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1987 300E
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was under the dash (driver's side) yesterday replacing the evaporator temperature sensor (which solved my AC problem) and noticed there was no obstruction between the bottom of the plastic steering shaft sleeve and the philllips head bolt that needed to be tightened to keep the sleeve from rotating when using the turn signal. So, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the sleeve just large enough for my phillips screwdriver, inserted the screwdriver, and tightened the bolt! Some details: I used a 5/16 bit. Locate hole center 1 3/4 inches behind the base of the steering wheel at approximately 5 o'clock position when looking at the steering wheel from the driver's seat. This should take no more than 10 minutes. And even better, if it gets loose again it will be a 1 minute fix. Hope this is helpful. The car is a '97 E320.

Art
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
Hey, Art.

Glad to hear you got the AC fixed simply and cheaply, always happy when the forum helps save people money and dealer visits. :)

Your tip on the steering sleeve may prove useful for other members. Personally I am always a bit leery of starting down the road of shortcuts that leave cosmetic issues behind because knowing myself I am likely to shrug other things off going forward.

As innocuous as this should be from a cosmetic standpoint (and as creative your solution), should I face this issue in the future I will probably take the time to tear it all apart and then liberally coat the screw with loctite. On the other hand if I find myself short on time and long on irritation I may break out the drill. :rolleyes:

Take care and enjoy the cool ride,
Greg
 

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1999 E430
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13 Posts
I was under the dash (driver's side) yesterday replacing the evaporator temperature sensor (which solved my AC problem)

Art
hey Art is that the sensor that gives the outside temp on the dash ? i have an ac problem and my outside temp allways reads -38*C ? was that your problem
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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479 Posts
Art - you are tempting me with this fix. :D

Any chance you can post a pic of the exact hole location? TIA.
 

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1987 300E
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Several replies:

Greg: I know where you are coming from - I felt a bit guilty drilling that hole.

benzzino: No, the sensor I replaced does not give the outside temperature reading you see on the dash. It gives the evaporator temperature reading that you access on the AC control panel window.

Benzboy210: I don't know how to post pictures-sorry. You don't have to remove the cover under the dash to do this. Just extend the steering wheel far enough to drill the hole in the sleeve 1.75" beyond (toward the dash) from the base of the steering wheel. It is approximately below where the sleeve changes from round on top to flat on top. Again, at about 5 o'clock position when looking toward steering wheel from driver's seat.
 

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1987 300E
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Posting a picture

Matt,

I have a digital camera - so I can take a picture. How does it get from my camera to this forum?

Art
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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479 Posts
Thanks Art!

Ok, so I got brave and did it. The few after-Sunday-dinner shots of single malt probably factored into my bravado, but I digress.

Drilled exactly where Art described and there was the screw. I used the 5/16" bit as well. It was quite loose and tightened up nicely. On my car, I think between 5-6 o'clock would have been even more precise in terms of the angle to hit the screw dead on, but perhaps I just went a bit high. Either way, I was able to easily turn the screw.

All in all, it took me all of about 4 minutes from drilling to perfectly centered and firm steering shaft sleeve. (Why is it so much car/engine talk effortlessly enters the domain of sexual metaphor?)

Since I think the design of this stalk is flawed - in the sense that over time it will likely loosen again - this little modification is probably worth it. The drill hole is pretty much unnoticeable as it is near the bottom. My car's interior is black and hence it really can't be seen unless you are crawling underneath the steering wheel. So when it gets loose again, it will be a very easy fix. I plan on getting a little black cap/grommet to seal the hole and finish it off nicely - install and electrical shops usually have some.

So...thanks again Art! I'll try and post a pic in a little bit (off for another celebratory malt). :D
 

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1987 300E
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Discussion Starter #9
Glad you are posting a picture

Also glad it worked on another car - though I think all 210's are proably the same relative to this job. Perhaps 5:30 reference time is better.

Art
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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479 Posts
Pics

Here are some pics. As I mentioned (and I think you are correct Art, it's the same for any W210) I would have drilled a bit further down in terms of the clock reference (closer to 5:30 than 5:00). That's being picky though - there is enough play to get at the screw.

Thanks again Art - this minor problem has been irritating!

Though the hole is quite noticeable here with a flash hitting it, in normal light it's very hard to see.
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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Just wanted to add a wrap-up pic...I used a black trim grommet to plug the hole. It blends perfectly and can easily be removed the next time I need to adjust the stalk.
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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Nominated! :thumbsup:

Thanks again to Art for the tip!
 

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1999 MB E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash 135K
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242 Posts
Good idea! Where did you acquire the plastic grommet? Mine is loose also but not to the point yet of having to go to the trouble to tighten.

EBenz
 

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2007 E550, 2007 GL450
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479 Posts
EBenz - got it at Canadian Tire for about $0.10.

I'm sure any auto parts store in the US will have the same. The grommets are usually located along with other miscellaneous trim parts like door lock knobs, mirror covers, etc.
 

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1998 E320 on 18's
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30 Posts
Awesome 3 minute repair!

Thanks Benzboy210. :bowdown:
I was tempted to give the drill a try on my own but after your pictures, I was sold on taking the easy approach. It took me a total of three minutes and one minute was going back to my toolbox to get a smaller phillips head screw driver to get the best grip. The hole cannot be noticed and will be plugged as suggested.
Thanks again. This is a first class "flat rate" repair.
CWood - Phoenix, AZ
 

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1998 E320 on 18's
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30 Posts
Search for the DIY regarding this issue. It shows removing the steering wheel, air bag, etc. You can see the clamp and screw in the picture. It is located off to the side at at a small angle...
 
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