Reflections on a CV replacement

1981 300DT Read the manual. Do what it tells you. For instance, it says to remove the caliper. It might seem silly at first, but the axle won't come
out easily with that hose in the way.
Put a hydraulic jack under the diff and remove the mount. The whole mount. Then undo the back diff cover. Those cover bolts are an uber-bitch to get to with the mount there.
You might wanna think about busting open the filler cap before you start taking things apart. Mine took a 2 foot breaker bar, my feet against the garage frame and all my strength to get it to start turning (I'm 6'4" 230 lbs). Spring for a really good 14mm allen socket with a half-inch drive. The ol' locking a couple of 14mm nuts together trick will not fly here. You do not want to wrestle with this thing on the bench or with setting sealant after you installed it. Do it first.
Try having a pan under the diff before you start removing the bolts. The fluid flows pretty quickly and can amass quite a puddle before you get back under there with a pan.
The hydraulic jack under the diff will allow you to raise and lower the diff so you can get maximum clearance to remove the axle. If it's fighting you, you're doing something worng.
The axle clip in the diff can be removed with a couple of screwdrivers against the back fingers. It'll pop right off. If you have snap-ring pliers, good for you. My clip only had one hole, though. Needle nose pliers or the like will not have enough bite to pull it off by the tab. Just pop it off from the back.
Having a long 8mm bolt to suck the axle spline through the wheel hub will help you from having to climb under the car and wiggling the axle until it decides it wants to expand out.
You will not be able to pour the diff fluid into the diff. If you can't find your pump until you're done with the job, like me, then this might work for you. Punch a hole in the top of the fluid bottle cap and run a tube from the bottom of the bottle to the filler hole in the diff. The tighter the seal around the tube, the better, though it doesn't have to be air tight. I used the tube from my brake bleeder and had a drill bit that allowed a snug fit. Now punch a small hole in the neck of the bottle with an awl or something that won't make shavings. With your rubber tipped blower connected to your compressor, push the tip into the hole and SLOWLY give it some air. Too much too fast will rupture the bottle. Make sure the bottle is on a stable surface since the bottom will balloon out. The fluid flows slowly, but will flow. Ideally have a water trap on the compressor so you're not adding water to the fluid.
Don't let your neighbors see you doing this job or they'll start asking you car questions when you just wanna be left alone.
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| | Don't let your neighbors see you doing this job or they'll start | asking you car questions when you just wanna be left alone. |
I've removed, and resealed my engine, rebuilt the steering box and rebuilt the automatic transmission in my 6.9 all in my driveway.
I believe the neighbours were more concerned with the amount of swearing coming from my garage everytime I got to a frozen bolt. Even removing the drag link was a nightmare, 3 sets of balljoint removers were killed in the process. heating didn't work, nothing worked. I ended up getting the drag link off the steering box arm with about 10 blows of a sledge hammer when out of the car, shattering all the pavement underneath. After 26 years some things just never ever want to come apart again.
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Pretty unusual for Australia :-)
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Need Mercedes parts? http://parts.mbz.org
Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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I don't usually top-post or quote the entire article but if you've going to replace the half-shaft then READ THIS. And read it well.
The only things I'd add are, I'd undo the diff filler nut FIRST. There's ni point in doing ANYTHING until that $&@#@ comes loose. It IS difficult.
I'd also emphasize what the manual says: use new hardware, that is the bolts and bits that secure all this madness together. You DON'T want to re-use the old bolts.
Also keep in mind there are left and right halfshafts (althouh I believe this is only for the kind that is attaches inside the diff) and you don't want to mix these up. Ask me how I know.
Pay strict attention to the torque specifications of the bolt that goes into the half shaft inside the diff. I have a perfectly good half shaft in my barn with half a bolt in it. Oops.
COVER the diff when you'r not using it. You don't want sand, dirt, dust and crap in there. The idiot that one time did mine got sand in it. The solution for this is to douche it liberally with a garden hose then let it dry. That does seem to work.
OTOH I never had a problem getting diff fluid into the diff, up here in Canadia Crappy Tire sells synthetic in bottls with a handy spout that squirts right in. Nu muss no fuss.

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