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  #1  
Old 07-09-2007, 12:50 PM
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Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule

Recently picked up a '01 ML430, reasonably clean, but in excellent mechanical condition. Since I perform virtually all my own maintenance, I want to assemble a comprehensive maintenance program for the vehicle. Attached is a .pdf file containing my first draft. This is geared for the DIY, so some MB tests, such as the MB Battery Capacity Test, are not included.

Most maintenance is scheduled by mileage. However, there are occasions where a vehicle may be a ‘garage queen’ or true ‘Sunday-driver’. Thus, there are calendar times for most maintenance actions to ensure idle time does not adversely deteriorate the vehicle.

I am looking for constructive feedback, pro and con, and am especially looking for feedback on items that I may have overlooked. Since I am a recent ML owner, I have little to no experience with this model. It is very likely there are items that I simply missed because I do not know about them.

Arguably, I change filters and fluids more frequently than MB requires. But considering my other 3 MB's ('79 240D, '94 SL500, '96 SL600) have a combined total of 560K+ miles without major drivetrain issue, I think my frequency is good prevention. Thanks in advance!
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File Type: pdf Maint. Schedule for ML430.pdf (4.9 KB, 337 views)
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2007, 12:56 PM
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Wish I could be as fastiduous on vehicle maintenance as you. Unfortunately, I am a slave to the "wrench" icon when it comes to service, as I have little time available for any of the drudgery...I work on the W124, but leave the other vehicles to my trusted indie.

That said, due to the high cost of ML brake services, I would do the pads and rotors on my former W163 myself...and I have read threads here that confirm my short 20K or so pad wear intervals for this particular vehicle. In my case, that worked out to a full-circle brake job every 16 months...
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2007, 01:09 PM
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Thanks G-Benz for the compliment. Being recently retired, I now have the time to enjoy my 'hobby', but I do understand being a "slave to the "wrench" icon".

Thanks also for the info on brake usage. I, too, have read some articles on brake issues; specifically that ML's have smaller brakes. Hence, the faster wear. Fortunately at the moment, my ML does not need brakes.
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2007, 12:43 PM
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Not sure how to interpret the 'silence' from everyone. It's either that you're all laughing hysterically... or the schedule is way too-over-the-top. Any and all comments are welcome.
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'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2007, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB-Dude View Post
Not sure how to interpret the 'silence' from everyone. It's either that you're all laughing hysterically... or the schedule is way too-over-the-top.
Nah... none of us bother with maintenance. They don't require any.

That's why we bought 'em.



P.S. I bring it in to dealer.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2007, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB-Dude View Post
Not sure how to interpret the 'silence' from everyone. It's either that you're all laughing hysterically... or the schedule is way too-over-the-top. Any and all comments are welcome.

Looks like you've got everything covered. Maybe a little over kill on some items, but thats your choice. The Engine Timing Chain/Belt - Replace, I don't believe needs to be done. Have never heard of anyone having a problem with the chain wearing out or needing to be replaced. My 2 cents.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2007, 10:21 PM
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Thanks Azinn for the feedback. I do tend to err on performing maintenance more frequently, and freely admit that being retired allows me the time.

The timing chain maintenance was born from a timing chain failure I had in an '88 420SEL years ago. The car was well maintained, but had 150K+ on the odometer. Anyway, the chain tensioner failed, causing the chain to "skip a tooth" or two on the left bank of cylinders. Needless to say, I required new valves and head work.

In determining root cause, it seems the chain tensioner simply wore away to the point where it no longer functioned as a tensioner. Hence, the problem. While I describe the maintenance action as a timing chain replacement, I also include the tensioner assembly. If you do one, you might as well do the other.

I canvassed about a dozen repair shops - including Mercedes dealerships - and general consensus was that timing chains/belts of *any* make/model vehicle should be changed periodically (timing *belts*, especially). But I did get a surprisingly wide array of frequencies - from 90K to 200K miles. Frequency is dependent on engine design, make, driving conditions, maintenance history, etc., etc., so I guess it could be up to personal discretion.

