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M272 Balance Shaft - In 'affected range', but not broken (yet)

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M272 Balance Shaft - In 'affected range', but not broken (yet)

 
Old 02-07-2019, 04:49 PM
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M272 Balance Shaft - In 'affected range', but not broken (yet)

I have an early-2007 E350 with an M272 engine ( 30 396553, affected range is <= 30 468993), but the balance shaft issue hasn't cropped up yet.

I did have a P0015 code (*** NOT the dreaded P0016 or P0017 ***), which came & went for awhile before I got around to replacing the passenger side exhaust solenoid (and while I was at it, I replaced the sensor as well). This took care of the P0015 code, and the CEL is off. That's a cheap fix, but I have ~105,000 miles on the engine, and I'm worried a bit about the balance shaft issue cropping up in the not-too-distant future (with my luck, it'll be the same week as a kid's college tuition check is due)...

Is there anything I can do to extend the life of the balance shaft? That is, to delay the point at which it'll finally give up the ghost?
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:13 PM
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Not that I am aware of. Keep your maintenance up, oil and fluid changes, etc.

I also have an early model year 2007. Yep, I got the dreaded codes and had to have the shaft replaced at about 75K miles (am now at 192K). Got some help from MB on it, blessedly.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jimbo1763 View Post
Not that I am aware of. Keep your maintenance up, oil and fluid changes, etc.

I also have an early model year 2007. Yep, I got the dreaded codes and had to have the shaft replaced at about 75K miles (am now at 192K). Got some help from MB on it, blessedly.
Thanks. I think MB's answer to me is "take a hike, Jack." The settlements were capped at 10y. I bought my car in Feb 2007.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:18 PM
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Sell it ASAP or start shopping for a good replacement engine now.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:25 PM
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My wife's car is a 2006, so same notion of waiting on the shoe to drop. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Some here say that all the cars in the affected range will ultimately fail, and there is some logic to that argument. We plan on just driving the car until we have a problem. Short of selling the car and moving on to something else, I don't know of really any other way to do things.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:32 PM
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I would view it like smoking. There's no safe amount of smoking, but some smoke and are still alive very late in life. There's no actual safe mileage where you can rest assured it won't happen to you, but it's possible that it might not happen. There are actually youtube videos on how to check the status of the balance shaft without taking the whole engine apart. There's some theory that it only affects 10-20% of the cars out there, but I've no idea where that number really came from and MB isn't talking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:36 PM
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5,000 mile oil changes max. Factory recommended oil (https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/index...age_id=1#close, and OE fleece filter). Fleece filters can be MB, MANN and Bosch. All the same filter in the box.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kjb55 View Post
5,000 mile oil changes max. Factory recommended oil (https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/index...age_id=1#close, and OE fleece filter). Fleece filters can be MB, MANN and Bosch. All the same filter in the box.
It's a manufacturing defect. Frequent oil changes won't help when the sprockets were made with a softer metal than expected.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Sell it ASAP or start shopping for a good replacement engine now.
no need for a replacement engine. The expense is taking the damn thing a part and reassembly. The parts weren’t the expense.
Would be more expensive parts and labor to replace the engine.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 95viper View Post


no need for a replacement engine. The expense is taking the damn thing a part and reassembly. The parts weren’t the expense.
Would be more expensive parts and labor to replace the engine.
Actually it's cheaper to replace the engine. In order to do the repair, you have to buy the parts and remove the engine, do the repair and reinstall it. With a used engine, you just remove and install the new one. Less labor. The used engine would probably cost more than the parts, but I think you save on the labor of doing the repair. Might be a wash. Many people just sell it when the problem crops up. Lots of craigslist ads which say the check engine light is on and then go on to say it's probably a minor repair....
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:02 PM
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Yeah late 07-09 E350 engines are around $1300+ on eBay including shipping. I don't think anyone is going to fix the balance shaft for less than that.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:19 PM
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Sure that $1300 engine is going to put itself in the car for free. If you are going to do a comparison find out the labor of an engine out and install service.

I did the repair in garage. Once the engine is out the repair and work isn’t bad. Many factors to consider but I wouldn’t trust an eBay engine if I knew the history of mine and it was well maintained. I would fix.

But totally understand it would make sense to replace in some circumstances.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 95viper View Post
Sure that $1300 engine is going to put itself in the car for free. If you are going to do a comparison find out the labor of an engine out and install service.

I did the repair in garage. Once the engine is out the repair and work isn’t bad. Many factors to consider but I wouldn’t trust an eBay engine if I knew the history of mine and it was well maintained. I would fix.

But totally understand it would make sense to replace in some circumstances.
Most large dismantlers selling on ebay have a reputation to uphold and many will provide compression numbers, proof of mileage and the vin of the vehicle it came from so you can check it's service history. It's actually much easier to hold an eBay seller to their word than most direct transactions. Also pulling and reinstalling an engine into the W211 is a breeze. The engine bay is massive and all the connections are easy to access. I don't think it makes sense to try to rebuild one of these engines especially when you consider that the chain and other sprockets could be damaged. Part out the bad engine or sell it as a rebuildable and core.

