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Old 06-25-2015, 08:58 PM
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W124 Front Suspension

Hi All,

My 1993 W124 320 Coupe (pre-facelift, 144k miles) is rattling a little from the front when I go over a bump. If I press the brake though the rattle doesn't occur.

I also feel there is a little play in the steering these days, I'm pretty sure it wasn't like that before and the rattle certainly wasn't there. I think the play has gradually increased over the last couple of years.

Nothing has really been done to the front suspension, I changed the front shocks a while back and replaced a wheel bearing but that's it since I've had the car (13 years and 86k miles).

Any advice?
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:21 AM
Hirnbeiss's Avatar
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Sorry, you have to get under and check. But I would suspect tie-rod ends are shot at this mileage, whether they are the noise culprits or not.
Given that the noise goes away with brake application, check (replace if old) the brake pads. They should sit snug against the rotor, but a warped rotor can push them back and then they can rattle.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:58 PM
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If I were you I would identify exactly where the problem is coming from so that your aren't just replacing parts and still having the same issue. Also, this would be a great time to check for other worn parts. If you haven't done much to your front suspension, I would at least do the bushings.

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Old 06-26-2015, 02:51 PM
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With that mileage and really more important age, I would plan on a full rebuild. There is not a lot going on in front and therefore parts are not really expensive. My knock came from bad upper shock mounts.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:23 PM
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As already stated, the age of the car calls into question many of the rubber parts.

While pressing lightly on the brake stops the noise, I'd not assume the brake hardware is at fault. The little of lagging from the brake could compress a bushing that has failed, masking the problem.

This is really one of those decision points you need to make on an older car.

Rubber deteriorates whether it is driven or not. At this point, if your in for a pence you might as well be in for a pound.

A full rebuild is not out of the question and one can make an economic argument to just replace all the rubber (And the lower ball joint).

The rewards are that you are not still chasing a noise, the car will steer and handle like new, and you're not doing or paying for a lot of duplicate labor.

I've done the complete refresh several times and have yet to disappointed....

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Old 06-26-2015, 06:06 PM
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Thanks for all the comments, Hirnbeiss that's an interesting idea about the pads, so I will check that out. I guess I will go for a full rebuild sooner or later.

Tomorrow I'll get my head under there and take a look.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:50 PM
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I'm guessing by your 5 posts you may not have had the opportunity to look at all the info on Pelican. If that's the case, checkout at the very top of the page the section titled Tech has the symbol of a wrench next to it. Within that section are all the DIY articles Pelican has put together for your car. Will definitely provide good background info before you crawl under.
'89 260e (212K Mi.), '92 400e (208K Mi.), '92 400e (not a misprint) (146K Mi.), '95 C220, '81 240D--Sold
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:43 AM
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Ok, got under there yesterday and checked it all out...

Rubber in the bushes looks virtually new, perhaps the car has had an 'easy life' in the mild London (UK) weather. Of course not sure what they're like inside but levered them around with the wheels off and no play at all.

Pads tight, loads of meat on them and certainly not rattling around.

Got someone to shake the steering and noticed a clonk from one of the joints, I'm not sure what this link is called. Perhaps someone can tell me the name of it.

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Old 06-28-2015, 09:22 AM
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Center track rod or drag link (92). Replace as well as steering damper (113). Also items 59 & 53 tie rod assemblies should be replaced unless they've been so already. As I stated earlier there's not a lot under there. Easiest to replace all and then your not chasing any issues. Also check performance of ball joints.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:50 AM
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Thanks a lot, I'll get the parts and get changing them.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:28 PM
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14 is the idler arm bushing kit. Read the DIY on rebuilding it.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:33 PM
formerly newtodiesel
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The 124 ride is fabulous if suspension is good.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:35 AM
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Turns out the rattle was coming from an outer anti-roll bar bush. Changed them all - 30 in parts from MB and it now sounds and feels tight again.

I'll change those steering rods soon though.
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