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ESL Steering lock motor replacement *lots of pics*

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ESL Steering lock motor replacement *lots of pics*

 
Old 09-22-2018, 11:15 PM
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Thanks to this thread and your guys advice everything is fixed.

One small hiccup. Prior to discovering this thread, I was advised to dremel off the bolt in the ESL. This was then replaced when the ESL was repaired but unfortunately an older ESL bolt was used and is stripped slightly at the beginning and the nut wonít thread.

How critical is this nut? As far as I could tell there is really no way the ESL could come loose from the column as the column itself has to be dropped to remove it. Also the bolt doesnít fully get pressed in even when the unit is unlocked.

Now ideally I do want to somehow get this nut on but Iíve already bolted everything up and itís quite the challenge getting a nut on the mechanism (itís possible just hard). I also have now damaged the nut in trying to put it on. Anyone know the size of the bolt so I could go buy a few additional nuts to try as Iíve now damaged the original. Is there any special nuts one can buy to help thread onto a slightly stripped bolt? Itís not terrible, just enough that the bolt wonít start threading.

Thanks again for your your advice and help.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 02'topaz View Post
Thanks to this thread and your guys advice everything is fixed.

One small hiccup. Prior to discovering this thread, I was advised to dremel off the bolt in the ESL. This was then replaced when the ESL was repaired but unfortunately an older ESL bolt was used and is stripped slightly at the beginning and the nut wonít thread.

How critical is this nut? As far as I could tell there is really no way the ESL could come loose from the column as the column itself has to be dropped to remove it. Also the bolt doesnít fully get pressed in even when the unit is unlocked.

Now ideally I do want to somehow get this nut on but Iíve already bolted everything up and itís quite the challenge getting a nut on the mechanism (itís possible just hard). I also have now damaged the nut in trying to put it on. Anyone know the size of the bolt so I could go buy a few additional nuts to try as Iíve now damaged the original. Is there any special nuts one can buy to help thread onto a slightly stripped bolt? Itís not terrible, just enough that the bolt wonít start threading.

Thanks again for your your advice and help.
Take it back out and repair the threads. Don't mess it up even more trying to use the wrong nut.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:39 PM
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Anyone have the part number for the nut? My stock one is ruined from trying to get it onto the stripped bolt.

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Old 09-23-2018, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 02'topaz View Post
Anyone have the part number for the nut? My stock one is ruined from trying to get it onto the stripped bolt.

The nut is just a regular M8 locknut, anything that's the correct thread will work, just get a new one and make sure the bolt threads are good.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ItalianJoe1 View Post
The nut is just a regular M8 locknut, anything that's the correct thread will work, just get a new one and make sure the bolt threads are good.
thank you so much for the nut specs. Home Depot version went on with zero trouble whilst everything is still completely mounted up with careful Maneuvering!



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Old 09-25-2018, 04:55 PM
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Excellent, glad you got it sorted.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:28 PM
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Awesome. Glad to hear it worked.
So... not going to emulator route?
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by white46 View Post
Awesome. Glad to hear it worked.
So... not going to emulator route?
debated it but figured if this will last another decade Iíd rather have it close to as OEM as possible. Especially since the car will be sold.

I now picked up a 2018 E63S. Itís quite the beast!
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:57 AM
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Congrats on new car. That is beast indeed!
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:52 PM
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Great post. Thanks for the detail.. You said that you didn't need to reprogram the unit but when you wind the gear back from the locked position to the unlocked position to remove the esl from the steering column, do you need to reassemble it back together in the locked position? Just thinking that the electronics remember it being in the locked position when it failed. Reason I ask is because the esl may lock when the unlock signal is made.. and vice versa!

Apologies if this is a bs question by the way! I'm learning!
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil Reilly View Post
Great post. Thanks for the detail.. You said that you didn't need to reprogram the unit but when you wind the gear back from the locked position to the unlocked position to remove the esl from the steering column, do you need to reassemble it back together in the locked position? Just thinking that the electronics remember it being in the locked position when it failed. Reason I ask is because the esl may lock when the unlock signal is made.. and vice versa!

Apologies if this is a bs question by the way! I'm learning!

I mainly put this together on the actual disassembly of the the unit. I typically replace the ESL entirely for liability concerns. From what I understand the fatal error only sets when disconnected in an intermediate position between full lock and unlock.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:57 PM
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I'm 4 hours away from home right now and the car is a the dealership's parking lot. They don't have time to fix the car before next monday (in 5 days). C63 AMG 2009. Steering wheel is locked, car won't start. Not sure how to wiggle the steering wheel since mine is all electric. I'd be so happy if I could unlock the steering wheel/start the car only once so I can take it to my garage 4 hours from here...

I'm now sleeping at the hotel for the night. Week is ruined.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MangeDlaMarde View Post
I'm 4 hours away from home right now and the car is a the dealership's parking lot. They don't have time to fix the car before next monday (in 5 days). C63 AMG 2009. Steering wheel is locked, car won't start. Not sure how to wiggle the steering wheel since mine is all electric. I'd be so happy if I could unlock the steering wheel/start the car only once so I can take it to my garage 4 hours from here...

