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1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
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1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just had the rear suspension sorted on a 380SE with 130K miles or so:

new subframe mounts, differential mount, springs, pads and shocks (Bilstein HD)

Now, just had the front shocks and caster adjusters taken care of... shop didn't mention the need for bushings.

In any case, I was wondering whether they should take care of the steering shock as well.

What is the primary functionality of that part, how often should it be changed, etc. Sorry, but I did a search, and again, I need more exacting wide-spectrum answers. TIA.

I'd imagine if I wanted to change the steering shock myself it would be easy with a couple of spanners, some new hardware, a bottle of brake clean, some thread prep and thread locker, no?

Oh yah, the car does have some play in the steering even after adjusting the steering box... that would be the next thing to hadle in the front suspension/driveline... followed by bushings when they're needed, etc.
 

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1979 280CE
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6,118 Posts
Are you talking about the idler arm?
 

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1982 300TDT 150,000 miles 1985 380SE 130,000 miles 1991 560SEL 81,000 miles (a/k/a the nightmare)
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1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
The steering is set up with about an inch of play in the wheel. The function of the steering shock is to keep the linkage from moving too much, damping the oscillations, so the car tracks straight. Too loose and the car can wander, too tight and the steering gear will bind and wear out too fast.

Rack and Pinion would be better but it would be a custom job to replace the whole system. I've read that some have done this.
 

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2004 S500 4Matic, 2018 Ford Expedition Max, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S, 2016 BMW 750i
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508 Posts
The steering shock was shot on my 560 when I bought it, and indeed the car wondered a bit instead of tracking straight. Mostly, though, the the annoying symptom was sudden change of direction when hitting a pothole or other road imperfection. Not to a dangerous degree, but it certainly did not evoke a Mercedes driving experience. The steering damper, IIRC, cost $60ish at the dealership and is an easy DIY if you so desire.
 

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
John, you probably need bushings too. Actually, a complete front end rebuild would be in order, and a PS gear adjustment. Mine still wanders a but due to the PS gear adjustment being a little loose.
 
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