1996 SL320 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jul 2004
Vehicle: 1996 SL320
Location: Sewalls Point, Stuart, Florida
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1996 SL320

Good day, 70,500 miles only driven in perfect weather conditions. Have noticed a clunk sound when standing still if steering wheel is turned quick snap left or right. Does that indicate the universal in the steering column has excess play or something else to consider in linkage. I replaced the steering damper already. Thank you, Dorian
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:04 PM
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Date registered: Jan 2014
Vehicle: 1998 SL500 Sport
Location: Hoffman Estates, IL
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Could be anything. Ball joints, tie rods, strut mounts, pitman arm bushing loose steering box, loose bearings... lift the car and start playing with the wheels to see if there is play. Also, if any of the parts are original, you may want to think of replacing due to age, not mileage.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Today, 01:28 AM
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Date registered: Jun 2009
Vehicle: R129 500 SL 1991
Location: South West, UK
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Lift each front wheel off ground. Grab tire 9 & 3 o’clock position. Pull/push each side. Then 12 & 6 o’clock. There should be small (tiny) amount of movement in front bearing. But if you feel more movement (looseness) 9 & 3, most likely worn tie rod end ball joints.

Worn idler arm bush can exhibit knocking while going over speed bumps etc., but not normally when stood still turning wheel.

Steering boxes have some free play by design. Maybe you’re hearing the slack in the box. Check radial seals are not leaking power steering fluid. Wet Pitman arm. R&R seals as necessary. Replace outer and inner seals. Not just outer.
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