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Old 11-23-2006, 11:49 PM
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Question Common W210 Front End Problems at 100k...

I have a 1996 E320 with 96,000 miles on it and it's starting to eat up front tires and displays twitchy steering at times. What front end parts generally go bad on this model year at 100k and what should I be planning to replace at this time?

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Old 11-24-2006, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ellington View Post
how exactly are the tires wearing? on the edges? on one edge more so than the other? are they scalloped or showing any feathering? how often do you rotate and balance them and what brand of tire are you running? how are the rears wearing?

for a car with your mileage it could be tie rod ends, loose wheel bearings, ball joints, control arm bushings, weak shocks, or a bad rack itself. at this mileage things wear out and a lot of this depends on how you drive.

please post more info and perhaps i can help
The front tires appear to be feathering on the outer edges. The front tires are Kumho Ecsta 235/40/18's (junk tires) mounted on 18x8.5 Brabus Monoblock wheels. The rear tires are 265/35/18 BFGoodrich G-Force KD's mounted on 18x9.5 Brabus Monoblock rims. The rear tires are nearly new and don't appear to show any abnormal wear patterns developing. This wheel/tire package was on the car when I bought it.

All of the suspension is still original equipment except for bilstein heavy duty shocks in the rear. I plan to install a set of H&R springs and Bilstein Sport shocks soon, but I'd like to replace any other worn parts first. I don't drive the car aggressively at all, but I do like the low, wide stance that the larger wheels and tires provide.

Do balljoints, tie-rods, steering racks and bushings commonly go bad at only 100k on all MB's?

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Old 11-24-2006, 02:53 PM
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The wheels/tires are significantly larger than stock (215 55/16 on all four corners) That much wheel and tire will have much more rolling mass. It could be that the extra force generated is causing premature wear on suspension parts.

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Old 11-25-2006, 04:30 PM
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1997 W210 E300TD 243,000
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Location: Manchester, UK
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I had a laser geometry check done on my W210. Here are the results, and the corrections (red = bad, green = good)

The thrust angle was the real culprit, it was steering the car from the back!
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:41 PM
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Under normal circumstances the toe being out of adjustment is what will affect the tire wear more than any other adjustment, again "normally", unless something is really really bad and your other reading aren't WAY out of spec due to parts being damaged.
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:11 PM
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Don't these cars have issues with spring/strut perches? Or am I thinking of another model?
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:57 PM
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Gilly's right

Mine killed a set of tires in 17k the same way, with the same characteristics of wear and handling. The toe was way out. I just assumed since it didnt pull to ine side the alignment was ok.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

My C seems to like an alignment every 20k or so.
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by vwbuge View Post
Don't these cars have issues with spring/strut perches? Or am I thinking of another model?
Yeah, 210 spring perches, but this would be considered suspension, not steering, so a bit off topic, but a good thing to mention. Hard to tell, no rhyme or reason to which ones break and which don't, BUT seems more prevalent in the 300 Diesel and E420 V8, and more likely to happen in "The Rust Belt".
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Old 11-26-2006, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies fellas. I think I'm going to approach the situation in the following way:

1. Put a new set of BFG's and Bilstein shocks on the front-end along with an H&R spring kit front and back. (I can do this work myself)

2. Bring the car to a reputable local front-end shop to have it completely inspected and properly aligned.

Any other suggestions?

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Old 11-27-2006, 10:35 AM
david s poole
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Location: dallas
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if you want your car to have "normal" wear suggest you find a set of standard wheels and tires.those wheels you have probably have incorrect offsets.
David S Poole
European Performance
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