I'm now sleeping at the hotel for the night. Week is ruined.
Sorry but since it broke in the locked position, it will be more expensive to fix since they basicly have the "steal" the car, as in they will need to drill the ESL out to unlock it. With any luck, you can get it to unlock one last time by hitting it directly on the motor.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:22 PM
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I'm in the middle of replacing my bad ESL with an emulator. Spent all day Saturday giving the car it's first real detail only to have the ESL fail right after pulling into the garage. Took about 1 1/2 hours to get the bad one out today using a Drexel because it failed in the locked position. I'm no master mechanic either. The dealership has to be twice as fast. Can't belive they can charge the book rate for this work.

I'll be getting the emulator programmed locally tomorrow. I'll report back tomorrow night with the final results.

If you have a fully electric column, this makes the job much more difficult. Almost all of the videos online show the manual column. The only way I could see to completely remove the column was to take out the brake pedal. Instead, I removed the small motor on the left side which gave me enough room to flip the column upside down and get at the bolt with my Drexel from underneath. Hopefully this helps someone in the future .

Last edited by Drift1492; 11-18-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Drift1492 View Post
I'm in the middle of replacing my bad ESL with an emulator. Spent all day Saturday giving the car it's first real detail only to have the ESL fail right after pulling into the garage. Took about 1 1/2 hours to get the bad one out today using a Drexel because it failed in the locked position. I'm no master mechanic either. The dealership has to be twice as fast. Can't belive they can charge the book rate for this work.

I'll be getting the emulator programmed locally tomorrow. I'll report back tomorrow night with the final results.

If you have a fully electric column, this makes the job much more difficult. Almost all of the videos online show the manual column. The only way I could see to completely remove the column was to take out the brake pedal. Instead, I removed the small motor on the left side which gave me enough room to flip the column upside down and get at the bolt with my Drexel from underneath. Hopefully this helps someone in the future .
For what it's worth, the electric column can still come out the same route without removing additional parts although removing the accelerator pedal takes 30 seconds and makes the process much easier.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ltwargssf View Post
Sorry but since it broke in the locked position, it will be more expensive to fix since they basicly have the "steal" the car, as in they will need to drill the ESL out to unlock it. With any luck, you can get it to unlock one last time by hitting it directly on the motor.
Mercedes-Benz Trois-RiviŤres replaced the whole thing for $1,068 CAD ($806 USD), which is cheaper than every quotes I've seen here. They also told me that the part number is new from this year, but maybe I misunderstood. 2 years warranty.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MangeDlaMarde View Post
Mercedes-Benz Trois-RiviŤres replaced the whole thing for $1,068 CAD ($806 USD), which is cheaper than every quotes I've seen here. They also told me that the part number is new from this year, but maybe I misunderstood. 2 years warranty.
That's a very fair price, specially if it failed in the lock position. From what I've been told, they last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, I just recommend emulators so you don't have to worry after the warranty is over, very slim chances of it failing within 2 years but after that, your chances of failure just grow exponentially.

And lol at your name. Dealers over here in Montreal are quoting anywhere from 1500-2000$ CAD at minimum for an ESL replacement.* *

Last edited by ltwargssf; 11-20-2018 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:11 PM
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Mine is all fixed. Emulator and programming cost me 300.

I thought about pulling the pedal, but didn't see how that would give me the space.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Drift1492 View Post
Mine is all fixed. Emulator and programming cost me 300.

I thought about pulling the pedal, but didn't see how that would give me the space.
It's a little puzzling at first but after you figure the angle it's not bad. The bottom goes into the far corner where the accelerator pedal was then rotate sideways, twist, and slide out. Maybe I'll make a video on the next one.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:49 PM
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Is there anyone in the Los Angeles area that can do the ESL repair on a 2009 C350??
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:58 PM
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Replaced ESL motor still no start?

Originally Posted by knowbenz View Post
I mainly put this together on the actual disassembly of the the unit. I typically replace the ESL entirely for liability concerns. From what I understand the fatal error only sets when disconnected in an intermediate position between full lock and unlock.
2008 C300. ESL was in unlocked position when I removed it (entire steering column). I changed the motor, old motor was trashed. Reinstalled everything, crossed my fingers and.... no change. Key is being recognized as I do get the remove key on the dash. Am I missing something? Is this as simple as towing to the dealer and have their computers reinitialize things? Is the "fatal error" permanent or can it be reset with dealer computer?

I'm not afraid to pull the unit back out if I have to. It took me 2.75 hours start to finish first time.

Anyone know of reputable programmer in case I go with an emulator?

Thanks for an amazing thread!

Last edited by Bryan0812; 12-30-2018 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Add model of car
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan0812 View Post
2008 C300. ESL was in unlocked position when I removed it (entire steering column). I changed the motor, old motor was trashed. Reinstalled everything, crossed my fingers and.... no change. Key is being recognized as I do get the remove key on the dash. Am I missing something? Is this as simple as towing to the dealer and have their computers reinitialize things? Is the "fatal error" permanent or can it be reset with dealer computer?

