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Old 08-05-2016, 02:20 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 29
My steering box was modified!

In 2014, my '94 e220 was owned by my brother who had overhauled the steering system of his car. Here are the lists of parts whom were replaced.

- drag link
- tie rods
- steering damper
- idler arm bushing
- lower ball-joints
- control arm bushings
- stabilizer bushings
- strut mountings
- front shock absorbers (Bilstein V36-0191)
- shock rubbers
- power fluid and the filter
- wheel alignment
- steering box seal kit

After overhauled, the car was quite firm on steering and my brother loved it.

In 2015, the car was moved to me. I didn't like it anymore. The steering system is too tight for me. I feel it was too much heavy and uncomfortable every time driving it. These are my feelings toward this car.

- The less and slowly return on the steering when you turn your steering wheel in any degrees.
- Not fully returned when have a u-turn.
- Need to always press the steering back manually after rotating the steering wheel.
- Have to grab the steering by two hands all the way in order to control this steering.
- Much effort to turn the steering wheel at parking idle.
- The engine rpm drop and shake a bit when turning steering wheel at parking idle.

These are the reasons for me to went to the garage, not the same place as my brother's, again on previous 4 months ago. The garage offered me to rebuild the steering box, new setting torque, new seal kit. I decided to do it. After 1 week, I receive the car and found... nothing went better! The steering was softer down very little but I got the free play instead. The steering still tight and sluggish while having some play. I decided not to go to this mechanic again because I realize he wasn't good.

Since that day until now, last monday, I decided to meet the mechanic again in order not to suffer on this anymore. Here I went to meet new mechanic. After he got my steering box off the car and opened it, he told me that my steering box has some scratch inside the block and let me see. He suggested me not to go on this box anymore because it won't worth. He offered me a complete rebuild steering box that he had done before. I inspected it and found the top lid was not fully fit on the old clue of the original lid, so I realized that this is not original for this item. I saw the part no. on it "124 461 11 05". Go back to my original box, it is "124 461 05 05". I ask him and he told me that "11 05" was newer on the later model and insisted that it will fit to my car. I decided to trust him and let this box get into my car.

After the "11 05" box installed into my car and steering fluid filled nearly top edge of the cup, approximately 1 inch below, he went for a test drive and back to the garage with the wrench loosen a bit on bolts of the strut mountings and let me test the car. I found it was nicer! My steering was softer now. Less effort on it, quicker on returning, though I thought it can do better, but get a little free play yet I thought it's acceptable.

Now here are the questions about this happening.

1. After searching for the information, I found that the "11 05" p/no. is the one from W208 steering box, not the later w124 as he told me. Will it have bad effect or disadvantage for changing part to this ? Shall I replace it to correct w124 model ?

2. I don't know whether he replaced the whole steering box or some components from w208 box. Can it be interchangeable about the steering box between model ? If so, what models can w124 use their steering box ?

3. I saw the old power fluid in my reservoir was RED color, but the new he filled me was BLUE. Now the power fluid in my reservoir is PURPLE color. I forgot to ask him about this but could anyone here suggest me, Are there any disadvantages or it will harm my system for doing this ?

4. As he loosened the bolts on the strut mountings a bit, I thought the steering heavy symptom may cause by too tight on the nuts of each part. So can I just loosen other nuts on the other parts of the steering system i.e. on the idle arm bushing etc. or even more on the strut mountings.

5. Are there any ways to improve my steering system to gain more comfort ?

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Old 08-05-2016, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7,515
The first steering box reseal was faulty, from what you describe there was a mechanical bind and the second "rebuild" didn't solve the problem.

I'm also suspecting that the idler arm bushing is bound tight at this point.

4. As he loosened the bolts on the strut mountings a bit, I thought the steering heavy symptom may cause by too tight on the nuts of each part. So can I just loosen other nuts on the other parts of the steering system i.e. on the idle arm bushing etc. or even more on the strut mountings.

No no all counts. All of the bolts should be properly tightened. The strut rod ( shock ) rotates in the strut so having a loose nut will only cause the holes to wear out.

You need to find mechanic 3 that understands the engineering behind a car.

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