2001 ML270 CDI Autobox Overhaul

Dunvale

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01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
Hi all,
I have to get my 2001 ML 270's gearbox overhauled. It has decided to give me major trouble @ exactly 100,000 miles:mad:.
The gearbox specialists I have rang claim that it is normal practice to have to rebuild these units at 80-100K miles which in my opinion is a disgrace. if only someone had told me this before I bought the thing. Anyway I'm stuck with it now. Since I bought it 5weeks ago!!, I have had to get 3 injectors reconditioned and the rest got new seals and now this gearbox disaster.
I let the injectors go with the harm of the year but I had to call up the previous owner when the gearbox gave up. They have agreed to pay half of the repair costs to the gearbox, Which is fair, we came to this agreement without any fighting so thats good.
Anyway, Its going to cost nearly half what I paid for the ****** thing to repair.
I have got Quotes from 3 specialists.All are Quoting in or around the same figure. All claim that the Torque convertor will be replaced along with the little clutches and seals etc. However two of them claim that the valve chest in the gearbox will most certainly have to be replaced at a considerable extra cost.
Is this normal practice? I mean I want a good job done but don't want unneccessary cost! What are your views on this.
They also inform me that generally the ML's don't suffer from the glycol issue as much as the E's. Also for any of you interested, they all say that the test you can do to test for glycol is not fool proof and you can only really be sure when the gearbox is open and the clutches inspected.
The joys of owning an Amercian built merc! I'd have my w124 any day! Should have bought an old 300D for towing:neutral:!
Any advice welcome. Thanks.
 
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rpe2

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What's wrong with the gearbox?
 
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Dunvale

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01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
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Overheating, causing oil to blow out breather hole all over road. Goes into Limp mode. Looks like clutches are at fault.
 

television

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2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
I would have a talk to these people,,auto boxes is all they do and they are very good with them

http://www.fedauto.co.uk/



But are we not talking about the transfer box here rather than the gearbox,,or is it just the pilot bsh come out of the auto box,,that is simple to do
 

MB TECH WARRINGTON

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must say if you bought privately you are very lucky to be getting any renumeration from prevvious owner..

Never experienced your symptoms before
 

television

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must say if you bought privately you are very lucky to be getting any renumeration from prevvious owner..

Never experienced your symptoms before

I agree and cannot recall a post like it
 

Bigtee

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Have you tried to replace the oil yet?

I suspect you may have some dirt floating about getting stuck in the valves and the piston for the sake of a oil change drain the box and torque converter before you have to pay for a rebuild.
 

kebo57

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ml270
Hi my ML has done 212k miles same box, I had auto box problems and I also spoke to gear box specialist they said it was common for this box to go down and that they could fix it for £1800.00. thing is £300.00 later it still going strong I have the phone no of the person that fixed mine if your interested call him if it need a re-build he will tell you the you know for sure

Kevin
 

Alex Crow

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W169, W124, w202, W203, KTM 250 EXC, VW T25 camper and a Polo in a pear tree
have not heard much about the sprag clutches in these boxes for a while. it was a common failure on the w210 300td.

symptoms were flaring on upchange between 3 and 4, but coming in with a bang when the sprag clutch finally locked! also slipping on down change.
 

Mark A

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Sounds like your specialist is trying to drum up extra business.

I've never heard of a routine gearbox rebuild at 80 - 100K, and the ML gearbox shouldn't be affected by the glycol issue as it has a seperate gearbox oil cooler unlike the C & the E class. Sounds as if you have been particularly unlucky with yours, we have had ours for about 4 yrs and it gets used and abused but apart from a MAF & a brake light switch no other real issues.

Mark
 
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Dunvale

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Your Mercedes
01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
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Yes I agree, I was very lucky to get the previous owner to help me out, It was that or sell it for parts.
By the way I am in Ireland but thank you anyway for your recommendations with regard specialists. There are a handfull of experts in Ireland.
I've never heard of a routine gearbox rebuild at 80 - 100K, and the ML gearbox shouldn't be affected by the glycol issue as it has a seperate gearbox oil cooler unlike the C & the E class.
Didn't Know this, thanks.
Sounds as if you have been particularly unlucky with yours,
I have been very unlucky with it. I have it about two months, a month of which it has sat in the front yard:mad: I respect most of you have had good experiences with your ML's but I have lost faith in it and I'm finding more bad than good reports about them. I get the shakes just looking at the thing now:).
Have you tried to replace the oil yet?

I suspect you may have some dirt floating about getting stuck in the valves and the piston for the sake of a oil change drain the box and torque converter before you have to pay for a rebuild.
I have done lots of tests to be fair. I drained the oil and replaced the filter.
There were no debris in the oil pan and I opened the filter to inspect it which looked fine.
When I put in the new oil it drove fine for a few miles then it returned to the same old tricks of blowing oil out the breather. Nobody can understand why it is doing this. I think I have done as much as I can so therefore I have to turn it over to the pro's.
it has a seperate gearbox oil cooler
Is it possible this is at fault? Where is it located?
 

