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  #1  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 390
replacing sway bar bushing-need alignment?

After living with a clunking sound when going over a bump, I finally
figured it out. The left front bushing that connects the sway bar
to the upper control arm is almost entirely missing.
The tire/alignment shop missed it telling me I needed a new idler arm.

The rear bushing is OK, but the bolt that goes through the UCA is off center.
Once I replace the bushing do I need to have another alignment done?

Thanks,
Jeff
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:41 PM
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Location: Long Beach,CA
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Since the shop missed it I would contact the shop and see if you could get it done again free.
Otherwise, if it was mine I would replace the Bushing/s and drive the Car noting handeling and Tire Wear. If both are OK I would would not have it re-aligned.

However, in the manual things that have an effect on the Caster Also have an effect on the Chamber to a lesser extent.
On least on my 123 the bushing/s you are speaking of would have large effect on the Caster and a lesser effect on the Chamber.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:50 PM
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Location: central Texas
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The tires on my cars are expensive..
by the time I gauged that it was wearing faster than it should be...
the amount lost would be more than the cost of the front end alignment..
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2011, 10:53 PM
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Do the right thing by other members & name the shop.

That is too big a miss to have been done by some one that knew what he was doing. Other members dont need to learn the hard way about a serious mistake like that.

I would check your idler bush as well.
If the shop thought the work needed doing, they may have not bothered doing any adjustment, figuring you would be back soon.
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1967 230-6 auto parts car. rust bucket.
1980 300D now parts car 800k miles
1984 300D 500k miles
1987 250td 160k miles English import
2001 jeep turbo diesel 130k miles
1998 jeep tdi ~ followed me home. Needs a turbo.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layback40 View Post
Do the right thing by other members & name the shop.

That is too big a miss to have been done by some one that knew what he was doing. Other members dont need to learn the hard way about a serious mistake like that.

I would check your idler bush as well.
If the shop thought the work needed doing, they may have not bothered doing any adjustment, figuring you would be back soon.
That is TRUE..
but I know it is often hard to get people to name names....
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2011, 08:19 AM
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Location: West of Ft. Worth. TX
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I would be very suspicious of the initial alignment. That bushing is visible with just a casual glance into the wheel well of a W126!

The other concern is that you mentioned this problem on the drivers side and the shop said the problem was the idler arm, which is on the passenger side. Yes, I would be very suspicious indeed! If you really want to try and make the money good, find out if they have another front end technician and when he is available. Otherwise, you might be better off counting it as water under the bridge and money lost and locating another shop more reputable for work on MB's.
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84 300SD 350K+ miles ( Blue Belle )
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2011, 08:52 AM
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Location: central Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Blue View Post
I would be very suspicious of the initial alignment. That bushing is visible with just a casual glance into the wheel well of a W126!

The other concern is that you mentioned this problem on the drivers side and the shop said the problem was the idler arm, which is on the passenger side. Yes, I would be very suspicious indeed! If you really want to try and make the money good, find out if they have another front end technician and when he is available. Otherwise, you might be better off counting it as water under the bridge and money lost and locating another shop more reputable for work on MB's.
X2 !!!!!!!!!
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2011, 08:43 PM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Update

Here's the history on this:
most recent idler arm diagnosis from this shop was when I just bought two new tires, not during an alignment.

I knew it wasn't the idler arm, because they gave me the same diagnosis a year ago
when they did do an alignment. So I replaced the idler arm myself.
They came to this conclusion by twisting the passenger wheel back & forth
when the car was off the ground.

Doing some checking with my son tonight I think it is play in the steering box.
With the front end off the ground, twisting the RF tire makes the LF tire twist.
While holding the LF tire tight the RF tire has no play.
While holding the steering wheel tight to one side the RF has no play.

There is no play in the sway bar when twisting the RF tire, so my original
suspicion was wrong, too.

The shop misdiagnosed the idler arm and also missed the bad bushing
because that clunk was there when I had the alignment a year ago.
On other work they have been honest and reliable and they have a very
good reputation locally. I think it comes down to an individual worker.

The shop is Radial Tire in Sacramento. I'll call them and let them know
about their bad call and will look for another shop for the next alignment.

Getting back to the original problem, here's a photo of the bad, practically
non-existent sway bar bushing.

Jeff
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replacing sway bar bushing-need alignment?-swaybarbushing.jpg  
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:43 PM
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