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  #1  
Old 07-19-2002, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 259
Way to much steering play...

83 380sl I've replace centerlink, and both tie rods, still a lot of play in the steering. I want to try to adust the box -is it done from the top or the bottom, tighten or loosen or what?

If this doesn't do the trick, can the box be rebuilt by a novice?

Thanks.

J. Boggs
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2002, 03:06 PM
LarryBible
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I don't have experience with this particular box, but I have messed with the 123 box. First of all I expect that it is indeed the box. You can turn the input shaft while your other hand is on the Pitman arm to verify the box as the source of slack.

There is an adjustment on the top that appears to be identical to an American steering box. You will need to hold the allen in place while loosening the locknut. Then turn the allen slowly counterclockwise until you feel the slightest amount of resistance. Hold the allen in this exact position while tightening the locknut.

MB recommends that you do not adjust the box, but I have done it many times, not always successfully. I can adjust an American box and get it right most every time, but he Benz box is elusive. As far as rebuilding it yourself, it is challenging but possible. I got a salvage yard box and did exploratory surgery, then figured out how to shim mine to get it right. There was much trial and error, and you need to ALWAYS err on the side of looseness. If you get it too tight it is a safety issue.

Good luck,
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2002, 11:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Monroeville, NJ
Posts: 93
I have a 1987 560 SL that had the same steering box looseness. The adjustment process is fairly straightforward, the access is difficult. You will need a crows foot wrench on the locknut, and a long allen head for the adjustment nut. As noted above, I erred on the side of leaving a little play in the box. Big improvement overall.
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M. Sandler

1986 560SEC: 150,000 miles, runs great, but I've got to sell it (too many cars for one man)
1987 560SL: 122,000 miles, used to run poorly, now (thanks to forum), runs great!
1997 GMC Jimmy: Turned out to be a turkey.
1989 T-Bird Super Coupe: 150,000 miles, still runs great. Ford got it right.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2002, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 259
Uh, what's a crowsfoot wrench?

Thanks.

J. Boggs
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2002, 12:43 AM
surfblau's Avatar
neue Dieseler
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: san francisco - immer kalt, immer windig, I want to move
Posts: 382
since noone answered you

A crowsfoot is usually an open ended wrench end that attaches to a rachet like a socket. Usually used with a ratchet extension.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2002, 09:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Monroeville, NJ
Posts: 93
When I adjusted my steering box I used a crowsfoot wrench and a universal joint at the end of my 3/8" ratchet extension. Its a little tricky to work that way, but the alternative is taking the exhaust manifold off.
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M. Sandler

1986 560SEC: 150,000 miles, runs great, but I've got to sell it (too many cars for one man)
1987 560SL: 122,000 miles, used to run poorly, now (thanks to forum), runs great!
1997 GMC Jimmy: Turned out to be a turkey.
1989 T-Bird Super Coupe: 150,000 miles, still runs great. Ford got it right.
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