'88 300E floating around on accel, gear change...
First, great group, I'm grateful for the expertise of the members, and their willingness to share their experiences.
Now, I recently bought an '88 300E at a Salvation Army auto auction. I know from reading the posts that service records are paramount before making a purchase, oops. But I think I did well, aside from the Florida sun damage to the hood, the car is in great shape. The odo showed 60k, which I found to be inoperable after purchase, but I did find the PO who had donated the car. They said that the odo stopped working 3-4 years ago, but that the car was a fourth car, and they kept it for their kids when the came home from college. I'm guessing an extra 20k miles was missed. After doing a tune up, replacing the alternator, fixing the odo and replacing the 10amp OVP fuse, the car is running great. I travel from Sarasota to Jax Beach every weekend. I'm figuring the $3200 + $170 tune up + $200 alternator was a good deal.
Onto the problem: I'm finding that when I'm on the highway, the car seems unstable during gear changes and acceleration. The feeling is best described as the feeling you'd get in a baby buggy! When I accelerate to change lanes, the car seems to sway side to side until I settle into the lane. If I'm accelerating in my own lane, it seems like the right rear gets power before the left rear, and the nose of the car actually pushes left before coming back straight. When I'm going through the gears (automatic), I get the same feeling, just not as pronounced at reduced speeds.
I know I need new tires, and one of the tires is a different make, same size. I know I need an alignment too. The front steering seems to be in place, bushings are intact. I don't hear any clunking, nothing seems out of the ordinary as far as sounds are concerned. It's been a while since I had a rear-wheel drive daily driver, and I do seem to remember my '70 Cutlass had this symptom to a lesser degree, but my 300E feels downright scary if I'm changing lanes @ 75mph on the curving northbound lanes of I-75!
I see lots of folks replacing their shocks with Bilsteins, or upgrading their springs, is this why?
All your comments are appreciated, thanks