DriveTrain noise.

Dunvale

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Hey Guys,
I'm new to the Fourm so hello. The fourm looks very good especially the DIY section, Very handy. Hopefully I will add to it one day.
Anyway we have 3 mercs at home, A 94 w124 E200 (auto). a 97 w210 E200 (manual) and a 01 ml270 cdi (auto).
To be fair the two E's have never really given trouble apart from the usualls but the ML has broke my heart, but we all know about the MLs.
I have a major prob with the ML at the moment but thats for another day.
Concerning the 94 w124, It has 230,000 miles on the clock. At 214,000 it got a major service, All fluids changed along with alot of other components such as disks,fans,belts and Exhaust boxes! etc. Sounds great and goes like a train. The transmission fluid was drained and new filter installed.
However lately I am getting a noise coming from what sounds like the gearbox/drivetrain tunnel area. I can only describe it as a faint metallic grinding noise, like if you got two bits of metal and gently rubbed them together in a circular motion.
It can only be heard when the car is moving. the moment the car stops its gone. It can be heard at all speeds through all the gears. I'm hoping its not the gearbox despite the high milage. Someone suggested that it might be the support bearing located midway down the drive shaft. The rubber flange disks look ok with no cracks.
But when I grabbed the driveshaft midway and shook it there was a bit of play in it, ie the shaft deflected in all directions by about 10 t0 15mm. Is that kind of deflection normal of should the shaft be rock solid in that bearing and support bracket?
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Damien
 
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television

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Hello and welcome :D:D I would put my money on a rear wheel bearing , and a few of these are failing now
 
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Dunvale

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Hi TV,
thanks for the reply. Is there any check I can do to verify if its the bearing?
Why are alot of them failing now?
 

kth286

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did you grab the driveshaft or prop shaft.

There are obviously two driveshafts.

There is a joint at each end of each driveshaft and it may be the cage at one end or the other has cracked which would allow the six balls to become loose from their sockets.

The driveshafts have been allowed to hang at some point.


There should be no play in the propshaft centre bearing.
 

television

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Re reading this I do not think that it is bearings or prop.

You would not hear either at under 20 MPH so this leaves the brakes only
 
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Dunvale

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Hi kth286,
It was the propshaft that I grabbed. I always get mixed up with the names of those two!
I havent examined either of the drive shafts actually. When you say there should be NO play in the propshaft centre bearing, do you mean strictly no play or a bit of play is acceptable. When I shook the centre of the prop shaft that time there was a bit of noticable movement alright.
But Im inclined to think that if there is play in the centre bearing this would result in vibration opposed to noise?
Re reading this I do not think that it is bearings or prop.

You would not hear either at under 20 MPH so this leaves the brakes only
Television,
To be honest my initial suspicions were the brakes, I actually thought that there was a stone or something scraping off the disk. There is a scraping noise allright when I jack up the car and rotate the wheels but I dont feel its noisy enough to transmit itself back into the cabin.

To clear up when I am hearing this noise, its noticable from about 5mph upwards. If the gearbox was in trouble would you be getting noises at this speed?
This is a confusing matter!
 

television

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I do not think that it is possible to hear any part of the drive train at 5mph or the box,,I am still thinking brakes
 
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Dunvale

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Well the rear discs and pads were replaced shortly before all this started happening so its possible something is amiss in this area...
 

television

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Well the rear discs and pads were replaced shortly before all this started happening so its possible something is amiss in this area...

We are getting warm I think and have they upset something in the parking brake side
 
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Dunvale

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We are getting warm I think and have they upset something in the parking brake side
I was looking at some diagrams of the parking brake assembly, it seems that there are shoes like a drum brake setup that act as the parking brakes.
I find that sometimes when the car is reversing you can hear a clicking noise coming from the wheel area. This might suggest that something has gone astray in there. What do you think Sherlock?:)
 
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Dunvale

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Thanks for that useful diagram Television.
Im going to have to get the mechanic who changed the disks in the first place to have a look into it. If it wasn't the gearbox or rear diff I would be happy. hopefully its just an issue with the brakes. If anybody has any other suggestions please keep them coming as my mechanic is away for a couple of weeks. Actually is there much involved in stripping down the breaks? I might aswell tackle it myself while he is away!
Which brings me to another question. There is no Haynes manual for the W124 post 1993. Mine is a '94 facelift model with the different engine I think.
Can anybody recommend a good workshop manual for my w124 or does the haynes manual for the pre '94 cover the bulk of the topics?
 

television

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To look at them.

First jack the car that side,,use an axle stand with the car chocked parking brake off and in N.

The wheel should spin quite easily,,you could hear a rubbing sound from the pads on the disc, or within the hub.

Take the wheel off and unbolt the caliper and rest on something so that the flexi hose is not damaged. Slacken off the adjust through the hole provided in the drum.

remove the screw holding the disc /drum on and remove.


It is possible that with new pads on the disc that they are too tight in their slots, and cannot back off,,filing off the paint on the edges will solve that one.

If the parking shoes were set too tight, that would also make a noise, but at the same time they would become very hot and would smell hot, the drum would also be hot after a short drive
 
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Dunvale

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Thanks very much for the info TV. I will carry out those checks you mentioned and let you know of my findings. Now all I need is time, any idea where I can get some of that:rolleyes:
 

television

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Thanks very much for the info TV. I will carry out those checks you mentioned and let you know of my findings. Now all I need is time, any idea where I can get some of that:rolleyes:

Shops that sell clocks is a good place to start ;):D
 

kth286

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were the people that worked on your car mercedes specialists ?

had they done that job on a Merc previously ?
 
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Dunvale

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The guy that does the work is an old school fella that worked on mercedes for years at a dealership. He is retired now but does a bit on the side himself these days. The w124 and the w210 is as far as he goes anything with lots of electrics he tends to avoid but I have every faith in the man. He is also a flying instructer! But he might have got my breaks a little wrong:lol: But I'll reserve judgement for now.
 
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Dunvale

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I know its a long time since I had any news on this particular issue but I think I have finally got to the root of the noise. I put the car up on a friends hoist to have a closer inspection. I got my dad to stay in the car and when it was up in the air I got him to start her up and put it into drive.
With everything moving I had a good walk around under the car and had a close listen .
There was no mistaking, the noise was definatly coming from the propshaft centre support bearing.:D That makes me very happy because it means that the gearbox is ok. I also discovered that the front flexible rubber coupling closest to the gearbox had some play in it, so I'm going to replace that also.
Whilst I'm at it I'm going to replace the exhaust from the CAT back (mid and back box). To be fair its the original merc exhaust in it since 1994 and some 234,000 miles later. Its been welded twice and is starting to look like an old tree trunk under the car! so that has to go.
All in All a nice saturdays work but the car should be sweet after all that.
I have just two questions,
1. when replacing the flexible coupling do I need to replace the bolts also or should the originals be ok.
2. I was shocked at the price of a replacement exhaust, we are talking €450 for a Bosal unit, €350 for another spurious brand.
The cheapest I can find is €140 including all rubber mountings and nuts and bolts and shipping off of Ebay!
What do ye think of getting an exhaust off ebay? any experiences? I got a back box off of Ebay for my pajero one time and could not complain with the quality or the fit. €450 is a bit much IMO given that the car is only worth double that;)
The main thing is that this repair will be cheap, If it was the gearbox then that would have been the end for the old girl, now I must sort out all its other little problems!
 
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