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Front Driveshaft Flex-Disc Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Driveshaft Flex-Disc Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

13mm, 15mm, 16mm sockets, pry bar, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz E320 (2003-09)
Mercedes-Benz E500 (2003-06)
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (2003-06)

Parts Required:

Driveshaft flex-disc, Driveshaft flex-disc fasteners, exhaust gaskets and hardware

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and allow exhaust to cool before beginning

Performance Gain:

Smooth drivetrain

Complementary Modification:

Replace bolts for flex-disc

A Giubo, also known as a driveshaft flex-disc, and frequently misspelled as guibo, is a flexible coupling used to transmit rotational torque between the drive shaft and the transmission or the rear differential.

The Giubo is made from flexible rubber and is designed to allow some angular misalignment while reducing driveline vibrations. Input and output shaft flanges are bolted to the Giubo on either side using alternating hole positions, so the flanges are not connected directly to one another but instead only through the insulating rubber material of the coupling. The elasticity of the rubber absorbs vibration and flexes for alignment.

Since it is made of solid rubber it dries out and wears over time. You may experience a drivetrain vibration or shimmy. If so, inspect your driveshaft flex-disc. It should be free from distortion, cracks and tears, and have no missing pieces. If you find any of these problems, replace the driveshaft flex-disc and mounting fasteners. To access the driveshaft flex-disc, you have to remove the exhaust system or lower it about eight inches. When replacing, at the minimum, replace the self-locking nuts that attach the driveshaft flex-disc. I prefer to replace the bolts too. The driveshaft flex-disc is also referred to as the Giubo.

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the front flex-disc without removing the exhaust or driveshaft.

Raise and support rear of vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The flex-disc (red arrow) is just out of sight and is tucked above and forward of the transmission cross member.
Figure 1

The flex-disc (red arrow) is just out of sight and is tucked above and forward of the transmission cross member.

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the transmission with a wood block (red arrow).
Figure 2

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the transmission with a wood block (red arrow).

Working at the transmission-mounting bracket, remove the 16mm fastener (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the transmission-mounting bracket, remove the 16mm fastener (red arrow). Then remove the two 16mm transmission mount nuts (green arrow). While supporting the mounting bracket from below, remove the six 16mm bracket fasteners (yellow arrows). Be sure to support the bracket or it will fall as the final fastener is removed.

Remove the transmission-mounting bracket from the vehicle.
Figure 4

Remove the transmission-mounting bracket from the vehicle.

Next, you have to remove a heat shield to gain access to the Giubo.
Figure 5

Next, you have to remove a heat shield to gain access to the Giubo. Working near the catalytic converters, loosen the two 13mm fasteners (red arrows). Do not remove them. Just loosen the fasteners until the heat shield drops down a little. I like to use a long extension with a 13mm swivel socket to access these (inset).

Slide the heat shield down and remove it.
Figure 6

Slide the heat shield down and remove it. Note the slots (red arrow). These slots allow the shield to be removed without removing the bracket (green arrow). Once I get the heat shield down, I prefer to remove the two 13mm fasteners and remove the bracket. This gives me a little more room.

The yellow arrows point to marks I made on the driveshaft and differential flange.
Figure 7

The yellow arrows point to marks I made on the driveshaft and differential flange. Before removing, note the position and be sure to install the replacement flex-disc with the driveshaft and differential flange in the same position. I marked the driveshaft (red arrow) and the flange (green arrow) to be sure to get the alignment correct later. The flange is hard to see in this photo.

Working at the Giubo, remove the three driveshaft bolts (red arrows).
Figure 8

Working at the Giubo, remove the three driveshaft bolts (red arrows). Use a 15mm socket and a 17mm wrench. Hold the bolt head still as you loosen the 17mm nut (yellow arrow). This will prevent accidental stripping of the bolt head. Note the transmission mount is installed (green arrow). You can remove it for a little more room. However, I do not find it necessary to do so.

With the driveshaft fasteners removed, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft (red arrow) out of the flex-disc aligning tab (red arrow).
Figure 9

With the driveshaft fasteners removed, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft (red arrow) out of the flex-disc aligning tab (red arrow). The alignment tabs are round and sit in a recess in the flange and driveshaft. The tabs tend to get a bit rusty in my area, so I leave the transmission flange bolts in place (yellow arrows), until I detach the driveshaft from the Giubo. Once free, remove the transmission fasteners the same way you did the driveshaft fasteners.

With the all the fasteners removed, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft out of the Giubo and lower it from the transmission.
Figure 10

With the all the fasteners removed, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft out of the Giubo and lower it from the transmission. You will have to push it toward the rear of the vehicle to compress the splined sleeve. 

Then pull the Giubo down and away from the differential to remove it.
Figure 11

Then pull the Giubo down and away from the differential to remove it.

When removing the fasteners, note the washer positions.
Figure 12

When removing the fasteners, note the washer positions. The driveshaft side washers go on the nut or side (green arrow). The transmission flange washers go on the bolt side (red arrow). With the driveshaft moved aside, install the new Giubo. Align the tabs with the flange. Then tap it into the flange. Once in place, install the driveshaft and tighten the fasteners. Then install the transmission mount bracket.

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