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Old 07-03-2005, 03:42 PM
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA
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Harmonic balancer campaign: any "while we're here" extras?

There's an early-generation ML320 in the extended family, one of the ones with the problematic harmonic balancer. The HB is starting to show slight cracks, and I figured I should get in there and replace it this summer.

That plan was superseded by the MB official replacement campaign, and wow, am I glad not to have to waste the weekend I had budgeted!

My experience with factory recalls and service campaigns in the past has been that they do the minimum necessary to address the single bad part, often re-installing or ignoring easily accessed wear items nearby.

In this case, would it be smart to pay extra to have the front main seal done at the same time? I know there will be the usual monstrous dealer parts markup on the seal itself, but the labor charge ought to be minimal. Serpentine belt, too, though that's certainly a lot easier to do at home later on!

Anything else worth PM'ing while the balancer is off?

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Old 07-04-2005, 12:31 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 701
I would get the Front seal replaced as well, It is likely they will replace it anyway since the HP is the inside of the seal. I replaced my seal too when the HB was replaced. The front seal was about $13, it literally pops in, then the HB goes inside the seal over the crank. The belt if it is showing wear replace it too, they have to take it off anyway. Those are some good ideas to make sure they get done while they are in there. Good luck!
Brian W. Heitman

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Old 07-04-2005, 01:47 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beech Island, S.C.
Posts: 468
Yeah make sure get all the blood you can because those underpaid MB techs can give it to you for free because you poor fellow can't afford to get it repaired without someone else having to give it to you. Quit complaining what repairs that are needed cost. I bet you complain when Kmart charges more than Walmart
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:56 AM
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Location: Northern Va.
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When you make arrangements for the HB replacement, ask the service writer about replacing the front seal and serp belt at the same time.


Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL


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Old 07-06-2005, 12:57 PM
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Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
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I had the HB done out-of-pocket two years least the cost of parts.

I plan on negotiating a refund of the cost via an oil-change and a code erase on the R129...

2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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