Last edited by tjts1; 02-09-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:52 PM
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I gotcha. The entire rebuild kit is $400 but ok. Paying for labor would make it really expensive. I didn’t have that issue.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Most large dismantlers selling on ebay have a reputation to uphold and many will provide compression numbers, proof of mileage and the vin of the vehicle it came from so you can check it's service history. It's actually much easier to hold an eBay seller to their word than most direct transactions. Also pulling and reinstalling an engine into the W211 is a breeze. The engine bay is massive and all the connections are easy to access. I don't think it makes sense to try to rebuild one of these engines especially when you consider that the chain and other sprockets could be damaged. Part out the bad engine or sell it as a rebuildable and core.
I don't understand this position at all. Given a choice between two engines, one which requires installation of ~$500 worth of parts and its history is fully-known, and one which costs >$1000 and its provenance is advertised, but history is unknown, why would one choose to spend more on a less well-known engine? In either case the/an engine needs to come out, and the/an engine needs to be installed.

The difference seems to be $500+known vs. >$1000+unknown. Please explain why the unknown option is better?
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by adamgoldberg View Post
I don't understand this position at all. Given a choice between two engines, one which requires installation of ~$500 worth of parts and its history is fully-known, and one which costs >$1000 and its provenance is advertised, but history is unknown, why would one choose to spend more on a less well-known engine? In either case the/an engine needs to come out, and the/an engine needs to be installed.

The difference seems to be $500+known vs. >$1000+unknown. Please explain why the unknown option is better?
Who exactly will rebuild this engine for less than $1,300?
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Yeah late 07-09 E350 engines are around $1300+ on eBay including shipping. I don't think anyone is going to fix the balance shaft for less than that.
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Who exactly will rebuild this engine for less than $1,300?
You wrote that the engines are selling for $1300. That's what I'm comparing against:

Option 1: Buy $1300 engine. R&R engine. Sell old one, as broken, for a few dollars.
Option 2: Buy $500 parts. R&R engine.

Even if the old, broken, engine is worth $800 (1300-500), you've still got an engine with an unknown history.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by adamgoldberg View Post
I don't understand this position at all. Given a choice between two engines, one which requires installation of ~$500 worth of parts and its history is fully-known, and one which costs >$1000 and its provenance is advertised, but history is unknown, why would one choose to spend more on a less well-known engine? In either case the/an engine needs to come out, and the/an engine needs to be installed.

The difference seems to be $500+known vs. >$1000+unknown. Please explain why the unknown option is better?
You're missing the part about the cost to install those $500 parts. They have to take the engine apart to put those in. With a used engine, you just put in the used engine, no need to take it apart to replace the balance shaft. Unknown engine isn't better, it may just be cheaper that's all. Also if you search some of the old threads, some indys don't know what they're doing and when they take it apart to replace the balance shaft, the engine doesn't quite run right afterwards.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by adamgoldberg View Post
You wrote that the engines are selling for $1300. That's what I'm comparing against:

Option 1: Buy $1300 engine. R&R engine. Sell old one, as broken, for a few dollars.
Option 2: Buy $500 parts. R&R engine.

Even if the old, broken, engine is worth $800 (1300-500), you've still got an engine with an unknown history.
Again who is going to fix the engine for less than 1300 bucks? You can take the VIN number of the donor vehicle into any Mercedes dealership and they will give you the service history. It's a non-issue.
The other issue you're ignoring is damage to the rest of the engine from metal particles floating in the oil for thousands of miles. Even if you successfully replace the balance shaft gear you still have an engine that is down on compression versus one that didn't experience the balance shaft failure. Then there's the issue of damage to the chain, Cam and crank sprockets. You won't know how extensive the damage is until it's in pieces. No matter how you look at it trying to repair the engine is a waste of time and money.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:48 PM
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I did this repair and I can see both sides.

Because it is a non hardened steel gear versus a hardened chain issue I have seen the teeth wear down but not break off metal pieces. I think that is why they typically start showing the codes at 70-100k miles. Not a good scenario but if oil changes were done then I wouldn’t expect the engine to blow or have compression issues after the repair. I see the point of concern though.

If I took the engine out and had option to fix for $400 (which includes all sorts of new parts and not just the balance shaft) or buy an eBay one for $1300+ and plug in then I would fix.

Maybe I would change my mind if I was paying labor.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:36 PM
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Replace vs fix the original. If the OP is an expert mechanic then yeah fix it. If he or she is just an occasional wrench twister that does brakes and such, then the fix job could end up being a total replacement after the fact. Learning mechanics on a high end and needed car is not the place to do so.
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