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Old 07-07-1999, 10:31 PM
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I recently purchased an '88 260E with 110,000 miles. The car drifts strongly to the right, especially at slower speeds (20-40mph). When it goes over bumps at high speed (60+),
the car's tires seemed to go in different directions.

A check of the front and rear wheel alignment at a local independent Mercedes shop revealed nothing wrong: alignment was per MB specs,
although they confirmed that the above problems were still present. Tire pressure was normal, as were the suspension components (bushings, tie rods, etc.)and steering box.

The lead mechanic said that he suspected that the problem was due to the shocks.Apparently, the previous owner had replaced the rear shocks with new Bilsteins that are much "firmer" than the ones in front. Also, he mentioned something about the tires being larger (taller) than the standard size (215s vs 195s), perhaps contributing directional
sensitivity. He recommended that I switch back to the standard size tire and replace both the front and rear shocks with new "standard" ones.

My questions are:: what is the "standard" shock spec for an '88 260E ?
Is it possible to obtain a slighty softer shock (more than the std.
spec) without compromising handling like the stiffer ones did ? Are there any other causes to the problem that might have been overlooked ?

Thanks for your help. Please send response to both email addresses:, and

Old 07-08-1999, 08:49 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
I had this problem before and there are only a couple of possibilities, either the driver is very heavy causing the car to lean to one side. (I have seen this before). Or one of the alignment angles is off. I set mine up to have a little less castor on the left and a little more camber to compensate for road crown.


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