In this guide, you will find instructions on how to remove the Mercedes front differential. Front differential is found on Mercedes-Benz with 4Matic (all-wheel drive) systems.
To remove the front differential from the car, you must remove the front passenger drive shaft. Plan on two hours to remove the differential from the car.
One to two hours to rebuild the differential. It will take about two hours to install the differential. The total time to change Mercedes-Benz front differential is about 5-6 hours.
How to change Mercedes-Benz front differential
The first step is to raise your vehicle. Raise your Mercedes-Benz and support it with jack stands.
Place wheel chocks to the back of the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from rolling back. Make sure the vehicle is in Park, and parking brakes are applied.
- Jack up the car. Ideally using garage lift or portable vehicle lift. If a lift is not available, jack up the vehicle and support it properly. It is important to secure the vehicle using two methods and ensuring the rear wheels are blocked with wheel chock or block to prevent the vehicle from rolling back.
- Remove the soundproofing shield from under the vehicle. Remove both front and back soundproofings. They are held in place with several 8mm bolts that need to be removed.
- Next, we need to disconnect the propeller shaft from the front differential. Use 8mm Allen socket and extensions to remove all six bolts.
- Press the drive shaft towards to the back of the vehicle, including the front joint. The driveshaft should shrink and allow you to move it to the side. It is not necessary to disconnect the driveshaft from the transfer case.
- Next, you need to remove the passenger side driveshaft. There are two ways to achieve this. In this case, we disconnected the brake line, upper control arm, lower control arm, tie rod and completely removed the wheel, steering knuckle altogether. This method requires that you bleed the brake line afterward.The alternative method is to disconnect the upper and lower control arms, but instead of removing the whole steering knuckle, you simply pull out the CV joint and the half-shaft. The bottom line is that the drive axle assembly on the passenger side needs to be pulled out of the front differential.
- Next, we need to disconnect the driver side CV axle. It is not necessary to completely remove the wheel on the driver's side. Just remove the nut to the upper control arm.Next, get the brake hose unclipped and the brake wear sensor unhooked from the retainers. This will allow you to swing out the steering knuckle, which provides enough room to pull the driver side axle from the front differential.
- Use a flat head screwdriver to pry out the CV joints from the front differential.
- Next, remove the bolts that secure the front differential to the front carrier. Before you remove the bolts, you either need to support the differential or have a second person help you by holding up the differential.
- Remove the differential from the vehicle.
- Installation is in reverse. Use a torque wrench to torque the propeller shaft to differential bolts to 30 ft-lb, then give the bolts another quarter turn. The bolts are aluminum, and it is recommended that you replace them.
Replacing the differential at the dealer, it can cost from $4000-$5500. That's because dealerships don't repair differentials; they replace them.
If you are on a tight budget, one way to say money is to buy a used Mercedes front differential on eBay that comes with a warranty and install it yourself. The downside of this method is that you typically don't know how long the used differential will last.