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  #1  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:45 PM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Palm Springs, CA.
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116 Steering Coupler $6.00 Upgrade:

Seasons' Greetings!!!!!

From time to time, I like to post things that many members of the forum will find helpful. Recently, I began to notice that the steering coupler on my 116.120 had started to loosen up and was clunking over bumps.



The cheapest I could find was around $70.00. As I began to look at the coupler, I saw little if any reason to keep it insulated in rubber. I decided to come up with a method to replace it with a solid assembly, do it with common hand tools and use only parts I could get at my local ACE hardware store. The result is a solid, sturdy steering coupler that requires no modifications

First, you drill out the mushroomed section of the two pins that hold the coupler together. Then, you simply drive out the two pins.



Once the rubber is picked out, you are ready to start the reassembly process.



I used (2) 1/4" aluminum cable button stops (ACE #5192901) to replace the missing rubber. I costed the OD with RTV before slipping them in place.



Next, I used (2) 1/4" ID x 3/8" OD bronze flange bushings (A Midwest Fastner part by size) which slipped into the other half of the coupler. I filed off about .030" of the bushing (opposite the flange) until it was flush with the coupler's surface.



I then used (2) 1/4" x 2.00" grade 8 bolts. I chose 1/4" because the hex is 11mm and it fits the other pieces without modification. I used (2) 1/4" flat washers and (2) 1/4" locking flange nuts to round out the parts list.



All of these were bought from my local ACE hardware store for a little over $5.00. The finsihed product is easy to install, easy to adjust for steering wheel centering and gives the car a very solid feel.

Best of all, anyone can do this in a driveway, with basic hand tools, a 3/8" drill and a sharp bit.



I hope you find this information helpful....Robert


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Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013



100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:56 PM
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Where is this part located? I'm getting a little thump somewhere in my 116. Perhaps I have the same issue.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:09 AM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
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Location: Palm Springs, CA.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Where is this part located? I'm getting a little thump somewhere in my 116. Perhaps I have the same issue.
Next to the oil filter.....where the steering column and steering gear meet....
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Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013



100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:21 AM
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How did you determine that the thump was coming from the coupler?
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2010, 06:53 AM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central FL
Posts: 3,069
You can feel it sometimes when you hit a pothole at low speed. Even if you don't really notice it, it's likely bad after all this time and you may find the car wanders at speed.

I did something like this on my W116 a few years ago, but I just used fuel line that happened to fit just fine. Robert's fix is more permanent- does it feel too stiff?

If you do this on a W116, you do NOT have to mess with the steering box. You can pull the steering wheel , remove the 10mm bolts you find under there, loosen the coupler and lift the top part of the steering shaft.

I need to do this on my newly acquired R107- I think that's going to be more of a challenge.
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80 300SD (129k mi) 82 240D stick (193k mi)77 240D auto - stick to be (153k mi) 85 380SL (145k mi) 89 BMW 535i 82 Diesel Rabbit Pickup (374k mi) 91 Jetta IDI Diesel (155k mi) 81 VW Rabbit Convertible Diesel 70 Triumph Spitfire Mk III (63kmi)66 Triumph TR4a IRS (90k mi)67 Ford F-100 (??)
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for this thread. It is absolutely what the 'thump' is on my 116. I can feel and see the play in the coupling. I'm debating whether to follow your lead or not. I like the idea of rubber bushings instead of metal ones but like you, the $70 seems pricey. Anyone know if there are rubber bushings that might fit and then use bolts like the above example?
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010, 01:31 PM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
Das Sturm Uberdoktor
 
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Location: Palm Springs, CA.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
How did you determine that the thump was coming from the coupler?

A metallic 'thump' in the steering column over bumps.....
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Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013



100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2010, 01:32 PM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Palm Springs, CA.
Posts: 2,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Thanks for this thread. It is absolutely what the 'thump' is on my 116. I can feel and see the play in the coupling. I'm debating whether to follow your lead or not. I like the idea of rubber bushings instead of metal ones but like you, the $70 seems pricey. Anyone know if there are rubber bushings that might fit and then use bolts like the above example?

