shuddering brakes, no pad indicator - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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shuddering brakes, no pad indicator

I have the '89 300 Se and i have a problem with it.
When i brake at high speeds (55 mph+) the following happens
1: Intense shuddering ( feels as if it's coming from the front left wheel)
2: Slight dip to the front
3: Mediocre pull to the left

When i brake at higher speeds going down any sort of hill;
1. Feels like i'm going to f***ing crash
2: VERY INTENSE SHUDDERING
3: Dip to front, mediocre pull to left side...

Now i'm tempted to replace all pads and rotors. I got it recently, no paperwork whatsoever. The resason for this post is that my 'new brake pads required' light on the instrument cluster has never illuminated. (all fuses OK)

Any one else familiar with this situation? Thanks, Nate :

Tires may also be culprit, although i've had them all balanced.

Nate was here.
Cheers from Tahoe
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoe300SE View Post
I have the '89 300 Se and i have a problem with it.
When i brake at high speeds (55 mph+) the following happens
1: Intense shuddering ( feels as if it's coming from the front left wheel)
2: Slight dip to the front
3: Mediocre pull to the left

When i brake at higher speeds going down any sort of hill;
1. Feels like i'm going to f***ing crash
2: VERY INTENSE SHUDDERING
3: Dip to front, mediocre pull to left side...

Now i'm tempted to replace all pads and rotors. I got it recently, no paperwork whatsoever. The resason for this post is that my 'new brake pads required' light on the instrument cluster has never illuminated. (all fuses OK)

Any one else familiar with this situation? Thanks, Nate :

Tires may also be culprit, although i've had them all balanced.
You'll find plenty of reading material on this site by searching "death wobble". Here's a start: https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126...ake-oh-no.html
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 06:31 AM
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I would think warped rotor/s is the prime suspect. If you have a dial indicator, you should be able to find out on the car.

Be sure and get new sensors too, the pads may not be low enough to warrant the dash light illumination.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 06:39 AM
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The intense shuddering on heavy braking is due to a runout of the rotor. This is usually caused by a buildup of pad material at one angular position on the rotor due to a hard stop where the pads stayed in one position on the rotor while it cooled. It is also caused by water that remains on the pad face for an extended period of time (the vehicle sits) and some transfers to the rotor, combined with corrosion of the rotor beneath the pad.

You can solve 90% of the problem for free if you remove the rotor and hit it hard with a wire wheel on a grinder to remove all of the foreign material on the face of the rotor.

Or, you can replace the rotors (and pads while you are at it).

Do some reading on breaking in a new set of pads and rotors. If you screw it up, the same thing will happen again in about an hour.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 07:56 AM
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Multiple Issues, Multiple Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoe300SE View Post
I have the '89 300 Se and i have a problem with it.
When i brake at high speeds (55 mph+) the following happens
1: Intense shuddering ( feels as if it's coming from the front left wheel)
2: Slight dip to the front
3: Mediocre pull to the left

When i brake at higher speeds going down any sort of hill;
1. Feels like i'm going to f***ing crash
2: VERY INTENSE SHUDDERING
3: Dip to front, mediocre pull to left side...

Now i'm tempted to replace all pads and rotors. I got it recently, no paperwork whatsoever. The resason for this post is that my 'new brake pads required' light on the instrument cluster has never illuminated. (all fuses OK)

Any one else familiar with this situation? Thanks, Nate :

Tires may also be culprit, although i've had them all balanced.
New to you vehicle, no paperwork... YIKES! People rarely sell running, inspected, and 100% operational vehicles, buyer beware. We'll get you through this, get your wallet out.

It has been my GENERAL AUTOMOTIVE EXPERIENCE, that shuddering of the nature you describe is about SUSPENSION issues, and possibly brakes and wheel bearings.

Firstly, I'd be looking at the shock tower bushings, broken springs, tie rod ends, ball joints, and control arm bushings. Dip is related to shocks and springs. Wobble is tie rod ends, steering dampeners, warped rotors, bad shocks. Pulling is control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and shock tower bushings.
Yea, brakes play into this scenario, but the dipping and INTENSE shuddering indicate the suspension is faulty, IMHO. It sounds to me like someone hit a curb or huge pothole and actually broke some suspension bits.

Try this. Pop the hood, place your hand on the shock tower, and put all your weight on the vehicle, making it bounce up and down. Feel for movement and noise on that shock tower(and other places!). Do this on both sides for comparison. Have an assistant(I prefer attractive 5'7" blondes with assets, but a caveman will suffice) turn the steering wheel while you hold your hand on the tower, again both sides.

