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Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
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422 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need some opinions on an area of this car for which I have not yet worked.

This is the 1997 C230 with 216000 miles. While performing my routine inspection I noticed that there was left to right play in both front wheels. All of the bushings and connections are tight, but I noticed that the movement goes all the way to the steering box. The arm coming out of the steering box rocks back and forth with the linkage and has about a ½ inch of total play. At the same time, the steering column leading in to the steering box also has about a ½ inch of play. I replaced the steering dampener with an new OEM part, and while this helped stiffen the movement, the amount of play is still evident.

So here are the questions:

[1]Is this a property of normal wear in the steering box?
[2]Can the steering box be rebuilt, and if so does anyone know of a kit or a rebuilder?
[3]This looks like a tough job, does anyone have any counsel on the removal and installation of the steering box? Do I need any specialized tools? (I like buying tools!)

Thank you in advance.
 

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1995 C220
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2,768 Posts
My 95 c220 has been that way ever since I owned it. Whats wierd is it has play when the motor is not running, but when running there is none. Drives straight as an arrow with no wiggle. I just havent bothered to worry about it, 60,000 miles later it hasnt gotten any worse, so I just assumed its normal.
 

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Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
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422 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
My 95 c220 has been that way ever since I owned it. Whats wierd is it has play when the motor is not running, but when running there is none. Drives straight as an arrow with no wiggle. I just havent bothered to worry about it, 60,000 miles later it hasnt gotten any worse, so I just assumed its normal.
Interesting comment. I never thought of running the vehicle while checking the play in the wheels. I will give it a try after we dig out of this snow. Thanks
 

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1998 c230 170K
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1,415 Posts
1. This is normal (when moving the wheel the movement will transfer to the column)

2. The steering box can be rebuilt but its more cost effective to replace if needed, (a replacement would cost around 1k unless you find a used one somewhere) I seriously don't think you need one. Usually the slop is from the drag link or pitman arm bushing area.

3. Yes, I would consider this a Major job and obviously very poor access as you can see. Would save your money for things like tires, MAF sensor, oil changes, etc.
If your having some real steering issues or tires cupping get an alignment done and see how that works out. B
 

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95 C280, 89 300E, 94' E320 Coupe, 91' 560SEC
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1,095 Posts
I thought the idler arm bushing was the cause of the play... it connects to the steering box itself
 

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Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
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422 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I thought the idler arm bushing was the cause of the play... it connects to the steering box itself
In this case the motion goes all the way through the steering box and makes the steering column move back in forth.

Does anyone have a diagram as to the location of the idler arm bushing?
 

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95 C280, 89 300E, 94' E320 Coupe, 91' 560SEC
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1,095 Posts
for me its steering wheel play where I would turn the the steering wheel some 5degrees and the turning would turn in the steering box and if you are underneath you will see the bolt that connects to the idler arm to the steering box moves and the bushing around it doesnt transfer the movement to the arm (therfore to the draglink assembly) I haven't ordered the bushing yet as I cant figure out how to replace it or cant tell from the diagrams if that is the correct part.
 

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95 C280, 89 300E, 94' E320 Coupe, 91' 560SEC
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1,095 Posts
I might be confusing the Intermediate arm with the Pitman arm for the steering Box. Any input guys?



steering.JPG
 

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1962 W111 220SE Coupe
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2,289 Posts
I hope I don't complicate things here but I remember reading where someone suggested that there are several bolts on the steering box that should be checked for proper torque at every 30,000 miles or so. I seem to recall that it was a member who is knowledgeable about the mechanical side of these cars so maybe they will see this and chime in. I did ask my local dealer to check the bolts when I had my ball joints replaced last month, but I didn't observe the work and couldn't tell if the tightening was part of the play in steering since the aforementioned new ball joints tightened things up considerably.
 

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Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
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422 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My 95 c220 has been that way ever since I owned it. Whats wierd is it has play when the motor is not running, but when running there is none. Drives straight as an arrow with no wiggle. I just havent bothered to worry about it, 60,000 miles later it hasnt gotten any worse, so I just assumed its normal.
Thank you very much!

In getting ready for the needed repairs on the vehicle (flex discs, support bearing, etc....) I remembered that you had mentioned that your vehicle does not have the play with the motor running, so I gave it a try and you are correct. With the motor running, no play in the steering box!

This saved me some big dollars and LOTS of time and effort. Thank you very much for this tip. :bowdown:
 
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