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  #1  
Old 03-20-2002, 12:42 AM
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Alignment on a W124

Is there anything unique about the kind of alignment machine a dealer uses to alignment W124's, or is it a kind that many shops use?

Because of the tire balance problem I've had, I'm wondering if I should have the dealer check out my alignment.

I've had it done by a reputable tire place that is always busy, but I'm wondering if it takes a special machine or expertise.

Both MB Indy shops I've taken my car to don't have alignment machines.

thanks in advance.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2002, 04:34 AM
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Have you tried having the wheels balanced on the car? I've heard that being suggested before...

Alon
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:14 AM
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Most dealers use HUNTER alignment due to the fact that they work with MB on their equiptment program.
NO equiptment is better than the person who operates it.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:46 AM
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My 124 MB body and chassis manuel says that special weights have to be installed for alignment. Is this necessary on the Hunter machine? I can't get any local shops to even try it.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2002, 10:23 AM
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I had an alignment done at an MB dealer day before yesterday....they used a Hunter.

Very happy with the results.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2002, 01:30 PM
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Alrighty, I will get the car aligned at the dealer, and the wheels balanced on the Hunter GSP9700 wheel balance machine.

I'll post the follow up on the original thread.

I decided I'd get the tires replaced and balanced, then determine wether or not I need to use the Hunter GSP 9700.

Yesterday I got the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires installed by Penske Tire Center. What a difference! They are so smoooooth and quiet compared to the Goodyear Regatta II's.

The vibration did diminish, but it is still there. I'll confess that it is awfully slight, but it can be felt at speeds above 65 mph, and the steering wheel does tremble - it can be felt in the hands and observed with hands off the wheel.

I'm going to the dealer for a balance, alignment, and then reevaluate (for a price. What was I quoted? $72 for a balance and $95 for alignment...).
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2002, 02:26 PM
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How old is your steering damper?
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2002, 03:53 PM
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I replaced it when I bought the car at 127,500 miles.

The car now has almost 135,000 miles.

I suppose it may be leaking, but I doubt it.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2002, 04:00 PM
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Bent wheel?
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2002, 04:16 PM
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Paul,

With that little mileage on the damper, I wouldn't suspect that is the culprit, unless it is defective.

Cap'n could be on to something...wheel bent/curbed, etc.

But, you have chrome 15-hole MB wheels, right? This could be your "very slight" vibration problem. I have several friends with chrome MB wheels as well as chrome aftermarket wheels and they complain of the same problem (frustrating and expensive). As the chrome process is a "coating" (up to three layers), it is likely difficult to get a perfectly uniform layer(s). Also, if you are using stick on weights, this could contribute as well.

p.s. What led you to your decision to pop for the Michelins?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2002, 04:30 PM
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Penske has been using stick on weights because the clamp on type they use won't stay on.

I went with the Michelin's because they agreed to replace my tires with whatever I wanted, and refunded me the amount I originally paid for the Goodyear's.

I went with the Michelin MXV4's because they've been used successfuly for so long on the W124's, they were well-regarded in the reviews on thetirerack.com, and many members on this site on the tire forum liked them. I could have saved some money with the Yokohama's or Toyo's, but I was afraid to take another risk.

I suppose one of my wheels could be bent. This whole issue came up after my tires were rotated and balanced. Maybe the defective wheel was on the rear and I didn't notice? There was never a balance / vibration problem before. I re-rotated the wheels back to what I thought was their original position, but it didn't help.

What's strange is originally, the Penske Tires used the clamp on weights when the tires were first installed. After the rebalance, the weights wouldn't stay on after I drove away. They must've tried 3-4 times with different kinds of weights, and none would stay on, which is why they ended up using the stick on weights. Maybe the dealer has clamp-on weights that stay on.

And yes, my rims are the original 15 inch 15 hole chrome wheels.
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Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2002, 04:54 PM
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This ain't got nothin to do with Mercedes but a wheel is a wheel. I have the factory chrome billit wheels on my Toyota truck. One is very slightly bent and has runout. It balances fine on the computer balancer and when it's on the back it's unnoticeable. But on the front you can feel it tug at highway speed. I hope that ain't your problem. I have the painted eight hole on my 124 with Bridgestone Eager tires and clamp on weights. Never had a problem.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:06 PM
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Speaking of clamp-on weights, yes, the dealer (and some enlightened independents) have the right type of clamp-on weights. They are 2-piece weights and they do stay on, where the cheapo one-piece ones the tire shops use tend to fall off of MB wheels, for some reason.

The other consideration is whether the tire shop used a HIGH SPEED balancing machine, like the dealers. I've heard a number of folks who just couldn't get their tires balanced properly elsewhere that had great results at the dealership.
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