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Old 06-07-2003, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
Seeking advice on removing driveshaft from 1995 E320 Coupe

Can anyone tell me how to remove the driveshaft from my recently purchased 95 E320 coupe? This is my first Benz and although I'm an experienced DIY mechanic - I've never worked on MB's before. I am getting a vibration from drive train around 35 to 40mph and suspect worn driveshaft components (flex disk - support bearing) - or possible bent or out of balance shaft.

The car has 127K miles - so I figure I'll remove and replace all worn shaft components.

Is it necessary (or adviseable) to remove exhaust system for better access to driveshaft?? I don't have access to a lift - so I'll be putting car up on jack stands and be removing shaft while lying on my back under the car. I'd appreciate any advice from someone who has done this as to how to make this job as easy as possible
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:56 AM
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This is not a small job, but not too bad.

You will need to safely raise both ends of the car and have the rear wheels free. Don't lift the rear by the differential, it is rubber mounted and you can ruin the rubber mounts. The rear needs to be suspended safely such that the rear wheels can turn.

Drop the exhaust system and move it out of the way. To do this, start by lifting the front righ floor mat and disconnecting the connectors there for the O2 sensor. Push the rubber grommet on the driveshaft tunnel through and then the connector. Remove th four bolts at the exhaust flanges, the two mounts at the transmission and the rubber hangers in the rear.

Once the exhaust is out of your way, you need to mark the flex disks for their relation to their flanges and the shaft. Also mark the front and rear driveshaft sections so you can put them back in the correct relationship. They will often come apart when you don't want them to, so mark them before lowering the shaft.

Loosen the big nut in the driveshaft that is just in front of the center carrier bearing. This allows you to collapse the driveshaft. You are now ready to disconnect and remove both flex disks front and rear. With all bolts out of a flex disk you will often have to pry the disk away from the flange. When doing this do not pry against the rubber of a good disk. Pry at the metal flange ears.

Once the flex disks are loose, remove the two bolts at the carrier and drop the shaft.

All that said, I doubt that you will have to remove the entire shaft. You will most likely find a bad flex disk, most likely the front one. By your description I'm not really sure your driveshaft is the problem, but it sounds like you have enough experience to feel the difference in wheel speed vibration and driveshaft speed vibration.

A bad flex disk usually shows up much worse under acceleration.

Best of luck,
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Old 06-08-2003, 08:12 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 31
Thanks for reply. I had a shop look at this and their diagnosis was a bent drive shaft w/recommendation to replace ds with a new one at a cost over $1000!! I don't agree w/their diagnosis - - especially since they never even mentioned the other lower cost solution (having drive shaft straightened and rebalanced by a ds shop).

I just had new tires put on car - balanced and realigned - so I don't think it's related to wheels. I get vibration under normal acceleration & cruising - and it doesn't change or dissapear when I shift trans into neutral and let car roll @ 35 - 40 mph - or doesn't change if I downshift. At higher highway speeds (60 - 75mph) the vibration is not noticeable.

I figure only way to find out is to drop the shaft and have a look.

I wasn't aware that E320 coupe had two flex disks. Are they both identical ? (I'm working up a parts needed list)
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