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  #1  
Old 04-09-2003, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston, TX
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W210 serpentine belt replacement

My belt looks worn (65,000 miles) so I searched the archives for any info. Replacing the belt sounds straightforward (remove the fan, skin of knuckles, etc) but the search came up with a few horror stories relating to pulley failure and problems with the harmonic balancer shaft.

My question is what other components should I inspect (or replace for preventitive maintenance purposes). Please provide details of how to inspect the parts, what to look for, etc. The car is running fine.

Thanks in advance,

Peter
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2003, 10:24 PM
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Peter,

With the fan removed you should be able to closely inspect the harmonic balancer (the rubber ring on the crankshaft pulley). If you see any cracks replace the harmonic balancer.

Keep in mind that the interval for spark plug replacement is 100,000 miles or 4 years (whichever comes first). If the plugs are left in longer they will be difficult to remove.

I would also recommend that you inspect your air filter and pollen filters (located behind the glove box.) The air filter should be replaced at 60K miles and the pollen filters replaced at the "B" service.
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1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2003, 11:11 AM
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Ray,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I'd read your episode with the balancer on your car and wanted to avoid a similar event with mine. I have a couple more questions if you don't mind....

(i) most references to the balancer being an issue refer to the 320 engine, however on FastLane the "crankshaft damper" aka "harmonic balancer" with the same part number exists on both the 320 and 430 engines. So am I right in assuming this is an issue with both engines?

(ii) it sounds as though replacing the harmonic balancer requires unbolting a very tight bolt. Are any special tools required to do this? I have a good collection of wrenches, extension pipes, etc. If so any suggestions on where to buy/rent this part?

Thanks again,

Peter
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2003, 12:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
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The harmonic balancer bolt requires a 27mm socket. You'll need your breaker bar and extension (or air impact gun). The real difficulty is keeping the engine from rotating while unbolting. I think you'll need to find some way to keep the flywheel from rotating while doing this, unless you're successful with an air impact gun. I'm not sure what tools are needed for a M-B after that... harmonic balancer puller?
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:09 PM
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I am only familar with the E320's - not sure if this was a problem with the E430's.

To remove the harmonic balancer you will need a metric hex head "socket". I bought a set of three at an autoparts store. One size fits the rear differential plug and the largest size (don't recall the exact size) fits the harmonic balancer.

I used a 3/8" x 3" socket extension to keep the flywheel from rotating. The prefered method is to rent the proper tool (try a local rental store which rents automotive tools).

As Kestas mentions a breaker bar is essential. I tried an air impact wrench but at the time I did not have a suitable air compressor to break the bolt loose.

When replacing the harmonic balancer, put some blue locktite on the bolt to keep it from coming loose.
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1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2003, 10:24 PM
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I checked the crankshaft bolt, mine uses a 17mm hex socket. Since Kestas said that his bolt uses a 27mm socket you should check yours first. My 98 E320 was built in October of 1997 - Mercedes may have used a different bolt for the first batch of E320's.
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1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2003, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the info. I ordered the parts (belt, harmonic balancer, idler pulley and little shock absorber), excellent service from Phil at FastLane. Having seen the parts and taken a long look under the hood I'm realizing that this job is a little more involved, so a few more questions. BTW Ray the harmonic balancer on mine is also held on by a 17mm allen.

(i) any info on techniques for stopping the engine from rotating when unbolting the balancer. How does the official MB tool work? Any suggestions on where to go to rent one (I'm in Houston, TX). I called a couple of parts shop and got no where.

(ii) attached is a picture of the automatic belt tensioner, the picture is taken looking from right to left (of the car) across the front of the engine. Is there an official way hold this thing to take the tension off the belt?

(iii) assuming I get as far as installing the new balancer what is the torque spec for the bolt?

(iv) the balancer is keyed to the shaft and looks like the kind of thing that might take a puller to get it off the shaft. I have a puller that I think will do the job (with the radiator installed). Have others needed to remove the radiator to do this job?

(v) at present I can't see where the small belt damper/little shock absorber goes, I'm hoping it becomes obvious when everything else is out of the way - is that right or is it hidden?

thanks again, damn I wish there were manuals for this thing.

Peter
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W210 serpentine belt replacement-mb-tensioner-4.jpg  
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2003, 07:49 PM
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Peter,

1. I used a 3/8" socket extension wedged between the balancer and the timing chain cover. I did a search and a member bought the proper tool from Baum Tools - try an internet search.

2. I used my breaker bar with the correct socket on the belt tensioner bolt and used the breaker bar as a lever to get the tension off the belt.

3. I'm not sure of the official torque spec. but "tight as you can get it" worked for me. Make sure you use blue locktite on the bolt.

4. Once the balancer bolt comes out a little tap on the balancer pulley with a rubber mallet should break it loose. I did mine without removing the radiator, but if you are worried about banging up the radiator remove it.

5. I did not replace my idler pulley or little shock absorber so I cannot comment.

Good luck
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1998 Mercedes E320, 200K Miles
2001 Acura 3.2TL, 178K Miles
1992 Chevy Astro, 205K Miles
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2003, 08:40 PM
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Peter, DO NOT hold the crankshaft at the starter ring gear!!! MB manual warns against it due to a high torque. You have to hold it at the damper! The spec is 200 Nm first, then turn 95 deg. Also you have to check the bolt length. Only reuse if the shank is no more than 78 mm. And no locktite required. MB recommends to oil the thread.
Reg. Mike
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2003, 11:49 AM
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I am going to replace the belt too.
So, what is the first step? to loosen the belt first? if so, how can I do that?

Do I loosen the balancer bolt first? the belt is pretty tight. I am afraid after I loosen the bolt. the balancer will fly out.
Please help. Should I replace the front seal too? if so, how can I do that.

Sorry for all the questions.. try to save some money.
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