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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 12:12 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 655
Bad Idler Arm?

When the car is off the ground and you grab the right front wheel
there is play in it. The tire shop that was fixing a tire leak pointed it out.
They said it was the idler arm. I replaced the idler arm within the last year.
Could it go bad that fast? What else could it be?

Thanks,
Jeff

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1984 300SD 300,000 miles--two tank WVO setup
2.88 diff & 500SEL anti-squat rear end
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 02:02 PM
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Location: West of Ft. Worth. TX
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I changed mine out 5 years ago and it's still in great shape. However, I believe the main thing that damages the idler arm bushings is oil. So, if you have something like a turbo drain grommet leak or oil separator o-rings, it is conceivable for it to fail after a short period. I suppose it could be the steering arm itself but visible failure of the idler arm bushings is pretty straight-forward when inspected.
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84 300SD 350K+ miles ( Blue Belle )
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2011, 03:14 PM
Stretch's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster300SD View Post
... What else could it be?

Thanks,
Jeff
Well it could be

loose wheel bearings
worn ball joints
worn tie rod ends
worn LCA bushings
worn UCA bushings
worn tie rod bushings
loose steering box

errr long list eh? Jack up the front end and support it securely on axle stands and see if you can identify the problem yourself.
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Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!

Last edited by Stretch; 05-23-2011 at 03:15 PM. Reason: forgot steering box
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2011, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 655
steering box?

I think it is the steering box, which has been a bit loose and leaking
for some time now. After getting the front end off the ground, I had
someone move one wheel back and forth while I held the other. There
was very little movement. While having someone hold the steering wheel
tightly, I was able to move the wheel. Steering box, right?

The only thing that seemed to move under the car when the tire
was being moved back and forth was the steering damper.


I've never messed with the front end except for doing the shocks and
that idler arm a year ago. The reason I replaced the idler arm was because
this same shop told me the same thing a year ago.

Jeff
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1984 300SD 300,000 miles--two tank WVO setup
2.88 diff & 500SEL anti-squat rear end

Last edited by Rooster300SD; 05-23-2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: add word
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2011, 10:19 PM
layback40's Avatar
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Location: Victoria Australia - down under!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster300SD View Post
I think it is the steering box, which has been a bit loose and leaking
for some time now. After getting the front end off the ground, I had
someone move one wheel back and forth while I held the other. There
was very little movement. While having someone hold the steering wheel
tightly, I was able to move the wheel. Steering box, right?

The only thing that seemed to move under the car when the tire
was being moved back and forth was the steering damper.



I've never messed with the front end except for doing the shocks and
that idler arm a year ago. The reason I replaced the idler arm was because
this same shop told me the same thing a year ago.

Jeff
If the S.D. is moving & not the steering wheel, chances are the steering box needs adjustment.
A simple task. You simply undo the lock nut on the alen bolt on the face of the box, screw the bolt out a little, say 1 turn, tighten the lock nut up & see if you have improvement. You can do this a few times until the steering becomes a little tight.
If that doesnt improve things, best go back to Army's list. Many front end places do free checks. You could get a few to do checks & then decide from the collective reports what maybe wrong.

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1984 300D 500k miles
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