Author Topic: Replacing rear axle bellows  (Read 815 times)

Topdown

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Replacing rear axle bellows
« on: December 02, 2018, 06:53:48 »
I searched and did not find any info about replacing the (split) rear axle boot on my 230SL. I did see a comment that said it was possible but difficult. The tech manual does not address the procedure. I looked under the car and it might be awkward but it does not look difficult. My BBB reprint says that the compensating spring must be removed but it looks to be possible with the spring in place.  Am I missing something?  Anyone replaced the bellows in the car? What are the difficulties that were encountered? Thanks in advance. 
Rick Katucki
64 230SL
Manual
Idaho, USA

ja17

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 16:05:52 »
Yes, the BBB says to remove the compensating spring. This makes the job much easier. However dealing with the spring can be a little difficult also. Job #35-9 in the early BBB does a decent job explaining the replacement of the split boot. The procedure is described in a Feb. 1965 supplement to the BBB, so depending on your edition of the early BBB you may or may not have the procedure. Some insight into the job...……. Buy the correct skinny clamps. The norma style skinny "screw type" clamps are  much easier to deal with than the original sardine can band clamps. If you do not have the special factory tool and special clips, you will need to use a small tool to crimp closed the ends of the clips. I install the two clips which go under the clamps on each end of the boot first. Next loosely install the clamps so that the boot can be rotated when needed, for better position, to install and crimp the other clips. After all the clips are in place,  position the split as illustrated in the BBB and tighten the clamps. Removing the spring is your option. If you can find room to work the clips and clamps then go for it.  Years ago I made a custom special "right angle" clip installation tool which makes the job easy without spring removal. The original flat "staple" type clips became NLA for a while and Mercedes began supplying a "hog ring" clip instead. Some suppliers are now supplying original flat "staple" style reproductions again. Try the Classic Center also. Post questions for more details!
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
2002 ML55 AMG (tow vehicle)
2002 SLK32 AMG (350 hp)
1963 404 Mercedes Unimog (Swedish Army)
1989 flu419 Mercedes Unimog (US Army)
1998 E430
1974 450SLC Rally
1965 220SE Finback

mbzse

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 17:54:59 »
Quote from: ja17
.../...the original sardine can band clamps.../...
Joe, are these what you name "Sardine can clamps"(?)  I never heard that designation before, he he.
Anyway, I find them very nice and easy, and secure too (lots of tension provided)
Some info in this old posting:
https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=19920.msg140662#msg140662
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 14:01:52 by mbzse »
/Hans S

Topdown

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 19:44:09 »
Thanks for the overview, Joe. It is much appreciated.  Seems like everything takes a long time on these cars!  :D
Rick Katucki
64 230SL
Manual
Idaho, USA

66andBlue

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 20:29:44 »
The "sardine can clamps" are also called Beru clamps and are available from Authentic Classics:
https://www.authenticclassics.com/Beru-9mm-Toggle-Hose-Clamp-S-9-N-284-p/auth-002422.htm
They were discussed here: https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=17925.
Alfred
1964 230SL manual 4-speed 568H signal red
1966 230SL automatic 334G light blue (sold)
1968 280SL automatic (now 904G midnight blue)

Shvegel

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 22:56:28 »
Rick, It is a good thing you have already figured out the secret of the 113.  You have to go at the pace the car lets you.  It seems as if whenever you try to go faster you only increase your frustration and the job doesn't go any faster.  I am a professional mechanic and I have learned to adopt a slow steady pace when working on my car.

chuckj

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 15:51:02 »
I'm planning to do the same job on my 230SL.  It currently has a full boot that is cracked and leaking.  I'm planning to replace it with a split boot.  I'm wondering whether Rick ended up removing the spring?  Any other suggestions before I start?  Chuck

Topdown

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 05:11:29 »
Chuckj- I have not yet started on replacing my boot.  I have looked it over and decided that I can do it with the compensating spring in place. If you get yours done first and have some words of wisdom or warning, please share and I will do the same.
Rick Katucki
64 230SL
Manual
Idaho, USA

Tom in seattle

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 01:15:58 »
This is basically the same as replacing the bellows on a vw or early porsche.  Just be sure that before  you screw the split bellow together to clean the mating surfaces well.  I add rubber gasket goop to them as well.
Tom Averill
1967 250 SL Auto Euro Spec

chuckj

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 23:20:53 »
I finally got around to doing this job today.  Left the spring in place.  It's a little tight/awkward but definitely doable.  After draining the oil, I did most of the work with the back end jacked up.  Dropped it to fit the last clip and band when I needed to have the shaft level.  Filled it with oil and took it for a spin.  No leaks.  Success!

Topdown

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 05:29:32 »
Is it necessary to have the special clamp pliers to close the rings for the split boot or were you able to make something else work? 
Rick Katucki
64 230SL
Manual
Idaho, USA

chuckj

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 13:25:01 »
I used needle nose pliers and they worked fine. 

Topdown

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Re: Replacing rear axle bellows
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 01:40:10 »
chuckj- Thanks.
Rick Katucki
64 230SL
Manual
Idaho, USA