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IZELJIC 02-27-2003 10:10 PM

Both tie rod sleeves bent?
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Guys, I just took my 85 300TD Wagon to get an alignment done and the mechanic told me that both of my tie rod sleeves are bent. I saw that they were not straight shafts but they slightly curve at the end. They are simetrical on both sides!!! He told me that I must have hit something. There is absolutely no damage under the car and the shafts sit higher than a lot of other things where damage would be shown. I purchased the car about 2 weeks ago and everything else is fine. I noticed that the wheels are slightly curved in if you look at the car from the front (the part of the wheels closer to the doors is in and the part of the wheel closer to the bumper is out. He said that the bent shafts are pulling the wheels inwards at the back. I just can't believe that both shafts would be bent exactly the same way!!!!! If anyone has a picture where it shows the tie rod end and the sleeve could you please e-mail it to me? Please look under your cars and tell me whether the sleeve is straight or curved.

Truly yours, Igor.

P.S. I found a picture of tie rod assembly on e-bay and here is the picture which went along with the part.

Diesel 924 02-27-2003 10:51 PM

Good call, TX Bill. That would be my first guess as well.

MBwerker 02-27-2003 11:02 PM

bent rods
They do bend fairly easily particularly if a customer hits one of those concrete barriers in a parking lot. I just replaced a pair of assemblies that were less than a year old and the tie rods as well as the sleeves were damaged by an impact. The sleeves are straight when new. You can buy the whole tie rod assembly for what one tie rod costs A new tie rod assembly takes less than 10 minutes to remove/install.

Inspect the front end to see if there is any other damage/wear. If not, then buy one of those cheap chinese tie rod separators for 5 to 7 bucks. Measure the length of each tie rod assembly on the car. Jack up one side of the front end, use a car stand. Remove the cotter pins/bolts from the rods. Turn the wheel to bind the tie rod. Insert the separator and hit it once or twice directing the force into the tie rod joint. Repeat for other tie rod joint. That's all it takes to remove the old unit. Use the length measurement from above for your initial length making sure the unit is symetrical (both tie rods backed out equally). Clean the mounting holes on the car where the tie rods came from. Install the new assembly, torque rod nuts and sleeve nuts and install cotter pins if the nuts are not the new nylon self-locking type. Repeat for other side. Finally, throw the chinese tool in the recycle bin. It's probably deformed like the old sleeves by now. Set the front end with a tape measure if your familiar with the adjustments or get a front-end alignment.

IZELJIC 02-28-2003 12:31 AM

What to replace??
Should I just replace the part pictured (two tie rod ends and the shaft)? I believe I found it very inexpensive in a local ad.

IZELJIC 02-28-2003 01:19 AM

Actually I found 2 for $38.99 plus $9.99 for shipping. I thought replacing my Glow Plugs was a messy job, can't wait to get myself into this one. Thanks for all your help once again and happy motoring to everyone.

Igor Zeljic, Minneapolis.

IZELJIC 02-28-2003 01:46 AM

A good buy?
I wanted to share with everyone that this person seems to have very cheap mercedes benz parts. This is what I purchased:

leathermang 02-28-2003 10:59 AM

Setting the front toe in takes a little more than measureing .... First be sure the front wheel bearings are set to specs..then find a way to jack up each front wheel and make a mark around it on the treads which can be used to measure to from the other not use the tire treads themselves... they are not even enough to trust for this.... then you can place the car back down on a level surface and measure at some point ... they make very convinient measureing poles which lay on the ground... but I used a two by find what your suspension is supposed to be and move the adjusters equal amounts in opposite directions IF your steering wheel was centered in the first place...
Then you must roll the car forward several feet ... in order to take out ( can't think of the word ) .... so this is neutralized by moving the wheels forward and measuring again.... then I would roll it back to the original place and check to see if you still have what you thought you had for that measurement....
It is a pain to be that close on measuring something as large and dirty as tires in such an uncomfortable place to reach... up and down a lot... but the actual thiings you are doing to the car are not hard... just tedious....
Then tighten everything up as per shop manual... and take for test drive.... if it does not feel right then start the diagnosis process..

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