HOW TO: Swirl Flap removal/delete - Mercedes 270 CDI

Brashy

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
6
Car
2003 CLK 270 CDI
I decided to write up a little how to after searching endlessly only to find some rough guides but nothing with an overall process to do this.

First of all this is a very in depth job and requires a few hours to complete. This is something a home mechanic can complete easily but I would advise taking lots of pictures etc.

Tools I used:

Halfords Advanced toolkit
E-sockets, hex sockets, rachets, extensions.
Hex key (for fuel filter clamp)
pliers (for hose clamps)
thin screwdriver (to pop open hose clamps)
Intake manifold gasket set (5 x intake seals and 1 x egr/manifold seal) Check which type you need as the different varients of the 270cdi use a slightly different set of gaskets. IE.. ML/Sprinter/CLK etc...

5 m16x12 (I used stainless) bolts and locking washers
M16 thread tap kit (Ensure the pitch of your tap matches the bolts you purchase)
Thermostat housing gasket
Gasket paste
epoxy resin (Or you can cross drill each bolt head and use lockwire ( this method is quicker)
Power steering fluid
Anti Freeze
Cleaning fluid suitable to clean carbon from EGR and Manifold. (I used wheel acid but this is at your own risk)

Helpful tools:
Trolley jack,
Axle stands

So here is the general order of things as I completed them

1. Remove the engine cover (6x torx bolts)

2. Remove EGR Valve,

3. The clip on the top should pry off with little effort, I removed the intercooler pipe aswell and soaked both in a cleaning solution to de-coke them. The EGR valve is held on with 3 bolts to the manifold and one underneath holding it to a metal support. This one can be tricky but will come out.

4. Next comes the Fuel cooler. this will be full of diesel and coolant so have a bucket ready to place this in if you value your driveway. The cooler is held on with 3 bolts and you will need an E socket to undo them. There is a hose hidden underneath for coolant, as soon as you undo this it will leak coolant out so have the bucket ready for this hose.

5. Next is the fuel filter, there is one hex head bolt clamping it in, be careful removing the white clip for the fuel pipe. it should pop out with little effort and then I used a pair of long nose pliers to lightly pry the arms out and pull the hose off, the second hose is only held on with a regular hose clamp.

6. Next comes the power steering tank. I took the oppertunity to do a flush on the system as its not expensive to replace the fluid. it is easier to remove the hoses away from the tank as there is more access, Have some paper towels ready as this gets messy.

7. Now there is the EGR valce pipe that runs around the back of the intake, this is just pushed on so a bit of brute force will shift it, I used a pry bar and a light tap with a rubber mallet to free it up.

8. The Diesel pre heater should also be removed, be careful doing this as if you have the version with a plastic pipe feeding into the EGR cooler it can become brittle and break. they are cheap to replace on ebay as I found out.

9. Then you should remove the metal bracket across the top of the intake manifold. Held on with bolts and you will use the E head socket to remove them.

10. Next is the fuel rail, you will need a 14mm spanner to undo the injector feed pipes and the rail supply pipes, once undone you can unplug the sensor at the front end and lift the rail out of the way.

11. Next is the thermostat housing, the gasket on this for me was flat and worn so for £9 it was a no brainer to replace it. It is held in place by 3 x bolts and you will need the E socket again.

12. Now you are at the stage to begin removing the manifold. As you have removed the metal bracket you will have removed 2 of the bolts (E type again) there are 8 left, 3 on top and 5 underneath. You can get to these through the gaps in the manifold, take your time so you dont drop any into the engine.

13. The manifold should pull away from the head but will still be restricted by a loom passing through the middle, you will need to follow the feeds off this loom, you will need to unclip the loom plugs and use a 10mm socket on the starter motor feed. One of the cables supplies the Oil level sensor on the very bottomof the engine, I could reach from the top but it can be reached from below if you jack the car up and remove the skid plate.

14. Once they are unplugged and disconnected you can pull the manofold away.

15. Now you will see your swirl flaps, Mine were compleetlt shot and all loose which caused a boost leak.

16. The flaps are held in at the bottom by a small torx screw in the base of each, unscrew each one and pull the base away, you will now need to use a screwdriver or something suitable to pry the flap holder out of the intake face of the manifold, you should also remove the seals aswell. You can remove the flap motor but you will be refitting it so dont damage it.

When removing the flap holder mine snapped, some people dismantle the holder and after reoving the flap they re use it in the manifold. I have not done this and it doesnt really matter too much.

17. Clean the manifold. I soaked it in wheel acid and then used a steam capable powere washer. I cleaned the intake ports as well by scraping teh carbon away with a flat screwdriver and using a hoover to prevent any debris entering the cylinders. I then cleaned the intake sealing surface with wet n dry to ensure the new seals had a good contact surface.

