1991 310P, 4x4, Little bit of help needed, axle sourcing...

bigalsmith101

New member
Hey everyone!

I recently became the new owner of a 1991 Mercedes Benz 310P, 4x4, after the previous owners rolled it over onto the drivers side after hitting some black ice!

They bent the front axle (drivers side) in the accident. Not enough to prevent it from driving, but enough that the drive shaft broke 20mi down the road. They replaced it with a new one, and broke it again 20 miles down the road. I have since bought it.

It's drivable, like I said, but not without the driveshaft spinning around in the axle!

Is there any reason I can't simply remove the front left drive shaft from the axle housing and utilize it as a rear wheel drive vehicle until parts are sourced, or axle is straightened?

Cheers!

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bigalsmith101

New member
I doubt its a full floating type hub - if the axle isn't there will the wheel stay on?
What kind of photos would you need to determine if it's a full floating type hub? (I'm displaying my full ignorance)

Here is a shitty picture from my cellphone. You can see my drivers side axle leaking fluid onto the tire.
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Haf-E

Expedition Leader
Do you have a the old axle by chance? A picture of it would help.

These 4wd conversions used Gwagen axles - so that could be a source for a replacement axle. I suspect significant changes to the bracketry would be required as your setup uses leaf springs vs coil springs on the G.

You'd probably be able to drive it on 2wd with a cut off axle - removing the part by the diff while keeping the section at the hub.

I'd go onto a Mercedes forum - especially one about Gwagens - they would know.
 

bigalsmith101

New member
Do you have a the old axle by chance? A picture of it would help.

These 4wd conversions used Gwagen axles - so that could be a source for a replacement axle. I suspect significant changes to the bracketry would be required as your setup uses leaf springs vs coil springs on the G.

You'd probably be able to drive it on 2wd with a cut off axle - removing the part by the diff while keeping the section at the hub.

I'd go onto a Mercedes forum - especially one about Gwagens - they would know.
I do not have the old axle, though I was aware they utilize Gwagen parts, and that will likely be where the replacement is found.

I don't think I need to cut off any part of the axle... There is an interior driveshaft with CV joints. I imagine removing the drive shaft, and utilizing as 2wd until the axel is straightened or replaced, and then the drive shaft replaced as well.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
Might be better to swap out the axle (or both axles) to something easier to source parts for here in the USA or when abroad - perhaps land cruiser axles?
 

bigalsmith101

New member
Might be better to swap out the axle (or both axles) to something easier to source parts for here in the USA or when abroad - perhaps land cruiser axles?
This was brought up by my friend as well, using Dana 44 axles as an example. Research would be needed of course, but that is an idea warranting it.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
One caution - apparently pre-1990 gwagens with the part time 4wd transfer case spin the front driveshaft in the reverse direction of normal axles... So a flipped center section / diff would be required for the front axle. Still might be cheaper than a gwagen axle.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
When the axle broke could you drive it in 4wd?

Full floating axles allow that. Gwagens don't have them so I would think not... But I guess it depends also on what part of the axle shaft broke - since there are two shafts with a CV joint in the middle.

With a bent axle housing I would think the inner shaft between the diff and the CV joint would be the one that broke.
 

bigalsmith101

New member
When the axle broke could you drive it in 4wd?

Full floating axles allow that. Gwagens don't have them so I would think not... But I guess it depends also on what part of the axle shaft broke - since there are two shafts with a CV joint in the middle.

With a bent axle housing I would think the inner shaft between the diff and the CV joint would be the one that broke.
I must not be using the correct terminology.

Indeed, it is the INNER SHAFT between the differential and the CV joint that broke. It is referred to as the Axle Shaft, now that I look more closely.
 

bigalsmith101

New member
When the axle broke could you drive it in 4wd?

Full floating axles allow that. Gwagens don't have them so I would think not... But I guess it depends also on what part of the axle shaft broke - since there are two shafts with a CV joint in the middle.
It's not currently operational in 4wd, but is drivable. The front left axle shaft is broken, and spinning around in the axle.
 

javajoe79

Fabricator
I must not be using the correct terminology.

Indeed, it is the INNER SHAFT between the differential and the CV joint that broke. It is referred to as the Axle Shaft, now that I look more closely.
Maybe take it apart, remove the broken stub at the differential end and reassemble with the out half.

So the axle housing is bent? You could probably strip it down completely and find a fab shop to straighten it and perhaps reinforce it.
 

bigalsmith101

New member
Maybe take it apart, remove the broken stub at the differential end and reassemble with the out half.

So the axle housing is bent? You could probably strip it down completely and find a fab shop to straighten it and perhaps reinforce it.
I think this is the stage I'm at right now, re: taking it apart, removing the broken stub at the differential, and then reassembling with the outer half, which I've heard is necessary as the outer half serves as a wheel bearing retainer?

The axle housing is bent. I do think stripping it down to have it straightened will likely be the best option. Most economical no doubt.
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
Where is the truck - perhaps someone knows of a suitable fab shop which can straighten and reinforce the axle...
 
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