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  #1  
Old 10-07-2013, 02:52 PM
eatont9999's Avatar
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Steering gear replacement - crooked steering wheel

I resealed a steering gear box from another W126 and swapped it into my 300SD. I did this all by myself and reinstalling it was a major PITA with no help. The steering wheel is cocked to the left a little.

I have three theories on how to correct this problem.

First and most undesireable, unbolt the steering box, drop it, have someone hold the wheel centered, reinstall.

Second and potentially a bad idea, loosen the lock nut on the steering coupling and turn the wheel to skip the slipnes until centered. Potentially damaging the splines.

Third, it sounds like in section 46-412 of the FSM, that I can loosen the lock nuts on the steering coupling and back it off toward the steering column until it disconnects from the gear box. Is this possible? I would rather try this method first.

Yes, I will again be locking the steering rack to keep it centered.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 46-412 steering wheel should be perfecly horizontal.pdf (297.6 KB, 45 views)
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1991 F250 super-cab 7.3 IDI. (rebuilt by me) Banks Sidewinder turbo, hydroboost brakes, new IP and injectors.
2003 S430 - 107K
1983 300SD - Tanoshii - mostly restored ~400K+.
1983 300SD - Good interior. Engine finally tamed ~250K.
Monark Nozzle Install Video - http://tinyurl.com/ptd2tge
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2013, 03:29 PM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
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Location: DC Metro/Maryland
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Use the centering tool.
  1. Go to Home Depot, buy an M8x 1mm, 25mm or longer.
  2. drain your steering box by removing the drain plug and tuning the wheel al the way to one side (doesn't matter which)
  3. center the wheels as best you can
  4. (have the key in the ignition to prevent the wheel lock) put a philips screwdriver up into the plug hole while you rotate the steering input shaft to feel for the centering "hole"
  5. insert the M8 bolt and screw until it locks the box into position

At this point you have two options. Both require you to remove the inward bolt to the steering bushing and loosen the box side bolt.

Remove the three bolts holding the box to the chassis, remove the key and have the steering lock hold the wheel in place while you reinstall the box to the input shaft bushing.

OR

Remove the steering wheel and center it.



I've not been able to wiggle the bushing enough down toward the box to disconnect it from the input shaft. And I've R&R'd boxes on about 7 cars now. (All which were done by myself, alone)
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2013, 03:59 PM
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a third option would be to get the TOE in set by adjusting the tie rods on each side of the vehicle an exact amount of turns in opposite directions I'd guess...
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstech View Post
a third option would be to get the TOE in set by adjusting the tie rods on each side of the vehicle an exact amount of turns in opposite directions I'd guess...
But then you have set the center of the steering off center from the center of the steering box, which would make steering interesting on the highway.

The steering box is adjusted to have a higher torque in the center position than to the left and right of center. This makes it easier to keep the car going straight on the highway. If you changed the tie rods you'd be making slightly left or slightly right easier to maintain than the center position of the wheels.


Plus the loss/gain of a bit of lock to lock you'd see on one particular side.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:09 PM
eatont9999's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martureo View Post
Use the centering tool.
  1. Go to Home Depot, buy an M8x 1mm, 25mm or longer.
  2. drain your steering box by removing the drain plug and tuning the wheel al the way to one side (doesn't matter which)
  3. center the wheels as best you can
  4. (have the key in the ignition to prevent the wheel lock) put a philips screwdriver up into the plug hole while you rotate the steering input shaft to feel for the centering "hole"
  5. insert the M8 bolt and screw until it locks the box into position

At this point you have two options. Both require you to remove the inward bolt to the steering bushing and loosen the box side bolt.

Remove the three bolts holding the box to the chassis, remove the key and have the steering lock hold the wheel in place while you reinstall the box to the input shaft bushing.

OR

Remove the steering wheel and center it.



I've not been able to wiggle the bushing enough down toward the box to disconnect it from the input shaft. And I've R&R'd boxes on about 7 cars now. (All which were done by myself, alone)


I used a bolt to lock the steering box at center during the install. I also used the steering lock to hold the steering wheel during installation. Apparently there is enough play with the lock engaged to cause this problem.

