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  #1  
Old 06-06-2003, 12:01 PM
Mark Stetson's Avatar
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500E driveshaft problems?

Have any 500E owners ever had any trouble with their driveshaft? I have a mildly annoying slight vibration in my car that (a) I feel through the seat, not the steering wheel, (b) occurs from about 45 mph to about 75 mph, and (c) seems to vibrate faster than the wheel rpm. The problem has been with me for as long as I've owned the car - 2 years/17,000mi. The dealer replaced the trans and the trans tunnel insulation blanket shortly after I bought the car (Starmark - 99K mi.). I had the front flex disc replaced and the rear one tightened. I'm the third owner. I have complete service records on the car, but no direct knowledge of any collision. I wouldn't rule out a rear end collision that may have required a respray on the trunk lid and a new bumper, but I'm not sure. I'm wondering if maybe the driveshaft is bent or out of balance. The car is otherwise in excellent condition as Guido and -fad will attest. Any thoughts?

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1995 E320 Wagon Moonstone Grey/Parchment 106K mi.
2007 E63 AMG Graphite/designo 75K mi
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2003, 12:31 PM
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I had the same issue with my car only it showed up at higher speeds (80 - 110). I had my mechanic check the driveline and all components and nothing was found.

I recently changed my wheels and tires and guess what......that's exactly where the problem was. If your due for some new tires take a look at the Hunter 9700 with ridematch when balancing your tires. It's expensive but the ridie is as smooth as butter.

If your tires are fine maybe you should look at rebalancing them with this machine. It will also tell you if you have any serious problems with any of your wheels or tires. Worth checking into.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2003, 03:08 PM
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Wheels/tire combo: 8.25x17 EVO-II w/ 245/45x17 S-03's. It seems that the vibration is at least twice as fast as the wheel rpm - that's why I thought maybe driveshaft. Afshin, did your vibration also seem faster than wheel rpm?
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2003, 03:21 PM
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The vibration I noticed was interesting. I only noticed it when I was accelerating very hard and only in the speed ranges I mentioned. The vibration remained constant irregardless of speed which made me think it was the driveshaft, additionally I only felt it in the seat and not the steering wheel. After inspecting the wear items in the drive shaft I decided I would hold off tearing the car apart until I installed the new wheels/tires.

I have the exact same wheel/tire combo you do, how long has it been since you balanced the tires? Also how often do you drive the car. I drive mine once a week if I'm lucky and usually only once every couple of weeks. I've noticed that these tires and the SO2's I had before flatspotted and required at least 20 miles to smooth them out.
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2003, 04:16 PM
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Greetings Mark- hope you and your family are well. I can certainly attest to the top condition and appearance of your car! As I said 2 years ago, "I wish my car will look this good at 100k miles!". Mark's car looks no older than a 2 year-old vehicle.

In my limited experience, I've not heard of any 500e500 owners with driveshaft balance issues.

It does sound logical that the driveshaft may be a contributor to your condition- - although if it weren't too much trouble, I'd have a reputable shop w/ Hunter equipment (recently calibrated) balance the wheels (as they ride with the current weights on) to determine how far off "fine setting" tolerance they currently are. If they require a signif. amount of weight - I'd rebalance the offending wheel/tire and test again. This process would eliminate this source. I have witnessed tires with internal defects that only show themslives via unsolvable vibration issues. We tried remouting the tire, rotating it 45% on the wheel on remount- - then balancing again.

On this string of thought- the shop can balance the wheel(s) itself to observe how much weight is needed to get tolerance into the "fine setting"/ 0.00 (weight needed). You may conclude that a particular wheel may be a blaring problem child. They can also review wheel run out, because mated together to a defective tire- - can also result in the condition you've described.

On a different note, I understand that there are shops that custom balance driveshafts so it wouldn't hurt to consult with them for an inspection/ estimate.- -eliminating another possibility / continuing the diagnosis exercise

fwiw- I had an '86 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrfolgio awhile back and it exhibited conditions as you described....it turned out to need both Guibo's (rubber donuts) replaced- - even though the parts appeared to be in satisfactory condition. I believe the Guibo/donuts are key to the driveline system and in particular to eliminating the assoc. vibration....perhaps a closer inspection of yours may reveal another contributor

RE: flatspotting
Yes S-03's flatspot if not used frequently (Corvette and Porsche Turbo's with S-03's are no different)....I solved this problem by storing the car over the winter on TomE500's Original MB e500 Wheels with Pirelli P6000 WR Summer's (no flatspotting whatsoever on the Pirelli's).


Hope this helps and best regards
-fad
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2003, 06:23 PM
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OT

Hey Mark, did I drive right by you on Hawthorne the other day?
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2003, 11:40 AM
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Afshin and -fad - two of the tires are new. My wife (really!) picked up a 6-inch framing spike in one tire so I replaced the pair. I forgot to remind the tire shop to mount the rims cone-to-cone during balancing, and I noticed they used a lot more balance weight than they used on the original four a year or so ago. I think I'll take it back for a re-check. The flatspotting sounds like a better theory than driveshaft. I've only been driving the car once every few weeks for the past several months while I finished a marathon job, and my wife usually doesn't drive it at all - we were one car short for a day. I think I'll find an excuse for a long drive and see how it feels.

Daesun - It could well have been me. The tire store is on Hawthorne. I missed you but I saw a '92-'93 500E on PV Drive North on Saturday. It's one I've seen several times before.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2003, 12:23 PM
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FWIW, I've always had a vibration at 100-120kph that is cured by dynamic (on-vehicle) front wheel balancing.

The dealer told me this is a known issue with the W124036 and S-Class for which they had to purchase the dynamic balancer.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2003, 12:59 PM
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Dean - interesting comment - first I've heard of it. Glad I haven't experienced it!

MBZ has an alignment tol to ensure the entire drivetrain is aligned - actually saw this device on my car, as I had a weird vibration at low speed (20-25MPH). They slightly moved my tranny mount, and the vibration went away.

Hope this helps, rather than confuse the situation. I'd assuredly start with the tires, though!
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2006, 10:09 AM
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Vibration Problem

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but my 500E has an identical problem. Vibration from 45 - 75 mph. So far my mechanic and I have tried dynamic balancing of the wheels (including new Michelins), balancing the driveshaft, replacing halfshafts. Flex discs do not appear to be worn but have not been replaced. Nothing seems to help.

Mark, if you are still around, did you ever solve this problem?
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2006, 12:23 PM
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Focus on the wheel balance

I think my vibration symptoms were caused by a combination of subtle road surface washboard, and wheel balance. I can't do anything about the crap roads in urban LA - I finally saw the road ripple in early morning light. That answered part of my problem. The W124's are known for sensitivity to wheel balance. I was researching the wheel balance problem and came across a thread that described a cone-to-cone (rather than cone-to-flat) assembly of the wheel onto the dynamic balancer that my tire store happens to use. When they used that approach, and took their time balancing the wheels right, it made a huge difference. I try to remind them every time, and I'm not shy about bringing my 500E back for a re-do. I have the EVO-II 17" rims with Bridgestone S-03's. They're a little heavier than the stock wheel-tire combo, so they need the extra care. They are high quality products, however, so when they are balanced right, they are really smooth.
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Last edited by Mark Stetson; 11-21-2006 at 12:28 PM. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2006, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for the quick response. I am beginning to come to a similar conclusion - due to the taut suspension the car is just very sensitive to wheel balance and irregular road surfaces. (By the way, if you think the roads in LA are bad you should try driving in Ohio!)

I will ask about the cone to cone wheel balancing.

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