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  #1  
Old 06-05-2002, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 34
Unhappy 1997 e320 steering wheel vibrations

I'm getting steering wheel vibrations at 50-55 miles/hour.
I have brand new Energy MXV4 + tires. I balanced the wheels 3 times, each time the speed for the vibration changed a little, but never went away ???
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2002, 02:02 PM
LarryBible
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Did they do a DYNAMIC balance? There are many of the tire stores that insist on not putting weights on the outside of the wheels because customers complain about the looks of this and about them scratching their wheels. The tire stores solution is usually to balance them STATICALLY with weights ONLY on the inside lip of the wheel.

When the wheel is balanced statically, adding weight ONLY on the inside edge of the wheel makes the DYNAMIC balance worse. When the wheel is dynamically imbalanced it wobbles. With these sensitive suspension systems, this wobbling is transferred trough to the steering wheel.

I expect that if you go look at your wheels, you will find no weights on the outside of the wheels. I have gone through this so many times with the tire stores and gotten so frustrated, that I bought my own wheel balancer. I can now run any of my cars to 100MPH and they are as smooth as silk.

To properly balance with weights on two planes, you have two choices to do this without scratching the wheels; use the two piece MB weights that have a clip, they will not scratch the wheels, the other way is to use a regular weight on the inside lip and then use tape weights on the inside diameter as far outboard as you can get them. Some of the latest balancers can even place these tape weights behind the spokes where they are not seen.

If there are indeed no weights toward the outside of your wheels, you need to find a cooperative shop that will DYNAMICALLY balance your wheels. I will almost guarantee that this will solve your problem. Getting them balanced properly will be a challenge unless you throw in the towel and buy a balancer like I did. Stick to your guns with these guys and get it done right.

Best of luck,
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2002, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 20
LarryBible is right on

I purchased a set of Dunlop SP Sport 5000 for my '01 E430(purchased at NTB) and had them balanced 3 times. Still had vibration and had NTB swap the out for a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Balanced an additional 2 times, by now NTB has practically destroyed my wheels, and finally gave up on NTB. Did some research and went to Butler time. They use a Hunter wheel balancing http://www.gsp9700.com system followed by an on-car highspeed wheel balancing. I could not believe the difference it made. It is a must if you are experiencing vibrations.

My new rule of thumb, use a good shop for installation and balancing of tires for your Mercedes.
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2002, 02:48 PM
LarryBible
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The Hunter 9700 is the most fabulous tire machine ever put in local shops and does amazing things, however, the likelihood of needing this machine to correct vibration with a set of Michelins is very low.

The 9700 is usually required when a bent wheel or excessive road force variation (stiff spot) tire is the problem. This situation almost never happens with a Michelin because of their molding process which more consistently places the belt in the proper position.

What you need is someone with any decent computer balancer in proper working order. Probably 98 out of 100 balancers in shops meet this requirement. The problem is that all these machines have a static mode and too many of these kids insist on using it, putting weights ONLY on the inside of the wheel.

Find someone that understands about using tape weights on the inside diameter of the wheel and wants to take the few extra minutes to do this and do it right. Also watch them and see that they are putting the specified weight on the inboard AND outboard of the wheel AND see that they again spin the wheel after applying the weights. On the last spin, the machine MUST show zero for both inside AND outside of the wheel. If the weight on the machine is indicated ONLY for the inside, they are statically balancing. Don't put up with this crap!

If all wheels are balanced DYNAMICALLY, and read zero inboard and outboard when rechecked and the vibration persists, THEN it is time to find a shop with a GSP9700. I really doubt you will have to take this step if the shop will JUST DO IT RIGHT!

If you do have to find a shop with a gsp9700, you can go to www.gsp9700.com and they have a search mechanism to find a shop near your zip code.

Good luck,
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2002, 05:33 PM
techbike
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryBible
The Hunter 9700 is the most fabulous tire machine ever put in local shops and does amazing things, however, the likelihood of needing this machine to correct vibration with a set of Michelins is very low.

The 9700 is usually required when a bent wheel or excessive road force variation (stiff spot) tire is the problem. This situation almost never happens with a Michelin because of their molding process which more consistently places the belt in the proper position.