18. Use the thread tap starter and thread it all the way into each flap hole. Ensure you wind it all the way in completely to ensure a good thread. I used a 2 piece thread tap kit.

19. Then use the finishing tap and do the same.

20. Now you are ready to blank the flap holes. Place a locking washer over each bolt and put the instant gasket into the threads. Screw it into the tapped flap hole and tighten until you feel the locking washer bite into the plastic. Repeat the process for each flap hole.

21. After the instant gasket has dried you should mix up the epoxy resin. If you have chosen to use lockwire you should have predrilled the bolt heads. Spread the resin around the tighten bolt heads ansuring to get plenty of coverage. This is now triple protection against vibrating loose. Allow the resin to dry according to the manufacturers guidelines.

22. Clean off any excess and rebuild in reverse. Fitting new gaskets and seals as you go. remember you will need to turn teh car over a few times to prime the fuel system and then run it up to temp so you can bleed the coolant. dont forget to top up the power steering fluid.

When rebuilding remember:

Swap out the thermostat gasket
Thread the loom back through the intake and reconnect the cables.
take your time and don't over tighten anything. (Two grunts and a fart as my dad says, if you follow through its too tight.)
reconnect the swirl flap motor, the ECU will think it is working as desiged and you wont have any EML issues.

My car is much smoother and quiter since doing this and delivery better MPG.

YOU FOLLOW THIS GUIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK. IF YOU F*CK IT UP THEN IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT.

Tried to upload some pics but it wont let me.

Hope this helps someone out.
 

estate-agent

Active Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
119
Car
W203 270 CDI Wagon - previously CLK 320 CDI Sport
I did this job on my previous CLK (270 CDI), as above, as long as you are a competent DIY mechanic you should be able to complete this task with the correct tools. I believe it is easier on an ML 270 due to engine bay room. If anyone struggles to get the 16m bolts then I can supply these along with suitable washers. :)


.
 

Bellow

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
7,493
Location
Ecosse.
Car
C2500 350, 450
Given what we now know regarding air pollution from diesels and that the swirl flaps are there for low speed engine operation (ie city/town use) specifically to promote clean combustion and minimise production of particulates, shouldn't this thread be deleted?
 

mersum1es

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
1,680
Location
Finland
Car
W212, C219, W220
Then again, should all suggestions to use wider tyres that factory recommend, be deleted too, because they increase fuel consumption and emissions kill us all... etc etc etc
 

Bellow

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
7,493
Location
Ecosse.
Car
C2500 350, 450
Then again, should all suggestions to use wider tyres that factory recommend, be deleted too, because they increase fuel consumption and emissions kill us all... etc etc etc

No. They don't inhibit the clean burning of fuel.
 

Littledigger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
100
Location
Manchester
Car
CLK 2004 270CDI
I decided to write up a little how to after searching endlessly only to find some rough guides but nothing with an overall process to do this.

First of all this is a very in depth job and requires a few hours to complete. This is something a home mechanic can complete easily but I would advise taking lots of pictures etc.

Tools I used:

Halfords Advanced toolkit
E-sockets, hex sockets, rachets, extensions.
Hex key (for fuel filter clamp)
pliers (for hose clamps)
thin screwdriver (to pop open hose clamps)
Intake manifold gasket set (5 x intake seals and 1 x egr/manifold seal) Check which type you need as the different varients of the 270cdi use a slightly different set of gaskets. IE.. ML/Sprinter/CLK etc...

5 m16x12 (I used stainless) bolts and locking washers
M16 thread tap kit (Ensure the pitch of your tap matches the bolts you purchase)
Thermostat housing gasket
Gasket paste
epoxy resin (Or you can cross drill each bolt head and use lockwire ( this method is quicker)
Power steering fluid
Anti Freeze
Cleaning fluid suitable to clean carbon from EGR and Manifold. (I used wheel acid but this is at your own risk)

Helpful tools:
Trolley jack,
Axle stands

So here is the general order of things as I completed them

1. Remove the engine cover (6x torx bolts)

2. Remove EGR Valve,

3. The clip on the top should pry off with little effort, I removed the intercooler pipe aswell and soaked both in a cleaning solution to de-coke them. The EGR valve is held on with 3 bolts to the manifold and one underneath holding it to a metal support. This one can be tricky but will come out.

4. Next comes the Fuel cooler. this will be full of diesel and coolant so have a bucket ready to place this in if you value your driveway. The cooler is held on with 3 bolts and you will need an E socket to undo them. There is a hose hidden underneath for coolant, as soon as you undo this it will leak coolant out so have the bucket ready for this hose.

