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  #1  
Old 11-26-2001, 08:26 AM
Robert Boyer
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Steering Damper: W-126

Query:

I have never changed the steering damper on my W126. Does a good quality (read: Bilstein) steering damper make a difference?

I don't have any pressing front end problems at the moment, just feel a little more road than perhaps I would like in my wheel. No shake, no real problems.

Any experience with this?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2001, 07:50 PM
jfujimoto
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Robert,

Save your money! Whaddaya mean "little more road"? Is it wandering?

Jeff
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2001, 08:15 PM
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Yes, the steering damper does make a difference. It absorbs some of the shock transmitted to the steering wheel. Easy and inexpensive repair. Most of the dampers seem to be Boge units, and cost $30 or less right here at PartShop and FastLane. Easy to do, only two bolts hold it in place. Try doing a search on steering shock of damper, has been often discussed.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2001, 10:15 PM
Robert Boyer
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Thanks to both of you for replying. But why 2 such divergent answers?

I have no wander. (Lucky, I guess, for an older W-126). It's just that the steering wheel is picking up too much minor and extraneous surface feel. I would like it a bit more damped for my tastes.

Can a new damper do this?
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2001, 01:51 AM
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The damper is basically a shock absorber, which is mounted between the drag link and sub-frame. It's function is to dampen the impact of lateral movement of the front suspension. If you feel the steering wheel move left/right with each and every minor imperfection of the road surface, chances are the damper is shot.

Mine, when I replaced it, appeared to be an original unit. When I pulled it, it had no absorbing ability left in it. I felt zero resistance when pulling the shaft out, or trying to push it in. The replacement (ordered through PartsShop) required a good amount of effort to push, or pull, the shaft and the wheel felt much firmer and more stable after replacement.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2001, 12:23 PM
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I replaced mine and the steering feels much better! I bought mine from a MB dealer and it was a Bilstien

John
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2001, 03:49 PM
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My W126 picked up every imperfection in the road and I always felt like I was making steering adjustments (no wandering though) The damper got rid of that feeling. It's cheap and easily accessed on a lift. A $30 repair makes it feel nice and tight again.

Jackmac
85 380se
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2001, 04:10 PM
Robert Boyer
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One more minor question, friends:

on installing the damper, does it matter which end goes to which side? As you know, there is an end with the outer shock sleeve. Does the direction of the damper installation matter?

Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2001, 10:26 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Not sure it really matters, but just look at the old one, and install the new one oriented the same way.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2001, 03:21 PM
jfujimoto
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Robert,

What I was trying to get at was...if you've got no pressing problems with your steering, you can wait. Why not remove the steering damper and check the resistance? My old damper had no resistance like Mike's. It was much better with the replacement of all steering components. But, of course, it's up to you.

Jeff
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2001, 03:51 PM
BigPimpin
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What does the steering damper look like, and where is it exactly? Is it hard to replace?

I'd like to take a look at mine, but I don't want to bother jacking the car up unless I know what I'm looking for.

Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2001, 05:29 PM
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The steering damper is a skinny shock absorber that goes from the idler arm pivot point to the drag link. When you look under your car, look for the left tie rod connected to the left wheel knuckle. I think the left tie rod is green while everything else down there is black. Follow the tie rod inward to the pitman arm connected to the steering box. Also attached to the pitman arm is the drag link that runs parallel to the engine cross member. About 1/3 of the way along the drag link from left to right is the mount of the steering damper.

You can't tell much by looking at it. You pretty much have to remove it to test it.

Sixto
91 300SE
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