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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #81
My car wins again. Still not happy with the steering, bad tramlining and seems to wander a bit so ordered new idler arm bushings and center drag link. After some fighting got the idler bushings out in about 8 pieces so glad I'm doing that however on reinstall I couldn't get them in, tried the brute force method and ended up with the new bushings completely coming apart. 馃槓

Calling FCP first thing to see if they can overnight me something. Anyone have any tips for getting these things reinstalled?

2641555


2641556
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Oh man, that's really frustrating! I recommend you freeze those bushings overnight which will help them shrink. Then also a little lithium grease to help get it in.
I use that method all the time when fitting bearing cups on bicycle frames.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #83
Unfortunately idler bushings are backordered through Mercedes, best option right now is Meyle but that鈥檚 the brand that came apart on me so YMMV.

I pulled the center link today, pretty loose but apparently it鈥檚 original, still has production paint on it.
 

W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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Good choice. Mine are originals and will need replacing soon by a genuine Benz very soon.
Just ordered the tie rods thru the dealership. Again, originals. As usual price is less than 20% higher than a lemforter (which seem to not be easy to find now)
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Good call on going for OEM idler arm bushings. (mine are original too) but my steering is still pretty tight.
I don't have good experiences w/ Meyle, had one of their "heavy duty" strut mounts fail on me.
R.e tie -rods, I got mine from FCP Euro last year. (Lemforder right and TRW driver side) Turns out TRW is made by ZF who makes Lemforder so it's all the same. When I pulled the original tie rods off, they had an MB star next to the Lemforder Owl logo.
 

W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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3,171 Posts
I was surprised that the mercedes OEM tie rods are cheaper at the dealer. $56 at Benz, $87 on Pelican. Lemforter was like $50.
Benz is still selling left and right separately (different part numbers) whereas Pelican sells the same part for both left and right (EOM and lemforter).

So since the price is cheaper and it is Benz, I went with that. I'm pretty sure they will have the lemforter logo.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #87
Yeah I gotta use Meyle for now, but definitely going to redo the idler once the OEM stuff comes back. Ran out to the powdercoater today and I'm so freaking happy with how this came out. I wanted something different than gloss black but also not something super crazy, something almost OEM or modded period correct. Its going to look amazing installed.

My powdercoater did say since these are magnesium you dont get that perfect finish like aluminum, but I'm super happy with it, still a ton better than my rattle can job.

2641960
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #89
I鈥檓 not going to call it done, but it looks about a million times better than before. Still have some spots that need metal polish and touch ups. However I鈥檓 not longer embarrassed to open the hood.

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2642053
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #90
So finished up the idler arm bushing yesterday, or so I thought. A word of caution, the parts diagram is different from the service manual. There's a larger washer that clearly goes on the bottom however the small washer goes on top under the idler arm, the parts diagrahm shows it going on top of the idler arm. So gotta pull it apart and redo it.

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2642111
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #91
I had really tight clearance of the damper and drag link which is what concerned me and I started looking deeper into it.

2642112
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #92
Still needs lot of correction at highway speed. Going to do another alignment just in case but I'm not sure whats left.
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Still needs lot of correction at highway speed. Going to do another alignment just in case but I'm not sure whats left.
Just curious, where are you getting the alignments done? In my experience over the years it seems like a lot of the big tire store places don't actually know how to do a proper alignment on these older Mercedes. Had one friend that would get alignments and complain to me about loose feeling steering.
Ideally the best places to go should are shops that specialized in alignments/race shops and use the newest Hunter Hawkeye laser rack. I had one done by a specialty shop last year and it really improved my steering response and tracking. I also requested that they go a little more agressive and use the "Sport suspension" specs (ask them, it's on the machine)
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #94
I use Firestone with the lifetime alignments, saved me probably $600 so far. I get theyre not the best but short of leaving something loose its been fine. Minimal camber is even side to side and toe is also even side to side and within spec. I'm leaning toward the rear links at this point. I found reference to someone on the w124 forums finding that after redoing everything up front weakness in the rear started to pop up.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #95
Can someone explain where the compression sleeves go on the rear arms? I bought a kit a couple years ago and only needed to do the thrust arms. However the kits compression sleeves wouldn't fit between the new bolts and into the new arm, just not going to fit. is this a case of bad aftermarket parts or are they sometimes not needed? Just want to confirm before I drop $300 on a set of Lemforder rear arms.

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IMHO, OEM suspension parts are cheap life insurance. My engineer father always steered me away from aftermarket parts because they typically don't fit right and they're poor quality. Just my 2 cents.
 

W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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In agreement with the suspension parts (and others frankly). Just picked up the tie rods at the dealer. They are probably just made by lemforder but honestly it is not worth getting them online and save $10. Mercedes tie rods were $60 each, lemforter is like $50. Also lemforter now sells the same part for both sides, and mercedes still sells different parts. I assume that is the way they were supposed to be and making them the same is just a shortcut for aftermarket for stocking reasons.

If I was replacing the control arms, I would definitely visit the delaer first and check out the pricing. That way you are assured of a perfect fit out of the box.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #98
I know I know, just seriously adds up when you're doing everything. I'll be honest, I just don't get as concerned with wear items like that, especially when they're metal and rubber. I paid $170 for my aftermarket front control arms. One from Lemforder is $313.

That said, I did me some learnin on steering gear systems today and my ignorance might have gotten me again. While dealing with seized control arms and trashed tie rods I also installed the 92 wheel and airbag. When doing so I took it upon myself to center the steering wheel that wasnt quite right after an alignment. I've since learned that's a no-no with our steering system and that I've now un-aligned the steering gear. I'm going to get under the car and see if I can manager undo my stupidity and realign the car (at least close enough) to the steering gear correctly. I'm 99.99999% sure Firestone simply aligned it to the steering wheel and not the gearbox. I can't complain about them though, I spent $120 on lifetime alignments back on Black Friday, I've had 7 alignments since then and they've never tried to upsell me.
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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I'd be interested to see how the car tracks once you have them re-align with the original steering wheel position.
Definitely gotten your money's worth out of that lifetime alignment service though. Surprisingly my 89 has only had 2 alignments it's entire life (2009 and 2019) It seems like that once these cars are setup properly, they hold their settings well. During the 2019 alignment, I looked at the before/after printouts and everything was pretty well in spec even beforehand.
 

W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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I've got you beat 355! Only one alignment in 31 years! Actually my friend got that done about 10 years ago when he purchased a set of tires for the car.
These cars are built that well as far as steering/suspension is concerned.. And I have never ever had to align this car in 12 +4 = 16 years.
Tires wear out dead even every time.
My BMW 428i completely chewed out the rear tires unevenly when it was only 3 years, 30K miles old.

I think what 355 and I am saying is that a W201 hardly ever needs alignment if you get it done right just once (any you don't keep runing into curbs) or leave it at factory setting if you are fortunate.
So that should be the expectation.
 
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