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Old 02-17-2003, 02:49 AM
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Question Steering play 380SL, help?

I replaced a lot of the front-end pieces including new couplings and the car has been aligned... The car is smooth but I still have some play... When I corner the car or turn the wheel it sways too easy from on side to the other..... Any other suggestions....?
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
You need to be specific about what you replaced. Almost all the front and rear suspension and sway-bar bushings can cause similar problems if bad, as well as loose or broken links, all the steering pivots, and the steering box adjustment.

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Old 02-17-2003, 07:24 PM
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Location: Vernon, CT
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Some steering "slop/play" is normal. MB forever used the old steering gearbox system, vs rack and pinon. Per my MB service manual for a W116 chassis, up to 25mm (1 inch)of play, turning left to right, is within specs.
1999 MB SL500 (101,000 mi)
1983 Porsche 911SC (149,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (205,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (75,000 mi)
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
There is a seriously ugly procedure in the manual to adjust the play from below. But if you have a high-mileage car, you probably need a new steering box. Replacement (also ugly) is six hours labor. Rebuilt boxes are available for around $300.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:52 PM
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Try Tightening up your box before putting a new one in there. I did it and it made a world of difference. However, you must do this in small increments or you will destroy the box by over-tightening it. Replace your steering shock too if you haven't. It is only 30$ and is easy to do. Will also tighten things up a bunch if it is old and worn. Mike
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