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Mercedes-Benz M-class (ML320, ML350, ML500 and ML55) 2005 and earlier



  • rjlimrjlim Posts: 30
    By the way, I bought the ML430 wheels, and trying to figure out what tires to use. I tried calling Jensen Tires and told them I'm looking for a Dunlop 275/55R17 and they said that Dunlop does not have that size, nor any other tire makers. Any suggestions as to what kind of tires I should use?

  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    biker5 -

    I'm live in Virginia.

    Has anyone from VA activated their aux lights?
  • cjgordoncjgordon Posts: 32
    I just found a wiring harness (unattached to anything) in my jack storage compartment. It's in a clear bag that says Aux. Light Wiring Harness. Where does this thin attach. I've got aux. lights, but they're not hooked to anything.

    Also, I have a new wiring harness for towing (from MB dealer). Where/how does this attach?

    Any help on either of these is sincerely appreciated.

  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    Check the harness...and if it is a Y designed and have a connector on each end that is the harness for your front foglight, you can check it by inserting the blue plug to the harness on your ML and can be found on right side of the grill if you are facing the car open the black rubber cover. Towing harness...on your trunk just right below the first aid kit there are two square opening that you can lift up gently, pick the one close to the lift gate.. inside you will find the wiring cable for your harness.Connect it and pop out the rubber groumet on the car floor so you can pull the end of the harness to attach to your bumper. hope this will help.
  • biker5biker5 Posts: 199
    I used to live in Northern VA for 12 years during my active years in the military,specifically Springfield, VA. Sorry for the off topic.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    This is a (quick) translation of Auto, Motor und Sport's report pertaining to MB's new addition to the off-road family. Pictures (Computer images) can be seen at under "Forums" and "W 163 M-Class". Please excuse the lack of refinement in the translation (not enough time):

    2004 is the beginning of a new offensive move in the off-road market, strategically fucused on north america. Preparations began last year with an investment of $600 million in MB's Tuscaloosa plant. The intention is to double the current capacity to 160 000 units within the next three years.

    Not only the new ML-Class (W 164) will be produced there by the end of 2004, but also (even six months earlier) a completely new type of off-roader, the GST (Grand Sport Tourer). This large tourer will posess good off-road capabilities and will be based on the upcoming ML-Class' technology. It is planned to target the more comfort-oriented clientele, for whom the current Geländewagen is just too crude, and who tend to buy the likes of LC, RR, Porsche Cayenne and VW Colorado.

    The all-wheel-driven GST will be available in a standard version as well as a version with extended wheelbase, which will not only house a larger trunk but also a fully retractable third seat option. The GST, just as the new ML, will no longer have a separate ladder frame, but a unibody construction. Not only does this measure save weight and cost, it also allows for more flexibility in terms of additional body versions. Novelty for ML and GST: the availability of air suspension and manual leveling on the rear axle.

    This construction hints that the "big tourer" will emphasize a comfortable ride over off-road capabilities. For the latter, MB still offers the G-Class (Geländewagen) and Chrysler's Jeep models.

    Visually, the close to 17 ft (slightly more than 5 meters) long stretch-version appears big, with a mighty grille, turn signals on top of the front fenders, bulging fenders and quarters, high roof line, panoramic rear glass and vertical tail lights.

    Depending on the market, the GST will be available with both, gas and diesel engines, a part of which is force-fed (turbo or supercharger). The smaller engines in the four-, six- and eight cylinder lineup will be confined to Europe. Power ratings should range from 200hp to 400hp in the AMG versions. At least half of all Grand Sport Tourers will most likely be sold in the Geländewagen-crazy USA, where the ML is already an established force in the market, and where the G-Class is now even officially imported.

    Although it's hugely popular in the US, the current ML has a big drawback - it is too small. 15 ft (4.58m) might be more than "good size" from a European point of view, but in traffic dominated by full size pick-ups, gigantic vans and monster-SUVs like Excursion, Navigators and Suburbans, the ML-Class seemingly shrinks to Micky-Mouse format. Bigger size is needed just to help visual appearance.

    MB goes this route also to separate the ML more from its Detroit sibling, the JGC. It will grow by roughly eight inches (20cm), with an additional version with extended wheelbase in mind. As opposed to the tourer, the next ML will be the more pronounced off-roader, improved over the current version by additional locking differentials.

    Optical differences between the ML and the GST will not only be the sheer size, but also the wedge-type appearance due to an ascending side line, a dropping roof line, and a boxy rear end. The cockpit of the second generation ML boasts a newly designed instrument cluster with a prominent and huge color monitor in the center console. In order to keep the current ML-Class attractive until the sucessor is available, it will be refreshed in time for the Frankfurt Auto Show. A first outlook as to the GST might be shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2002.

    Exhausted Tarik
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Thanks for the AMS translation.
  • tonytontonyton Posts: 5
    Thanks to your help guys I found the 2002 Facelift pics. If anybody else is curious, you can check these 2 links:,


    The changes seem to be interesting and may be worth the wait. Anyone know if there will be an increase in the MSRP ?
  • sslibertyssliberty Posts: 7
    Last week I received notification from MB that my 2000 ML320 now requires use of synthetic motor oil as part of the FFS. The recommended engine oils are as follows:

    Mobil 1 Synthetic 15W-50
    Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-40 (only available to dealers)
    Valvoline Synthetic 5W-30
    Castrol Syntec 5W-50
    Castrol Syntec 10W40
    Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5W-30
    Shell Helix Ultra 5W-30
    Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40

    I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mobil 1 user like most people on this board. Is MB telling me that Mobil 1 OW-30, 5W-30, 10W-30 are not as good as the other brands listed in similar weights?