I'm not afraid to pull the unit back out if I have to. It took me 2.75 hours start to finish first time.

Anyone know of reputable programmer in case I go with an emulator?

Thanks for an amazing thread!
Dealer won't be able to reset the error. You will need to pull it out. Look for a local shop or locksmith that can do it. Some mobile key guys have the setup to do it.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by knowbenz View Post
I mainly put this together on the actual disassembly of the the unit. I typically replace the ESL entirely for liability concerns. From what I understand the fatal error only sets when disconnected in an intermediate position between full lock and unlock.
Hello knowbenz,

I saw a youtube video for ESL replacement in unlock position,
the key was keep in the ESI position 0 during entire replacing process include disconnecting the battery.
Combine the post here, I am confused.

My question is: if the ESL motor was fail in lock position and I want to replace the motor,
should I keep the key in ESI position 0 for entire replacing and reassembly process?
should I reassembly the ESL with main gear and black arm in lock position or unlock position?

Please help!
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by white46 View Post
First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this detail instruction on how to replace ESL motor!!!
Secondly, I really wish no one have to go through this.

Last Sunday, I car (2008 C300 RWD with 140,000km and push start button), left parking light bulb out was triggered. Its' the eyebrow bulb on driver side headlight. Upon inspection, it wasn't the bulb. It was crack in bulb wiring which caused the short, triggered the warning.
This is known issue, which I knew about, and just need layer of liquid electrical tape to insulate wires again. To do so, need to removed the headlight assembly.

Removing headlight assembly requires removal of front bumper. Not whole bumper, but at least the side you are working on.
Sunday morning, I turn the steering wheel all the way to right, so I gain access to plastic rivets which holds the bumper on left side. SHUT THE CAR OFF WITH STEERING TURNED ALL THE WAY TO RIGHT.
Remove headlight, insulate wires with liquid electrical tape and let it dry.
On that evening, reinstalled headlight assembly and bumper, and went inside the car to test.
...
...
nothing....
When I put in the key into ignition, I hear some clicking noise around steering column area, but ESL won't unlock the steering wheel, hence no start.
Tried again with my 2nd key.
still nothing...
****... Thought this was the ESL issue everyone talks about on the forum.
One last hope, connected battery charger and let battery charged over night for last hope and went to bed.

On Monday morning, tried again with battery fully charged, still nothing....
****.....
My garage is double tandem garage where cars are parked front and back, and my car was parked deep inside with steering turned all the way to right....
Even for towing it to dealer, there was no freaking way to tow this car until I free up the steering wheel some how.
Then I remembered I purchased replacement ESL motor about a year ago from ebay for $10, for just in case...

Here we go,
Move front seat all the way to back
Disconnect battery
Remove cluster trim -> w204 tech article by pelican parts
Remove airbag, steering wheel and steering column switches -> w204 tech article by pelican parts
Remove footwall under panel
Remove steering column --> 1 T45 (difficult access and mark shaft and u-joint with sharpie) and 4 E12

Placed the steering column in my work bench and start drilling the hole to unlock steering shaft manually.
Rotate the gear clockwise (push up) manually with flat head screw driver until locking bolt moves enough to get ESL out.
Got ESL out
Take 4 pins out with hammering and swearing. This is difficult. used T5, T6, T7.
Remove the cover for ESL and take may pictures.
Remove T10 bolt that holds the circuit board.
Once circuit board is out, take may pictures again.
With motor out, you can rotate the gear and see how the mechanism works. Just be careful with it.
Rotate the gear so mechanism sets in UNLOCK position to dead end.
Close the cover with both micro-switches in depressed position and re-install 4 pins
Install everything back and start praying.

At this moment, good 5 hrs has been passed and I was really praying... haha
Connected battery and VOILA!!! The car STARTED!!!!
I couldn't believe it.. hahaha Everything works again!

Now, I'm not sure how reliable this $10 ebay motor is, so I'll probably go with emulator route later since I don't want to do this again.

For your reference... garbage.
Excellent detail step by step process description and experience sharing!

One small clarification please:
Did you keep the key in EIS during the period of the whole process ?




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Old 01-05-2019, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ltwargssf View Post
That's a very fair price, specially if it failed in the lock position. From what I've been told, they last anywhere from 5 to 10 years, I just recommend emulators so you don't have to worry after the warranty is over, very slim chances of it failing within 2 years but after that, your chances of failure just grow exponentially.* *
The only thing is, why pay $300 for an emulator and programming when you can replace the motor with a new one for $10 and simply zip tie the whole thing to the steering column? Exactly the same functionality as an emulator (ie no actual steering lock) and no chance of locking the steering column if it ever fails again. To be extra sure, budget for another $10 motor in five years' time - if you still have the car (and to replace next time, you just need to cut a zip tie or two!).

John Wu - to answer your question, you don't need to keep the key in the ignition lock, but you do need to disconnect the battery until it's all reassembled.
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