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Old 09-19-2001, 12:01 AM
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Location: Guam
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vibration at low speeds even after balancing and alignment

Hi everyone,

My 94 C280 has had a vibration problem for some time now. Even after tire balancing and alignment and new or old tires. I did a search and only found vibrations at higher speeds... This vibration is a medium frequency vibration that doesnt change depending on speed... but disappears after 45mph. The lower control arms have been replaced as of last year. I have a slight click (as if something is loose) if I turn the wheel (swing it side to side)... the same noise also occurs as I hit the little reflectors on the road at 10mph but not at speeds above. Is this a sign to change the inner or outer tierods? the ball joints? the shocks? The MB shop has no clue what's wrong...and I cant go to anyone else because there is no other MB shop unless I ship my car off to Hawaii.. oh also the Idler arm bushing was changed and so was the steering dampener shock. I have a feeling that these things are related but I dont want to spend $2000 dollars to get rid of this annoyance by replacing parts that dont need replacing. Does anyone have any insight? thanks!!!

'94 MB C280 Lorinser Sport Suspension
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Old 09-19-2001, 08:10 AM
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zee zee is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Chennai,India
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Hi Infinit ,
I would suspect ,the tie rod ends. Prop your car up and see if there is a play ,when you shake your tire (hold the tire as if you are gonna pull it out)
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Old 09-19-2001, 11:38 AM
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Are your tires the factory spec size? In some cases, this can cause the problem. I put oversized tires (onto stock rims) on another car I owned, only to be plagued by an annoying shimmy at around 35-45 mph. Tires wore out extremely fast too! Replaced them with the factory width, and the problem disappeared!
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Old 09-23-2001, 07:35 AM
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Happens with the stock tires when they were available... Michelin MXV 3A 195/65/15...

Anyone have any idea?

What parts are there to change here? inner/outer tie rod, shock/struts, springs, control arm(changed), (lower) ball joint.. is there an upper?.... what else??? HELP!

'94 MB C280 Lorinser Sport Suspension
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Old 09-23-2001, 09:32 AM
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You did not say what was the condition of your brake pads, discs and struts. I had a similar problem and it was a combination of the above 3 items.
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Old 09-23-2001, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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Does the vibration come from the front or rear, under load or not. I would suspect a bent wheel or mounting flange.

Find a tire shop that can spin your wheel on the car. We balance all tires off the car but have an old spinner that drives a tire and use it for watching the event in the shop with the tire mounted.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 09-23-2001, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rancho PV, CA, USA
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Are you sure it is not in the drive line? A suspect could be a bad flex disk, or shaft balance. Ed
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Old 09-24-2001, 02:09 PM
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I had the same problem now, and I found out it's the tie rod ends got mess'up (cuz when I hold the front passanger wheel and pulled it, It felt kind of loose), so I am pretty sure it's the tie rod ends.
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Old 09-25-2001, 01:47 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
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My 97 C280 had a slight vibration at speed that re-balancing did not correct. Problem stayed with me until I put a new set of tires on the car. Bottom line, the OEM tires were out of round. Check both tires and wheels for roundness.
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Old 10-03-2001, 01:17 AM
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Happens with or without load... Happens with any tires... happens before and after tire balancing and also after alignment... those make no difference at all... when going down a hill ( I did this today) in neutral between 25-45 mph, the vibration is still there... it is constant at any speed in between... doesnt go faster or slower with speed change. goes away at 50mph. you hear when a cat purrs ? that's how it sounds but a little softer. ANY IDEAS?
'94 MB C280 Lorinser Sport Suspension
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Old 10-03-2001, 02:04 AM
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'94 S500: only 793 sold!
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Location: San Diego, CA
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. .sounds familar

Steve and Peter gave you the clue! It's either the tires or wheels or maybe both!

Had a similar problem [slight front end 'shimmy' at about 45mph that went away by 60mph] that turned out to be the TIRES. To find it which (btw, it could be both!), go to a shop that has the newest Hunter tire/wheel balancer. This machine can check the wheels AND the tires and find out which is the culprit. Great machine! Was very impressed as the tire tech showed me how it works and the tricks you can do. Big 19" monitor in full color.

In my case, BOTH front tires (Michelin MVX4+) were out of round and had to be replaced. The wheels were ok!

If the tires are marginal, one trick is to rotate the tire on the wheel to point where the tire and wheel's weight counter balance one another. That helped but with my wheels it still caused a shimmy.

The machine can 'detect' a tire that's NG so there's no argument with management. BTW, it was at Discount Tire is SD.
Regards . . . . JimF
'94 S500 Cpe

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Last edited by JimF; 10-03-2001 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 10-03-2001, 06:32 AM
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unfortunately, where I live, we have no access to such a sophisticated machine... they all have the same balancing machine. I just got the tires balanced again and now, there is that vibration between 25-45 then from 60 and above, the wheel shakes.. not vibrates.. shakes!!! I dont know what to do anymore... maybe I'll have to live with this... geez... until I ship my car off to SF in two years... thanks by the way!!! As soon as I get there, I will check that balancer out...

'94 MB C280 Lorinser Sport Suspension
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Old 10-03-2001, 10:10 AM
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Lets try doing a simple test: replace the wheels and tyres with another stock and see if the problem persists. If it does, this will rule out the tyres and wheels. If the problem disappears, then we'd found the problem.

Lets take it a step at a time?
... Kerry

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Old 10-03-2001, 10:53 AM
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been there and done that. sowee.. can you feel my frustration? hee hee I've been through 2 sets of MXV3-A tyres then one set of MXV4, I forget the other michelin brand... now I have bridgestone turanza tires... the last 3 sets of tires have had the same results... the dealer tried on another set of rims from another car... no avail... that's why I know it's not a tire and rim prob. Somethin to do with the suspension... somewhere.. but they cant pinpoint it. I should have said that in the beginning... well.. I thought I said that in the beginning but sorry if I didnt.
Anyway, there is no play whatsoever in the front wheels, but I know somethin is loose.. just dont know what. I can hear i described earlier.. cant feel it when the car is up on the hoist. I really need a better idea other than replacing my whole front end. Well maybe that's the only way...
'94 MB C280 Lorinser Sport Suspension
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Old 10-03-2001, 10:59 AM
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Location: Florida / N.H.
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You may want to look at the strut tower mounts.
Check condition and for loose mounting bolts.
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