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  #1  
Old 04-12-2003, 01:17 PM
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W126 Steering Questions

I have done some research using the search function here on the site, but I still am not clear as to what to do.

I have a somewhat loose steering on my 1989 560 SEL. I though that I might approach this as following, and I have a couple of questions:

1. I'd first replace the steering damper. This looks to me like an easy job, and at 104k miles does not seem like a waste of money, even if it is not the source of the problem (though I suspect it is).

2. I see the idler arms have a repair kit available. I don't know what the idler arm(s) is/are, and I can't make it out from the CD diagrams. Is this something I should undertake?

3. The center tie rod ("Center Link"?) comes in one piece. Is this usually replaced, i.e. can it introduce play? From the diagrams it would seem that replacing it would not be hard, and would not affect wheel allignment.

4. The tie rods (left and right) have ball joints - is there a need to replace the rods, or just the joints? I am well aware that replacing those would require a new allignment (obvious from the diagrams). How do I diagnose if I need to do these?


Thanks for any help!
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1989 560 SEL (black/black)
2001 Audi TT Roadster (silver/grey)
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:10 PM
hotskillet
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First do a search on steering box adjustment

If adjustment of your steering box doesn't sort things out I'd then try replacing the sterring linkage, idler arm and dampener.
That's the order in which I should have renovated my 126's steering. All of those replacement parts dramatically improved the feel of my car. However, there was still quite a bit of play in the steering wheel which required adjustment via the steering box. Adjustment is free and it doesn't sound as if your car has an extreme amount of mileage. The idler arm is located towards the rear of the passenger's side ofthe engine. The arm links to the center link which in turn connects to the steering arms. Replacing all these parts are fairly easy to install yourself, just make sure to measure the threads of the steering linkage in order to preserve alignment. There is a decent exploded view of your car's suspension at the performance products website. Buy your parts from fastlane though. Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:11 PM
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Addendum

I now know what the idler arms are. I guess my question would be when it would be appropriate to rework them.
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Henry Bofinger
1989 560 SEL (black/black)
2001 Audi TT Roadster (silver/grey)
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:22 PM
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hotskillet - thanks for the tip.

I'll see if I can adjust the box first. And thanks for giving me an idea of how far the mileage has stretched it yet - looks like if the adjustment works, I wont have to redo all of these things yet.
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1989 560 SEL (black/black)
2001 Audi TT Roadster (silver/grey)
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:27 PM
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It is appropriate to rebush the idler arm and other steering components only if needed. All parts except the steering damper can be diagnosed in-situ with simple techniques - most with the car on the ground. Have someone gently turn the steering wheel back and forth until just before the road wheels move - engine off. Observe all parts of the steering linkage to see what doesn't move when it should - or moves in a direction other than what it should. The idler arm is located symmetric in th linkage to the pitman arm coming off the steering box.

The damper can be checked for operation off the car - pretty easy to remove. The damper will NOT cause looseness in the steering - it is there to mute road shock back through the steering wheel.

Worn suspension parts can cause problems with steering, and may be more difficult to diagnose. If you have a problem, throwing parts at it could get very expensive in this area.

Steve
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:28 PM
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Hotskillet - can you give me a link to the diagram? Can't find it...


Thanks!
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1989 560 SEL (black/black)
2001 Audi TT Roadster (silver/grey)
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2003, 02:32 PM
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Performance Products has a good diagram-Front susp

Haasman
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