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  #1  
Old 03-20-2002, 10:44 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Weird alignment problem PLEASE HELP! '95 E320 wagon

Weird alignment problem PLEASE HELP!

I have a 95 E320 wagon with 80k miles. After several alignments it continues to wear-out the outside edges of the front tires. Is this common? Both the front and rear shocks have been replaced as well as the front and rear sway-bar bushings and rear links. I usually run the front tires about 30-31psi cold, the rears about 38psi

The front tires look great except the outside edges. What gives? Any ideas? Is this normal? The rest of the suspension seems OK.

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2002, 11:02 PM
steve hutson
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I think most w124 owners would report that your condition is normal, unless your tires were showing exreme wear on the outside edges after a few thousand miles. What is your driving style? what kind of tires are you running on? Does your car handle normally or do you notice some odd handling characteristics? All these can have an effect on tire wear.
Steve
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Old 03-21-2002, 12:29 AM
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The right questions of course: The tires are Bridgestones RE950s. I feel it is somewhat sudden wear, that is down to the wear bars in about 5,000 miles.

One thing I noticed is that after the last alignment, the steering wheel was slightly off center. About an inch measuring on the out edge of the steering wheel. How important is it for the steering wheel to be "perfectly" horizontal?

As far as handling- I have noticed a slight drift to the right, even right after the last alignment. I was told that is normal .... hmmmm?!?

I don't drive the wagon aggressively around corners. I do drive a fairly high speeds on the freeways.

Jeff
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Old 03-21-2002, 12:40 AM
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You may try taking your car to the dealer for an alignment. I've posted questions regarding different tire problems, as well, and was told that Hunter alignment machines are used at the dealer because Hunter works with MB on the machines.

I had my car aligned previously at a regular tire shop, and it only took them 30 minutes.

I talked to the dealer today and made an appointment for tomorrow - they said they use special tools to perform the alignment, they align all four wheels, it takes 2 1/2 hours, and they charge $95.00.

You can't go wrong by going to the dealer.
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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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Old 03-21-2002, 01:41 AM
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Thanks Paul.

What dealer charges $95? Specifically? Around the bay area the dealers think they can charge $180! Can you believe that?!

I want them to know they are way out of line by using other MBZ dealer prices.

Jeff
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2002, 01:07 PM
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Penske Mercedes Benz in West Covina, California.

My appointment is for today at 4:30 p.m.

I'll let you know my experience tomorrow.
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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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  #7  
Old 03-21-2002, 04:19 PM
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My '87 124 wagon has been doing this to the front tires as well. Just a bit too much wear on the outside edges. It took about 10K miles before I even noticed it. Just rotated them front to back to move the problem for a while.

One solution is to add a bit of toe-out to the alignment. (Or perhaps less toe-in.) This moves the wear point from the outside toward the inside of the tires. Tou-out also quickens the steering response of the car; autocross racers run tons of toe out on their specialized cars. However, it can also make the car twitchy at highway speeds.

If the steering wheel is off center and the car pulls after the alignment (but didn't before) then you need to find a new shop - the one that did this work is totally incompetent. The off center wheel is caused by a tech too lazy to adjust the tie rods to center it (and it should be centered - the steering box has reduced play right on center which makes the car drive like it should.) The pull is caused by cross camber - again the reason is a tech too lazy to adjust both sides to equal amounts of negative camber.

- Jim

'87 300TDT
'98 E300
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2002, 05:06 PM
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Fwiw, the front tires normally get almost all the wear on the outside edges.

If you haven't rotated the tires for 10,000 miles, and you're showing some wear on the outside edges, it's probably normal and could have been avoided with a tire rotation... I have been rotating the tires on all my cars every 5,000 miles, and never have had premature wearing on the outside edges.

If you have a lot of wear on the outside edges of the front tires, then you're algnment is probably off, or you have worn out suspension components, like tie rod ends, etc.
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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 03-21-2002, 06:51 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I will keep this thread updated as the alignment saga unfolds.

Jeff
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