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1988 420SEL, for sale
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an earlier post I said that I was buying a rebuilt steering box from Carsteering.com due to leaking seals. I did this based on the high recommendation of one member here (from 2006, though), and because Carsteering said they went through the box and replaced whatever was needed (bearings, bushings), and not just the seals. My mechanic would only do the seals, so I thought this would be a better rebuild.

My mechanic installed it for about $200, but the steering was heavy and returned to center slowly, and the adjustment could not be done in the car because the hex opening was buggered up so the tool would not fit. So it was recommended that I get a 2nd unit under warranty. Carsteering questioned the reason for return, but did send another unit. My mechanic installed it for free, but IT WAS WORSE. The output shaft to the pitman arm literally wallows about under load, and it leaks around the seal with this movement. The car was dangerous to drive, as it had at least 50mm play in the steering wheel and was heavy to turn when it did catch at the ends of the play.

So I paid ANOTHER $200 to put the first rebuilt unit back on. At least it doesn't leak!! The mechanic managed to adjust it a little better (on the bench) than it was from Carsteering the first time. And all Carsteering will do now is offer to send me a THIRD unit. They will not pay for the labor it took to replace the 2nd defective unit. So my mechanic and I both had to eat labor costs in this deal.

So instead of giving them a chance at sending another unknown entity and paying another $200 in labor to try it, I'll put up with the heavy steering, and will make a couple of recommendations that in hindsight I wish I had done.
1- Put the car on ramps (so the weight stays on the wheels), and watch the steering box output shaft while someone turns the steering back and forth a few inches. If it looks solid, not wobbly, then it probably only needs a seal.
2- If your mechanic is competent at replacing seals (which mine is), let him do it (which I wish I had done).
 

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1990 SEC
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4,289 Posts
Thanks for the heads-up.

Sorry for the way you found out that CarSteering.com doesn't provide good service. :(
 

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1986 560SEC TT KS,1988 300CE,1990 560SEC 2nd GEN.KS.1990 560SEL AMG,1985 W126 [parts]
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1,569 Posts
Sorry to hear that.Thanks for the info about those guy!
 

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1986 Euro 300SEL
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2,151 Posts
I've heard good things about C&M Hydraulics from several sources. They are located in Vegas but not sure you can buy direct from them or not. I know Autohaus sells their stuff, I'm sure others do too. Their units are about $400 I believe with a decent warranty.
 

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Depends on the day!
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13,337 Posts
That's why I do my own boxes.. Every reman I've gotten has typically been over tightened in an effort to deal with excessive wear.

IME, No One replaces the balls which wear with [email protected] least I couldn't despite quite a bit of effort find anyone that made them available.. plus, re-balling one of these is Very time consuming.. This is one of the main reasons the MB remans are so bloody expensive, they actually Re-manufacture the unit.

Starts to make a R&P conversion kit look more appealing as these steering boxes wear..

Jonathan
 

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Smoke Silver '87 560SEC, Black Pearl '87 560SEL
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4,589 Posts
That's why I do my own boxes.. Every reman I've gotten has typically been over tightened in an effort to deal with excessive wear.

IME, No One replaces the balls which wear with [email protected] least I couldn't despite quite a bit of effort find anyone that made them available.. plus, re-balling one of these is Very time consuming.. This is one of the main reasons the MB remans are so bloody expensive, they actually Re-manufacture the unit.

Starts to make a R&P conversion kit look more appealing as these steering boxes wear..

Jonathan
I've done the R&P and it was a major pain because I used a GM unit. Mine looks like it's going to work just fine, but it took me forever to get rid of the bump steer resulting from having to shorten the steering arms to match the shorter rack travel of the GM unit.

Does MB have a R&P unit that has about 24" between inner pivot points and around 10" of total travel? With that, it could be reasonably simple.

What I'm saying is that be careful what you use for the R&P since it makes a significant difference in how it must be installed.
 

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I thought of you my first statement.. I need to look @ the 210 R&P's, see what they have going on etc..

Jonathan
 
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