water in differential

Surfmaster

New member
Hello everyone. New here so thanks for having me and thanks in advance for feedback and advice. Im driving a 2019 2500 170E 4x4. My problem is water in my differential and a low grade grinding noise. My question is this. How the hell did water get in my differential and what may be the source of the noise? It seems to me that the differential should be able to handle some immersion safely. How can this be prevented?
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
How the hell did water get in my differential
Assuming VS30 is the same as NCV3, there is a differential vent with tubing that runs up to just under the body, This gives a few more inches of depth before water could be introduced via immersion over a direct vent. I have heard the theory that immersing a hot diff in a body of water creates a temperature change that draws in water via the diff vent, but in my past years of north woods four wheeling to include river crossings where water came over the hood I have never had this occur.

I assume you opened the diff drain and got oil/water mix? if so, suggest you put in new oil MB spec oil and run the diff and check in a few 100 miles to see what it looks like. And check the vent tubing for security and routing. If you have been doing stream crossings you might have introduced grit into the brakes - assuming grinding noise matches rotation speed of your tires and not your drive shaft.
 

Surfmaster

New member
The sound is independent of braking and is consistent with wheel rotation. I wonder if I could have forced water into the rubber plug or vent hose when I wash it? I have a habit of washing the undercarriage after surf trips to clean sand and salt from underneath. Still, never had this happen on previous 4x4 vehicles I’ve owned...
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Could be a pebble stuck between rotor and shield. I guess you could introduce water via the vent if you were using a pressure washer and stayed on the vent end for a awhile, but chances of hitting it just right (wrong) are low. I assume the fill plug is present and fits well ...
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Hello everyone. New here so thanks for having me and thanks in advance for feedback and advice. Im driving a 2019 2500 170E 4x4. My problem is water in my differential and a low grade grinding noise. My question is this. How the hell did water get in my differential and what may be the source of the noise? It seems to me that the differential should be able to handle some immersion safely. How can this be prevented?
Question, are you just guessing you have water in the diff or have you actually drained the oil to confirm?

Keith.
 

Surfmaster

New member
Update, after draining the diff, I examined the oil and did not find any water.(A mechanic had told me there was water in there) So I refilled it, jacked up the van onto jack stands, chocked the front wheels, and put it in drive. I traced the sound to one of the drive shaft support bearings! It doesn’t sound like it’s eating itself, just making a lot of rotation noise. I sprayed it down liberally with triflow but I’m not sure if I get much penetration. Driving it again though, the noise disappears intermittently, matching the flex of the driveshaft going over waves in the road, for example. Sometimes it stops for extended driving distance. Question. Can these units be replaced or are they an integral part of the drive shaft?
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Im driving a 2019 2500 170E 4x4.
Update, after draining the diff, I examined the oil and did not find any water.(A mechanic had told me there was water in there) So I refilled it, jacked up the van onto jack stands, chocked the front wheels, and put it in drive. I traced the sound to one of the drive shaft support bearings! It doesn’t sound like it’s eating itself, just making a lot of rotation noise. I sprayed it down liberally with triflow but I’m not sure if I get much penetration. Driving it again though, the noise disappears intermittently, matching the flex of the driveshaft going over waves in the road, for example. Sometimes it stops for extended driving distance. Question. Can these units be replaced or are they an integral part of the drive shaft?
Surely a 2019 is still under warranty? Unless you've clocked up some hyper mileage and taken it over 100,000 miles already?
If it is then head to the dealer and ask them to fix it.

As per a mechanic. He was wrong.
So an under water shade tree mechanic, that must be a new breed :idunno: :idunno: :idunno:
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
I have seen water in differentials, ostensibly caused by either condensation or actual water ingress.
I saw it first on a 1968 (Standard Triumph a.k.a Leyland 20 van) condensation.
Saw it again a few months ago with a 2008 Sprinter again (condensation.

Seen it a few time with Iraqi Army Landrovers used to wade through the delta waters of the Shatt Al Arab because they didn't have the vent tubes connected--water ingress--neglect.
Never seen it in a Pinzgauer, in spite of wading in cab windshield deep water trundling down the Snake River; the owner thumbing his nose at anglers and boaties trying to launch with his 20 mph wave wake.

