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  #1  
Old 07-07-2019, 07:53 AM
JHZR2's Avatar
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<$100 spreader bar

TBH, didn’t know too much about spreader bars except that the FSM recommended them. I have a good shop that does a good job of listening to my wishes. They don’t have a bar but will heed the fsm at my request.

I searched and wouldn’t you know, Amazon popped up with a bar for 116 and 123 cars, $93 on Prime. I decided to buy one.

Not a lot to it or it’s use. It’s easy to bring to a shop (if they’ll use it). Spring loaded on one side, extendable on the other. Easy to break down and leave in the trunk.









Broken down with foot length (my foot is longer than 12”) for reference:

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Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)

Last edited by JHZR2; 07-07-2019 at 08:14 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2019, 08:37 AM
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Specialty products make piles of alignment tools and adjusters for non adjustable suspensions.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:05 AM
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It would be interesting to know the measured difference between it being used vs. not being used. Does it go in front of the front wheels pushing them outward?

Good luck!!!
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
It would be interesting to know the measured difference between it being used vs. not being used. Does it go in front of the front wheels pushing them outward?

Good luck!!!
FWIW.

https://youtu.be/CGhjSYsOWv4

FSM mandates it. Iíve had good alignments without it, and I donít have any definite info that even dealers truly use it.

But for something that takes no space, gets the correct job done, and letís me effectively use any alignment shop I choose.
__________________
Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:43 AM
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Thumbs up

Nice, thank you for sharing this .
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1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
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1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2019, 12:37 PM
Shadetree
 
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Location: Back in SC upstate
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Does anyone make this for the w126 models?

It might be cheaper to buy one than pay a dealership a ton of money to have one without them using it.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2019, 01:33 PM
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I thought there was an electrical hookup to the alignment machine to verify the bar was being used. My experience was the local machines all except one would not post the alignment program unless the machine sensed the bar was present.

One older machine worked without the bar but has since been replaced. So there is nowhere local I could get an alignment now.

All the bar is going to do is take out any slack in the steering control system anywhere I suspect. If nothing Is worn and the front wheel bearings are set up properly. It may in practice be doing nothing. Where at the same time with some amount of combined movement available with wear. It should have an effect. Or more of an effect in my opinion.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2019, 02:48 PM
Shadetree
 
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I appreciate that contribution to the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
I thought there was an electrical hookup to the alignment machine to verify the bar was being used. My experience was the local machines all except one would not post the alignment program unless the machine sensed the bar was present.

One older machine worked without the bar but has since been replaced. So there is nowhere local I could get an alignment now.

All the bar is going to do is take out any slack in the steering control system anywhere I suspect. If nothing Is worn and the front wheel bearings are set up properly. It may in practice be doing nothing. Where at the same time with some amount of combined movement available with wear. It should have an effect. Or more of an effect in my opinion.
I rebuilt my steering gear and replaced a couple steering components so I was planning on hauling the car to the dealer for one of MB's $200 alignments.

I've had people refuse to do the alignment so I refused to buy tires from them. I can find someone who will align the front end on my car without stressing over the spreader bar now. I always let them know they are only responsible for the work they do and I'll continue to be responsible for them not using the spreader bar.
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85 380SE
83 528e
95 318ic
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2019, 02:50 PM
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Finding folks who will align without the bar is straightforward for w123 and w126 cars. Knowing that it’s truly correct to the FSM for a mere $100, given that I could get the item in one day and for it in my trunk... is worthwhile to me.
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Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2019, 02:57 PM
Shadetree
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Back in SC upstate
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Are you saying the bar you showed works for the w126?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHZR2 View Post
Finding folks who will align without the bar is straightforward for w123 and w126 cars. Knowing that itís truly correct to the FSM for a mere $100, given that I could get the item in one day and for it in my trunk... is worthwhile to me.
Had you said that in the OP I would already have ordered it.
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85 380SE
83 528e
95 318ic
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2019, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHZR2 View Post
Finding folks who will align without the bar is straightforward for w123 and w126 cars. Knowing that it’s truly correct to the FSM for a mere $100, given that I could get the item in one day and for it in my trunk... is worthwhile to me.


You are better off with the preload bar. No doubt about that. More peace of mind.

Personally I will check the end play of the front bearings before taking any 123 in for alignment. Takes a dial gauge.

Modern alignment equipment got really good. Then manufactures eliminated easy adjustments to many of their cars. Mercedes 123s fortunately have a really fully adjustment system.
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2019, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHZR2 View Post
TBH, didnít know too much about spreader bars except that the FSM recommended them. I have a good shop that does a good job of listening to my wishes. They donít have a bar but will heed the fsm at my request.

I searched and wouldnít you know, Amazon popped up with a bar for 116 and 123 cars, $93 on Prime. I decided to buy one.

Not a lot to it or itís use. Itís easy to bring to a shop (if theyíll use it). Spring loaded on one side, extendable on the other. Easy to break down and leave in the trunk.









Broken down with foot length (my foot is longer than 12Ē) for reference:

When I saw that the part number on the instructions was different then the part number on the box I got curious to see if you could find it with that part number WA0198.

I did an eBay search "WA0918 Wheel Spreader" Bar and several sellers on eBay with on at 89.54 with free shipping and free returns.

Also there is a "WHEEL-A-MATIC, LLC WHEEL SPREADER" for $71.75 free shipping that oddly has the part number of WMWA0918 but there is no picture of the item in their ad.


Free shipping
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2019, 07:04 PM
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To the OP, since you are trying to get the alignments "spot on" are you using a steering box centering pin? I have not used one but it seems as though it would get the steering wheel centered easily right at the start.

Thanks for the link on the spreader bar!

Good luck!!!
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Does a Caddy stretch? No, but a Mercedes bendz.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2019, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
To the OP, since you are trying to get the alignments "spot on" are you using a steering box centering pin? I have not used one but it seems as though it would get the steering wheel centered easily right at the start.

Thanks for the link on the spreader bar!

Good luck!!!
There is some pics in post #4 of the steering box centering pin; Hazet one and homemade one.
Steering binds up at 8 degrees caster
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2019, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
Personally I will check the end play of the front bearings before taking any 123 in for alignment. Takes a dial gauge.
Yup. Just re-did mine with MB green grease due to sticking calipers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
To the OP, since you are trying to get the alignments "spot on" are you using a steering box centering pin? I have not used one but it seems as though it would get the steering wheel centered easily right at the start.

Thanks for the link on the spreader bar!

Good luck!!!
Well I have gotten as far as acquiring the correct
m8x1.0 boot which Iíll grind down to lock the box. One thing at a time, I just donít have enough hours in the day!
__________________
Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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