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Old 10-14-2002, 03:26 AM
Oliverp's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 451
1987 420SEL Steering

Another question on my new purchase I'm affraid!

The steering on the car seems a bit odd. There is a lot of free play in the wheel (i'd say just under a quarter of a turn each way), and this causes the car to move a bit from left to right under some braking conditions, and makes small directional changes a bit more of a challenge!!

Is there anything I can adjust or replace? I'm thinking steering box, but to be honest, I'm looking for the cheaper option!!

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Old 10-14-2002, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Unfortunately, desire for cheap solutions doesn't change reality. I can tell because one out of five cars I have seen for thirty years comes with that caveat.

It sounds to me that you have a tierod problem, though. (which is the least expensive alternative). Lift the car and see if there is play when shaking the tire (holding it at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock). There should be no play. Yours should be obvious.

I suspect the steering linkage rather than the box because of the changes when braking. The force of braking causes the play to go all the way in one direction which then changes the alignment. If the play were just in the box the alignment wouldn't change with braking.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 10-15-2002, 12:58 PM
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Thanks Steve. I'll get the tierods checked out!
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Old 10-17-2002, 05:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 97
I had the same problem when I bought my 380SE. I replaced the steering damper and it tightened right up. Costs about $25 DIY.
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Old 10-18-2002, 07:04 AM
Posts: n/a
I have the same "problem" with mine. Mainly, I just think its the car's nature.
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