. They were even amazed at the results after making the offset corrections.

I finally found some "Old School" Techs who are able to rebuild these with quality and integrity rather than simply replace parts.

Chuck
 
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