But then Pinzies have a unique main unit pressurization system that keeps a low residual pressure in the boxes thus keeping water out ,no matter how deep the water.
Cheers Dennis



 
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4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
I have seen water in differentials, ostensibly caused by either condensation or actual water ingress.
I saw it first on a 1968 (Standard Triumph a.k.a Leyland 20 van) condensation.
Saw it again a few months with a 2008 Sprinter again (condensation.

Seen it a few time with Iraqi Army Landrovers used to wade through the delta waters of the Shatt Al Arab because they didn't have the vent tubes connected--water ingress--neglect.
Never seen it in a Pinzgauer, in spite of wading in cab windshield deep water trundling down the Snake River; the owner thumbing his nose at anglers and boaties trying to launch with his 20 mph wave wake.

But then Pinzies have a unique main unit pressurization system that keeps a low residual pressure in the boxes thus keeping water out ,no matter how deep the water.
Cheers Dennis



I got water in the differential of a '78 Fiat 131. I knew it was a possibility, because I drove down a street with water over half way up the wheels, to get home. The next day, I checked, and the diff was overfull and the stuff in there looked like whipped mud.
I changed the fluid, drove it and checked it again. Still looked awfully frothy.
I think I changed it 4 times before I found it acceptable again.
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
... drive shaft support bearings ... Question. Can these units be replaced or are they an integral part of the drive shaft?
Fairly common source of driveline noise in previous models of Sprinter - in those models the shaft support bearings can be replaced and are not part of the drive shaft (unlike universals) I don't know for sure for a VS - but as Cheyenne suggests - this should be warranty work unless you loaded up on the miles.
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
going to pull this out of my cranium, .. warranty on the driveshaft support bearings will be 3 years or 30,000 miles.
Surely a 2019 is still under warranty? Unless you've clocked up some hyper mileage and taken it over 100,000 miles already?
If it is then head to the dealer and ask them to fix it.
So an under water shade tree mechanic, that must be a new breed :idunno: :idunno: :idunno:
 
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Surfmaster

New member
Fairly common source of driveline noise in previous models of Sprinter - in those models the shaft support bearings can be replaced and are not part of the drive shaft (unlike universals) I don't know for sure for a VS - but as Cheyenne suggests - this should be warranty work unless you loaded up on the miles.
Thanks, good info. Can the dealer refuse to warranty if youve driven in high water?
 

Surfmaster

New member
Update, I managed to remove the old support bearing. It’s interesting to note that there is surface corrosion inside the bearing and it feels a little rough turning in my hand. It was not tight enough to keep out all moisture but it was SUPER tight when removing!! After cutting away the rubber portion of the mount I was able to use a standard 3 arm puller but it was so tight that I had to use a metal punch to assist. I would tighten the puller and tap around the flange. Tighten tap. Tighten tap.
 

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sailquik

Well-known member
You bought a precision bearing for your Sprinter on Amazon?
Did you get an exact replacement bearing with the same numbers including all the letters for the seals and lubricant, as the original that you pulled off the drive shaft.
How will you press the new bearing back onto the driveshaft without damage?
******************
Normal MB Sprinter dealer warranty process on the 2 or 3 piece Sprinter driveshafts is:
1/ Change the steady bearing (s).
Give back to the customer to drive for a while.
2/ Replace the driveshaft with a complete new assembly including new
steady bearing (s).
Hope this helps,
Roger
 

Surfmaster

New member
You bought a precision bearing for your Sprinter on Amazon?
Did you get an exact replacement bearing with the same numbers including all the letters for the seals and lubricant, as the original that you pulled off the drive shaft.
How will you press the new bearing back onto the driveshaft without damage?
******************
Normal MB Sprinter dealer warranty process on the 2 or 3 piece Sprinter driveshafts is:
1/ Change the steady bearing (s).
Give back to the customer to drive for a while.
2/ Replace the driveshaft with a complete new assembly including new
steady bearing (s).
Hope this helps,
Roger
Yes, I ordered the exact part number for the bearing. I am going to use a large socket or piece of appropriate sized pipe to install the new bearing.
 

Antny

New member
Seals fail and water intrusion happens. Stay out of mud, fine sand and water as often as you can. I cant tell you how many jeep axles i have seen with water intrusion causing a good nasty milkshake in the diff causing all kinds of damage. Extending your vent tubes can "help".
 

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