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Changing the driveshaft center support

Started by Feather535, 27 August 2023, 09:49 PM

Feather535

I just finished changing the driveshaft center support bearing and rubber bushing on a 280 SE so I'm posting this for information in case others need to do this job. 

The rubber part of the center support (we'll call it the bushing) was rotten and completely separated from the metal bearing insert, causing a nasty vibration around 30 mph/50 km/h. 

To replace it, I basically followed the factory instructions for removing the driveshaft https://handbook.w116.org/cd/Chassis/41-050.pdf and replacing the bearing https://handbook.w116.org/cd/Chassis/41-100.pdf, with a couple of key exceptions. 

The manual says to lower the exhaust.  That would be nasty job, with the entire system rusted or welded together, so I didn't do it.  Instead, I uncoupled the front and rear halves of the driveshaft in the car and pulled the longer, heavier rear section out rearward.  The front section is short and easy to remove when this is done.  IMPORTANT: mark the alignment of the driveshaft sections as shown in the manual and be sure to reassemble them in the same way.  I also skipped the step of disconnecting the parking brake cables as the manual says to do. 

The metal ball bearing assembly was ok, but I replaced it anyway, as it was convenient to pull the whole assembly off the rear driveshaft section with a generic 2-arm puller.  The new bearing and rubber bushing were easy to install using the remains of the old assembly as a mandrel and tapping it with a light hammer.  No special tools required!

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1977 280SE
1983 300D (sold)
1988 BMW 535is
1999 E320T (sold)
2009 E350T (wife's)

ramiro

Interesting, on my 6.9 i was able to pull out the whole driveshaft in 1 piece to the rear without removing the exhaust , and was able to seperate it when it was out.

Jan S

I did the job 2 years ago. Easier than what I thought before I started. I was also able to pull out the whole driveshaft in one piece to the rear ... secured the connection with two plastic strips. Replaced the two flex disc including bolts and the trans rear rubber mount at the same time.
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

Feather535

In hindsight, I could have taken the driveshaft out in one piece.  The hardest part of the job turned out to be finding new M10 1.0 self-locking nuts for the flex disc bolts.  If I'd know what size they were before I removed them, I could have ordered some in advance.  As it was, I tried half a dozen sources and never found them, so I had to reinstall the old ones with loctite.
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1977 280SE
1983 300D (sold)
1988 BMW 535is
1999 E320T (sold)
2009 E350T (wife's)