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Old 03-28-2001, 02:56 AM
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I recently adjusted the steering box on my 1970 220 (W115) and unlike the previous posts I've read, there was only one nut (other than myself) which was 17mm. The bolt takes a flat-head (yuck) instead of an Allen wrench, and to take out the play, you need to turn the bolt clock-wise.

Well, I didn't take the steering box apart so I don't know how this adjustment takes the play out. My questions are: Is there a danger of over-tightening the bolt? Will it cause increased wear inside the steering box if it's too tight?

I've checked all the linkages and they seem fine. However, I assume there will be a point where adjusting this bolt will have no more effect and I'll have to replace the entire steering box. Is this correct?

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Old 03-28-2001, 01:46 PM
Wm. Lewallen
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To take the slack(play) out of your steering, you loosen the 17mm nut and turn the adjusting screw OUT (counter-clock wise).All adjusting screws I have seen were Allen heads. Maybe someone has replaced the one on your car with a hex head screw. Makes no difference. Turn it out to remove the play in your steering.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,Ky. Where diesels purr and turbos whirr.
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Old 03-28-2001, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for your message. I _wish_ it had a hex head, I hate slotted adjusting screws.

At first I _did_ turn it counter-clockwise as described in the previous threads. However, that made things a lot worse. Turning it clockwise (screwing it in) seemed to remove the play and it's actually quite nice right now. Perhaps my model has a different type of steering box? I don't think it has been replaced because in the owner's manual, there are some pictures of the steering box and it clearly shows the slotted adjusting screw.

Do you know what would happen in _your_ steering box if you unscrewed the adjusting screw too much?

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Old 03-28-2001, 03:25 PM
Wm. Lewallen
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I'm not sure if the adjusting screw will come all the way out. I have adjusted quite a few steering gear boxes, and have always turned the screw out. If you take the steering assembly apart, you will see why you need to turn the screw out. If screwing yours in removes the slack, so be it. As long as it takes out the slack, good.
Bill Lewallen Lexington,KY..
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Old 03-28-2001, 06:43 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
Why is it, Bill, that as soon as we know what we are doing, someone changes the rules. I just did my 300 and it was COUNTERCLOCKWISE. Steve
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Old 03-28-2001, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
I don't know what can/might happen inside the steering box if over tightened, but I did experience a similar situation on an old pick-up. After replacing the king pins and tie rods I adjusted the steering box to get rid of the last bit of slop. I over tightened the adjustment screw, and for the life of me I could not hold that truck straight. Seemed like even the heart beat through my fingertips affected where the wheels pointed. It was as if driving under the influence of many beers and trying to hold a straight line.

I backed off the adjustment just a little, so there was about 1/2 inch play in the steering wheel and all was well. The secret is having someone inside the car working the wheel side to side as the slack is removed. Show them how much slack you want, and when the steering wheel moves only that amount, you're good to go. Not sure if this method will work on MB's, but it might.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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Old 03-28-2001, 11:17 PM
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You can feel when the adjuster is overtightned, it makes the steering stiffer. I have to adjust the steering bi- annually on the 300SD, lots of slack otherwise. The other thing that is annoying-when the alignement is "off center" ie they set the alignment up but it is not centered with the center of the steering, right turns come smooth and left have play off center, strange and very annoying, but then again how many cars have 530000 miles on the original steering box?
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