...
Well, I had Michelin Pilot Sports on my new '02 CLK55AMG cab and had vibration problems that the dealer could not rectify after 3 tries; even though they have the Hunter GSP9700. I went to an independent and they found 1 marginal tire and 1 out of spec. using the same machine. After showing the printouts to the dealer, they replaced 1 tire. I STILL had a little vibration at 75MPH. I then switched to 19" aftermarket rims with Yokohama AVS tires and got vibration again. I had them rebalanced again on a HunterGSP9700 that again found 1 tire bad. Tirerack replaced the tire. I STILL have a little vibration at 70-75MPH and will be back at the shop again tomorrow. MAJOR factor: tech must know what he's doing. I think the techs working on my car know a little but not enough!
I am starting to think it may be something other than tires and rims, though. If I can't solve it tomorrow, I will have to call Montvale and look into lemon law claim. Maybe there's something wrong in idler arms, tie rods, etc...
Very frustrating having this problem on a $85K car.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2002, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
Hi techbike-

out of curiousity- you can ask the tech to balance the wheel on the machine without a wheel on it and see the balance specs on the wheel(s) themselves...they may try and rotate the tire mounting position on the rim also to try to cure this condition

often +1, +2 tire, +3 larger tire/wheel upgrades have downside characteristics (esp if the suspension, chassis, steering wasn't engineered w/ this upsized equip in mind) and,...there'a more stress and wear on these parts with the plus sizing

-fad
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2002, 10:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 34
Angry

The last time they balanced the wheels, I looked at the balancer, it showed 0 om the inside and 0 on the outside (as they put weights also on the outside). The steering wheel vibrates less but still does. I am looking now, maybe to replace the wheels ??
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2002, 08:29 AM
techbike
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Quote:
Originally posted by -fad
Hi techbike-

out of curiousity- you can ask the tech to balance the wheel on the machine without a wheel on it and see the balance specs on the wheel(s) themselves...they may try and rotate the tire mounting position on the rim also to try to cure this condition...

-fad
Hi, The Hunter tells the tech to actually do that by putting a load on the rotating assembly. It determines the high and low points on both tire and rim, then tells you where and how much to rotate the tire on the rim to even it out. The tech admitted to initially NOT doing this feature as he said it is normally not necessary. It's probably a pain doing it on 265/30/19. So he did it to the fronts (235/35/19) the 2nd time and I noticed an improvement. The steering wheel doesn't shake per se, you just feel this "ticking" on your hands. Maybe it's acceptable on the AMG's race-tuned suspension? I only feel it on certain roads, especially smooth asphalt. On concrete pavement, I don't. However, I don't feel anything on the E430 in any road, any speed; smooth as silk. It could be unfair comparison. I'm tempted to take a poll with CLK drivers.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2002, 09:51 AM
LarryBible
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dkarp,

It sounds like it's time to find a gsp9700. As I said before, go to www.gsp9700.com and do the search for a shop in your area with one. Then reread techbikes posts. The 9700 uses a pressure roller and also has a dial indicator capability to determine exactly where to mount the tire in relation to the wheel. If this doesn't solve the problem, you may end up in the same situation as techbike.

I was sorry to hear of techbikes experience. It is more proof that EVERYONE makes defective product at one point or another.

Also, techbike is right on the money when he says that the tech must know what he's doing. That is key with anything. There are people that can do more with bailing wire and chewing gum than another guy that has the latest and greatest $10,000 machine to work with. There has to be good mass between the ears and the right attitude.

Good luck,
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2002, 01:30 PM
techbike
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Smile Larry, I'm tempted to drive to your house and play on your new balancer...

..But Sumner, TX is a bit too far from NY. Tire wear after the drive will probably balance out my wheels!
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2002, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 34
vibrations

I called a shop for a Hunter balancing quote, they told me 30$ per wheel only to look at it, so here we are already at 120$+tax.
In that case I would prefer to see the dealer for 70$, I would get a waranty on the job, they will look at everything, and they will have the MB weights that never fall. Some of the dealers have also the Hunter machine.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2002, 09:50 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Prices to balance your tires on a gps9700 differ widely from shop to shop.

I called about 6 shops near my house that use this machine (including the MB dealer), and the prices ranged from $10 - $50 per wheel.

Penske Mercedes Benz in West Covina, California charged me $14 / wheel.
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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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  #13  
Old 06-06-2002, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,006
With a problem case or large wheels... find out who does vehicle customization in your area... low rider trucks or trucks with dual-stage lift kits, low-rider Lincoln's, etc. They are usually pretty good at balancing those big wheels and low profile tires, so they can probably handle your Mercedes.

Regards,
Brian
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2002, 08:30 AM
techbike
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Prices are all over the lot on GSP9700

American Tire(chain): $80 package for 4
J&B(independent): $30 per tire
Rallye(MB dealer): $10 per tire
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