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1984 380SL, 1991 300E
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433 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've been trying to eliminate the play in my steering and have been systematically replacing components that are long past due. I've read all of the threads on the steering coupler so I'm putting that on the "Winter List". I decided to start prepping well in advance so I went out last night and cleaned mine as best as I could and sprayed some PB Blaster on it. To try and get a feel for how I'll take it out, I pieced together a bunch of extensions and a hex socket and discovered that a PO tried to replace it once before but gave up; but not before stripping at least one of the heads.

At least I don't have to beat myself up for stripping it. I've got a couple of months to think about this one.

This will make the fourth stripped bolt I will be working on. Wheel bolt, Engine mount, manifold heat shield, now this. Oh joy. You never see this crap on the Speed channel garage shows, they always make it look easy!

I had to post; only you guys would understand.

Regards,
Matt
 

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Registered
'85 380SL (155Kmiles), '82 240D stick, '80 300SD, '77 240D, '89 BMW 535i, 3 VW Diesels, 2 Triumphs
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1,553 Posts
My condolences. Yeah, that sucks, but it good you found it now. Which bolt is it?
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,314 Posts
Those TV guys don't get their hands or clothes dirty. No blood sweat & tears there.
"Stunt double", "Make-up" are the usual calls. That and where is my Latte.

Anyone know if you can get a small cutting wheel in there?
 

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1974 450sl, 1986 190e, 97 sl320 40th sold
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506 Posts
They have sockets made for rounded bolt heads. use a torch to get it hot before hand and it should come out pretty slick.
 

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Registered
'85 380SL (155Kmiles), '82 240D stick, '80 300SD, '77 240D, '89 BMW 535i, 3 VW Diesels, 2 Triumphs
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1,553 Posts
PHP:
Anyone know if you can get a small cutting wheel in there?
I can't imagine how. Perhaps if it is the rear bolt that's bad the steering shaft can be pulled out with the coupler or far enough to grind the rear bolt.
 

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Premium Member
1989 560SL
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2,062 Posts
I found the same thing on mine when I changed it out. Except both were very stripped, no room in there to work with. I ended up using a 14" drill bit and drilled out the bolt holding it onto the steering box. Then pulled the whole column out to toss it on the bench and get the other bolt out. Wasted a few hours trying to do it several ways, much quicker just to pull the column.
Good Luck to you.
 

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Registered
1984 380SL, 1991 300E
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433 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
They have sockets made for rounded bolt heads. use a torch to get it hot before hand and it should come out pretty slick.
This is exactly what I was thinking. The only problem is there is very little clearance between the bolt head and the shoulder of the coupler, probably not enough for the wall thickness of a socket.

I was also thinking cutting wheel but it's tight in there.

Drilling out the one bolt and pulling the shaft actually sounds like a better option, especially knowing someone has had success doing it

Thanks for the responses, I'll start tooling-up and let you guys know. My goal with my next "family" of projects is to pull the steering wheel and fix a bunch of ills in the cluster, my wiper motor/mounts, re-align my t/s so it works for both left and right turns and replace the coupler.
 

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'85 380SL (155Kmiles), '82 240D stick, '80 300SD, '77 240D, '89 BMW 535i, 3 VW Diesels, 2 Triumphs
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1,553 Posts
If you drill it out, you will then need to remove the pieces as there is a "trench" that it fits in in the steering gear. Check with Flip to see how he overcame this.
 

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380SL diesel
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1,275 Posts
I'd recommend going with a bolt extraction tool first before you start trying to drill. I believe that you would be able to get the bolt out with relative ease. These bite into outside of the bolt and the more force you apply the deeper it cuts into the bolt allowing even more force to be applied.

I used one of these when I broke the tip of a hex key off trying to get a bolt out of a recess in an oil pan. I had to weld the extractor to the end of a 3/8" extension to get it inside the recess that made it completely inaccessible any other way (mine didn't have the socket hole).

If this doesn't work, then you can try drilling. If you drill first, you'll eliminate this as an option.

I got my set at Sears... not that expensive
 

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Premium Member
1989 560SL
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2,062 Posts
I have a similar set of extractors as the one shown, but did not have the room to use them. I drilled out the center with one bit and then jumped up size to just a bit under the bolt dia. After drilling the threads where about the only thing remaining and they fell away when I pulled it off the shaft. Do not remember damaging the shaft coming out of the steering box. Could not fit a cut off wheel, air body saw, etc... Took about 2-3 bits each size brand new from lowes, about $30 in bits. They are harden bolts and will eat up bits.
 

