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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #101
While I don't disagree, I think its a small cost to ensure you don't have to cut things out of your suspension. Getting an alignment every year or two ensures that the alignment bolts stay nice and moveable. While this won't be as big of a deal in CA, its massive pain if they end up getting seized. I spend hour cutting out my control arms last month and its not something I want to do again. Unfortunately my 2007 Honda has the same fate so it doesnt take long for those things to seize.

You also should get it done everytime you change the geometry. Springs, tie rods, control arms, etc.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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3,171 Posts
It is not the cost I'm worried about, it is more of the incompetent mechanics messing things up.
And yes I have even had (with other cars) cars returned after an alignment with a crocked steering wheel.
That is why I do not let tire shops even touch the alignment if it is set right, drives straight and normal tire wear.

I'm about to replace the original tie rods, even then, I intend to match lengths and not take it to a shop for re-alignment.
We'll see how that works out.

I know you were in a different situation to start with, these were just general comments on the steering of the W201.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #103
Yeah I'm definitely going to have MB do an alignment once I'm done. Today I'm going to double check everything up front, see if I can center the gear myself and double check tightness on everything.

This weekend I'm going to replace all the rear arms along with doing adjustable camber arms and then next week potentially have the dealer align it. At that point theres nothing left to replace.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #104
After some trial and error I think I found the indentation in the gear and offset the steering wheel. Going to pull that off and center it and then align it and see how it does. Going to use Firestone just to toe it up and see how it does.

As an FYI, drain your power steering fluid first, the alignment hole is also a drain hole I found out......
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #105
Centered the wheel and it was off one, maybe 2 splines. Unfortunately straight ahead seemed to be right between two splines so I'm not 100% I got it right on. I'm not convinced that little amount is going to change anything but we'll see. If this doesnt fix it off to MB it goes. I did some test driving and the other issue I've found is that the steering wheel isn't returning straight very well and I think thats definitely contributing, so we'll see.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #106
Does anyone have the alignment procedure from MB, can't seem to find it anywhere? $180 for a MB alignment and it feels exactly the same as before.
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Does anyone have the alignment procedure from MB, can't seem to find it anywhere? $180 for a MB alignment and it feels exactly the same as before.
If you're looking for the specs here's a video.
Did they give you the before/after printout and if so could you post it, so I can compare it against my 89?
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #109
I was looking for the actual how to procedure, found it yesterday. Went back to MB today and had a long discussion with the tech. As I suspected, throw it on the rack and align like any other car. Got him the procedure and they don’t have the check screw for the gearbox. Found one on eBay so I’m going to head back next weekend and he’s going to have another try.

I’ve put about 150 miles on the car this weekend and I think my issue is down to a non-centering steering wheel. It’s allowing the car to follow crowns in the road rather than trying to center. When I do hard turns in the parking lot I can only get the steering wheel to go to about 50 degrees of center so not even close.

I’ve found reference on w124 section about overadjusting the gearbox. Apparently if you go too tight it won’t center. Typical issues for non self centering are lower ball joint and caster, casters good, balljoints new. So tomorrow I’m going to throw the car in the air and unadjust the gearbox. If it fixes the centering but I have a huge amount of play, I know the box is bad. One note, I don’t think the gearbox is 100% centered, however it’s pretty damn close. My turn signals wouldn’t shut off correctly if it wasn’t centered and they work fine so I want MB to align it right but I don’t think that’s entirely my issue.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #110
Can someone do me a favor ad take a video of their car with the steering wheel turned 180 degrees and how much it corrects itself on its own when applying throttle from the stopped position. Its hard to know whats normal for these steering systems.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #111
I hate how much I love this car.

Went ahead and ordered a Cosworth steering gear and sent it off to be refurbed. Even if thats not my steering issue it'll be a nice upgrade.

Got in the car today and no crank. Electrics all work, just wouldn't turn over. Rolled through the gears and got lots of rattling and was able to get it to start. Looks like shifter bushings are toast and the car was in R or D but shifter in P and caused the car not to start. So small problem, big solution from what I can see.
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Yep definitely sounds like your bushings are completely gone. Do yourself a favor and order the special bushing pliers from Mercedessource. Not the cheapest tool, but it's a lot cheaper than paying a shop. I've used it 4x now and it's more than paid for itself. You'll also need to pull the transmission mount and lower the transmission slightly, otherwise it's going to be impossible to install the bushing.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #113
Yep definitely sounds like your bushings are completely gone. Do yourself a favor and order the special bushing pliers from Mercedessource. Not the cheapest tool, but it's a lot cheaper than paying a shop. I've used it 4x now and it's more than paid for itself. You'll also need to pull the transmission mount and lower the transmission slightly, otherwise it's going to be impossible to install the bushing.
Was just looking at that, going to see if my indy will do it for not too much $$$.
 

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Gotcha, labor rates must be more reasonable where you live! CA labor rate is around $150 to do the bushing replacement now.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #115
Gotcha, labor rates must be more reasonable where you live! CA labor rate is around $150 to do the bushing replacement now.
I'd pay that not to have to try dropping the trans on jack stands. Kit from MB Source is $52 plus shipping alone.....
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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3,171 Posts
You think that tool is universal? Will it work on Manual's? I have one (I think 3-4 shifter link if my memory serves me right) that is a little loose and may want to replace it (and repair the eye at the same time)

Probably should fire the question to Kent
 

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Discussion Starter #117
Until I can get the bushings done do I need to be concerned about the car changing gear by itself? Throwing itself into reverse while Im doing 80 down the highway?
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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It should be all right because the gated shifter will keep the shifter from moving. I drove one of my cars around for several years w/ bad shifter bushings.

You think that tool is universal? Will it work on Manual's? I have one (I think 3-4 shifter link if my memory serves me right) that is a little loose and may want to replace it (and repair the eye at the same time)

Probably should fire the question to Kent
Found this info on Kent's page about the manual transmission bushings. Looks like the manual has similar bushings, but definitely wouldn't hurt to ask them.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #119
It should be all right because the gated shifter will keep the shifter from moving. I drove one of my cars around for several years w/ bad shifter bushings.


Found this info on Kent's page about the manual transmission bushings. Looks like the manual has similar bushings, but definitely wouldn't hurt to ask them.
I called my indy and thats what he said as well, need to be careful of what gear I'm in, but its not going to change on its own. I gotta do some searching for a new shop, hes out of town for the next month.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #120
I'm going to go jump off a bridge. Cut the boot on a tie rod end when I did the center link. Replaced tie rod end. Looked over everything else on the suspension when I was under there and found some play on the sway back bushings, pulled apart to replace those and torquing them down completely tore the stud off the control arm. Of course its the stud that is internal and I can't replace. Now I have to pull everything apart and completely replace the control arm........again.

2644510
 
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