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  #1  
Old 02-09-2005, 03:05 PM
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Question Now the steering is too tight!

I just replaced the lower ball joints, idler arm bushings and upper control arms on my 82 240d. Everything went pretty smoothly, but now the steering is tight... On jackstands, I can barely turn the wheels from side to side, and on the road the steering doesn't return to center (I have to turn the steering wheel to get it back to driving straight).

I guess I have to go back in there and undue connections, to try and narrow down where the stiffness is coming from.

Any ideas where I should look?
-I didn't do anything to the steering box, nor to the steering damper

Is there any chance this will clear up if I get an alignement?
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Old 02-09-2005, 03:27 PM
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My money is on the idler arm bushings. Did you install them exactly as the old ones that came out? Did you torque the bolt to the correct spec?
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Old 02-09-2005, 03:49 PM
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Did you mess with the adjuster screw on the steering box ?

IN or CLOCKWISE LOOSENS( Increases free play.).... OUT or COUNTERCLOCK TIGHTENS (Decreases free play.).(Up to a point.)

Adjust free play ONLY in straight ahead position..

If you didn't...Like BENZFAN said...most like, the idler bushes end play.
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Old 02-09-2005, 04:19 PM
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Thanks,

I quickly checked the idler arm bushings by loosening the nut and bolt. I then checked to see if there was any difference in resistance when I moved the wheels from side to side... There was no difference, it was still really tight.

I will check tonight to make sure that all the idler arm washers etc. are in the right places. If that doesn't work, I'll try adjusting the steering box screw.

...anything other ideas?
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:25 PM
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What method did you use to install the lower ball joints? Did you install the upper control arms on the correct sides of the car?
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Old 02-09-2005, 05:39 PM
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How many miles have your driven it since the rebuild? My 123 was somewhat the same following a complete front end re-do. It loosened up a bunch during the first few hundred miles. Try putting a couple hundred or throusand miles on it.

- JimY
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn
How many miles have your driven it since the rebuild? My 123 was somewhat the same following a complete front end re-do. It loosened up a bunch during the first few hundred miles. Try putting a couple hundred or throusand miles on it.

- JimY

Absolutely. Kurtio, just double-check your work. If you are sure you have made no mistakes in assembly or torque, drive it for a while and see if it loosens up a bit. Don't try the steering box adjustment, as this will set free play only, and can do some damage if done incorrectly. If you didn't touch it before, there's absolutely no reason you need to now.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:57 PM
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I bet mixing up the control arms could definitely cause some problems! ...but no, I didn't do that.
I actually couldn't get the ball joints out myself so I took the steering knuckle to the closest shop, and had them take out the old and install the new.

I'll double check my work. If I don't find any mistakes, I will take it to a shop tomorrow and have it aligned. I think I've found a decent shop here in dc, so if I've missed something, hopefully the mechanic will spot it.

Thanks for all the help. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 02-09-2005, 08:47 PM
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The lower ball joint installation is best accomplished with a Mercedes-specific press. If the installation was done by some other means, it is possible that the ball joint was damaged. This can occur if the joint is pressed in by applying pressure to the top of the joint instead of at the flange. I would be tempted to disconnect the steering arm from the steering knuckle and see how much effort was required to turn each wheel by hand (wheels off the ground). It is reasonable that the alignment is off, as past alignments compensated for worn components and no-doubt sagging upper control arm bushings. Your camber is probably quite negative. I recently did the front end on my "82 300D. The steering was a little bit firmer, but certainly not "hard."
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangofox007
The lower ball joint installation is best accomplished with a Mercedes-specific press. If the installation was done by some other means, it is possible that the ball joint was damaged. This can occur if the joint is pressed in by applying pressure to the top of the joint instead of at the flange. I would be tempted to disconnect the steering arm from the steering knuckle and see how much effort was required to turn each wheel by hand (wheels off the ground). It is reasonable that the alignment is off, as past alignments compensated for worn components and no-doubt sagging upper control arm bushings. Your camber is probably quite negative. I recently did the front end on my "82 300D. The steering was a little bit firmer, but certainly not "hard."
Without the correct G clamp press for the B/J's, it would be possible to damage the lower B/J's to cause your problem.
Being as the B/J's are off set in the arm, incorrect instal is more than possible.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:44 PM
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I checked my work, and then took off on a drive to see if the steering would get any better. I drove slowly down a bumpy dirt road, and then did some figure 8's... The steering now returns to center when I'm driving over 10-15 mph... under this speed the steering won't really return... But hopefully with a little more time the components will break in...

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:59 PM
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I had a similar problem. A tire shop would not perform a wheel alignment because of worm BJ's and bushings. I had the front end work done by an Indy I have used b4 then I found that my steering would not return to center. It was almost a year later (I didn't drive the car every day fortunately) that I had the ball joints and a control arm or two replaced again and its fine. Old adage about doing it right the first time should apply here and I shudda done it my self too.
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtio
..I checked my work...........hopefully with a little more time the components will break in...

Thanks for all the help!
Let's hope the ''break'' in ''break in'' is not a portend of things to come !
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