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Old 06-11-2002, 03:06 PM
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Question Mercedes 300E Front end noise

I have a groaning sqeek in the left front wheel when turning , I thought it was the tie rod, but when I raised the tire and took the load off, the sound did not happen when I shook, pried and jiggled the tire. But with the car on the ground or on ramps, the noise happens when the steering wheel is turned right or left. Is it the lower ball joint? What is the torq for the ball joint?
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Old 06-11-2002, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
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Lightbulb look in the center...

I had something similar going on in the SDL and if I remember correctly it was the horizontal member of the steering that goes across the front from connects the left and right wheels.

hope this helps...
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Old 06-11-2002, 06:28 PM
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The balljoint is a likely culprit.

When the wheel is off the ground, the spring applies all of its (significant) force towards pulling the balljoint upward within its socket.
This means that you would not observe any lateral play in this state, and the groan is likely to go away. (Note-If you had a MacPherson strut, you could indeed diagnose a warn balljoint in this manner, because there would be no load.)

When the wheel is on the ground, the weight of the car forces the balljoint down into its socket, which may be the state where it groans within its corroded socket (mine were like that).

You can diagnose a worn balljoint by jacking under the control arm until the tire leaves the ground, and then check for lateral play by grasping the top and bottom of the tire an attempting to rock it inward and outward.
Ideally an assistant would do this while you observe the balljoint for play.

Another method is to observe if the balljoint moves upward at all (the gap between knuckle and control arm increases) as you jack under the frame.

Could still be in the steering rack though, since the noise may go away without the extra 'load' of turning the wheels on the pavement.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.

Last edited by csnow; 06-12-2002 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-11-2002, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Wrightsville Beach NC
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I am having a similar problem..Inspector 1. This weekend I replaced tie rods, drag link, and sway bar bushings. The ride is better but I still have a creeking sound at low speeds when turning. ie: pulling into my driveway

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Old 06-12-2002, 09:39 AM
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Thanks everyone,
after jacking the thing up and listening carefully to the noise it certainly appears to be coming from the lower ball joint.
Does any one know what the torque is when I replace the lower?
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Old 06-12-2002, 10:22 AM
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94 Ft/Lbs

I should add that worn balljoints are a real safety issue in this design. The spring places a lot of upward force on these balljoints whenever shock absorber travel runs out.

One of mine actually popped out of its socket, which is a very bad situation. Fortunately I was going very slowly over some speedbumps at the time, and not cresting a hill at speed...

I had the groaning symptom you guys describe, but handling overall was surprisingly not that bad. The seal had even appeared to be intact, but once separated, there was not even a hint of grease remaining.

Happy wrenching.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.

Last edited by csnow; 06-12-2002 at 10:56 AM.
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