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Hi All. I recently bought 2005 SLK350 privately in UK. All is good but have read about Balance Shaft Sprocket problems on this engine. Car has done 42,000 miles with full MB history. Should I be worried about this issue? Appreciate your comments. Stuart.
 

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Yes this is somewhat common on a certain range of 272 engines. However i can say from personal experience i've never seen an slk affected by this in the past 6yrs. It tends to be the heavier cars, not sure if its conicidence. I've personally done gl450, s550, e350, sl550, r350, ml350 but never a c-class or slk. the v-8 (273) has an idler pulley rather then a balance shaft. Usually if the car is in good shape and frequents the dealer for service they will good will the engine job. I've never done one customer pay, they've always been under warranty or goodwill. I've also never seen any engine damage occur from this. <- unless the technician is stupid. haha. I wouldnt worry too much about it.
 

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My EML came on a couple of weeks ago, it has now been diagnosed as having a worn Intermediate shaft. I originally took it to a Mercedes Spec, who have let Merc look at it, to see if they agreed that this was the problem. They have now confirmed that this is the case and after two attempts at a warranty claim they have declined to do the work under warranty! Even though the car has full MB service history and only 42k!
 

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My EML came on a couple of weeks ago, it has now been diagnosed as having a worn Intermediate shaft. I originally took it to a Mercedes Spec, who have let Merc look at it, to see if they agreed that this was the problem. They have now confirmed that this is the case and after two attempts at a warranty claim they have declined to do the work under warranty! Even though the car has full MB service history and only 42k!

So do you have a Mercedes Warranty or are you trying for a goodwill? Is your car at an authorized Merc dealer?
 

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My EML came on a couple of weeks ago, it has now been diagnosed as having a worn Intermediate shaft. I originally took it to a Mercedes Spec, who have let Merc look at it, to see if they agreed that this was the problem. They have now confirmed that this is the case and after two attempts at a warranty claim they have declined to do the work under warranty! Even though the car has full MB service history and only 42k!
Did you feel anything strange while driving? Excessive vibrations felt through the dash, gearshift, ?? or was it just driving along naturally and then BAMN! chk engine light?
 

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No warranty on the car unfortunately. I took it to a Mercedes Specialist who gave the car to a Mercedes dealer to confirm their diagnosis. Once this was confirmed they contacted MB UK to see if they could cover it under warranty, this was refused on the first and second attempt. Car is on its way back to the Specialist who are going to carry the work out for me.

There was no warning, just driving to work and EML just came on!
 

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No warranty on the car unfortunately. I took it to a Mercedes Specialist who gave the car to a Mercedes dealer to confirm their diagnosis. Once this was confirmed they contacted MB UK to see if they could cover it under warranty, this was refused on the first and second attempt. Car is on its way back to the Specialist who are going to carry the work out for me.

There was no warning, just driving to work and EML just came on!
That's pretty scary....:confused:
 

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Instead of going thru an intermediary, why not drive the car to mercedes direct and go face to face with the service writer or zone manager. First party action probably will gain more attention than going thru a 3rd party where denial is easier.
 

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OK, Just had a phone call from the Indie doing the work. Job is now done. I am yet to collect the car... will not be until Tuesday as I am away at the moment, however he did say that there seemed to be aprox 3-4 teeth missing from the balance shaft gear. They also said that the shaft its self it very worn!

Once I have collected the car I will let you know if there are any audiable differences.
 

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Balance shaft sproket problem M272 engine numbers affected

I am interested in this problem because it is an interesting metallurgy failure -rather like the piston ring problem on 2005 SLK350's.I am hoping others will chime in to correct/add to what I found.
You can find lots of info if you google "M272 balance shaft failure" .It will also give info on a Class Action suit related to this. Interesting that the V8 M273 engine which has the same sprocket but not the balance shaft(V8's are inherently well balanced unlike our wobbly 90 degree V6).

The symptoms of this sprocket problem are initially "valve train clatter" .Eventually a MIL code is set- 1208 or 1210.Sometimes the problem is misdiagnosed and the culprit is the purge valve chattering.

The best source I found was:
MB DTB S-B-03.03/08i dated October 24 2008. -lots of tech details and photos.
Repair kit part number is :repair kit is A2720300013 w/o replacement of oil pump.Repair involves more than simply replacing one sprocket!
Repair takes over 30 hours because engine needs to be removed and front of engine stripped.

The cause was 'soft metal' (actually a failure to correctly heat treat powdered metal) being used for "SOME of" the balance shaft sprocket on earlier M272 engines.
M276 engines do not have the balance shaft because they are inherently balanced 60 degree v6 (not unbalanced 90 degree V6 like M272)

The problem can affect all M272 enginesup to engine number :(272.942) 30468993. The last 8 digits are what matter .Those I put in parenthesis merely identify the engine type/application.This means if you have an '07 or earlier,you'd better check your engine number.The number is on the front of the left cam cover but is difficult to find read. Your MB dealer can tell you the engine number from your VIN.
Although there are some press reports of goodwill repairs,most enthusiast forum contributors dispute that.
Mercedes Hit With Timing Chain Issues on 2004-2006 V6 and V8 Models | The Truth About Cars

Mercedes seem to have been late to learn the lessons of GM's ill-fated 90 degree V6 engines(according to some).Such sources would cite the change to 60 degrees for the current V6(M276) which is a chrysler developed design:
"Mercedes did something absolutely masterful, and only those who pay close attention realize that something changed from the 90 degree M272 V6 to the 60 degree M276 V6. The M276 V6 is Pentastar derived and other than the fact that the V angle changed which MB does document they make no mention of the change, and in fact to most it appears to be a direct injection version of the previous V6. "

BMW are planning a new 90 degree V6?
The Spun Bearing: The Case For the 90 Degree V6 (With Reservations)

I hope others will correct factual errors and add to the information to help those with balance shaft sprocket failure.
 

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Well, our 2005 350 SLK 66,000 mi. is undergoing the balance shaft replacement as I speak. The initial replacement went smoothly, no warranty coverage all on me. But then the computer wouldn't reset. Now I find out the MB kit that that they have developed for this "hardly ever" problem had un matched sensors. Fortunately on the front of the engine so it doesn't have to come out again. So MB is sending new ones and the car sits.
 

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So what kind of sound does this initial 'lifter chatter' sound like? Does anyone have a youtube or recording of it? Or is this more like a sudden CEL?
 

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I never heard any valve train noise prior to my balance shaft replacement.

That's an interesting note on the sensors -- two of mine didn't work afterwards either, I wonder why. My self-diagnosis involving these sensors says they're more than simple hall-effect sensors.

I did read somewhere that the ME somehow knows the position of the engine at startup, prior to rotation. I wonder if these sensors provide that.

They surely are more expensive than your typical hall sensor.
 

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Now I find out the MB kit that that they have developed for this "hardly ever" problem had un matched sensors. Fortunately on the front of the engine so it doesn't have to come out again. So MB is sending new ones and the car sits.
My mechanic pointed out to me that my sprocket has not been fixed because I still had the original sensors. This may be of interest for people who bought their vehicles second-hand and are wondering if their sprockets have been replaced yet. The sensors are easily viewable from the engine bay.
 
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I am seriously considering a 2006 SLK350 with 36k miles - engine # 272963 30 220877
When I see the car again, where are the sensors located on the block or heads?
Is there a picture or a thread that provide additional info?
Thanks.
 
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