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Old 08-17-2001, 06:12 AM
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removing 4matic system

Hello all, and apologies in advance for the long post.

I have a 91 300e 4matic, and the 4wd system has started to leak even more rapidly. Beyond what I accept to live with. So I think I have at least 3 choices..

1 - Fix the system, but this repair (23000 FRF just for parts).is essentially half the value of the car, so I'm not keen to do that, and I would still crave stiffer springs & shocks

2- Just remove it and spend the money on things I would really like, (sport suspension, paxton blower, etc), getting the AC sorted (it leaks slowly too)

Does anyone know if there any major hang ups in just removing the 4wd system from the car? Would I need to change the whole transmission?

I assume I'll need new prop shaft, maybe new front hubs, definitely new springs and dampers all around. and a new front antiroll bar.

3- option is just take the extra depreciation of trading in a leaky car and upgrade to a better version...

I'd like to hear some input on option 2, as it means I get to wrench on the car for fun.


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Old 08-17-2001, 12:15 PM
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I have owned a '91 4matic for 5 years and understand your frustration, however I don't think you want to seriously consider removing the 4matic system. It is deeply integrated into the car and removal would be my last choice. Retiring it in place is an option, just put the selector valve under the hood to bypass, but it depends on where your leaks are. Most of the time the transfer case is the culprit for high estimates. In the US, removal and replacement of the transfer case is about $2300.

If you are still considering removal of the system, consider the following:
- the tandem pump supplies hydraulic pressure to the hydropneumatic suspension and the 4matic system from the same sump and pump. The other pump on the tandem is for power steering. So you would have to blank off the 4matic system with threaded plugs to leave the suspension system functioning.
- also, the 4matic system receives input from the ABS system, the steering wheel position indicator, and engine management system. Disconnect these inputs and you might be creating more problems than you started with.
- also, the front axleshafts come out through the engine oil pan and front diff oil pan. If you really want to remove the system, what are you going to do with the openings?

If you really can't live with the car, I'd recommend finding another model without the system. It's similar to the question of how can I make my 300E as fast as a 400E. The easiest and cheapest answer is usually to change cars. Especially on a 10 year old model that can be replaced for about $10k (US).

Good luck,

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Old 08-17-2001, 12:25 PM
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backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
I echo Someguy’s comments. I had a ’91 TE 4-matic. Endless problems. After too many trips to the repair shop, I traded the car for a new ML. Took a beating on the value and never looked back. Actually I did look back as I really like the 124s so ended up buying a 400E about 6 months later.

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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