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2018 C-300 Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever had a 4 wheel alignment performed on their CLK? I've got real bad wear on the rear passenger tire. Bad enough to wear through the steel belts on the inside of the tire. This tire has only 32,000 miles on it. All three remaining tires look as if they can go another 20,000 miles.

Was wondering how they do an alignment. Any one have any thoughts?
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Yes, most all modern cars require a 4-wheel alignment. Regardless, I am surprised you are getting such high mileage from your rear tires - most get 20K maybe 30K.
 

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2004 CLK 500 Previously: 2001 CLK 430
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You can save some money at an indie for your alignment, ask if they have the bar to secure the front wheels so they can adjust your camber and caster as well. Where I live a local shop bought this bar since they deal with a lot of MB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took it in today and the camber on the right rear is definitely out of specs by a bunch. Since the shop was not an MB shop, they stated they didn't have the proper tools to align it correctly. They didn't charge me for the alignment check. Since the MB dealer is 2 hours away, I called to make an appointment for next Monday. Asked if they needed any special parts as I don't really like having to travel that far for service.
 

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2004 CLK 500 Previously: 2001 CLK 430
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Good to hear!!! I was that far away before, i just made a day of it, I did all my groceries in the city i was in while they worked on mine lol
 

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Camber adjustment is performed by adding special bolts. Dealers as well as many parts stores carry them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just back from the dealer and was told that there is no camber adjustment on the rear wheels, just toe, which they said was out of spec. Dealer also indicated that I got a lot of mileage out of the rear tire and suggested that the next time try Michelin in place of the Continentals. He said I'd get a better ride also. Time will tell now.
 

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2004 CLK500 (Wifes), (2) 2005 ML500SE, 2004 ML500, 2000 ML320, 2002 ML320
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Traveler,

Did you receive a printed alignment sheet from the dealer? before align, after?

Can you give me the tire history, if staggered Tire sizes, if rotated?

Has the car been lowered?

Do you have the tread depths of all 4 old tires taken?

Did you replace the tires before alignment check?

To clarify, indie said RR camber bad, Dealer said RR Toe in bad?
 

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2005 CLK 500
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Has anyone ever had a 4 wheel alignment performed on their CLK? I've got real bad wear on the rear passenger tire. Bad enough to wear through the steel belts on the inside of the tire. This tire has only 32,000 miles on it. All three remaining tires look as if they can go another 20,000 miles.

Was wondering how they do an alignment. Any one have any thoughts?
Yours look better than my last set did!!!! Outside of the rears looked like they were good for another 30K+ miles. Inside wore through the belt like yours. I now spend the $100 every 5K miles or so to have the tires removed from the rims and swapped from side to side.
 

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2011 C300 Luxury & 2004 CLK500 Cabriolet
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I had the 4 wheel alignment done since I also had wear on the inside of the rear tires... and no, there is no rear adjustment.. BUT
turns out my rear springs were going, causing the tops of the rear tires to tilt inward, and wear.
 

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2006 CLK500
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3 years ago when we bought our CLK500 used, I noticed the front left tire was worn badly on the outside. The rest of the tires were fine. They replaced the tire and did an alignment at the time.

Now i just noticed that the right rear was wearing a lot more than the left and that the inside is already down to the wear bars where as the outside still has some left. The left rear looks better, has more even wear across. Going to replace both of them. Does it make sense to have the alignment checked before / while replacing the rear tires?

Can one swap (rotate) the two rear wheels with ContiSportContact 3's?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Traveler,

Did you receive a printed alignment sheet from the dealer? before align, after?

Can you give me the tire history, if staggered Tire sizes, if rotated?

Has the car been lowered?

Do you have the tread depths of all 4 old tires taken?

Did you replace the tires before alignment check?

To clarify, indie said RR camber bad, Dealer said RR Toe in bad?
Yes, received a print out.

Staggered tire sizes and can not rotate.

Car has not been lowered.

Don't have the tread measurements, however the fronts are original as the rears were. Fronts have not been changed.

Indie showed bad camber. Dealer said rear camber is fixed and that it was a toe in problem.

Rear tires were replace prior to alignment. Rear tire failure while on the interstate and would not drive the 400 miles to home on the "doughnut" spare.
 

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2005 CLK500 black,2012 E350
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Had alignment checked today at NTB-- said they couldn't align rear end though printout showed out of spec.

Guess I should ask why- bought car used at dealer 2 months ago with 45000 miles with new tires-
alignment last done at 35000 miles.

Should I be worried?
 

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It's actually not uncommon. My C240 has the same problem. It can be caused by weak suspension components. If it's way out, it could be due to an accident or a hard curb hit deforming the rear axle carrier.
 

