W124.Slightly sticky steering

Loathecliff

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Hi guys.

Feels like a part siezed ball joint. Self-centering is uneven. PAS is strong, no 'refusals' going on lock, hence the partial diagnosis.
Only problem is I reckon there are nine possible places of seizure :(
Bottom swivel I suppose is favourite?

It is getting worse, so I have stopped using the car in case something shears.

Anyone experienced this? - Is there a well-known culprit?

I hope it's not a bottom swivel as changing that bottom arm/wishbone looks fun.
 

roadhog

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W124 300D x2, C124 300
I'm no expert but I wouldn't have thought that this was caused by the ball joint. Ball joint failure has different symptoms.

My guess would be the hydraulic side of things. Are you losing fluid? When was it last changed? I'm not sure how reliable the steering boxes are, so far mine has behaved.

I would start by jacking the car up and disconnecting the track rods on each side. You should be able to find any seized components by moving the hubs through their full range.

Let us know what you find. :)
 

Number_Cruncher

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1995 W124 E300D TE
No, ball joint failure can cause the steering to bind up.

When I replaced my N/S ball joint recently, I disconnected the track rod end, and could barely swivel the strut there was so much friction in the ball joint. For the 5 minutes it takes to separate the track rod end, it's an easy and cheap thing to check.
 
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Loathecliff

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Thxs roadhog but it's definitely not hydraulics as I'm used to that 'elsewhere'!

Thxs NC. Disconnecting the TREs is what I will be doing just as soon as the gale force winds stop.
Can the bottom ball joint be replaced on its own?? - I thought it was a complete lower arm assembly?
 
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Loathecliff

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Thxs Roadhog.

Tis on the LHS. Not hard to rotate by hand with the wheel off, but still not right.
Odd thing is it feels like a top bearing would on a MacPerson strut. You feel a slight click at the top as you rotate it.........only there isn't a top bearing on these.....I didn't think??
 

kth286

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E320 Coupe 95
Thxs Roadhog.

Tis on the LHS. Not hard to rotate by hand with the wheel off, but still not right.
Odd thing is it feels like a top bearing would on a MacPerson strut. You feel a slight click at the top as you rotate it.........only there isn't a top bearing on these.....I didn't think??

There is'nt a top bearing.
 

Number_Cruncher

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1995 W124 E300D TE
This is sounding more like the ball joint.

What model/year of W124 is it?

It's fairly obvious if the ball joints are replaceable - the ball joint pushes out of the wishbone pushed from above, and thankfully, are only £13 from MB.
 
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Loathecliff

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It's a 300D 1993. Last of the older model with the front grill proud not faired in.
 

5pares

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E320cdi
Sounds like a bottom ball joint problem to me.
 

Number_Cruncher

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1995 W124 E300D TE
It's part #62 in the upper piccie. When I did mine (1995 E300D), I also bought a new pinch bolt and nut.


http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.as...GM=717.433&CT=F&cat=15S&SID=33&SGR=030&SGN=01

The joints are pressed in to the arm very tightly, and, of course, the arm is being pushed on by the spring, so, you need to safely contain the energy in the spring somehow.

Replacement of these ball joints is a job that an experienced and well equipped mechanic can undertake, but, I would say beyond the scope of many DIYers.

I *think* that it's the E320s and those cars with sportline suspension which do not have removable ball joints - on those cars, you have to buy a complete replacement lower arm.
 

roofless

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w124 e220 estate
i did feel a tight spot with my 124 a few times the day my balljoint collapsed
 
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Loathecliff

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Ignore .... I didn't see we had progressed to two pages before typing
 
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Loathecliff

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Thxs guys (& in particular NC). What comprehensive service... well, almost. I hate getting my hands dirty, anyone want to nip over to Portugal to do the job for me?!! ;)

Once I have the part - (at non-Portuguese prices.......bits can be loon here, like every one is the last available on the planet) - I'll approach our local genius, who luckily is a good mate.

Until then it's definitely V.O.R!
 

8~)

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Interesing. I reckon my da's car has the same issue - but along with an occasional slight sqeaking noise.
 
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Loathecliff

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UPDATE:- I'm waiting for a friend to bring the part from the UK next week. So I thought that as the joint seemed dry rather than worn I would experiment.
Take one hypodermic syringe, add a little 10-w40 (takes a while to go draw it in), & then inject into the rubber boot. Dis the TRE (again) & see how it feels. All stiction has gone & car drives fine!
Yes, I know I'm going to be shot for this but where really is the harm? - No play in the joint & no discernable excess friction.
It's only a temporary measure anyway .............. I'm sure I will fit the job in very soon :)
 

kth286

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E320 Coupe 95
If we don't hear from you again we will assume it did not work out and that you were probably driving along the edge of a cliff at the time................................
 

Number_Cruncher

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1995 W124 E300D TE
>>where really is the harm?

Read this thread, and, assuming that your imagination is active and healthy, frighten yourself!

http://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/showthread.php?t=47839

Neglecting ball joints on these cars is extreme folly - the ball joints themselves could barely be cheaper, and the consequences of sudden failure at speed do not bear thinking about.
 

d215yq

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1987 W124 300D 280k miles
Replace ball joints as service item?

So given the potential for such mess is there a set time/mileage when they should be replaced or do they always give some sort of sign before snapping?

I've got a 1996 w124 e220 coupe (140k miles) on, as far as i know, original balljoints. Tyres wear evenly, no squeaking in the steering/stiff steering/ anything untoward at all, so are they ok for the next few years or not?

Thanks, Ben
 

kth286

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E320 Coupe 95
So given the potential for such mess is there a set time/mileage when they should be replaced or do they always give some sort of sign before snapping?

I've got a 1996 w124 e220 coupe (140k miles) on, as far as i know, original balljoints. Tyres wear evenly, no squeaking in the steering/stiff steering/ anything untoward at all, so are they ok for the next few years or not?

Thanks, Ben

Checking them is in the service schedule and details will be in your service book.
 

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