Steering clunk - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 2005 S500 with amg package
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Steering clunk

Hi All

I have a 2005 S500 with 99k miles. the car is in great condition but in the last couple of days the steering has developed a clunk.

When you turn the steering wheel almost all the way, turning left you get a clunk. The rack and suspension all visually look good, no leaks, and other than the clunk the car turns with ease.

The clunk goes away when you put the car on axle stands.

With the car on the ground and with me lying on the ground looking at the ball joints etc and an assistant turning the wheel I can hear the clunk but the ball joints etc all appear to be good, i don't see any jerky movement in the ball joints or suspension. I tried moving the suspension bits with a pry bar but i don't see any unusual play.

With my finger on all the suspension bits the clunk is felt most on the rack (but ball joint looks good).

I used a long extension bar with one end in my ear and the other end touching suspension and steering components and the noise appears to be coming from where the pinion meets the rack.

I know the car is old but it's only done 99k miles, surely it shouldn't be the rack failing?

Any suggestions before I replace the rack?
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Hi,

Rack Ends (Drumsticks) not the Track Rod End, but the Swivel that is under the Rack Gaiter

You can change these without taking the Rack off the car, the Racks themselves very rarely go wrong even at 200k miles so here's hoping for you

HTH


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave. i will take the clips off the boots and move them to see what's underneath. Hopefully it's a simple/inexpensive fix.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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I bought and installed a new inner tie rod end, the old one appeared to be fine but at approx $25 from autozone it was worth a try.......... it still clunks.

touching and hearing, it appears that the noise is coming from where the rack and pinion meet. Everything about the car says its been babied, so 99k and needing a new rack is a bit of a shock, but the car is 14 years old so......

ordering a new/rebuilt rack, with a lifetime guarantee, hopefully that will get me back on the road in my luxury veeehicle
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 01:26 AM
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That's a bummer.

Pothole damage ??


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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 05:55 AM
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I have no clue about the MB rack, but if I remember correctly, the ZF racks used on some Porsches have adjustments for the pinion-to-rack interface.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Attempting to remove the steering rack and i cannot work out how to remove the electrical connector. The connector is attached to the housing where the pinion meets the rack.

I have tried pushing and pulling and nothing is working.

Anyone have any ideas?
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:55 AM
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Squeeze the 2 metal clips together at the wiring end, and wriggle and pull away from plug socket on Rack Valve


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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I couldn't get the clip off while the rack was in the car but the wire was fairly long, so i dropped the rack onto a tool box (car is on axle stands) and with pliers i was able to squeeze the wire clip enough to remove electrical connector from the rack.

the rack is not that easy to remove, i had to modify/bend a wrench/spanner to make it fit so i could get approx a 1/6th of a turn on the fluid pipe attached to the rack. the pipe on the rack is a 19mm and the one on the pump is a 17mm, i found that out after i had bent a 17mm wrench/spanner to fit..... and the 4 main bolts holding the rack in the car have nuts that you need a stubby 18mm wrench/spanner to get to and that was another trip to the store.

Its out now, i returned the inner tie rod to autozone and they gave me my money back (autozone and checker have great returns policies) and returned the free loaner tool to remove/install the inner tie rods (that was too long to use on the car).

Hopefully the new rack will arrive in a day or two, and hopefully it will cure my issues.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Update.

The rebuilt steering rack and new ball joints/tie rod ends arrived and I have installed it, BUT...

Steering wheel is now upside down, 180 degrees off, when the wheels are straight?

The bolt holding the universal joint onto the pinion is where i think it should be (same position as the old rack, see pictures)

the shaft attached to the universal joint can only attach to the steering wheel shaft one way due to the shape of the fitting.

The tie rod ends, ball joints are on with 21 turns each side (same as the old ones on the old rack).

how is it possible that the steering wheel is 180 degrees off? what have i done wrong? or did the rebuild company put the pinion into the rack 180 degrees off?

The install took me ages as i had to buy/bend/grind tools to get to the hydraulic pipes.

Looking for help.
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