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2002 CLK 430
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Discussion Starter #1
I get all of my work done at an indy shop, unfortunately they don't do alignments... and I don't know who in the area does. What do you guys recommend for alignments? I have the choice between a dealer or going to a Discount Tire kind of place or finding something completely different.

You guys have any recommendations? I'm getting sick of this shake I've had since I had the control arm replaced on my left front tire.
 

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2000 CLK430 2010 S550 4matic
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532 Posts
Are you sure its not balancing or some other suspension component. Shake indicates either a ball joint (pretty common on CLK's), warped brake rotor, drag link or bushings. First I'd check the balancing or a wheel thats out of round (bent). Could also be bearings depending on the number of miles. Any noises out of the ordinary? Also if your car's alignment is off riding on the tires will put wear patterns that will not come out and your tires will and can get pretty noisy.


Most independents won't touch a Benz because they require an alignment that hangs a weight off the rear bumper and the spec adjustments are a little different than say a front wheel car or even a BMW. I've always taken mine to a dealer and got soaked but its always (except for last time but they redid it for free) correct. Putting the weight on the rear loads the suspension and changes the geometry of the rear wheels so they can get the alignment to spec. According to some it squats the car to simulate driving at higher speeds so the edges of the tire are not favored. Personally I think it just causes the center to wear out. Have been through several sets and the centers were always at the wear bars and the shoulders have tons of rubber left. The tire guys said on staggered BMWs and MB's this is considered normal.

Benz dealer alignment doesn't come cheap - it was 145 the last time. You might look around on some of the dealer's websites where you live and seek out an online coupon or call around and see if you can scalp a deal.
 

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2002 CLK 430
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Discussion Starter #3
$225 at the dealer, $89 at the indy. I have no idea that it's alignment, I just assumed since the tires were just replaced about 500 miles before the part, and it was driving perfectly at that time.

Now I'm thinking the $225 might be worth it, just because if it is something else they're more apt to find it rather than just say thanks for the cash, it's aligned.
 

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02 clk 55 cabriolet
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550 Posts
Are you sure its not balancing or some other suspension component. Shake indicates either a ball joint (pretty common on CLK's), warped brake rotor, drag link or bushings. First I'd check the balancing or a wheel thats out of round (bent). Could also be bearings depending on the number of miles. Any noises out of the ordinary? Also if your car's alignment is off riding on the tires will put wear patterns that will not come out and your tires will and can get pretty noisy.


Most independents won't touch a Benz because they require an alignment that hangs a weight off the rear bumper and the spec adjustments are a little different than say a front wheel car or even a BMW. I've always taken mine to a dealer and got soaked but its always (except for last time but they redid it for free) correct. Putting the weight on the rear loads the suspension and changes the geometry of the rear wheels so they can get the alignment to spec. According to some it squats the car to simulate driving at higher speeds so the edges of the tire are not favored. Personally I think it just causes the center to wear out. Have been through several sets and the centers were always at the wear bars and the shoulders have tons of rubber left. The tire guys said on staggered BMWs and MB's this is considered normal.

Benz dealer alignment doesn't come cheap - it was 145 the last time. You might look around on some of the dealer's websites where you live and seek out an online coupon or call around and see if you can scalp a deal.
Never seen this weight thing when my alignment has been done and never had a problem either. I use the local Big O shop and completely satisfied. Car drives/stops straight and smooth with tire ware flat across the face. if the center is burnt without the outer edges id ck to see if your running too much pressure and overinflated.
 

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1999 CLK320
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446 Posts
I get all of my work done at an indy shop, unfortunately they don't do alignments... and I don't know who in the area does. What do you guys recommend for alignments? I have the choice between a dealer or going to a Discount Tire kind of place or finding something completely different.

You guys have any recommendations? I'm getting sick of this shake I've had since I had the control arm replaced on my left front tire.
the centerlink/draglink might be the cause of the shake. do you have stock wheels?
 

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2002 CLK 430
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304 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
stock wheels, and everything was smooth and straight as an arrow before I had the control arm replaced for a clunk.

After that, everything is straight as an arrow, but a little shake on occasion. It's not 100% consistent, it's not at any certain speeds, and it's certainly not violent. Tire wear is pretty even, but it seems to me to be wearing slightly faster on the edges of the front tires.

Basically I just want to get it looked over for peace of mind.
 

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'00 w163 55 amg (sold) '02 w208 55 amg '03 w163 350 inspiration
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711 Posts
stock wheels, and everything was smooth and straight as an arrow before I had the control arm replaced for a clunk.

After that, everything is straight as an arrow, but a little shake on occasion. It's not 100% consistent, it's not at any certain speeds, and it's certainly not violent. Tire wear is pretty even, but it seems to me to be wearing slightly faster on the edges of the front tires.

Basically I just want to get it looked over for peace of mind.
ski, if the edges are feathering, even if the wear looks good the eye, my gut is telling me aligment--assuming you got the new tires before the control arm replacement. yeah, my truck drove straight too :D right to my indy shop for tires after 6k on them. initially it sounds like you were aligned at a 'bad' angle due to the part. went thru a similar issue with my ML55:mad: had that inconsistent speed vibration too--i.e. excluding the clk as I've never had this issue on my car. but as stated a good indy will run you 90+ for a complete 4 wheel. do it as you cannot rotate (a 55's) tires--not sure of 320's or 430's.

stim, i'm in your corner:cool: like a center cut steak you know it's 'right' when you burn down the sweat meat middle & have some fat on the edges still left so you know it tasted good:D gave my wife 800 to buy tires 3 weekends ago so can't comment on the overall improvement (haven't driven it since) but they did a 4 wheel on it...& between her & the car; it's an AMG...All MYmoney is Gone:crybaby2:
 

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2002 CLK 430
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304 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, I have the alignment appointment set up at a tire shop this saturday... $90 all in, I figure if it's not the alignment that's a cheap mis-diagnosis :)
 

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1999 CLK320
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Thanks, I have the alignment appointment set up at a tire shop this saturday... $90 all in, I figure if it's not the alignment that's a cheap mis-diagnosis :)
...at a Mercedes Indy? Why not spend another $60 to have it done at the dealer?
 

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'00 w163 55 amg (sold) '02 w208 55 amg '03 w163 350 inspiration
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...at a Mercedes Indy? Why not spend another $60 to have it done at the dealer?
san fran, I'm with you but if you have an indy that has MB bonafides, why not:confused: I realize you west coast guys can still sip Starbucks as much as I would like to still do; but the economy makes us think outside the box these days:) yes I believe in 'done right the 1st time is cheaper than a 2nd time' & the cost associated w/ that. but my econ brain is still telling me to assume if he has a 'good' i.e. a MB trained/experienced tech in the indy, do it--not just the guy who can do my 72 Monte's rear end. I'm not an accountant but i have to budget & forecast to eat for a living; to paraphrase if it don't make dollars it don't make sense :thumbsup: if he falls short, lesson learned, & try again only smarter this time. the worthless American greenback is still too hard to come by these days. I prefer to work my way UP a problem & rule out as I go vs. the 'hit it w/ all my $' thinking. sad to say some MB dealerships still love to see those types coming. who do think is paying for that lovely new '10 E63 that's been on the floor for 35-40 days is gonna be @ an MB dealership? me. less cars sold = more in service dept. cost to make your margin.
 

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2002 CLK 430
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Discussion Starter #11
Cause it was another $160 to have it done at the dealer in my neck of the woods.

Took it to the indy, they said don't bother, you have bad bearings that's your shake, and didn't charge me a dime.

So now I gotta get new bearings (or bushings, I forget).... yeay.
 
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