In this guide, you will find instructions on how to replace Mercedes-Benz propeller shaft or also known as the drive shaft.
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.
Replacing the drive shaft on Mercedes vehicles is a straightforward job which usually takes one to two hours. In most cases, you don't need to remove anything more than the splash shields under the car. In some models, you may have to disconnect part of the transmission mount or the exhaust manifold.
What you will need
- Jack up the car. Secure the vehicle with at least two methods. For example, have the front on ramps and also place jack stands to secure it.
- 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 drive shaft bolts at the cv joint. Note that Mercedes-Benz typically uses constant velocity (CV) joints at the drive shaft 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 on 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 drive shaft do so without getting under the car. Placing the car in neutral increases the risk of the vehicle rolling off.
- 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 you 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 drive shaft.
- Install the new propeller shaft on reverse order.
- Tighten the bolts on a cross pattern to the specification. 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 Mercedes-Benz drive shaft at the dealer can range from $1200 to $2000.
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 only downside is that you do not know how long or if the used part will perform as expected or if it will be properly balanced.