After an August 2003 discussion (below) about "Bad Vibrations" on a
450K mile 350SD the cause of the problem was finally determined to be
a worn driveshaft U-joint, one not easily detected with either
hand-turning or visual inspection. Howard had it right. Two
mechanics said they'd never seen a shaft go bad this way - but also
agreed they'd not seen many cars with half-million miles, either.
Could not a find a junk part but did find a (guaranteed) rebuilder out
west. Months of babying the car and trying to pinpoint the problem
got me around until rebuild - $400/approx. plus frt back/forth.
The clearcoat was peeling here and there, the windshield was pitted
and dinged and then cracked last February and, finally, the tranny
505,000 miles: new glass, rebuilt tranny, new paint on body and
wheels, repaired driveshaft. Car looks great - runs like a top. I am
a happy camper. All work combined cost 1/4 the price of a new Taurus.
If it just runs another 100K I'm making out OK. =^)~
: Enso ( email@example.com)
Subject: High Mileage Bad Vibration(s)
View this article only
Date: 2003-08-01 10:48:03 PST
My '91 350SD (450,000mi) has developed a come-and-go vibration under
acceleration - cruise is smooth, engine runs like a top, no wrecks, no
rear-end problems. It feels like it's coming from the below the rear
area - the effect is like running over slowdown warning grooves in the
I assume the problem is driveshaft U-joint(s) which, mechanic says,
new/used or reman driveshaft. Anyone with high-mileage driveshaft
similar experience (or a driveshaft to sell)? Dankeschoen in advance.
(ps - this is a 350SD that hasn't been a nightmare - gets 25mpg at
cruise, no leaks, no gasket problems, uses 1 qt every 2500 miles. I
the car in spite of its worrisome reputation and want to keep it.)
Message 2 in thread
From: At work ( firstname.lastname@example.org(Richard_J._Sexton)
Subject: Re: High Mileage Bad Vibration(s)
View this article only
Date: 2003-08-01 21:57:12 PST
How are the tires?
Have they been balanced on the car and has it been aligned recetnly?
A good mechanic doesn't suspect bad halfshafts, he tests
Put two adults in the back anfd load up the truck with heavy
stuff. Go for a drive. Is it WAY worse now? Can you hear
a click click sound?
Take the wheel apart and rotate the halfshalft through 360
degrees. You'll know if you have a bad one by the awful noise it'll
make in one position.
I bought the car cheap w/ 200K on the odometer. It had been ill-cared
for and the oil sump was loaded with sludge. It ran another 130k when
the turbo blew - my company graciously agreed to replace the turbo or
split the cost of a reman'd engine. I went with the engine. The
installing dealer told me the engine was current MB specs (whatever
that meant) in 2001. I've run 170k since then. I'll see what
tomorrow brings. Today it runs like a top. 8^)
TIGE LET ME THROUGH THIS AT YOU
oops sorry ^^
i was told that the problem with the 350 my be fluid lock because of
miss firing on cold starts.
they say it only takes around 50 compression strokes to hydraulic lock
the piston so it is a good idea to check the GLOW system & change it
this is 3ed party news so have no clue
I don't know about that... I can't see how... the valves opens and closes
and diesel engine push real hard pressure... should be enough to expel it
out the exhaust valve. I can't see diesel engine pooling up diesel during
Maybe TG has more advice on this....
Tiger - yes, my 1991 350SD has about 510,000 actual. The odometer
head was replaced before I bought the car - at 70,000 miles - so the
reading shows something like 440,000. It mostly runs 75mph, 25.5mpg.
The a/c compressor is starting to growl - that'll prob'ly go next.
Otherwise - no worries, no rattles, no squeeks.
I've been through three windshields, one paint job, a front-end
rebuild (about 350,000), a tranny and driveshaft rebuild (recent), one
alternator, a few batteries, new foam under all the seats, a few sets
of headlight/foglight lenses, one grill and a few pieces of leather
upholstery replaced. All in all, cheaper than buying two or three
Camry's. Plus - I still love the look of the '91 S-body. Go figure.
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