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Old 10-08-2003, 05:03 PM
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ABS & rear diff on W123 wagon

I've an 83 300td with a bit of a noisy rear diff. Now the vehicle has ABS and I noticed a sensor on the rear diff. Can anyone confirm whether all W123 diffs have this 'location' for the sensor or are the ABS compatible diffs different from the non-ABS version?

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Old 10-08-2003, 06:37 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 471
Your wagon has antilock brakes? I had no idea any 123's had ABS....

So, related to your question: Does anyone know if it's possible to install ABS on a non-ABS equipped 123?
'81 300TD Wagon 355k (Miss Diesel)
'83 300SD 180k
'84 500SEL 190k (Parting it out)
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Old 10-08-2003, 07:01 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Canton,Texas
Posts: 987
Interesting..... none of the W123's here in the States have ABS that I'm aware of. You'll probably have to find someone at a shop that knows that vintage of MB to ask... otherwise maybe some repair manual might give the info. Maybe just a visual inspection will tell you?
1985 300D Turbo ~225k
2000 F350 (Powerstroke) 4X4, SWB, CC, SRW, 6spd ~148k
1999 International 4900, DT466e (250hp/660 ft/lbs), Allison MD3060 ~73k
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:23 PM
Fimum Fit
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Are you sure

that it's not just the speedometer sensor?
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Old 10-09-2003, 01:45 AM
AMGmercedes's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 222
I would think they are different. Even if they were not and the hole for the ABS sensor were plugged there is a toothed wheel on the pinion that would have to be added. To do that you would have to take the diff apart and pull the pinion out the back, so a good amount of work. In summary look for an ABS specific diff. You could always put a non ABS diff in but the ABS wouldnt work, it needs the speed input from the rear axle
2006 E320 CDI
1998 S320
1987 190E 2.3-16

1990 300D 2.5 Turbo(sold)
1987 300SDL Turbo(sold)
1987 300TD Turbo(sold)
1987 190D 2.5 Turbo 5sp(sold)
1985 190E 2.3-16(sold)
1984 500SEC(sold)
1984 230TE(sold)
1978 240D(sold)-Miss it!
1972 280SE 4.5(sold)
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Old 10-09-2003, 01:10 PM
Marshall Booth
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US delivered 123s did NOT have ABS or limited slip rear ends! Most rear end noise is because the mounts have failed and NOT because the rear end has failed.

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Old 10-09-2003, 01:46 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: En te l'eau Rant
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ABS was available on UK models of the W123 T-wagen...dunno about those left on the continent.
Never a dull moment at Berry Hill Farm.
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Old 10-09-2003, 02:27 PM
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Mr Booth .... Which mounts are you referring to?

This particular differential has a leaking front pinion oil seal. When I got the car 6 months ago, I managed to put about 1/2 - 3/4 litre of oil in the rear diff - so I'm assuming that some damage has been done - However, I'd be only too pleased if something simpler could fix the growl i.e. mounts (whereever they are?) or maybe 'molyslip' - at the moment the car is up on stands as I contemplate whether to change the front seal or change the diff!

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Old 10-09-2003, 03:54 PM
Marshall Booth
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In the 123 manual or on the CD job 35-520 adequately covers the soft coupling of the differential to the chassis.

Most leaks occur because the vent/brather is clogged up and pressure pushes oil out the fron seal. Sometimes opening the breather will stem the leak - sometimes it won't. Replacing the seal is covered a few pages later (35-530 I think).


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