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Discussion Starter #1
I took a road-trip and my 81 240d did not drive well on the return trip with a strong headwind. I had to keep it at 60mph or less to avoid looking drunk! Over a large bridge I had to put on the hazard blinkers and drive 45mph to avoid going over the guardrail!
Anyone else have trouble like this?
I usually cruise at 65 with no trouble in normal winds. The crosswinds did not seem to affect the handling as much. The steering seems to have the normal 1 inch of play and I am still getting used to it but the car seems to wander on its own.
 

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What size are your tires? Wider tires can help with this problem but as for me I personally dont have problems in high winds with my w123. I mean, i can feel the wind pushing me around but not to the point where it worries me that i could lose control.
 

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A bad steering damper can cause the car to wander, assuming the alignment is in spec, steering is within range of play and tires are in good order.

Caster is responsible for the steering wheel to return to the straight position. If alignment is out of spec (toe, caster) this would make handling "twitchy". Good caster allows vehicle to track straight and true effortlessly.
 

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+1

Start basic by getting an alignment which will address all of these 3 aspects(camber,caster,toe). Then we can work from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am running 14 195/70 tires. I will check into the damper and the alignment. It does steer nicely and effortlessly under 65mph with normal winds and the steering wheel play is 1" . At 70mph or with high winds it does get squirrely. Thanks for the advice.
 

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what kind of shape are your ball joints in?
 

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My '82 wagon had bad highway handling, like driving a shifty bus. I changed the front spring pad to "one nub" ( 1-3; three being the largest/thickest) and it made quite a difference. In addition, springs do wear out after time, so even an exact set off a car which did not do this may be in order, or of course new ones if your springs are bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The slop in the steering is about an inch and most comments seem to say that is the factory spec. I don't like the 1" of play but maybe I just need to get used to it. This week while driving 60-65 mph on some curves in the freeway the steering seemed more tight while on the curve since I was keeping the steering wheel tight to the right or left. On the straight runs the steering play seems to allow the car wander. I have not checked the suspension or steering parts for wear yet.
 

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to much pressure in the tires will cause this as well
 

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My theory on the 1" slop is this: The factory determined that this is the limit that they would repair a car under warranty. It is not the best that can be expected out of the system. I believe that new cars if they were properly set-up had a much tighter box.
Mercedes may think that 1" is acceptable. I do not.
 
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