Adjusting Tie Rods on W210

The Rock

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E300TD W210 May 1999

Hi, Last year I had the full geometry setup done at an MB workshop after two failed attempts at local garages to set my tracking straight.

After 3 visits to MB the job was finally done to my satisfaction, with the final solution being to use the machine to do the tracking and then do a final trim of the steering wheel by turning both tie-rods equal amounts, by hand. The result was a perfectly centralised steering wheel. The technician was very patient and very thorough but it costs £170 to have this done at a main dealer.

Not long after that I had to have the front right track rod end changed (grrrr) and the steering wheel is now slightly round to the left when driving in a straight line, indicating to me that the front right road wheel is now toeing slightly outwards.

All I want to do is adjust that tie rod so as to give that road wheel a little more toe-in, knowing that everything else is spot-on and I don't want to go through all the fuss again.

I know I can slacken off the lock nut on the track-rod end but is there another nut at the other end of the tie rod that I need to loosen too before turning the tie rod approx 1/16 of a turn? If so, will I be able to see it if I jack the car up or is it inside a gaitor?

Thanks in advance.

Rock
 

television

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I can send you the info if you wish. :D And yes you just undo both locking nuts and turn the tie rod, just be sure that the bellows are not twisted when you are done.

2 lengths of something that would make some sort of sliding rods is useful to measure the rims at the front and the rear
 

Number_Cruncher

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The inner end of the rod goes to a ball joint - it can spin.

http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.as...GA=722.608&CT=F&cat=45P&SID=46&SGR=022&SGN=01

Slacken the locknut (38), and the hose clip (47), and make sure that the gaitor doesn't twist up as you turn the track rod.

For DIY use, I would recomend that you try a Trakrite gauge, see, for example, Ebay item 120467837598.

While the device looks a bit "Noddy", they work remarkably well. I set the front tracking on my W124 using one, and there is no problem at all with tyre wear or steering wheel alignment. Obviously, you can't do anything more advanced with such a device, but, as it's cheaper than a new tyre, that's no big surprise.
 

television

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The inner end of the rod goes to a ball joint - it can spin.

http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.as...GA=722.608&CT=F&cat=45P&SID=46&SGR=022&SGN=01

Slacken the locknut (38), and the hose clip (47), and make sure that the gaitor doesn't twist up as you turn the track rod.

If there was any problem, then just removing the track rod end from the knuckle, and turning that would work well.

When replacing these things I fail to see how some can mess up,,I always just slacken the lock nut ½ a turn, and refit the new one
 
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The Rock

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The inner end of the rod goes to a ball joint - it can spin.

http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.as...GA=722.608&CT=F&cat=45P&SID=46&SGR=022&SGN=01

Slacken the locknut (38), and the hose clip (47), and make sure that the gaitor doesn't twist up as you turn the track rod.

For DIY use, I would recomend that you try a Trakrite gauge, see, for example, Ebay item 120467837598.

While the device looks a bit "Noddy", they work remarkably well. I set the front tracking on my W124 using one, and there is no problem at all with tyre wear or steering wheel alignment. Obviously, you can't do anything more advanced with such a device, but, as it's cheaper than a new tyre, that's no big surprise.

Thanks NumberCruncher, that drawing is brill. I'll give it a go. I want to get it corrected before the next MOT because I've a sneaky suspicion that the other track-rod end will need replacing and then I won't know which one to adjust (unless I buy one of those gizmo's you recommend)

Is there definitely no nut inside the gaitor?

Thanks

Rock
 
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The Rock

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If there was any problem, then just removing the track rod end from the knuckle, and turning that would work well.

When replacing these things I fail to see how some can mess up,,I always just slacken the lock nut ½ a turn, and refit the new one

Yes indeed, but not sure what you mean about removing the track-rod end. But your point about not messing it up is a good one - I thought that when the mechanic changed it. I asked him to be careful because I'd just recently got it spot-on and he sort-of hinted that I was asking too much. Funny thing is he's a brilliant mechanic and always does everything rather well.

Rock
 
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television

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Yes indeed, but not sure what you mean about removing the track-rod end. But your point about not messing it up is a good one - I thought that when the mechanic changed it. I asked him to be careful because I'd just recently got it spot-on and he sort-of hinted that I was asking too much. Funny thing is he's a brilliant mechanic and always does everything rather well.

