Main.TrailIndexPage | Drive Shaft and Rear Axle | DriveShaft.Differential


This component is part of Driveshaft and Rear Axle.

The W113 cars were as standard delivered with different rear axle gear ratios depending on engine, transmission and delivery market. The original ratio is stamped on the differential housing. Various non-standard rear axle ratios could optionally be ordered from factory. Check if you have option code 212, 232, or 255 on your data card.

Rear axle ratios:;topic=18239.0;attach=20119;image

Some 250SL and 280SLs where optionally factory equipped with a limited slip differential (Option code 256).


The standard differential, and connected rear axle is lubricated by Hypoid Gear Oil SAE 90 or Limited slip oil SAE 90. It contains approx. 2.5 litres. The limited slip differential should be lubricated with Limited Slip Differential Oil SAE 90.

Following are the most common maintenance jobs on the differential:

Check oil level

The oil level is checked by loosening the upper plug on the differential housing with a 14 mm hex wrench. Put in a finger (with nitrile glove on) and check if the oil level is up to just beneath the plug opening. If not, replenish.

Oil change

Oil change in the rear axle should be carried out regularly every 6 000 km or every 2 years. It should always be done with the rear axle levelled in horizontal position.


Clean breather

There is a breather located on the top of the differential housing. Make sure it is not clogged.

Pinion seal renewal

If oil leaks from the front of the differential housing it is most likely the pinion seal that needs to be replaced.

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