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Old 09-29-2002, 08:37 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 31
Unhappy Help!...Rebuilt steering box, now won't steer!

Okay, I'm going to get flak for this. I had lots of steering leaks in the gearbox. I removed it, bench disassembled it a section at a time, and replaced orings and seals. When I removed the coupling side shaft cover, the shaft unscrewed itself from the gear mechanism inside. As I did this, I thought three times, but did it anyway. I replaced the seals, then proceeded to put the plate/shaft assy back on, threading the shaft back in as I inserted it. After buttoning everything back up, the steering wheel now turns freely and does not engage the pitman driving gears (forgive rough terms, I'm not sure what mercedes calls these parts). I assume that when I put the screw shaft back in, the mechanism that rides in the screw shaft came out somehow. I checked the coupling and the input shaft spins, but there is no resistance and the pitman shaft is not rotating. Yell at me, but I did post a question a week ago about what to look out for; no one replied! I know realize the maybe the screw shaft should stay in place, and just the cover should be removed, leaving the shart in place. If no one can explain this, I will probably take the box in to the dealer and have them dissassemble and reassemble proper. Well, you learn from making mistakes right?
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Old 09-29-2002, 11:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
I don't know much about steering gear boxes, but for those who do, you may wish to post the year and model of your MB.
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Old 09-30-2002, 12:17 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 64
HI Agara

You have to reload sector shaft ball bearings as you install the sector shaft. If I rember right there are 23 ball bearings but I not sure anymore, I would have to look it up. You remove the tube on the piston and load them as you work the sector back an forth, it's tricky. To be honest you might be in over your head here. Or at least get the CD-Rom for you car. BTW I'm not yelling at you :-)
Good luck.

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Old 09-30-2002, 01:40 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 31
Thumbs up Balls, what balls?

Thanks fasthair, whoever you are. I have the CD, but didn't have it when I disassembled the box (typical). There are 24 balls, which loaded nicely once I read the manual and figured it out. The car is a 1984 500SEL, which i've owned for about 9 months. It has always had a lot of play in the steering, and the friction adust never did anything, and now I know why. While replacing the balls, I noticed I only had 23! Obviously this has been apart before. After locating another and loading them in, viola, no more play. I was then able to properly adjust the friction on the worm shaft per the manual. I am about the reinstall it, so we'll see what happens. I manually lined up center position on the pitman shaft, which I hope isn't so precise that I have more range turning one way or another. The manual didn't give a precise way of setting this, but there is a top center notch on the pitman shaft which I assume is for this purpose. And yes, I am probably in over my head, but with the manual, renewed patience, and an engineering degree, I think I'm fast becoming learn-ed. One thing I noted while the box was apart was alot of gunk inside. Now I know why you need to flush and renew the fluid periodically.
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