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Old 04-01-2003, 01:39 PM
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Exclamation Feels like someones fishtailing me!

For the past few months i've come notice that when im driving, usually at higher speeds on the highway, when i let off the accelerator then push back down to get some more speed. It feels like someones trying to fishtail me, the whole rear end shifts over. Now i was told and i am aware that all my rubber bushings/linkages need to be replaced in the rear, along with the shocks and struts. but before i tackle that huge expence on my own, i'd like to know if there is anything in particular i should look for, or anything that i failed to mention above.
Thanks in advance
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Old 04-01-2003, 02:15 PM
yal's Avatar
yal yal is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York, Long Island
Posts: 2,705
You pretty much have it in a nutshell. Also check the Subframe mounts.
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Old 04-01-2003, 03:00 PM
Swedish Diesler
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sweden
Posts: 106
I'd put my money on the toe-in rod on both or one side in the rear.

Can be difficult to determine if they are bad because all the other links put strain on it but loosen it from the hub and it's easy to check.

MB E300TDT -98
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Old 04-01-2003, 03:24 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097

Go slow. Get up under the car and verify exactly what parts need replacing.

From my experience both the thrust arms (rear, diagonal) and the front tie rods and tie rod assembly can easily contribute to this type of handling problem. Of course there are more items than can as well, but try these first.

Often, especially with the miles on your car, you won't need as many parts as you might suspect.

Keep us posted,

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 04-01-2003, 04:29 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Rear end steer is usually the torque and thrust arms. Both run between the wheel carrier and towards the outside of the subframe.

In all, there are five links in the multilink suspension: torque, thrust, camber, tie rod, and lower control arm. The lower control arm is a wide piece that goes between the subframe and the bottom of the wheel carrier. The camber arm goes between the subframe and the top of the wheel carrier. The tie rod is on the front side - the side in the wheel carrier has a ball joint, the side on the subframe is a bushing. The shorter, thicker link is the torque arm which mounts higher than the longer, thinner thrust arm.

Over time the rubber bushings that connect these links pretty much just rots leaving the links loose and causing your torque steer.
Brian Toscano
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Old 04-01-2003, 06:10 PM
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Thanks everyone.
I've actually gotten under the car and had a friend pull, push, kick the wheel to see what was going on. All of them really seem to be loose. I didn't check the submounts tho, so that will be on my list. I have calculated the total rear end linkages to come out to be around $250. Now is there anything i need to know before i get my hands dirty??? I'm a bit of a DIY'er.

Thanks again
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
Definitely DO replace the subframe bushings. At that mileage they're almost certainly bad, and the classic symptom of worn subframe bushings is a sense that the rear end has a mind of its own.
'93 400E
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Old 04-01-2003, 10:52 PM
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Some mechanics will ONLY use "dealer rubber" on the suspension. In some cases, the Worldpac parts from places like Fastlane cause obscure problems. When you purchase the torque, thrust, and camber links you must purchase new bolt kits and three sleeves per side. The new and old bolt kits are different and not compatable. The old bolts are 17 mm/19 mm head head/nut and the newer bolts are 12 mm XZN (triple square, NOT Torx) and 18 mm nuts. The driver is available from Lisle, etc at McParts.

There is a support joint where the lower control attachs to the wheel carrier. Its pressed in/out in a very tight fit. This typically will also go bad with age. The control arm bushings themselves rarely go bad, but if you want to replace them its $60-75/ea for the control arm unless you figure a way to press in/out the control arm bushing ($4-6/ea).

The axle halfshaft should be horizontal when tightening the bolts. This simulates the way the suspension would normally be compressed when the car is resting on the wheels. A floor jack under the wheel carrier is a good way to do that.

The rear differential mounts (4 in all) may also be replaced. Typically they will rot away. The test here is put a 12 mm hex driver on one of the bolts and move it. If the diff moves back and forth, change them. There are two mounts in the front of the diff (disc shaped) but only one (one the bottom) is really visisble. Those two disc mounts are the same ($14/ea). The rear diff mounts described are difficult to change. Some cut them with a torch, others buy or borrow the tool (press fit like the support joint).

As far as the subframe mounts, they're about $95 for the fronts, and $25/ea + bolt kits in the rear. The dealer book is 8 hrs for the fronts and 2.5 hrs for the rear. It involves pressing the old mounts out and pressing the new ones in. Creative use of bolts, nuts, washers, and sockets to simluate a mount pusher/puller can be used to get them in and out. Be sure to lube the mounts with as much spray silicone as they will take or the MB sliding fluid otherwise the rear mounts will not fit properly into the subframe. Do one side at a time. Be sure to remove the drain hose in the subframe on the passenger side and loosen/support the exhaust when doing the drivers side.
Brian Toscano
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