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  #1  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:14 AM
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Has anyone lengthened the steering column

I'm 6'1" with a 34in inseam!

I've got a 300D from 1984 and its killing my right leg. No matter where I put the seat I have to bend my leg up and to the right to drive the thing. I love my car, but I hate that they didn't give it tilt steering or extend the column a bit more.

Has anyone out there modified their steering column for a little extra leg room, or for any reason at all? I'd be interested in hearing about the process.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:16 AM
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I've fixed the problem due to the lack of adjustments in the steering on the W-123.

Here's how you do it:



















Take the W-123 and sell it on e-bay.

Buy the W-126 second generation.


Problem solved.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:34 AM
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my 6'9" baby brother had no issues extending the seat all the way back and driving the car. there are TWO sets of seat adjusters, the side adjuster will send the seat back almost all the way to the back seat...


but yeah, a 126 has quite a bit more room there...
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:37 AM
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I have a switch on my car that changes the length of the steering column... All kidding aside, have you tried moving the seat back and sitting straighter up in the seat?
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2009, 11:20 AM
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I bet a lot of people don't know about the second adjuster on the manual seats....or it might be stuck. Pull up on the lever on the left side of the seat and shove back, it will go back to hang out with the rear seat! My brother is 6' 5" with a 30" waist and he fits in his 300D just fine....though no one can sit behind him.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2009, 11:29 AM
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I am 6'2" with the seat all the way back its a bit of a stretch for me to get the clutch all the way down. I certainly wouldn't mind lowering it an inch.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2009, 05:44 PM
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It's not the seat

I'm also 6'1" and have almost a 34" inseam and am in the same situation. The seat goes back plenty far but if you push the seat back far enough for leg room you have to stretch to reach the steering wheel. If the steering wheel could come back another inch or two it would be great. Of course my wife couldn't drive the car then but she refuses to anyway.
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2009, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
I've fixed the problem due to the lack of adjustments in the steering on the W-123.

Here's how you do it:



Take the W-123 and sell it on e-bay.

Buy the W-126 second generation.


Problem solved.
lol.. yeah.. telescoping steering wheel.. I had no idea it had that.

its pretty sweet


I've got a spare 2nd gen w126 steering column with wheel and adjuster still on it if anyone is interested
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2009, 05:52 PM
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Swap in a smaller Nardi Wheel. I have one in my 240D, click the link in my signature to see pictures of it.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2009, 07:33 PM
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I understand your problem, no one has done it yet. It's not how far the seat goes, it's that with the seat all the way back your arms are stretched out straight.

After about 20 minutes this makes my elbows hurt, I prefer to drive with my arms resting on something; which you can't do with the seat all the way back.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2009, 08:01 PM
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Thats just one more reason my parents won't bother driving my car Of course I have the seat lowered all the way im 6'0 and it's still a PITA to palm decent turns.. I'd guess you could pull the steering wheel and get a longer bolt if you needed to and throw some spacers in there, then reinstall. I'll have to pull my steering wheel this weekend if I can get that bolt out..
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:20 AM
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wow.

well I'm glad I'm not the only one, I guess. I lay in bed at night and my right leg rolls out (foot falls sideways). And I've had a little knee trouble recently that was aggravated by work, but definitely isn't improved by driving the car.

Thanks for all the replies.

I knew about both seat levers. And though I've considered a smaller steering wheel I really like the one that is in there.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:22 AM
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My brother has arms like a gorilla.....thats probably how he can reach the wheel with his seat so far back........
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'05 C240 4matic Wagon - 153k - wifes (OC-154,500)
'01 E320 - 162k - Dad's (OC-163,500)
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarTek View Post
I have a switch on my car that changes the length of the steering column... All kidding aside, have you tried moving the seat back and sitting straighter up in the seat?
Get a W140. I actually DO have a switch that changes the length of the steering column.

-Jim
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2009, 11:51 PM
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Thanks guys! I learned something else new and useful today from you guys - I'm sure glad I read this thread. I knew that the adjuster on the left side adjusted seat height, but I never knew it allowed more adjustment front to back also.

So, when I slid it all the way back using the side adjuster handle, I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that it not only slid back, but that it adjusted the height to about 1" lower too!

Then when I slid the seat back forward to its previous position using the adjuster handle in the front of the seat, I was really happy to see that the height adjustment basically didn't change. I still had that extra inch of headroom I got by sliding it back with the side ajduster handle.

So all said and done I was able to lower the seat another inch, gaining more headroom AND space between the bottom of the steering wheel and the top of the seat. TOO COOL! Heck, I could almost swap out my 14" aftermarket steering wheel and go back to the 16.5" diameter stock wheel now!

I don't plan on doing that, because the extra inch-and-a-quarter (half the 2.5" difference in wheel diameters) between the bottom of the wheel and top of the seat makes it so much more comfortable, especially since it gives me the space to move and repostition my legs more, but adding yet another inch by lowering the seat today made it even that much better!
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