Bigtee

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You need the pressures tested to see were the fault lies either the torque converter/pump, etc.

You seem to have covered most areas yourself this may not require a rebuild at that low mileage do shop around buisness is quiet some are looking for work!
 
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Dunvale

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01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
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Kevin,
Thank you for posting up those pictures, I did not realise that that heat exchanger was for the gear box.
You need the pressures tested to see were the fault lies either the torque converter/pump, etc.
Bigtee,
What does this pressure testing involve? One gearbox fella said I need to get it on the Diagnostics, and check the codes. How helpful are the codes. I presume all it will tell is that the gearbox at some stage overheated and went into limp mode.
Is it possible that a pipe going from the gearbox to the heat exchanger is blocked or damaged?
 

television

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The codes are a must,,then you will know what is going on
 
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Dunvale

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01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
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So after a long drawn out process it seems this issue has finally drawn to a close.
kebo57, you were right. It seems the root cause of the gearbox failure was a dodgy heat exchanger which it seems allowed coolant into the gearbox:(.
Nobody could pinpoint the problem from initial inspection. All the specialists claimed it could not be glycol contamination as this just did not happen on the ML's. However when the guy doing the work opened the box he found swollen seals and flaking clutch lining all of which pointed towards coolant ingress. The computer also showed up "slippage" codes for the gearbox. He still was sceptable until he opened the torque convertor which he claimed was rusty inside and it seems the clutch lining on the torque convertor literally peeled away from the backing plate.
At this point it was decided that a replacement heat exchanger was defo needed. The heat exchanger was cheap enough to buy but the labour to fit it was expensive. The specialist claims that it took nearly a whole day to fit because the exhaust manifold had to come off to fit it. We agreed on 5hrs for this work.
Can anyone tell me if this is about right? Is it really that tricky a job??
Anyway, Im collecting it on monday €3,000 poorer, but hopefully that will be the end of my ML nightmares, for now.......
 

kebo57

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ml270
Hi that a good reply thanks
I can understad why the exhaust manifold had to come off maybe you meant the inlet manifold, others on here will know exactly what needs to be removed Malc will have the WIS for this also

Kevin
 
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Dunvale

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01 ML 270cdi (w163), 94 E200 (w124)
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Have the ML back now, She is going beautifully. Gearbox is changing perfectly, you wouldn't even notice it changing. He gave me the box of bits that he removed from the gearbox because I am interested in these type of things. The paper like material on the little clutch plates really was just peeling away from the disk, seemingly the glycol breaks down the adhesive on the clutches and this is what you get. next I'm gong to cut open the old heat exchanger to see if I can see where the glycol was getting in!
When these ML's are going properly they really are a lovely machine but I'm afraid my confidence in them is gone and I wouldn't recommend one to anyone thinking of going down that road, get an X5 instead.
Also while I was in collecting my ML there was a 07' ML280 inside which was getting work done to the gearbox also, the gearbox guy said that it was a fault within the gearbox management system that is starting to come through in the new generation ML's about now, he said he is starting to get in a few 06-07 ML's lately. So it seems that the ML's gearbox gremlins are not gone away yet!
He claims that if it wasn't for mercedes and their dodgy gearboxes he could close up shop:D
He also advised to stay clear of Audi A4 & A6 automatics from 07 on. Seemingly there is a steel belt drive within the gearbox which acts up and the computer is also housed inside the gearbox submerged in oil and this tends to let oil in resulting in a rebuild! DSG has yet to prove itself.
Also just 2 quick tips he gave me:
1. over use of the tiptronic can burn out the switch in these gearbox's.
2. You are better off to leave gearbox in drive when pulled up at the lights or whatever, flicking to neutral etc is bad for them over time.
 

xavierx

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2. You are better off to leave gearbox in drive when pulled up at the lights or whatever, flicking to neutral etc is bad for them over time.

I'm not so sure if that is true, generally it is recommended that you always flick to neutral when waiting at lights etc else the torque converter is under strain fighting against the brakes.

DSG (VW/Audi etc) boxes with launch control will automatically go into neutral when the brakes are applied and the vehich is stationary, but then that is a differnt beast as it uses a clutch-pack instead of a torque converter.
 

kebo57

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ml270
Hi just felt that I should come to the aid of the ML
I'm gong to cut open the old heat exchanger to see if I can see where the glycol was getting in!.
Might be possible to put some compressed air through the heat exchanger & submerge in water then we would know for sure

When these ML's are going properly they really are a lovely machine but I'm afraid my confidence in them is gone and I wouldn't recommend one to anyone thinking of going down that road, get an X5 instead. .
Just had a look on ebay 2005 X5 fully loaded 141k miles sold for £13500
2004 ML 270 fully loaded 64k miles sold for £8500,
£5000 that’s a lot of difference.
He claims that if it wasn't for Mercedes and their dodgy gearboxes he could close up shop:D.
Some people do have problems with the auto box but sometimes they can be fixed for a lot less the €3,000 .[/QUOTE]

Kevin
 
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