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Old 10-23-2003, 12:25 PM
Zoonhollis's Avatar
Diesel Fanatic
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 551
Harmonic Drivetrain Noise

Okay, I've used the search tool and found some good info, but nothing that describes my problem exactly.

I think I've eliminated the wheels/tires as culprits for this strange highway noise I'm getting at speed. The car is an '84 300D with 230K miles. I'm pretty sure it's something in the driveline--perhaps a driveshaft out of balance. The sound is like:

wwwWWWOOOWWWwww...wwwWWWOOOWWWwww (ad nauseum) other words, it's not constant, but fluctuates harmonically. Could it be worn flex discs? A fatigued tranny mount (deviating the angle of the shaft)? Out-of-balance driveshaft?

I've managed to get this car fairly quiet at highway speeds, and now this noise is particularly apparent.

1995 E300 Diesel (Die Blau Frau)
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Old 10-25-2003, 09:37 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
If it's a variable-pitch sound as your speed is steady, check a thread on this site under "the howling"; I get a similar noise under cool temp conditions before full warmup on my 560SL, and I'm sure it comes from the viscous fan drive. In my case, the viscous drive appears to go into locked-up mode at too low a temperature; since it cools the engine just fine, I'm putting off replacement till next spring after the storage season.

Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)

SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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