Differential Questions 123 Series

jaymanek

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Hi All,

My diff has had a lot of play in it for a while now, and as its a manual, its really noticeable as it gives a knock when pulling away. Its not that bad, and at the moment my cure is to turn the radio up..

But does anyone know the best solution, can a diff be refurbished?

I also have a donor 123 sitting in the driveway, but i dont really feel confident doing the swap. I assume its quite labour intensive if i get someone to do it?

Cheers

Jay
 

andy_k

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in answer to your questions,

1, yes a diff can be refurbished but not by the DIY mechanic (at least not without hiring the right tools).

2, swapping a diff over isn't usually a huge job even for the DIY mechanic, if you've got a donor vehicle I'd suggest you do it yourself the most important tools will be a decent pair of axle stands and preferably a trolley jack. All you have to do with the car up on the stands is disconnect the drive shafts, prop shaft and the bolts mounting the diff to the sub frame (that's where the trolley jack comes in handy to lower the diff from the car and to lift the new one into place).

3, getting someone to swap it over for you will probably result in a couple of hours labour.

HTH

Andy
 
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jaymanek

jaymanek

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Hmmm now youve got me thinking dangerous things, should i do it myself, i guess ill give it a go!

So are there any bushes, gaskets etc i should replace while im there?

Cheers

Jay
 

andy_k

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tee hee - it's always easier to give advice when it's someone elses car :)

the amount of work and new parts you put in is going to be directly influenced by the length of time you are intending to keep the car.

Assuming that it's a long term thing, I'd replace the CV joints on the drive shafts, all the bushes supporting the rear axle and any rubber pivots/joints on the prop shaft. In fact anything rubber or perishable would be on my list to replace as well as all the bolts that hold it in place. it may be overkill but at least you know the job is done properly and will last the lifetime of the car

Before fitting the diff from the donor vehicle I'd get it overhauled and have all the seals replaced - that's going to need a specialist but it puts you in a good position in as much as you get to remove the diff from a car that doesn't need to be driveable at the end of the day so you can use it for practice :) If the job proves to be too much trouble then once you've removed it you can drop it in for a refurb and get them to fit it for you in the other car.

Andy
 
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jaymanek

jaymanek

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Unless something tragic happens, like a big accident, i will beat this car to the grave.. Its not worth me ever selling it, i have spent so much money on this car in the last few years that im sure i could have bought a brand new merc by now.... well nearly ;)

So ill be ordering everything i posibly can from the dealer in advance, rubber parts, nuts bolts etc these usually cost pennies anyway..

Thanks for the advice andy.

So does anyone know of any good overhaulers? Doing a search on google was almost useless.

Cheers

Jay
 

andy_k

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I'd suggest that once you've dropped the diff out the car you take it into Andy Gayle or George Fraser. With a "no pressure" job either of them will no doubt do a superb job.

At this time I suppose it's worth asking if you are sure the noise is coming from the diff and not one of the rear subframe mounts, the rear wheel mount bushes or the prop shaft bushes.

Of sourse the truly dedicated would remove the entire back axle from the donor and refurbish the whole lot - now that would be a job well done and would certainly guarantee the rear axle for the next 20 years or so

Andy
 
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jaymanek

jaymanek

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Ok stop it, your going to bankrupt me!!:(

Well theres a lot of play and when i twist the joint hard and suddenly, it makes the same kind of knock.

I think ill get someone to double confirm the noise is what i think before i strip it all down.

I just told my dad my plans for my few weeks off in september. He says he'll get his blowtorch ready for all those seized bolts :eek:

Well thanks andy, i may PM you nearer the time.

Cheers

Jay
 

Ian B Walker

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Just removed a diff from my spare scrapped 190E. Take heed at the jack advice. Those darn diffs are heavy. By the way dont forget to disconnect the ABS sensor from the diff.
 

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