Some steering "slop/play" is normal. MB forever used the old steering gearbox system, vs rack and pinon. Per my MB service manual for a W116 chassis, up to 25mm (1 inch)of play, turning left to right, is within specs.
1994 MB E320 Coupe (199,500 mi)
1992 MB 190E 2.6 (173,000 mi)
1983 Porsche 911SC (148,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (198,000 mi)
President of CT/Westchester Section