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89 560sl Burg/cream beige, 08 E350 4matic Flint Gray/Black, 2014 4runner
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252 Posts
So this is my 1st post and i too had everything in the steering perfect except for the play in the coupler. I am very capable of replacing the worn out one with a new one but i drove a 560 that had his replace a year ago and it only felt like it would take away half of the play. Now, I know its not new high tech but my DD is a 05 Audi A4 & a 11 toyota tacoma so I wanted it tight. This is what I did....

I 1st pulled away the interior coluum boot and plate, then lifted the car so front was way up in the air, located the 2 pins that were missing their rubber sleeves and tapped a thin flat blade screwdriver into each one forcing the pins to be centered as if the rubber was still there. I then went into the car and moved the steering wheel back & forth till i was positive the alignment was as straight as possible. Then went back under and (everyone just take a deep breath) tack welded the pins to the coupler. Pulled out screwdrivers and went back up top to check alignment. It was as straight as it was getting without being on alignment rack. Went back under and welded pins in upper to lower coupler.

Holy crap, steering is as tight as my A4.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,536 Posts
So this is my 1st post and i too had everything in the steering perfect except for the play in the coupler. I am very capable of replacing the worn out one with a new one but i drove a 560 that had his replace a year ago and it only felt like it would take away half of the play. Now, I know its not new high tech but my DD is a 05 Audi A4 & a 11 toyota tacoma so I wanted it tight. This is what I did....

I 1st pulled away the interior coluum boot and plate, then lifted the car so front was way up in the air, located the 2 pins that were missing their rubber sleeves and tapped a thin flat blade screwdriver into each one forcing the pins to be centered as if the rubber was still there. I then went into the car and moved the steering wheel back & forth till i was positive the alignment was as straight as possible. Then went back under and (everyone just take a deep breath) tack welded the pins to the coupler. Pulled out screwdrivers and went back up top to check alignment. It was as straight as it was getting without being on alignment rack. Went back under and welded pins in upper to lower coupler.

Holy crap, steering is as tight as my A4.

Pics or it didn't happen. :)
 

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89 560sl Burg/cream beige, 08 E350 4matic Flint Gray/Black, 2014 4runner
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252 Posts
ok here they are. As you know being in the northeast we've been hit like crazy with tons of rain so this is the 1st time i looked at them since it was done 2 weeks ago. I will clean it up and hit them with P.O.R. tomorrow.



http://www.benzworld.org/forums/members/sheppymach-albums-my-560sl-picture6334-imag0879-1.jpg

Fonzi, since i made it "happen" can you when im ready help me with BBS or Penta (or clone) rims? Thats what i've been on here for the last 3 hrs looking thru, all the possibilities.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,536 Posts
^^^ certainly. I just got word last night that the buyer for the black rs098s is not buying, making it three sets of rs I have available. I am local to you too, so it will be easy to your eyes and hands on the wheels first, and get tires too. And there is another guy in NJ who is sharing my obsession. So between the two of us, we can get it figured out for you. You will need rs133 or spacers to fit the front of a 560sl though.
 

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89 560sl Burg/cream beige, 08 E350 4matic Flint Gray/Black, 2014 4runner
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252 Posts
Coupler was welded up from the bottom, its tight but as you can see it can be done. It is not welded to the coluum so the coupler will come off same way standard one would. There is zero play in the steering wheel, with less flex lower profile tire it would be perfect. I hope it'll work out for someone looking for a fix.

Fonzi. Awesome, Thanks. is this that set? I really think that is what i'm looking for, bbs's on garnet red car

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/sale-wanted-trade-giveaway/1660753-wtb-period-wheels-gen2-420sel-penta.html

or these

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/5319186-post10.html
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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32,314 Posts
I don't see a picture of the repair. Is it just me?
 

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89 560sl Burg/cream beige, 08 E350 4matic Flint Gray/Black, 2014 4runner
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252 Posts
They were there last night, I just checked they r in my album so you can click on them there. I'm not new to forums and have posted tons in tacomaworld I'll check the comp when I get home to see if something happened.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
Joined
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32,314 Posts
Where is your album? The link just brings up a black page.
 
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