    I live in Southern California, do alot of stop and go driving, many short trips of less than 10 miles, drive to Mammoth Lakes (snow country) via the desert in both winter and summer. At 1200 miles I changed the mystery factory oil with Mobil 1 5W30 and plan to continue oil changes at half the FSS schedule (approx. 5000 mile intervals). I can't get a straight answer from any of the half dozen dealers in my area. What Mobil 1 weight oil would be best?

    I don't like second guessing MB, but 15W-50 seems to heavy and does not provide enough cold temp. protection, and 0W-40 is not available for do-it-your-selfers. What's a guy to do?

    Thanks in advance!
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Did I read that rigth, will a diesel model be available?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, the ML400 CDI is new for '02, however, not for the North American market. Our high sulphur diesel is the main stumbling block since it renders the advanced emission control devices useless.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Thanks a lot for the AMS translation, Tarik! Good job and it sounds very interesting! I wonder how the locking differentials idea is going to work though. No more 4 wheel independent suspension and traction control? Or maybe only a locking diffy for the centre?

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    ssliberty: When I contacted Mobil a short time ago on where, other then the dealer, I could get the 0w40 Mobil 1 MB suggested they told me it was only available at my MB dealer. However, they went on to say their Mobil 1 Delvac 5w40 commercial oil met all of MB's new requirements. I live in upstate NY where we have some quite cold weather, so the 15w50 is not a viable option for my use.

    I will be using this for my next change, in between the FSS/dealer changes. Mobil 1's Delvac being a commercial vehicle lubricate is available at most truck stops or repair centers in 4 quart containers.
  • mercaramercara Posts: 291
    Has anyone washed the Engine compartment of their M-Class. Is it safe? Should I watch out for something.

  • cjgordoncjgordon Posts: 32
    ...for the info Jaime. And, thanks for the CD Changer Roger.

  • sencsenc Posts: 44
    Any idea what he did? I have heard some techs are slitting the seal and inserting very small aquarium tubes ti tighten up the connection between the seal and the steel of the roof. At what dealer/city is your German tech located? Thanks for any info.
  • maabmaab Posts: 41
    I'll be very carefull. I tried to wash SAAB engine once, and I messed it up big time. I covered ignition coil and such with plastic bags; however, it just went to a limp mode, and convulse like crazy at idle. A sad scene of freshly waxed black convertilble on a sunny day, but can't drive. My mechanic friend came by and "dried" out MAP sensor(s).

    We all know MB has more electronic than anyone out there, so just be careful.
  • sshowittsshowitt Posts: 137
    I second the carefullness of washing the engine. I once had a corvette and used superclean on it, the acid in the superclean stained the aluminum valve covers. if you do wash it, make sure that the engine is cold. There are some engine cleaners on the marker that act like oven cleaners and must be sprayed on while the engine is hot, but rinsed off after it cools, Gunk comes to mind
  • wedgebunnywedgebunny Posts: 14
    I've read a few posts about taking their MLs off the asphalt and love to read some more, after all MB says the ML is more of a truck than a shopping center curb hopper.

    I have an MB sedan but I needed something with more space. I picked up my'01 ML 320 with the idea of hauling stuff and going off road with the added comfort of an MB vehicle. What I mean by off road is not the lawn and not the Adirondack Trail, I mean within reason but tougher than light off roading.

    Around me in the Northeast there are tons of those freshly staked out areas for future developments. Usually the future road has been staked out and a Catipillar has run up and down it a few times. So they range from a few messy ruts to muddy pits.

    I must say the ML did better than I thought, I do recommend you turn the ESP off since it hurts momentum and can get annoying with all of its complaining. I am used to off roading being the past owner of Jeeps and International Harvesters and running them into the ground (literally)around the Catskill Mountains. This type of run was nothing new to me, but doing it in the ML was, SUVs are not supposed to do this, but MB says the ML can so lets go!

    Keep in mind I did not take the ML into any serious areas, but, I did hit a few challenging spots. The ride was controlled and comfortable. Not once did I feel as though we would get stuck. A few times we hit a bump hard enough to get the front end to jump a bit, but coming back down was uneventful. Let me add that a Lexus RX300 I would never take here. With the hundreds of large undulations, logs and large stones to go over I'd be fearful of bending something or hitting the frame as the car like suspension tried to absorb rough areas. The ML never felt stressed even when we hit some hard terrain.

    I know the ML is not a true 4X4, but, I do believe Mercedes statement that it can handle far more than its competition, Lexus, MDX, etc. is very true, excluding a Land Rover. MB has done an excellent job of building a comfortable SUV that if needed, can take on some decent terrain.

    Those of you thinking of trying this just be careful. As I mentioned before, I did hit some tough areas, but I was extremely careful when I did. Having no skid plates and a $40K vehicles paint job kept me humble :)

    Look forward to some stories.
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