You could cut some small pieces if fuel line, or use old spark plug boots....
__________________
Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013



100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:50 PM
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Location: Out in the Boonies of Hot, Dry, Dusty, Windy Nevada
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Great write up Doktor Bert, the rubber is just a vibration dampner. mounted solid "Might" cause some amount of noise transmitted into the cabin.

The later style coupler used on the W123 & W126 uses a larger rubber piece. YIKES!!!! It`s $85 .

Charlie
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there were three HP ratings on the OM616...

1) Not much power
2) Even less power
3) Not nearly enough power!! 240D w/auto

Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

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  #10  
Old 12-08-2010, 03:09 PM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central FL
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Kerry-

Just do it! Start the project some Saturday morning - pull the coupler off and go looking for something. If you don't have something laying around that will work (as I did) , dig around in Home Depot until you find something that works to bush the pieces.

It's not going to be that hard to find, and the replacement part you buy now will probably be made in China. Would that make you feel better?

Rick
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80 300SD (129k mi) 82 240D stick (193k mi)77 240D auto - stick to be (153k mi) 85 380SL (145k mi) 89 BMW 535i 82 Diesel Rabbit Pickup (374k mi) 91 Jetta IDI Diesel (155k mi) 81 VW Rabbit Convertible Diesel 70 Triumph Spitfire Mk III (63kmi)66 Triumph TR4a IRS (90k mi)67 Ford F-100 (??)
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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Also use locknuts or peen over the threads. You do not want those nuts loosening up and falling off. Red locktite might be adaquate as well.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2010, 04:33 PM
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I have my 116 on the market so I think I will use a replacement coupler. Is there a write up or wiki on removing the 116 steering wheel? I've never had one off before. I've seen some threads on the 126 wheel removal.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2010, 01:47 AM
Doktor Bert's Avatar
Das Sturm Uberdoktor
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Palm Springs, CA.
Posts: 2,670
It is really hard to describe the steering feel with a solid coupler. It feels so responsive....
__________________
Did you just pass my 740 at 200 kmh in a 300SD?????

1978 300SD 'Phil' - 1,315,853 Miles And Counting - 1, 317,885 as of 12/27/2012 - 1,333,000 as of 05/10/2013, 1,337,850 as of July 15, 2013, 1,339,000 as of August 13, 2013



100,000 miles since June 2005 Overhaul - Sold January 25th, 2014 After 1,344,246 Miles & 20 Years of Ownership
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2010, 07:40 AM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central FL
Posts: 3,069
Here is the best discussion I can see for replacing the R107 or W116 coupler- though Chuck Taylor alludes to an earlier one he did, I can't find it

107 steering coupling

To pull the steering wheel, just pry up the pad and unscrew the bid fastener underneath. I think it may be a 10mm socket headed bolt under there, IIRC.

I ought to sell rebushed steering couplers...I swear I could finance my retirement. Let's see, how about $40 for 5 minutes of work.....
__________________
80 300SD (129k mi) 82 240D stick (193k mi)77 240D auto - stick to be (153k mi) 85 380SL (145k mi) 89 BMW 535i 82 Diesel Rabbit Pickup (374k mi) 91 Jetta IDI Diesel (155k mi) 81 VW Rabbit Convertible Diesel 70 Triumph Spitfire Mk III (63kmi)66 Triumph TR4a IRS (90k mi)67 Ford F-100 (??)
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:22 AM
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Thanks. One more question: The instructions for the SL's talk about bolts and a boot at the firewall. Above in this thread Bert only mentions removing some 10mm bolts under the steering wheel and pulling up the steering column. Will I need to do anything at the firewall? Do I need to remove the combination switch?

I agree that rebushing the coupler is a good idea. If I was keeping the car I would do that but for someone else, I'd prefer OE. Coupler is on the way to me now.

__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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