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Tumble Flap Actuator Repair
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Tumble Flap Actuator Repair

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$300

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx, small flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-14)
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 (2010-14)

Parts Required:

Actuator repair kit, silicone grease, blue Loctite

Hot Tip:

Lube the ball cups

Performance Gain:

Better engine performance

Complementary Modification:

New injector O-rings

Along with the variable intake runners on the intake manifold on the Mercedes C350 the manifold also has tumble flaps. These tumble flaps on each side of the intake help swirl the air entering the combustion chamber helping with performance and economy. While the system works reasonably well, over time carbon will build up on the flaps and cause more stress on the plastic actuator arm than the system was designed to handle. This usually results in the failure of the plastic pivot lever where it meets the actuator arm. If you drive the car long enough you are going to see this part break and result in poor low end performance as well as a drop in fuel economy. Make sure to clean the manifold of excessive carbon build up on the swirl flaps before reinstalling the manifold. Excess carbon deposits can lead to inconsistent performance even after repair.

While some shops can charge upwards of $3000.00 dollars to fix this Pelican Parts sells a repair kit that will get you back up and running for a fraction of the cost.

While the repair to the actuator and pivot lever can be performed in under an hour you do need to remove the intake manifold to access the repair. Please see our article on intake manifold removal for additional information.

The actuator and pivot lever are located at the front of the intake manifold (red arrow) and cannot be accessed without removing the intake from the engine.
Figure 1

The actuator and pivot lever are located at the front of the intake manifold (red arrow) and cannot be accessed without removing the intake from the engine. Please see our article on intake manifold removal for step-by-step instructions.

With the manifold out you can see the complete tumbler or swirl flap system -- the actuator (yellow arrow), the pivot lever (red arrow) and the tumble flap armatures (green arrows).
Figure 2

With the manifold out you can see the complete tumbler or swirl flap system -- the actuator (yellow arrow), the pivot lever (red arrow) and the tumble flap armatures (green arrows).

The kit includes a new actuator with a metal, not plastic arm (red arrow), new hardware (pivot bolt, and push nut, yellow arrow) and an aluminum pivot lever (green arrow).
Figure 3

The kit includes a new actuator with a metal, not plastic arm (red arrow), new hardware (pivot bolt, and push nut, yellow arrow) and an aluminum pivot lever (green arrow).

This photo illustrates the most common failure; the plastic ball joint breaks off of the pivot lever arm (red arrow).
Figure 4

This photo illustrates the most common failure; the plastic ball joint breaks off of the pivot lever arm (red arrow).

Use a small flathead screwdriver and carefully pry the push nut off the stud that holds the actuator in place (red arrow).
Figure 5

Use a small flathead screwdriver and carefully pry the push nut off the stud that holds the actuator in place (red arrow).

Slide the actuator off the mount and separate the rubber hose from the hard plastic line (red arrow).
Figure 6

Slide the actuator off the mount and separate the rubber hose from the hard plastic line (red arrow). The actuator in the kit comes with a new rubber section of hose so you can carefully cut the old one off rather than risk breaking the hard line.

Using a flathead screwdriver carefully pry both flap connecting arms from the ball cups on the pivot arm (red arrows).
Figure 7

Using a flathead screwdriver carefully pry both flap connecting arms from the ball cups on the pivot arm (red arrows).

Use a T30 Torx and remove the pivot bolt (red arrow).
Figure 8

Use a T30 Torx and remove the pivot bolt (red arrow). Use care as these are held in by Loctite and usually strip when removed.

With the actuator and pivot lever off check the condition of the pivot lever mount.
Figure 9

With the actuator and pivot lever off check the condition of the pivot lever mount.

Install the new metal pivot lever while putting a small amount of silicone grease on the ball cup and pivot mounting bolt surface (red arrows).
Figure 10

Install the new metal pivot lever while putting a small amount of silicone grease on the ball cup and pivot mounting bolt surface (red arrows). Place a small amount of blue Loctite on the pivot bolt threads and install and torque to 7-8 ft. / lbs.

Make sure to clean the swirl flaps of any carbon build up before reinstalling the manifold in the engine (red arrow).
Figure 11

Make sure to clean the swirl flaps of any carbon build up before reinstalling the manifold in the engine (red arrow).

With everything installed and cleaned you are ready to reinstall the intake manifold.
Figure 12

With everything installed and cleaned you are ready to reinstall the intake manifold.


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Comments and Suggestions:
JJM IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA SENT Comments: Have a 2012 MERCEDES-BENZ C250SL 4 DOOR SEDAN WITH THE W204 FOUR CYLINDER TURBOCHARGED INGAIN, WAS JUST LOOKING NOTHING BROKEN .fantastic website.
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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