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PaulH 11-16-2003 01:06 AM

ML rear differential noise
Should I be concerned with a slight rear end noise which only occurs when I let off of the gas while at highway speeds? I would guess that is the pinion bearing. The dealer mechanic says that he does not hear anything. He did change the diff. fluid, though. The noise is still there. I'm just about out of warranty. However, if this is no big issue, I'd rather not have anyone open up the differential unless really needed. I might add that most people probably would not even notice the noise.

Ron in SC 11-16-2003 06:41 PM

How many miles on the vehicle?

Does it only make the noise at a certain rpm or between a vary narrow rpm range?

PaulH 11-16-2003 10:39 PM

It has about 21,000 miles on the vehicle. When I let off the gas while going between 60 - 75 mph, then I hear it.

Ron in SC 11-17-2003 09:21 AM

I had the same issue on a 1983 240D. The differential made noise kind of a howling sound between about 50-60 mph. Since at the time when I had this car the legal speed limit was 55mph the noise was annoying to me. That car had 19,000 miles on it when I had it changed. This problem is not that uncommon. The problem becomes noticeable when the vehicle makes the noise at a speed that you commonly drive.

I met with the regional representative and told him the noise was not acceptable and the diff. it was called the 3rd member then was going to be changed one way or another, and that I hoped that they would do it voluntarily. The representative also said he could barely hear the noise; that was either BS or he was deaf.

I added that I would not have made an issue out of the noise expect for the fact that it was apparent at highways speeds at or near the legal limit and therefore a problem.

They begrudingly installed a new 3rd member and the problem was gone.


Meant to mention that the noise is from the ring and pinion gear. On one of my other vehicles where I disassembled the rear diff to replace friction discs for the LSD I would mention that the workshop manual indicated that the setting of the drive pinion and the ring gear is a determining factor for service life and smooth running of the rear axle drive. It goes on to say that drive pinions and ring gears are checked for good tooth contact pattern and low noise in both directions of rotation on special test equiptment and are therefore matched during production. I'm sure mercedes does the same thing, but that some get by that should have been set differently or had new ring and pinions.

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