Rock

If you take off the nut on top of the ball joint, and knock the track rod end out or the seating in the steering knuckle, then by just undoing the lock nut on the track rod you could wind the track rod end in or out as required.

The would work if the other end turned. normally you can just hit the casting that houses the taper part on the ball joint and it will spring out, you never hit the ball joint on the top of the threaded part, There is a wedge tool that does this job

You would not have to do it up tight for measuring purposes
 
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Number_Cruncher

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>>Is there definitely no nut inside the gaitor?

There's no nut inside the gaitor.

If you're replacing the original track rod end with another original MB part, then the locknut trick as described by Malcolm usually gets you very close. If you fit spurious parts, then, you may or may not be anywhere near.
 
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The Rock

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If you take off the nut on top of the ball joint, and knock the track rod end out or the seating in the steering knuckle, then by just undoing the lock nut on the track rod you could wind the track rod end in or out as required.

The would work if the other end turned. normally you can just hit the casting that houses the taper part on the ball joint and it will spring out, you never hit the ball joint on the top of the threaded part, There is a wedge tool that does this job

You would not have to do it up tight for measuring purposes

I understand now. Having said that, the steering wheel is so close to being right that a full turn of the track-rod end is going to be waaay too much. I'm talking 1/16th of a turn here.

Thanks
Rock
 
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The Rock

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>>Is there definitely no nut inside the gaitor?

There's no nut inside the gaitor.

If you're replacing the original track rod end with another original MB part, then the locknut trick as described by Malcolm usually gets you very close. If you fit spurious parts, then, you may or may not be anywhere near.

It was the fitting of a new track rod end that sent my tracking out in the first place, albeit by a gnats nadjer. I am a fussy git and if adjusting the tie-rod is a simple as it looks then I'm going to get it spot-on again.

Now where did I leave my mole-grips????

Thanks
Rock
 

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I understand now. Having said that, the steering wheel is so close to being right that a full turn of the track-rod end is going to be waaay too much. I'm talking 1/16th of a turn here.

Thanks
Rock

I think that you find that at least one full turn is required,,and the can be measured with the measuring device that number cruncher gave reference to

By measuring the pitch of the thread this will give some indication
 

Number_Cruncher

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As a point of passing interest, as the W210 only has an adjuster on the outer ball joint, it's quite a "slow" adjustment.

On the models where there's also a thread of the opposite hand on the inner track rod end, like W124s, you do not need to turn the track rod far at all to make a big difference to the wheel's pointing angle.
 

brandwooddixon

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Done this a few times on my W210.

Slacken off the lock nut and use a spanner on the hexagon section of the tie rod end, near the gaitor to adjust.

When replacing the tie rod I tend to use a piece of string to keep a record of the distance between an arbitrary point midway down the tie rod (mark with paint or insulting tape around the rod) and the outside end of the old ball joint. Remember to mark the string at both points!

Ensure that the replacement matches up with those points. It works surprisingly well. And you don't have to worry about accidentally rotating the lock nut.
 
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The Rock

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Well would you bloomin' believe it. The lock nut is jammed. Local tyre place couldn't shift it either. It's going to need a bit of heat to undo so it's going to my specialist ASAP.

Rock :eek:(
 

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Well would you bloomin' believe it. The lock nut is jammed. Local tyre place couldn't shift it either. It's going to need a bit of heat to undo so it's going to my specialist ASAP.

Rock :eek:(

Is this the one on the track rod end ????
 

turbopete

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too much heat could melt the plastic cup in the joint and ruin it, requiring replacement. seen a few do that.
 

brandwooddixon

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If you mean the one at the track rod end. Then try soaking it over an extended period with some penetrating oil.

Then shock it by placing heavy object, say a lump hammer, on one side of it (preferably on a flat) and then gently hit the other flat with another hammer.

I've found that this works better with a sledge (as the anvil) and a lump hammer to hit with. You don't need as much force when using heavier hammers and so will run a lower risk of deforming any components.
 
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The Rock

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too much heat could melt the plastic cup in the joint and ruin it, requiring replacement. seen a few do that.

Indeed. I've instructed local specialist to replace the track-rod end anyway. That way I'll have four good ones (The other three were all changed last year) Why I didn't do all four is beyond me. I think I was tired of the whole thing last year, what with the welding, coil springs, bonnet, wheel alignment etc. I just gave up. If only I'd done this last thing. Oh well. It'll all be OK in a short while.

Rock.
 


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