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  #1  
Old 02-17-2006, 04:22 PM
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Question road wander

My recent purchase -85 300 D w/ 145,000 miles likes to wander left or right mostly at higher speeds. Any ideas on where to start for fixing ? I'm thinking front-end alignment maybe ? This is my first benz and I'm liking it a lot (so far).

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Old 02-17-2006, 04:36 PM
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I too have that problem. If it were an alignment problem, would it not pull only in one direction? I am asking this, not making a statement (I am a total novice to car repair and have learned more on this board over the last month than in my previous 35 years of life...).
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:43 PM
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my 1985 300d does the same thing and it also wears the inside of the tires down significantly faster than the rest of the tires. I have been told it needs new upper control arm busings, lower ball joints and tie rod ends. It looks like there is a lot of slop in all those things on my car. I have the parts on order and am planning on doing it just as soon as can. If it makes a difference, I'll let you know. There seems to be a wealth of information on this board about how to do all the work listed above.

I guess I would jack it up and check all of the above as well as the steering idler busing to see if any of those have play. That way you can tell if the components need to be replaced prior to an alignment.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:43 PM
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I recently replaced my front sway bushings (where the bar si mounted to the upper control arm) they were not doing much in a straight line, that's for sure. I feel better stability now, hopefully it's not the placebo effect.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:53 PM
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You fellows need a competant shop to go through the front end and look for obvious loose joints. Some shops are incompetant and can't find a loose ball joint if it hit them over the head and other shops will see original joints on a vehicle with 150K on the clock and they'll tell you that you need $1500 worth of work before any alignment can be properly done.

The key is to find an honest shop that will only fix the worst culprits. Then you can properly align the vehicle and fix the "wandering".

Lower ball joints and/or lower control arm bushings will generally put the repair out of reach financially, unless you do it yourself. I was shocked to see some of the shops quoting 6 hours for just the lower ball joints. With patience, and the spring compressor (rented from this site), the cost is about $125.00 in parts and tool rental.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:57 PM
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and if you are just doing the upper ball joints and/or upper control arm bushing, you don't need to touch the spring, at least on the SD
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listen, look, .........and duck.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2006, 06:36 PM
LarryBible
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It's time to raise the car in the air safely and use the four P's; Push, Pull, Pry and Prod on all the suspension components. For wandering pay particularly close attention to the idler arm, but check EVERYTHING front and rear.

For the person talking about inside tire wear, those two wheels are toed out. Tighten the wheel bearings, then set the toe on zero and that problem will go away.

Good luck,
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:32 AM
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Talking road wander

Update: I used the suggestion to adjust the allen screw on the steering gear box ( very simple to do ), and WOW it fixed the problem ! I had too much play in my steering wheel and this fixed it. The car handles like new now -what a difference. Thanks for all the suggestions !
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:55 AM
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my shlomo wanders a bit as well.

sometimes i panic whenever that loose spot in the middle changes with the pitch of the road.

its crazy! i always just thought thats what old cars feel like?

im going to get to the suspension whenever the weather warms up a little. my rear is shot and i think that isnt helping the front do its best till i can save up to have that done

i might do the steering thing when im doing my oil and filters.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:29 PM
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I test drove a W123 that seemed sufficiently solid in the front end, but strangely enough turned squirrelly when the rear hit the same bump the front had just passed over.

The W123 seems a lot less complicated than the W124 on the rear suspension. None of those multiple dog-bone links going everywhere. So what goes wrong with the rear suspension to make it jitter the car when hitting a bump - to the extent that it feels like a minor direction change?

Ken300D
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2006, 06:12 PM
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shlomo

You should not wait to do the steering box allen screw adjustment. It wont cost you anything and if your results are as good as mine, you will be looking for excuses to drive the damn thing.

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