In my mind, it has been cheaper to change timing chains and tensioner assemblies periodically, rather than experience the failure.

Thanks again Azinn for the feedback!
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'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2007, 08:20 AM
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I have always OVER maintained my cars/trucks but not to that extent!

A 4K oil change is way over-kill with today's oils. Should be able to go at least 6K on regular oil & 8K on synthetic.

There isn't any throttle linkage on that Benz to lubricate.

Timing CHAINS on M112 engines will last 200K+ miles..should be inspected when ever the valve covers are removed.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2007, 09:15 AM
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Thank you M.B. Doc for the feedback. LOL Yes, I have been accused of being quite aggressive with maintenance frequency. Guess it's a remnant for my professional days. Anyway, I use synthetic (Mobil One), but was under the impression (perhaps wrongly) that synthetic oil should be changed at the same frequency as traditional, regular oil - that synthetic's advantage was that it stood up better over the usage period. That traditional olil breaks down steadily, while synthetic oil holds up well, but then breaks down quickly at end of life. If you feel the synthetic also goes further, than I will seriously consider extending my oil changes.

Yes, there is no throttle linkage per se on my vehicle. Nevertheless, I was following the illustration in the MB Maintenance Manual (S-2389-CS1, dated 04/96) on page 3022-3. I believe the manual applies to the W163 model. Please correct if I am wrong. Anyway, the illustration is indicative of drive-by-wire systems.

Also (from my old days, racing dirt bikes), I use a cable lubricator to shoot a little lubricant up the throttle cable. Keeps it running smoothly.

Good feedback on the timing chain. I suppose timing chain/tensioner engineering has come a long way since the mid-80's. Guess I was stuck in a time warp. LOL

Thanks again M.B. Doc for your insight and thoughts. This is why I was seeking feedback!
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OBK Member #47 (W123 Division)
'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2007, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB-Dude View Post
Also (from my old days, racing dirt bikes), I use a cable lubricator to shoot a little lubricant up the throttle cable. Keeps it running smoothly.
Could you post a link to the cable lubricator? I didn't know such a thing existed...
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2007, 05:04 PM
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Cable Life - Cable Lubricating Tool & Lubricant

Kenyee, here's the link you asked about...

http://www.protectallindustrial.com/lubes.htm

The product is called Cable Life and is top of the page. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the widget/tool; only a description. This weekend, I'll take a couple photos of the tool and how it works by lubricating my SL500 Throttle Cable.
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'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2007, 05:50 PM
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Thanks. Just needed the name. Dug up a bunch of links:

http://www.protectall.com/cablelif2.htm
http://www.parkeryamaha.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=17381
http://www.sandhillspowersports.com/sandhills/OnlineStore.do?DSP=200&PCR=1:5:50021&IID=petrochem_cablubr_06
http://www.sandhillspowersports.com/sandhills/OnlineStore.do?DSP=200&PCR=1:5:50021&IID=petrochem_cablif_06

Do you have to unhook the ML throttle cable to lube it from the hood area? Or do you unhook it from the pedal to lube it?
I can't picture how it works from the photos. It looks like you use it to pry up part of the sheath, then you inject it and it flows down the cable, so how do you keep it from puddling on the pedal end? :-)
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post
Do you have to unhook the ML throttle cable to lube it from the hood area? Or do you unhook it from the pedal to lube it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post
I can't picture how it works from the photos. It looks like you use it to pry up part of the sheath, then you inject it and it flows down the cable, so how do you keep it from puddling on the pedal end? :-)


Have not done the ML yet, but have done a number of other cables (for years) in various applications. The beauty of the system is the cable does not have to be disassembled or removed, depending on how it's mounted. There probably are exceptions, but I have not come across one yet. On my SL's, lubricating the cables is a snap - literally 90 seconds. The ML looks a bit tougher only because of the way the cable is mounted.

