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  #1  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:42 PM
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camber is terrifically uneven after alignment

so. previously, camber on both sides was negative due to some collapsing LCA bushings. i had a reputable shop install new (Meyle) bushings and align, in that order, and the results kind of stink. even with the camber problem, the car used to go straight. now, it always wants to turn left, just like the note suggests. (their "before" numbers are probably meaningless because of the bushing change.) the shop clerk told me things tend to only be this wonky after a collision -- i'm not aware of one, but who knows.

what is a good course of action here? should i look into replacing the control arms on the left side?



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Last edited by bricktron; 06-22-2017 at 11:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2017, 11:21 PM
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It is hard to say because no one witnessed them installing the LCA Bushings.

You can't just stick the bushings into the bore and press them in. There is a specific postion the bushings have to go into before pressing them into the bores.

See pic shows the bushing on the left and the arm to the right in post #3.
Replace Front Control Arm Bushing

The other thing is you can have a toe in measurement be OK but if it is not centerd to the chassis it will cause pulling.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:38 PM
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Your caster is around 2deg off. S/B 8deg 45min +- 30min.

W123 Caster / castor settings for a sedan / saloon?
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Last edited by my123ca; 07-01-2017 at 06:37 PM. Reason: s/b caster not camber
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2017, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
It is hard to say because no one witnessed them installing the LCA Bushings.

You can't just stick the bushings into the bore and press them in. There is a specific postion the bushings have to go into before pressing them into the bores..


This was my first thought also.

Caster seems low...but I mainly drive W126.

How well does this shop know old Euro cars?
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2017, 12:53 PM
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Are the eccentrics adjusted?
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:01 PM
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Is there another shop you can get a second opinion. It is hard to say what's going on without actually seeing your suspension.


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  #7  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:20 PM
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My comment about the bushings being pressed in correctly has to do with the range of adjustment on the eccentric bolt. If the bushings are not pressed in correctly I believe it effects how much adjustment is available.

Then it was said only the lower control arm bushings were changed. The uppers can effect the adjustment. And I believe what is going on with the Sway Bar Bushings also can change stuff because it kind of controls how fare forward or backwards the upper control arm position is.

Also the camber adjustment effects the caster adjustment and the caster adjustment effects the camber adjustment.
And the camber adjustment with the eccentric bolt does not have much range to it so you most likely have to end up with some compromise.

If the camber is bad that causes tire wear. So if you are going to compromise on something it is better to compromise the caster.

I did my own alignment and can't brag about that. I insalled one of my lower control arm bushings slighly off and decided to use it anyway the way it was.
Anyway in the end I ended up running out of adjustment and had to compromise. If you let go of the wheel it pulls gradually to the left and I do have some slighly abnormal tire wear on the outer edges but I keep the tires rotated or swap them around on the rim (I have a manual tire changer).
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:55 PM
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You usually judge the camber fairly well by looking at the front tires, viewed from the front. You can measure precise holding a carpenter's level vertical and tape-measure horizontally to top and bottom of wheel rim, subtract, calculate angle (recall arctan, and stupid kids who said, "I'll never need this", or enter as "gradient" then switch to "deg" on calculator). For those that don't know, camber is how the tires lean in towards the car (negative). Most people today want slight negative camber, for better cornering, and radial tires are forgiving. IndyCars are set extreme (google images).

I doubt it would much affect how the car pulls to the side. Our 1996 minivan was hit on the side, shoving the top frame in. Even w/ the LCA adjustment at limits of the slotted hole in the new strut (I even filed the hole more), the left front was still leaning in much more than the right. But, the van drove straight w/ hands off the wheel on the highway. I eventually pushed the frame rail back w/ a porta-power (while head was off engine for room) and got the camber set correct. Toe-in can greatly affect how the car wanders and how tires wear (inside edges if too much toe-in).

I have read that if caster is different between L & R that can cause the car to pull to one side. On my 300D, you adjust caster via the guide rod mount screw (have never done). The one time I had the LCA bushing unbolted, I left all that in place and just slid the LCA inner pivot out of the K-frame. If the shop did that, they wouldn't have touched the guide rod adjustments.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2017, 03:31 PM
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What 911 said. The LCA bushings must be oriented correctly when installed or adjustment range can be different than factory specified.

