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Hi everyone. My 2004 350 SLK requires the intake manifold repair as the little flap has broken, according my indy mechanic. I have the repair kit, and the car will soon be going in for the work. He is worried about shearing off bolts that were put on at the factory with Loctite.

Should this be a fairly easy repair or is he right to be worried? Might I be better off just getting a used manifold and swapping them over? Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
Hi everyone. My 2004 350 SLK requires the intake manifold repair as the little flap has broken, according my indy mechanic. I have the repair kit, and the car will soon be going in for the work. He is worried about shearing off bolts that were put on at the factory with Loctite.

Should this be a fairly easy repair or is he right to be worried? Might I be better off just getting a used manifold and swapping them over? Any advice would be much appreciated!
A search of this site will show you that many have had to do this repair and shearing bolts has not been a problem. The bigger issue is to make sure that the flaps that the broken lever operate and not binding in any way. If they are binding or just starting to bind, the flaps will eventually break and the broken pieces will be pulled into the combustion chambers of the engine. This is not a good situation and could be big problem for the engine. Cleaning the areas around the flaps of all carbon buildup will help to keep the flaps from binding.

It sounds like your mechanic has not done this repair before and so you may want to find someone that has. If you are concerned about just replacing the broken lever, the only other option is to replace the entire intake manifold with new. Buying a used will likely have the same issues as your current manifold in the near future. New manifolds online are not terribly expensive - at least not like buying from a dealer.

Good luck.
 

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2008 SL500
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120 Posts
My R171 had the same problem and my mechanic was just as tense as yours about wrecking the body of the Manifold and/or stripping the heads of the (quite fragile and very reluctant) bolts.
In the end I imported a new manifold from a German supplier and my guys fitted it with no problem.
If you are interested you can find the rest of the tome (and there is a lot of it!!) here: http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-general-discussion/32924-weird-electrics-2.html
Eventually I sold the old box (and gave to the Polish purchaser the unused Yank repair part I had bought for about 120 bucks!) on Ebay.
Good luck. It's a great car.
 

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2007 SLK55 AMG
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3,633 Posts
Where in the Midlands are you?
This place is supposed to be the best in Nottingham.
I have only heard good reports.
I have never used them but people i know have and they will use them again.
MB Centre
MB Centre - Mercedes servicing & repairs Nottingham
Unit 4, White City Trading Estate, Little Tennis Street, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG2 4EL.
 

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Premium Member 2007 SLK350
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32 Posts
After watching some YouTube videos on the subject I decided to order a new pierburg intake manifold from Partsgeeks. Prior to installing the new manifold I replaced the lousy plastic bellcrank with the aluminum one I purchased from Uro. It took several hours to clear all the obsticals prior to removing the old intake. It took around an hour to reinstall the new intake and all the connections. The fishing line worked great on the intake gaskets!

I started investigating the cause of the failure on my old intake. The tumbler flaps operated very easily and surely didn't cause this failure. My personal conclusion is that the bellcrank is poorly engineered and is to weak and brittle. Mercedes Benz should be ashamed of this situation and doing all they can to repair all these cars. Chrysler just issued a recall on the windshield washer bottles because some may crack and leak. This is definitely my last Mercedes base on how they stand behind there product.

My old intake is perfectly find other that it needs the bellcrank replaced. I will take pics and offer it for sale in the next few days. My car runs great again!
 

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2008 SL500
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120 Posts
I, too, found the whole Intake Manifold was completely undamaged by the experience of the 'snapped' (rotating bit which I didn't know was called a ) bellcrank.
My meccie had tried to superglue the broken part and initially seemed to have succeeded. However, when the engine was first run after this 'repair' there was a 'snap'! and the 'repair failed!!
I was surprised (because I actually saw the break happen) how violent was the movement when the 'bellcrank' was actuated. The tumble flaps within the body of the manifold must rotate very quickly and with a fair degree of force.
And that, of course, is why Merc should have made the bellcrank out of METAL!!
 

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bellcrank

I had mine done today ive been driving it around for about 4 months with it broken and didn't think it made much diff to the performance until it was repaired there is a fair bit of diff much quicker glad I got at sorted
 

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2005 SLK350
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I, too, found the whole Intake Manifold was completely undamaged by the experience of the 'snapped' (rotating bit which I didn't know was called a ) bellcrank.
My meccie had tried to superglue the broken part and initially seemed to have succeeded. However, when the engine was first run after this 'repair' there was a 'snap'! and the 'repair failed!!
I was surprised (because I actually saw the break happen) how violent was the movement when the 'bellcrank' was actuated. The tumble flaps within the body of the manifold must rotate very quickly and with a fair degree of force.
And that, of course, is why Merc should have made the bellcrank out of METAL!!
Actually there are some aftermarket units that are aluminium. Look them up in Amazon / Ebay for M272 intake flap
 

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2008 SL500
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120 Posts
Having read this 'resurrected(!)' matter, which is ,obviously, still troubling our cohort, I realised that access to relevant articles on the topic can be hard to find.
The following extract is from a long-ago section entitled 'Weird Electrics' (because that's how the matter began...).
There are pictures of the 'bell crank' problem available on that section for those who continue to be troubled by Merc's bad idea regarding plastic parts they placed in the furnace under our collective bonnet/hood!
Quote:
One picture shows the Air Intake Manifold as it should look, with levers intact and attached to the black 'triangular', rotating part which (regretfully quite often!) breaks.
The other picture shows (besides my questionable manicure...) the fault which causes grief!!
So if you intend to acquire (or indeed already own) a 171 350 SLK and are in any doubt about the way it accelerates, have a look beneath the engine cover and check the Air Box which sits in the middle, on the top of the engine.
And always remember...it's a lovely car but the course of true love never did run smooth!!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Hope it will help.
 
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