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Old 11-14-2006, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Unhappy steering damper

Can anyone tell me what the steering damper does and how to tell if its bad?My cars front end looks tight but every so often, just driving down the road the front end starts shaking so i slow down and use the brake to make it stop.This is a 1986 300SDL

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Old 11-14-2006, 10:48 AM
rrgrassi's Avatar
mmmmmm Diesel...
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Royse City Tx
Posts: 4,875
The damper helps to keep sudden changes in pavement, like uneveness, potholes, bumps, water puddles, etc. from jolting the steering wheel out of your hands. You will see these on lots of 4x4's also.

Is the shaking speed related? The damper can also mask other problems, so it would be a good idea to raise the front of the car up and look/test for other worn suspension parts.

The damper is like a shock absorber, and they do go out as well. I do not know the test for a bad one, though, except for obvious of the rubber bushings missing from it's ends.

70's SPM #5608 Fairmont A-4 MOW car

06 VW Jetta TDI 280K miles

03 VW Golf TDI 5 speed 400K Miles Engine died

RIP--Lost in fire...82 300D 322K was My Daily Driver-On the search for a w126 now...

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Old 11-14-2006, 10:58 AM
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Gotta another one...
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NE Ohio
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In order to tes for a bad one, you have to disconnect one end, and check for resistance. The less resistance, the more worn it is. You probably won't notice THAT much difference in replacing it.
1989 300E 144K
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for the info
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:18 AM
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You notice the difference mostly on the highway, its pretty much a shock. They are cheap if its original just replace it and see what it does.
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2007 Tiara 3200
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:22 AM
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Sounds like you might have a tire or two that is very much out of balance.....
Jimmy L.
'05 Acura TL 6MT
2001 ML430 My Spare

'95 E300 188K "Batmobile" Texas Unfriendly Black
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:39 PM
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Location: northeastern PA
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I believe someone once said a shot track rod mount will cause shaking. Meantime, just get a new dampner. Cheap, fast fix. If you havent changed it yet, it needs it.

2004 E500 4matic; 72,000mi
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