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  #1  
Old 09-19-2002, 05:38 PM
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Posts: 57
wheel alignment specs

I have used the search engine, but couldn't get answers to my question.

Today I got the right side tie rod, center link and center shock replaced (1985 190E 2.3 with 135K miles). Went to a wheel alignment place then (Mueller Tire - my mechanic sent me there). Now my steering is off-center (to the left), and the car pulls to the right - it never did this before, and tire wear was always perfectly even.

Here are the before and after specs (for wheel alignment):

Front: Initial Toe left 0.50 deg; right 0.55 deg

Final Toe left 0.10 deg ; right 0.10 deg

Initial Camber left -0.3 deg; right -0.5 deg

Final camber left -1.1 deg; right -0.3 deg


Rear: Initial Toe left -0.1 deg; right 0.35 deg

Final Toe left 0.30 deg; right 0.25 deg

My questions are:

1. Are the final adjustments within specs for this car (he didn't measure, or do anything with Caster).

2. Is the front left camber (-1.1 deg) screwed up so much that it will lead to uneven tire wear.

3. Is the off-center steering (to the left) and the car pulling to the right due to incorrect final settings?

4. My tech is going to change the front driver side ball joint on monday - he said that doesn't disturb wheel alignment. Is that correct.

Thanks a ton for any responses. MBDOC, Stevebfl, etc. must have the specs information, would really appreciate it if they could provide it.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2002, 11:13 AM
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Anybody?
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2002, 01:52 PM
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Too much negative LF camber! should be matched to RT side. The rear toe is also too high, should be around .2 deg on both sides.

Pulling is caused by un-even CASTER.

If the steering wheel is off-center then they haven't adjusted the tie-rods properly.
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2002, 03:02 PM
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Thanks a lot MB Doc. Couple of clarifications:

1. Are camber and caster both adjustable on the 190E? the wheel alignment guy said something like some plate was flatterned so he cannot adjust camber, so the camber changed because he adjusted the toe. Is this just BS?

2. Can you please post the specs for this car (85 190E 2.3)?

3. does one have to re-align the wheels after changing ball joints?
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2002, 03:32 PM
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The front end is fully adjustable.

Front end specs
Camber= -0.5deg+- 0.3deg
Caster= 9.75deg +- 0.5deg
Total toe-in = 0.35deg

Total rear toe-in= 0.4deg

Yes alignment must be re-set after ball joint replacement!!

The alignment shop should be able to match right to left with-in 0.1 deg.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2002, 03:40 PM
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Again, thanks a ton MB Doc, you are a life-saver.

If I can ask some more questions ....

1. Can the camber change just because the toe was adjusted? that guy says he did not adjust the camber at all, but it changed because the toe was changed (!)

2. Are there special tools for adjusting camber and castor, which only a dealer may have? THat guy at mueller keeps on saying that he cannot adjust these two.

Regarding the ball joint, I am glad I asked you - I am getting my car fixed by a very experienced MB tech, he has worked at a dealer for 30 years and has just opened his own shop, and HE SAID THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO ADJUST WHEEL ALIGNMENT AFTER BALL JOINT CHANGE. I trust you more that I trust him, so I will take it up with him. How the hell could he tell me that? I am really upset.

Basically, my car seems to have been screwed up - I was better off before I spent all this money.

Thanks a ton anyway, you have been extremely helpful as usual.
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2002, 06:23 PM
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You need to find an alignment shop that knows something about MB's & alignment. MOVING any of the alignment adjustments causes all of the other adjustments to change. SO all the adjustments must be readjusted through-out the alignment process.

Replacement of ball joints NORMALLY require removal of the lower control arm & that means that the car WOULD need realignment.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2002, 08:15 PM
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I went to a different shop, here's what I came out with:

(left, right)
camber -0.5 deg , -0.3
caster 10.2 , 9.1
toe 0.17 , 0.17

The camber and toe seem to be right on target as per the specs you gave me. the right caster is a little off.

on the road, the car is quite stable, doesn't sway to any side, steering wheel is not off-center anymore.

is the right caster a problem - is it going to cause uneven tire wear? The guy says he cannot adjust it any more, since it is pushed all the way to its limit.

Thanks a lot MB doc for your help in this process.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2002, 08:57 AM
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Caster controls stability, if the car doesn't pull to the side with the lower reading you should be OK.
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1986 190E 2.3 16V 2.5 (sold)
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2002, 11:00 AM
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To answer one of your questions: adjusting toe does not change Camber. Camber changes as the toe changes but Camber is to be read at zero toe so it doesn't matter what the toe setting is to get a camber reading.

If you are happy with the driveability of the final result then there is nothing more to be said. I would prefer the caster to be less on the left side and the camber to be more. I would set it to min caster on the left to correct for the inability to go higher with the right. I also would try to achieve camber higher than the right in making this correction.

As Doc said all caster and camber adjustments change each other. I have no idea why the first guy made any change in camber. Both camber and caster affect the way the cars drifts or pulls. The car will go to the side of higher camber (more positive) and it will pull to the side of least caster. I usually place a half degree bias to the left in both angles. All based upon actual driving situation. In other words, if it goes straight don't change it too drastically.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2002, 11:57 AM
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Thanks again Steve and MBDoc. Very insightful responses.

The car feels very stable, so that's fine. I guess there should be no uneven tire wear as well, since caster doesn't cause tire wear, from what you said earlier. On a 17 year old car, I can believe it if someone says that its not possible to bring it totally back to specs. However, I have never had any uneven tire wear, and wouldn't want that to start now.

The way I see it - if the car goes straight, steering wheel is not off-center, AND I don't see any uneven tire wear in the months to come, then the alignment has GOT to be fine.

thanks.
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