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2004 CLK500 (Wifes), (2) 2005 ML500SE, 2004 ML500, 2000 ML320, 2002 ML320
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Traveler0980,

Your response to my specific questions are insufficient to diagnose your problem.

1. Do you want to share your printout, to maybe help others in the forum.

2. Not true. Staggered tires can be rotated from side to side as follows.

If the tire brand and model have "outside" molded on the side wall they are non-directional. Michelin Primacy MXM4 and Cooper C5S, Zeon RS3-A are in this group, as well as others.

If you have directional tires, you can dismount & mount & balance the tires for rotating, but you have to weigh the costs verus benefits to see if it works for you.

The CLK uses the anti lock brake system for traction control. With a high torque engine and lightweight chassis, driver heavy foot, this is not the best scenario for long tread life on the right rear. With all the front chassis components in proper condition and aligned properly, the CLK is usually easy on front tires, depending on how its driven.

As far as the dealer saying Michelin is better than Continental is quite a stretch, he must own Michelin stock. There are many quality tires nowadays to pick from, of course some are better than others, remember tires are always a compromise, depending on the intended use.

3. You said not lowered, and earlier you said the rear camber was out of spec. Some of the causes for this could be: weak springs, worn chassis components, damaged chassis components, accident damage, chassis flex over time, or overloading. A qualified alignment technician would
review your problem and perform a ride height measurement at a minimum, check the thrust angle, toe out on turns, steering axis inclination, setback angle, wheelbase side to side, then let you know what it takes to fix it correctly and safely.

4. When a tread wear problem is indicated by the customer, tread depths are always taken by a qualified alignment technician period, unless all 4 tires are new.

5. Rear toe in and replacing chassis components are the only corrections allowed by MB dealers on our CLK's.

To be able to fully adjust the alignment on a CLK, you need the following:

Front Axle: (4) MB Part # A 000 330 00 18 Fluted Bolts (Eccentric Pin Kit) 2 for caster, 2 for Camber.

Rear Axle: Camber Adjustment Kit, (Popular brands are Ghostrider, SPC, Others) Cost is between $ 150.00 to almost $ 400.00) for parts alone.

CLK's with the above improvements are easy to align properly unless damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Kustom1911

Not sure on how to post images of the printouts. Have them in .PDF and .JPG format.

Stand corrected on tires. They are non-directional with "outside" on all 4 tires.

I purchased this car in Sept. 2013 with 21,000 miles on it and a clean car fax. Tire failure happened about 31,000 miles. Car is not driven hard. I'm easy on all my cars, even the 'vettes I've owned.

I can't believe chassis components would be weak or worn out at this low of mileage.

The MB dealer said it was a toe in problem and they corrected it and I was good as new. I have my doubts as they could not explain the printout so that I could understand it. Would love another opinion on both printouts.
 

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Traveler0980,

I have reviewed both the indie and MB printouts you have provided me, and my recommendations for maximum tire life is:

1. Make your CLK chassis to be fully adjustable. Install the 4 front camber & caster fluted bolts. Instal rear camber adjusting kit.

2. Have a qualified alignment technician adjust your CLK as follows:

Rear Axle

LR Camber @ - 0.50 degrees RR Camber @ - 0.50 degrees

LR Toe in @ + 0.12 degrees RR Toe in @ + 0.12 degrees
Total Toe @ + 0.24 degrees

Front Axle

LF Camber @ - 0.25 degrees RF Camber @ - 0.50 degrees

LF Caster @ + 10.00 degrees RF Caster @ + 11.00 degrees

LF Toe in @ + 0.10 degrees RF Toe in @ + 0.10 degrees
Total Toe @ + 0.20 degrees
Front toe set with press bar in place.

The CLK will handle superb, and tire life should be better, if your chassis components are good.

3. Rotate tires as often as feasible.

4. Buy a tread depth gauge, and keep a record of your tire wear, learning to read a tire, you can spot many upcoming problems, or convince you everything is fine.

There are some variations between the indie and MB printouts, this can be contributed to many factors, basically it comes down to a technician that knows his equipment well, and who strives to correct problems for the customer, and who listens. It is not my intention to critic How one technician does his aligning process, just to alert you that if your are told that all the readings are Green and you are great, be a little skeptical. A qualified alignment technician should always be able to answer any question or concerns you have, even if it is asking when the last time his alignment machine was calibrated.

Have your CLK chassis components checked on a regular basis. Remember the lower the aspect ratio of the tire, the more it transfers shock to the suspension bushings and ball joints.

If you have any specific questions, just ask.
 
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