Get the vehicle off the ground. Yank on both wheels in all directions, looking for any "play" and noise when you spin that wheel. Have an assistant turn the steering wheel lock to lock and "feel" for movement and noises. Put a grip on the tie rod ends and see if you get movement from either side, especially the "bad" side. Inspect the bushings, ALL of the bushings in that area, both sides, of course. Look for cracks and out of center alignments in the rubber bits.
Ball joints are a bit trickier, since you need to feel for a clicking or movement when the weight of the vehicle is applied on and off those joints. A long breaker bar can be wedged around the control arms and ball joints by someone familiar with such testing, probably not a recommended DIY task.

What does your tire wear indicate? If this has been going on for some time(which I suspect it has), there should be uneven wear on the "bad" tire.

Bottom line: You might be better off getting professional help on this diagnosis, and I doubt it will be an inexpensive repair. Budget $100-600?


All that being said, I would then also explore the brake and wheel bearing possibilities.

After you perform the above tests, get back in here and Tell us what you found. We'll then attack the brakes and bearings inspection, which is a somewhat simple DIY repair by comparison to suspension issues.

FWIW, the blonde will surely be impressed with your expertise during this diagnosis(she owes you a reward!), the caveman, not so much.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:00 PM
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Just replace the rotors. There is little good good research about what causes rotors to warp and lots of mythology. The simple answer is that you should replace them -- really no choice.
They did not warp because of heat.
They did not warp because lug nuts were tightened incorrectly.
There might have been incidents when brake pad material was transferred to the rotor and then that became worse and worse over time. The rotor might have been poorly made. Who knows?
If you do have uneven caliper pressure -- maybe an inboard pad worn away while the outer pad looks good, get that sorted.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicalPosition View Post
New to you vehicle, no paperwork... YIKES! People rarely sell running, inspected, and 100% operational vehicles, buyer beware. We'll get you through this, get your wallet out.

It has been my GENERAL AUTOMOTIVE EXPERIENCE, that shuddering of the nature you describe is about SUSPENSION issues, and possibly brakes and wheel bearings.

Firstly, I'd be looking at the shock tower bushings, broken springs, tie rod ends, ball joints, and control arm bushings. Dip is related to shocks and springs. Wobble is tie rod ends, steering dampeners, warped rotors, bad shocks. Pulling is control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and shock tower bushings.
Yea, brakes play into this scenario, but the dipping and INTENSE shuddering indicate the suspension is faulty, IMHO. It sounds to me like someone hit a curb or huge pothole and actually broke some suspension bits.

Try this. Pop the hood, place your hand on the shock tower, and put all your weight on the vehicle, making it bounce up and down. Feel for movement and noise on that shock tower(and other places!). Do this on both sides for comparison. Have an assistant(I prefer attractive 5'7" blondes with assets, but a caveman will suffice) turn the steering wheel while you hold your hand on the tower, again both sides.

Get the vehicle off the ground. Yank on both wheels in all directions, looking for any "play" and noise when you spin that wheel. Have an assistant turn the steering wheel lock to lock and "feel" for movement and noises. Put a grip on the tie rod ends and see if you get movement from either side, especially the "bad" side. Inspect the bushings, ALL of the bushings in that area, both sides, of course. Look for cracks and out of center alignments in the rubber bits.
Ball joints are a bit trickier, since you need to feel for a clicking or movement when the weight of the vehicle is applied on and off those joints. A long breaker bar can be wedged around the control arms and ball joints by someone familiar with such testing, probably not a recommended DIY task.

What does your tire wear indicate? If this has been going on for some time(which I suspect it has), there should be uneven wear on the "bad" tire.

Bottom line: You might be better off getting professional help on this diagnosis, and I doubt it will be an inexpensive repair. Budget $100-600?


All that being said, I would then also explore the brake and wheel bearing possibilities.

After you perform the above tests, get back in here and Tell us what you found. We'll then attack the brakes and bearings inspection, which is a somewhat simple DIY repair by comparison to suspension issues.

FWIW, the blonde will surely be impressed with your expertise during this diagnosis(she owes you a reward!), the caveman, not so much.
Thanks for the intel. I will proceed tomorrow and return with whatever results i can develop. It was given to me no paperwork - i didn't buy it. I rolled my celica and some friends saw me driving it when i fixed it up and were all oh take this mercedes and fix it up.

Nate was here.
Cheers from Tahoe
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 02:05 AM
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Please make sure to read the announcement / tutorial on top of the forum, it also links to a free repair / service manual.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 02:18 AM
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Worn out front suspension bushings can produce similar symptoms.
If those are the culprit, the steering damper / shock should be changed as well.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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For additional context i can feel the shudder slightly @ 60mph and above on flat, and not braking.

Nate was here.
Cheers from Tahoe
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