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Old 03-23-1999, 06:25 AM
Mike B
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I own a 1987 300SL with 107,000 miles on the clock. In my opinion the car has never handled particularly well and over the two years that I have owned it I have spent a great deal of time and money trying to fix the problem. The car tends to wander over the road, following the camber quite markedly, which requires constant correction. There is also a persistent background wobble in the car most noticeable at around 70 mph. The car also shakes for a few cycles when driving over pot holes, drain covers or anything that gives the suspension a kick. These phenomena are all more prominent with the hard top off (perhaps not surprisingly).
Work done so far:-

- new subframe mountings on front (twice)
- new wishbone joints and bushes
- new tie rods
- new idler arm bushes
- new dampers all round (including steering damper)
- wheels balanced and aligned (although not by MB)
- steering box adjusted to take up slack
- steering/suspension checked over by MB nothing found

I have heard of such things as ‘scuttle shake’ in convertibles due to the inherent lack of rigidity in the design but find it hard to believe that a quality car such as this suffers from the fundamental handling problems mentioned above.

Your views would really be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Old 03-23-1999, 07:39 PM
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The first thing that comes to mind for me is rear shocks! The bouncing is a result of the springs not being controlled by the shocks.
Old 03-24-1999, 08:39 PM
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The condition you have described is not that unusual. Remember that the front wheels are correcting for the REAR wheel track & alignment. So if the rear is not tracking correctly & the front end hasn't been adjusted for that(4-Wheel alignment) then the car can "wander"!!
The shake you're talking about is "cowl shake" & SL's can exhibit this condition.

Old 03-27-1999, 10:31 AM
Mike B
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I'll get Mercedes to do a full Optiflex steering geometry check and adjustment. Can anything be done about the 'Cowl Shake' or will this improve once the geometry has been checked out?
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