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  #1  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Philadelphia, i.e street parking, no place to work on the car
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Question swervy on highway

i have an '82 300D with nearly 197k. i live in the city so i drive at low speeds most of the time. today i drove on the highway and noticed that my steering wheel was tilted to the right just a bit in order to keep going straight. i found myself having to turn the wheel back and forth quite a bit as i was driving. it felt like a lot of work just to keep going straight...could this be the steering needing to be tightened up? tires? suspension? i just had my snow tires put on a couple of weeks ago...could they be out of alignment? any help would be appreciated, thanks
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:38 PM
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Location: Carson City, NV
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Short answer: Could be any of those things you mentioned.

Longer answer: You can start by checking the play in the steering while stationary. Park the car and leave the engine running. Then see how far you can move the steering wheel in each direction before the left front wheel starts to move. The CDL limit is two inches, but less is better.

Next, you can jack up and properly support the vehicle and start trying to wiggle the front wheels while they're in the air. With the steering column unlocked, you should be able to smoothly move the entire steering assembly with considerable effort and with little (almost no) play. If you notice some play doing this test, you can start at the wheel and work you way along the steering components until you determine where the play is coming from. It helps to have a helper for this one. If you have excessive play in the first test, but don't find anything in the second, you should try adjusting your steering box. It's also possible, but unlikely at your mileage, that you steering box is worn out.

If the car passes the first two tests, but feels squirrely on the highway, try swapping your front and rear tires and see if that changes anything. Also make sure that all tires are properly inflated, and while you're doing that check for any sign of unusual tire wear.

That should be enough to get you started.
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Anyone who thinks a 300D is fast drives too slow.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 351,xxx miles
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:42 PM
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thanks very much. ill give that first test a whirl and see how it goes. when i bought the car, it had a little bit of play in the steering which i've never really minded...i just noticed today that it took actual effort to go straight...
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:06 PM
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Get a Flashlight with a strong beam and open the Hood. Start the Engine and have some one rock the Steering Wheel back and forth between the limits of the free play. Focus the light beam on the Pitman Arm that comes out of the side of the Steering Box.

If you have a lot of play in the Steering Wheel and that Pitman Arm does not move. The play is inside of the Steering Box itself (there is a Nut and an Adjusting Screw to take up the play on top of the Steering Box, see the DIY section for specifics on the job).

If the Pitman Arm moves when the Steering Wheel moves but you still have a lot of play in the Steering; someting in the Steering Linkages under the car is worn out/loose.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:09 PM
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Are you Tires properly inflated?

Also, are you haveing any abnormal Tire wear?
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2010, 11:16 PM
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Snow tires can wander depending on the pavement. Mine like to follow the grooved concrete really bad.....thankfully only about 7 miles of my 40 mile commute are that type of surface. My normal Michelins are not affected by it. My car drifts when it is windy.....someday I will do more suspension work.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:37 AM
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Definitely check you tires. My 240 was pulling to the passenger side, and I thought is was brake related. I went to replace the rubber brake hoses. I pulled the driver's front tire off and found the tire had a huge bulge in one spot and and a depression in another spot. It was bald in one spot too, and about ready to blow out. So pull your tires and inspect them thoroughly.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2010, 08:58 PM
Luther
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St Petersburg, Fl
Posts: 100
Have you use these snow tires before?

Have you replaced your everyday tires since last winter?


El Sea/L.C.
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