W124 Steering issues

Stu_CDX

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Hi guys, long time since I've posted but I need advice.

The W124 280E 1995.

The steering seems to change direction slightly when driving along a straight road. I am not moving the wheel, but the steering is wandering. There's about 7/8" play in the wheel.

It's getting a little annoying when driving... Any ideas people? Not the rear S/Frame mounts, they're fine.

Stu. :confused:
 

Number_Cruncher

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1995 W124 E300D TE
>>The steering seems to change direction slightly when driving along a straight road. I am not moving the wheel, but the steering is wandering. There's about 7/8" play in the wheel.

First check all of the joints in the system, including the idler arm bearing. It's pointless doing anything else if there's slack in the joints.

If you find all the joints are OK, next, check that the steering is truly centred. MB steering boxes have a designed in tight spot at the straight ahead position. If someone has been daft enough to take the steering wheel off, and move it round to get it straight, then, you'll struggle to get the steering right. There's a plug in the steering box, and you can make a tapered tool to centre the box.

If you haven't renewed the steering damper, then, just do so. They are so easy and so cheap, it's best just to renew it.

If the joints are OK, and the steering box is properly centred, your 7/8" play is actually within the allowable tolerance. I would not rush to adjust the play out of the steering box, but, if you insist, you can tighten it up a bit. The danger is over-tightening the steering box, which will give you tight spots which you'll feel as you steer - really bad news!
 

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Do not forget the rear sub frame mounts,,these when shot can cause the car to power steer,,that is as you accelerate, change direction, the fault can be just as much from the rear as the front
 
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Stu_CDX

Stu_CDX

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Do not forget the rear sub frame mounts,,these when shot can cause the car to power steer,,that is as you accelerate, change direction, the fault can be just as much from the rear as the front

Hi Malcolm,

I've had the Rear S/F mounts checked and they're all fine.

Thanks for the suggestion though! :)

Always nice to hear from you :)
 

wireman

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nice 201 2.5D 1993 & very nice 129 SL500 1994
Could also be affected by your front wishbone inner bushes and rear track & camber control arms etc.

As a general rule (in my book) rubber bushes anywhere on the suspension tend to cause all sorts of problems as they age. Look there first.

According to Haynes (which does have a reasonable discription) later boxes do not have a facillity to insert a centering screw, you have to set the box halfway through its travel by counting turns end to end and going half way back.

Haynes does not cover steering box adjustment, Malcolm has some good info but do take note of the warnings, being hydraulicaly assisted excessive tightnes is overcome by the power assistance so you won't feel it but the innards of the steering box will be overstressed (and prone to irrepairable damage) if the adjustment is incorrectly done.

To adjust the tightspot the adjuster is turned anti clockwise to tighten it, 1/4 turn at a time untill the specified steering wheel resistance (in dead ahead position) is achived... and NO MORE. You need some time and tooling to do it right, don't do it without.
 

kth286

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perhaps the front wheel bearings just need tightening up a bit.
 
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Stu_CDX

Stu_CDX

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perhaps the front wheel bearings just need tightening up a bit.

Hi there,

Thanks for two helpful replies.

The wheel bearing on the passenger side needed adjustment about 3 months back and it flew through it's MOT recently too. :)
 

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check your rear control arms especially the top forward facing as the bushes wear causing rear wheel steering, also sometimes the front ball joint can sieze, making it wonder?
 


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