Thanks all + anything else to check?
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Thanks to Max for the fine description of his procedures, Don for history on an 80’s Euro SL (We need to stay in touch.) and Steve for the technical explanation of the mechanics of the box and Ali for a good start. It is more important than some think to explain why something is done a certain way other than simply what to do. And Steve, I have read some of your posts and published work and you are a master at explaining functionality.
Are there any specific things to check in the steering or suspension that could cause the free play? Any common wear items to check first? (This ~3/4” play exists with the car shut off as well as running.)
Considering the passable condition of the steering and how involved the project is, I may put it off. It seems important to make this adjustment because the manual says for a steering gear that has not been adjusted for a long time that there may be an area in the center with lower torque and that it cannot be adjusted out. I assume this does not mean free play but torque of the steering gearbox.
When I work up the gumption you will probably hear from me again.
’85 500SL Euro
1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si