I am assuming you have 6 one ton jackstands right?
Neil, this is a tough one without a car lift. I believe that the 500E has clips on the inside of the differential housing to keep the axles inside the differential. However if you took the bolts going from the CV joint area to the axle spline shaft off, you might be able to drop it down. That differential is very heavy in the 500E. The person to really ask about this is Tom (Subman) because remember he did the 2.82 Diff into his E420.
Do you have a limited slip for your 500E now??? That would be cool.
I was looking in the service manual library, it seems pretty difficult for the 500E, but you should really ask Tom becaue he has specific experience with those differentials.
I think your Wagen differntial is much easier to change. The differentials are not the same, but Im sure you know that.
No Benzes in the stable at the moment, but itching for one again.
Former Mercedes in the Stable:
1983 300CD Turbo diesel 515k mi sold
1984 300CD Turbo Diesel 150 k mi sold
1982 300D Turbo Diesel 225 sold
1987 300D Turbo Diesel 255k mi sold
1988 300 CE AMG Hammer 15k mi sold
1986 300E Amg Hammer 88k mi sold
1992 500E 156k mi sold