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  #1  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:08 PM
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Location: Wilmington, NC
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Alignment question, 84 300SD

So I have finally finished my front end project, replaced complete tie rod assembly, both brake guide rod mounts and both UCA's.

Now my car needs an alignment..Should I go to the dealer who quoted me at least $130 and possibly $250 if the car needs camber and toe bolts?
Or should I take it to a local, reputable shop, who quoted me $70, but did not mention anything about those bolts?

Please let me know, thanks!

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  #2  
Old 08-09-2013, 06:32 PM
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Location: West of Ft. Worth. TX
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It depends on whether the local, reputable shop is talking about a full alignment or just toe-in. Many shops tell you they can do it but in reality, they are unfamiliar with setting caster and camber. This is not saying they can't but find out the equipment they use and if they can do a complete alignment.

I take mine to an independent but they use a computer-linked laser alignment machine. They regularly do Porsche, Bentley, Maserati, BMW & MB, so they are well equipped and knowledgable with many makes. Their machine literally shows them where to adjust and how much. In fact, most of the local shops send all of their alignment work to them.

So I guess it depends on the independent shop you are dealing with.
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84 300SD 350K+ miles ( Blue Belle )
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:55 PM
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Thanks, I will ask them and see what they say.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:51 AM
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Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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I use Bob King in Wilmington too and they treat me very well. The only thing I go there for is an alignment. In order to do your alignment according to the book, they need to use a spreader bar and a tool (special bolt) to lock the steering box. I know they do it right at Bob King. Ask the $70 shop about that - bet they have no clue. To me it's worth it for the dealer to do it right. I also don't think your car has special camber and toe bolts. Maybe they thought you were asking about a newer model which might need them. Ask for Dale Eaves the service manager to take care of you - he will treat you right. Also if you're a vet, they give you a 10% discount, but you need to ask for it.
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Len
'59 220S Cabriolet-SOLD and living happily in Malta
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 220,500 miles
'03 SLK320 40,000 miles - gave to my daughter
'14 Smart electric coupe 20,000 miles
'14 Smart electric cabriolet 18,000 miles
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:21 PM
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Location: Wilmington, NC
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Thanks for the heads up on Bob King, I think I'll just go with them. Too much hard work on my part to redo front end, might as well get the proper alignment. Thanks for the tip about the service manager and the military discount, I usually don't ask.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
I use Bob King in Wilmington too and they treat me very well. The only thing I go there for is an alignment. In order to do your alignment according to the book, they need to use a spreader bar and a tool (special bolt) to lock the steering box. I know they do it right at Bob King. Ask the $70 shop about that - bet they have no clue. To me it's worth it for the dealer to do it right. I also don't think your car has special camber and toe bolts. Maybe they thought you were asking about a newer model which might need them. Ask for Dale Eaves the service manager to take care of you - he will treat you right. Also if you're a vet, they give you a 10% discount, but you need to ask for it.
Went there today, and Del Eaves took great care of me! Thanks for the heads up again
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2013, 12:47 PM
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Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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You are welcome. Lots of people gripe about dealers, but I think we've got a good one. BTW I've got an '83 240D that I've owned since new. It probably needs a complete front end rebuild. I may pick your brain when/if I get around to attacking it.
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Len
'59 220S Cabriolet-SOLD and living happily in Malta
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 220,500 miles
'03 SLK320 40,000 miles - gave to my daughter
'14 Smart electric coupe 20,000 miles
'14 Smart electric cabriolet 18,000 miles
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 3,859
If the person actually doing the alignment knows these cars you should be good. Otherwise they may chase their tail turning bolts. The SD has approx 10* of caster. Changing caster changes camber. They need to allow for the change else they'll set camber, move noto caster and find that camber is out.

I had 1 guy give the 84 back to me with both wheels tipped to the passenger side. Camber adjustment was maxed out on both sides. He noted the max adjustment on the ticket and said that it couldn't be adjusted. Obviously, I didn't pay for that one and moved on to a better tech.

Be sure to have them print the before and after specs - especially the after. The machine may dump the reading on the next alignment.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting getting paint. 84SD 180,000. Probably up for sale in the fall 2020. 85TD beginning to repair to DD status.
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2013, 09:29 PM
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Location: Wilmington, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
You are welcome. Lots of people gripe about dealers, but I think we've got a good one. BTW I've got an '83 240D that I've owned since new. It probably needs a complete front end rebuild. I may pick your brain when/if I get around to attacking it.
No problem, the whole affair is still very fresh in my mind. Almost all the directions came from here, with the exception of the guide rods, ************** included a decent printout.

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