The propeller shaft on Mercedes cars is part of the driveline and connects the transmission output shaft to the rear differential on rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
On vehicles with 4Matic, it connects the transfer case to the front and rear differential, which means all-wheel drive cars will have two propeller shafts.
What you will need
- Jack up the car. Secure the vehicle with jack stands and place wheel chocks behind the wheels that remain on the ground.
- Remove the splash shield. If you are changing the front propeller shaft, remove all two splash shields as it will be more comfortable to access the propeller shaft.
- Locate the driveshaft bolts at the cv joint. Note that Mercedes-Benz typically uses constant velocity (CV) joints at the driveshaft and not universal joints. Remove them one at a time. Note that you may need to turn the driveshaft to get to the top bolts. To get to the top bolts, you will need to lift the wheels at the front or back, depending on which shaft you are changing, to turn the shaft. If you have to put the car on neutral to spin the driveshaft, do so without getting under the car. Put the car back in Park and set the Parking brakes before you get back under the vehicle.
- Remove the bolts that connect the propeller shaft to the transfer case. At each of the cv joints, you will have to remove 6 Torx bolts.
- Press the ends of the propeller shaft to disconnect it from the differential and from the transfer case. This will also allow your propeller shaft to shrink, which will give you enough room to pull out the shaft. The drive shaft may not come off due to rust. Spray penetrating oil at the joint and wait for at least 10 minutes before you try to disconnect the driveshaft.
- Install the new propeller shaft on reverse order.
- Tighten the bolts on a cross pattern to the specification. The typical torque specification is 40 Nm, but you should verify this value by calling the dealer. Once you are done installing all the bolts, give them a 90-degree turn to finish the installation.
One thing to keep in mind when replacing the driveshaft is that they are balanced. Therefore, it is important to handle a driveshaft with care. Do not hit the driveshaft, or it may bend, causing it to be off-balance, which could cause vibrations when driving.
Replacing the Mercedes-Benz drive shaft at the dealer can range from $800 to $2000 depending on the Mercedes-Benz model.
You can buy the part from the dealer or online and have an independent repair shop install it. The cheapest option is to buy a used propeller shaft from another vehicle and install it yourself.
Going with a used drive shaft can save you hundreds of dollars, but the downside is that you do not know how long, if the used part will perform as expected, or if it will be properly balanced.