If I take the steering wheel off to recenter it, won't that leave the turn signals from cancelling at the right time?
__________________
1991 F250 super-cab 7.3 IDI. (rebuilt by me) Banks Sidewinder turbo, hydroboost brakes, new IP and injectors.
2003 S430 - 107K
1983 300SD - Tanoshii - mostly restored ~400K+.
1983 300SD - Good interior. Engine finally tamed ~250K.
Monark Nozzle Install Video - http://tinyurl.com/ptd2tge
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:09 PM
vstech's Avatar
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Hmm...

true... and, I can attest that it's a pain to drive the car with the box in this condition...

but it is an option.
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:10 PM
vstech's Avatar
DD MOD, HVAC,MCP,Mac,GMAC
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatont9999 View Post
I used a bolt to lock the steering box at center during the install. I also used the steering lock to hold the steering wheel during installation. Apparently there is enough play with the lock engaged to cause this problem.

If I take the steering wheel off to recenter it, won't that leave the turn signals from cancelling at the right time?
I don't think so, as the signals are canceled by the amount of turn, not the position of the wheel...
__________________
John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:15 PM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DC Metro/Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatont9999 View Post
I used a bolt to lock the steering box at center during the install. I also used the steering lock to hold the steering wheel during installation. Apparently there is enough play with the lock engaged to cause this problem.

If I take the steering wheel off to recenter it, won't that leave the turn signals from cancelling at the right time?
It depends on how crooked it is.

Yes, there is a bit of play, but we're talking about a few degrees here. But you can wiggle the input shaft with your fingers to get the right position. Again, it's the difference between one spline and another.

If you're really unhappy with it I'd say pull the steering wheel and center it that way. Unless you're moving the wheel 1/2 a turn I don't see it messing with the turn signals, especially if you've locked the box in the center position.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:16 PM
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Just throwing it out there, but couldn't worn steering components cause this issue?
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljjay View Post
Just throwing it out there, but couldn't worn steering components cause this issue?
No.

Worn steering components would cause play, not a non-centered position of the steering wheel.


I have seen one car that I put a reconditioned box in have an off centered steering wheel, but that's because someone had adjusted the tie rods when the previous box was off center. So when I put the box in, locked in the center position, the wheels were turned to one side.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:51 PM
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Looks like I will make the adjustment at the steering wheel. I'm so glad that I do not have to mess around with the gear box again. It only took me 2 1/2 hours to do the swap but most of that was cussing and monkey forking around with getting the rebuilt box installed. This was all done with the car on the ground. Not an experience I want to go through again anytime soon.

The old box was leaking very badly and there was a scary amount of play and clunking in the wheel; despite having the box tightened when I had MB perform an alignment. I'm not sure exactly how many miles this car has on it but my guess is 400K.
__________________
1991 F250 super-cab 7.3 IDI. (rebuilt by me) Banks Sidewinder turbo, hydroboost brakes, new IP and injectors.
2003 S430 - 107K
1983 300SD - Tanoshii - mostly restored ~400K+.
1983 300SD - Good interior. Engine finally tamed ~250K.
Monark Nozzle Install Video - http://tinyurl.com/ptd2tge
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2013, 11:03 PM
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85 300D 4spd+tow+h4
 
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Be careful that allen bolt on the steering wheel does not strip. Damned careful.
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1994 E320 Cabriolet
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2013, 06:34 PM
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Mine was crooked. Alignment fixed it. Getting a good alignment tech is the problem.
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winmutt View Post
Be careful that allen bolt on the steering wheel does not strip. Damned careful.
I have had it off and on a few times. An impact gun makes short work of it. Good heads up for anyone who is using a breaker bar or it is their first time, though.
__________________
1991 F250 super-cab 7.3 IDI. (rebuilt by me) Banks Sidewinder turbo, hydroboost brakes, new IP and injectors.
2003 S430 - 107K
1983 300SD - Tanoshii - mostly restored ~400K+.
1983 300SD - Good interior. Engine finally tamed ~250K.
Monark Nozzle Install Video - http://tinyurl.com/ptd2tge
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