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  #1  
Old 01-21-2001, 09:57 AM
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My new used 94 e420 is pulling to the right a bit. It has dunlop tires in good condition. My question is: can I take it to a regular tire place for a front end alignment, or should this be done at a mercedes shop?

I was told that rotating the tires might solve the problem without an alignment.

Any advice really appreciated.
JP
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2001, 10:01 AM
engatwork's Avatar
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I think that any alignment shop

can check it out. I too thought my '95 E320 pulled to the right slightly until I realized that once I got on a flat section of road (like the middle lane on a three lane interstate) that it tracks right. Also make sure you check the air pressure in the tires. A low tire on the front will make it pull toward the side that is low.
Jim
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2001, 11:39 AM
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Changing the tires (left to right to left) can solve the problem. If the car has run a fairly number of miles with the current tires and these are still in good condition and are not worn in a strange (one side only) way, it is probably no alignment problem.

Like Jim told it can also be caused by different tire pressures.

Any tire place with alignment equipment can do the alignment; they have got the necessary soft ware for Benzes. You don't have to go to a mercedes shop.

greetingz,
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2001, 12:04 PM
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thanks for the help. I will start at square one, switching the sides.
btw, that is a beautiful car you have.
jp
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2001, 02:21 PM
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I agree. Changing tires side to side should be the first diagnostic step. I personally do about half of our alignments and we do them for 15 other shops including two new car dealers. I always assess the driveability (how it pulls, drifts, wanders, etc.)before I attempt to align.

I agree the car can be aligned by anyone, but I'm not sure you can definitely find an alignment tech anywhere. The chances are probably better at an alignment specialty shop than at the dealer. I have had shops bring me problem long wheel base vans because their customers can't solve their problems after many alignments. The one that comes to mind was being used by a church to haul disabled people needing a wheel chair. It had a lift built into it with about 500lbs (or more) of machinery mounted over the right rear wheel. It caused the ride height to be a full inch lower in the right rear and higher in the left front. I had the other shop add a leaf to the right rear spring to solve the ride height problem and the alignment could be done by anyone.

My point isn't how to align vans. My point is that people align cars not machines. When I drive a MB with a pulling condition I can tell right away whether alignment can fix the car. I can't be sure it can, but I can be sure if it can't. Because I do numerous MBs every day I know how much change I will have to make to correct a condition. Nine out of ten cars that are brought to me for pulling conditions are tire related. Luckily MBs have the ability to correct for quite some tire problems (unlike BMW who has no such ability). Before I fail to meet the customers expectations I always identify the problem first. If I know that I can't correct for the magnitude of pull I start by having the tires crossed. If it changes the condition I align the car to see if alignment has caused the tire condition or to verify that the car is bent and will need further repair.

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  #6  
Old 01-21-2001, 06:45 PM
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With your W210 body, I would definitely have it aligned at an MB dealership (or somewhere quite familiar with Mercedes). Many of the newer models, including yours will require installation of caster/camber bolt kits. This will give a change of +/- 3 degrees. The factory claims it's for fine tuning, but it's really just more of a pain in the ass for us techs. They should've used eccentrics!
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2001, 05:23 PM
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Hey John,
Did switching the wheels stop the pull ?
Mine is pulling a little to the right also.

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  #8  
Old 03-16-2001, 07:38 AM
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switching tires

in the front made it pull to the left..aha! so THAT tire went to the rear..it's better, but now it still pulls a bit to the left, but not as bad as before when it pulled to the right. The tech said it was the tires..dunlop A-2's..which look ok, but are probably not; they have lots of tread left, but something is up. So i am going to put some lowering springs/8 mm pads on soon, as well as go 16" wheels/tires, and I'll do an alignment then.

1) check tire pressure
2) switch the two front tires
3) Listen to your new cd changer and forget about it..
4) buy new tires due to excessive wear
5) good excuse for 17" amg's...
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2001, 08:59 AM
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"So i am going to put some lowering springs/8 mm pads on soon, as well as go 16" wheels/tires, and I'll do an alignment then."


And then it will really drive like crap! If you think your tires are affecting the drivability now.... just wait. There is a special treat in those expensive, won't last 20k, tires. They come with permanent steering wheel instability, they will regularlyneed rebalancing, and even the best alignment techs will chase the specs all over trying to keep them from various wear patterns.

The front end on the 124 car does not have the bushing strength to handle efficiently any more than one tire size bigger and the comfort zone won't take any diameter change.

I just straightened out the running on a 560SEC (had a junkyard motor put in by another shop). It was lowered, had seventeen inch wheels, a Koenig conversion on the rear and megawatts in the trunk. What a POS. Wouldn't drive safely over 50mph. Rattled and shaked at every road imperfection, changed toe so bad on braking (control arm bushings deflecting most likely) that it pulled whichever direction it was pointed.

I almost cry when I think of how badly these mods destroy the world's best engineered cars. AND.. the fact that MB has gone mercenary and will now take great chunks of your money to help you into a never ending suspention problem, doesn't justify it.

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  #10  
Old 03-16-2001, 09:30 AM
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Steve!

thanks for the opinion. You have "seconded" every person who works on mercs for a living that I have talked to around here (Chicago)..their advice is the same as yours: DON'T DO IT! springs/8mm pads/17" wheels/etc no no no

reading this board b dangerous sometimes..

My friend is a merc mech at a local dealer: he advised against it too, sez a lot of mercs are showing up like this and a little while later, the customers are wondering why they did it in the first place..

another thing is where you live: a northern usa city has streets full of big ass potholes..just the thing for some 45 profile tires. I began to see where the posts are coming from on the lowered cars..the south..Cal..where the roads are better and smoother. ahh well.

so, the informed consensus here in Chicago seems to say ok..go to a 205x55x16 on 7.5x16 wheels, but that is it for ride/comfort and alignment-ability. do you agree?
again, thanks for a voice of experience.
jp
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