ALSO, I had one shop give me an SD back with the camber adjustment maxed out to one side or the other ie \\ or // I forgot which. The tech noted that "car can't be adjusted". He should have added "by him".

What happens is caster adjustment affects camber adjustment and vice versa. This guy set one adjustment, then the next then checked his original setting and it had changed. He chased his tail all over the place until he gave up.

If your bushing(s) were installed wrong, then the remedy is to cut them out and start again with a new set of Lemforder bushings. New LCA bushings should be able to be adjusted right in the middle of spec probably with equal range on either side. The car should handle like a new Mercedes if you have all bushings and ball joints in spec - especially if all are new.

Accept no less. I can only imagine what a shop would charge for this. Did you have them address brakes at the same time? You should because the only extra labor would be if they charged for installing new caliper hoses and inserting new pads into the calipers.
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2017, 03:43 PM
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A thought...

Would the suspension parts/alignment numbers on a stock 240D be identical with the 617.952? In other words, does the '77 300D have the same suspension parts and alignment specs?

Perhaps there is a difference with a heavier engine in there, a tired spring, or perhaps excessive "curb kissing" (best not done with eyes closed!)

I'll agree with Junkman, the "tech" probably gave up, took an early lunch and signed off.


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  #11  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:49 PM
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Based on the front camber / caster readings, they didn't even try to adjust either at all because of the small camber and zero caster change. Yes, positive camber on the LF will cause the car to pull to the left. Looks like a toe adjustment only. Or. . .I think they may have been turning a non eccentric control arm bolt.

The only way not clocking bushings properly would cause a problem is if the bushing ID was offset from the bushing OD. Even then, you would still have a full range of adjustment but it would have some offset from a properly installed bushing. If the bushings in question are concentric, the difference in install clock position would be for stiffness not alignment range.

There are offset crash repair bushings available for some cars but I haven't seen offset bushings as OE as this would not accomplish much.

Also, if the tires have camber wear, the car may pull _slightly_even with a good alignment so be prepared for that.
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:53 PM
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hi folks, thank you for all the details. some concern was expressed about whether the shop put the bushings in properly. of course, i didn't watch them do the job, but here are photos, in case they illuminate the question of what was or wasn't done:





interesting to see that the little square protrusion only shows on 3 of the 4 pieces.... if they screwed this up i will take it right back.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:12 PM
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The left side is definitely wrong. Also, the bushing does not look right in the arm.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2017, 10:38 AM
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Be sure to make a copy of the shop manual showing the proper install, this will eliminate and doubt as to proper clock position.

In the lower pic, left side of bushing, I see the lower bushing portion overhanging the arm and short of the top. This would pull the lower control arm inwards giving more - camber but probably not all of it.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2017, 03:29 PM
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The hole in the LCA that the bushings get pressed into are round. The bushing itself is round on 2 sides and flat on 2 other sides. The bushing goes in so that the round ends are in line with the control arm.

If my recollection of a round hole is correct, and if the hole in the bushing is in the center, then installing them wrong would not affect adjustment but would affect how much support the bushing had when any force was applied in line with the control arm.

I think at least part of the problem is in the adjustment.

New front end parts for my 2 126s took the slop out and eliminated most of the tendency to follow the road crown. I had the same alignment characteristics as before the install. Techs are generally incompetent and it frequently takes 2 alignments to get things to be acceptable. Many simply want to "adjust to specs". They are too uneducated (synonym - ignorant) to consider adjusting so that it steers correctly.

To make a point, I ask the tech if he owns a drill. When he confirms, I point out that most people don't buy the drill because they want one. The real reason they buy the drill is to get the hole. OP didn't buy bushings and alignment because he cared 1 little bit about bushings and alignment. He bought because he wanted the car to handle as it was designed.

Generally, the 1st alignment gets it close, the 2nd gets it to the acceptable level. The OP is at the 1st point where he needs to get it close. I would request a refund if they can't get it adjusted. You may want to keep an eye on the alignment process. A friend of mine showed me how he can bump the head of the machine to get any reading he wants. The part that is mounted to the wheel can be tapped on forcing it to move independently from the wheel. If the specs are off a little, a tap on the head will get it to line right up without making a proper adjustment. Then blame any steering issues on the car or tire.

I can give you a dropbox link to my zipped 126 FSM if that will help.

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