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Old 09-25-2006, 04:55 PM
droland52's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Brooksville, FL
Posts: 9
1988 300te Differential help

Coming home from Key West, the rear differential on a 300te (170K) began to howl and bellow smoke. Hot fluid was dripping from the differential case and flung on the rear hatch. It had a previous light leak, had it checked and was OK'd. Now, it makes a grinding noise in D or R, and will not move. Makes the same noise when pushed in N.With the help from a friendly motorist, I rented a UHaul and dolly to carry it the final 130 miles home.

I have located a used differential from an eBay used parts dealer in SC ($150+50 shipping). During the discussion with him, there was a mention of a possibility of a driveshaft bearing seizure. My mechanic confirmed this possibility, however, when this occurs, it wipes-out the differential(?). The excessive heat changes things.

These rearends are suppose to be bulletproof. How did this occur - low fluid level? How do I proceed with this?

Best Regards
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
If the drive shaft was the problem then you wouldn't have a fluid leak at the diff.

The most common failure of MB differentials is leakage! IF a leak ISN'T repaired properly then the differential bearings are at RISK...
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:29 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 32,346
the only other failure i have seen is a fellow who ran different sized tires on the rear, and the constant diff action boiled out his fluid and ruined the bearings.

tom w
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins& six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I am finishing a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual....I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:08 AM
david s poole
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: dallas
Posts: 1,822

make sure you get ratio from wagon,sedan is not same.prob cause is lack of fluid .diff gets hot on trip.
David S Poole
European Performance
Dallas, TX

"Fortune favors the prepared mind"
1987 Mercedes Benz 420SEL
1988 Mercedes Benz 300TE (With new evaporator)
2000 Mercedes Benz C280
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:25 PM
droland52's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Brooksville, FL
Posts: 9
300te differential

I thank you all for the replies. I think I will replace the entire differential assembly.

Best Regards
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