5. Next is the fuel filter, there is one hex head bolt clamping it in, be careful removing the white clip for the fuel pipe. it should pop out with little effort and then I used a pair of long nose pliers to lightly pry the arms out and pull the hose off, the second hose is only held on with a regular hose clamp.

6. Next comes the power steering tank. I took the oppertunity to do a flush on the system as its not expensive to replace the fluid. it is easier to remove the hoses away from the tank as there is more access, Have some paper towels ready as this gets messy.

7. Now there is the EGR valce pipe that runs around the back of the intake, this is just pushed on so a bit of brute force will shift it, I used a pry bar and a light tap with a rubber mallet to free it up.

8. The Diesel pre heater should also be removed, be careful doing this as if you have the version with a plastic pipe feeding into the EGR cooler it can become brittle and break. they are cheap to replace on ebay as I found out.

9. Then you should remove the metal bracket across the top of the intake manifold. Held on with bolts and you will use the E head socket to remove them.

10. Next is the fuel rail, you will need a 14mm spanner to undo the injector feed pipes and the rail supply pipes, once undone you can unplug the sensor at the front end and lift the rail out of the way.

11. Next is the thermostat housing, the gasket on this for me was flat and worn so for £9 it was a no brainer to replace it. It is held in place by 3 x bolts and you will need the E socket again.

12. Now you are at the stage to begin removing the manifold. As you have removed the metal bracket you will have removed 2 of the bolts (E type again) there are 8 left, 3 on top and 5 underneath. You can get to these through the gaps in the manifold, take your time so you dont drop any into the engine.

13. The manifold should pull away from the head but will still be restricted by a loom passing through the middle, you will need to follow the feeds off this loom, you will need to unclip the loom plugs and use a 10mm socket on the starter motor feed. One of the cables supplies the Oil level sensor on the very bottomof the engine, I could reach from the top but it can be reached from below if you jack the car up and remove the skid plate.

14. Once they are unplugged and disconnected you can pull the manofold away.

15. Now you will see your swirl flaps, Mine were compleetlt shot and all loose which caused a boost leak.

16. The flaps are held in at the bottom by a small torx screw in the base of each, unscrew each one and pull the base away, you will now need to use a screwdriver or something suitable to pry the flap holder out of the intake face of the manifold, you should also remove the seals aswell. You can remove the flap motor but you will be refitting it so dont damage it.

When removing the flap holder mine snapped, some people dismantle the holder and after reoving the flap they re use it in the manifold. I have not done this and it doesnt really matter too much.

17. Clean the manifold. I soaked it in wheel acid and then used a steam capable powere washer. I cleaned the intake ports as well by scraping teh carbon away with a flat screwdriver and using a hoover to prevent any debris entering the cylinders. I then cleaned the intake sealing surface with wet n dry to ensure the new seals had a good contact surface.

18. Use the thread tap starter and thread it all the way into each flap hole. Ensure you wind it all the way in completely to ensure a good thread. I used a 2 piece thread tap kit.

19. Then use the finishing tap and do the same.

20. Now you are ready to blank the flap holes. Place a locking washer over each bolt and put the instant gasket into the threads. Screw it into the tapped flap hole and tighten until you feel the locking washer bite into the plastic. Repeat the process for each flap hole.

21. After the instant gasket has dried you should mix up the epoxy resin. If you have chosen to use lockwire you should have predrilled the bolt heads. Spread the resin around the tighten bolt heads ansuring to get plenty of coverage. This is now triple protection against vibrating loose. Allow the resin to dry according to the manufacturers guidelines.

22. Clean off any excess and rebuild in reverse. Fitting new gaskets and seals as you go. remember you will need to turn teh car over a few times to prime the fuel system and then run it up to temp so you can bleed the coolant. dont forget to top up the power steering fluid.

When rebuilding remember:

Swap out the thermostat gasket
Thread the loom back through the intake and reconnect the cables.
take your time and don't over tighten anything. (Two grunts and a fart as my dad says, if you follow through its too tight.)
reconnect the swirl flap motor, the ECU will think it is working as desiged and you wont have any EML issues.

My car is much smoother and quiter since doing this and delivery better MPG.

YOU FOLLOW THIS GUIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK. IF YOU F*CK IT UP THEN IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT.

Tried to upload some pics but it wont let me.

Hope this helps someone out.
excellent write up. I did this job and now I can't remember where the 2 pin plug goes from the loom mentioned in no. 13. I've connected the sump sensor, starter cable, connector at top of gearbox and put a 4.7k resistor in the swirl flap cable, but still a 2 pin plug is not connected and I don't know where it goes. any help please. thanks.
 

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