The tool is slotted along its side so that it easily fits over the exposed, movable cable. One end of the tool is fairly tight which creates sort of a seal on the cable end away from the peddle. The other end is a bit larger and is designed to make a seal at the end of the cable sheath, where the movable cable exits. Two thumbscrews on the tool press a clamping bar around a hefty piece of rubber, effectively encapsulating and sealing the end of the cable sheath.

There is a small hole in the side of the tool which allows the small plastic tube that comes with all aerosol lubricants (i.e.: WD40, etc.) to fit into. When you spray the lubricant, it pressurizes the inside of the tool. Since the ends of the tool are (loosely speaking) sealed, the pressurized lubricant flows back through the cable sheath.

My experience is you only need about a second of spray. Any longer and the spray will exit the other end of the cable. When you think about it, the amount of excessive volume in any given cable is quite minimal. So very little lubricant is actually needed. Nevertheless, I place a shop rag around the peddle-end of the throttle cable, just in case.

Let me know if you want me to take some photos of the process.
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OBK Member #47 (W123 Division)
'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2007, 07:30 PM
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It'd be great if you could take photos of the process, especially w/ the ML since it sounds like it's trickier. I was just wondering how that luber is connected. I don't think there's much space under the hood where it's connected...
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  #15  
Old 07-29-2007, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post
It'd be great if you could take photos of the process, especially w/ the ML since it sounds like it's trickier. I was just wondering how that luber is connected. I don't think there's much space under the hood where it's connected...


I am WAY overdue at getting this documented - ML was available, but I was not... I'm available, but wife's tootling down the road. Anyway, here we go...

First, I must admit lubricating the throttle cable on my '01 ML430 was the most difficult of all the cables I have ever lubricated. The problem is not necessarily the fault of the ML. However, the tool fits on the cable only one way, and as you will see it is a tight fit.

Tools that are needed:
- Cable Life Spray Lubricant (refer to Cable Lube Tools.jpg)
- Cable Lubricating Tool (Refer to Cable Lube Tool.jpg)
- Shop Rags

Step 1: You need to pull back the conical dust shield on the end of the throttle cable. Refer to Cable Lube Step 1.jpg.

Step 2: What makes the cbale lubricationm difficult in the ML is that the orientation of the Cable Lube Tool is such that the lubricant feed tube faces the firewall. Therefore, insert the red feed tube into the small hole on the side of the Cable Lube Tool.

Step 3: Attach the Cable Lube Tool (with red feed tube) onto the cable. One end of the Cable Lube Tool will have a larger opening; this one fits over the end of the cable sheath. The other end fits around the movable cable. Refer to Cable Lube Step 2.jpg.

Step 4: Attached the spray can to the red feed tube. Refer to Cable Lube Step 3.jpg.

Step 5: Depress the spray button. Do *NOT* press it more than 1 or 2 seconds, or excess lubricant will spray out, into the passenger cabin. If you want, wrap a shop rag around each end of the throttle cable to capture any escaping lubricant. For clarity, my pictures do not show shop rags.

Step 6: Remove the spray can and Tool. Wipe up any excess lubricant and press the cable dust shield back into place.

I just did my first ML throttle cable lubrication today and immediately noticed a much smoother feel to the accelerator pedal. This procedure can be performed on any cable assembly, in any application. The product was originally designed for off-road motorcycles, but works equally well in other areas. If you need better/different/more clarifying pictures, let me know.
Attached Thumbnails
Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule-cable-lube-tools.jpg   Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule-cable-lube-tool.jpg   Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule-cable-lube-step-1.jpg   Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule-cable-lube-step-2.jpg   Feedback on ML Maintenance Schedule-cable-lube-step-3.jpg  

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'96 SL600 (105K) Triple Black - Mein über-Fräulein
'79 240D (292K) Yellow/Saddle - Mein Spielzeug
'01 ML430 (123K) Black/Saddle - Wife's Ride
'94 SL500 (164K) Green/Champagne - Daughter's Dream
'73 450SL - RIP
'86 300E - RIP
'88 420SEL - SOLD
'94 S320 - SOLD
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