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  #1  
Old 03-10-2000, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Heya Guys,

Advice needed for my '85 190E 2.3L 94k Mi.
Making a right or left hand turn at a decent rate of speed causes a low grade thump (first thought it was trunk cargo shifting) from the front wheels (whichever is relevant to the direction of the turn). Had some advice to change anti-sway bar bushings if there was play in the bar and there is a bit. Are these bushings expensive and is this a job I can perform without having yet purchased the W201 shop manuals? I do have the Haynes book, but I have found it to be wrong about things as often as it is right.

Thanks, John
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2000, 06:52 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Before you start tearing the suspension apart, check the condition of your tires, especially the edges. Look for patterns of uneven wear or feathering. Also, what do you mean when you say a "low grade thump"? Thumping is not characteristic of anti-sway bar bushing wear. Creaking and occasionally snapping type noises are closer to the norm for this component. Wheel balance and alignment would be another item to check. If the 'thumping' is rythmic, then is is probably related to an object that is rotating. Kinda narrows your choices eh!!
Good Luck..

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2000, 10:47 AM
Brent
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I had the ball joints replaced in my 300E a couple of weeks ago and have noticed a loud thump when I make hard right turns. Haven't had a chance to bring it back to the tech. Just a thought.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2000, 12:27 PM
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Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
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Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. I checked a variety of things on the car this weekend and here is what I have found. Tire wear is normal, but pressures were off on all 4 wheels. *sigh*.
I re-set everything and went to work looking at the suspension (front and rear). All bushings in all the sway bars look good and are still pliable. There is no play on any of the bars. So, I pulled the front hub caps to get at the bearings, but the grease was in such good condition and the wheel appeared to be spinning in such good order that I left it alone for the moment. I went through checking brakes and rotors and changed the rear pads. All else was in good shape. Springs and shocks looked good and no bushing/seal cracks or wear wherever I could see.
The "thump" itself initially felt exactly like the toolbox in my trunk lifting up and dropping. (Of course, I took it out and this is not the cause...plus, I can now distinctly hear it coming from the front wheels.) The thump only occurs once each quick turn and only at the apex of the turn. This only started recently (2 weeks) and ONLY occurs when the turn I am taking is close to 90 degrees and is more than 10-15mph or so. Yielding and merging and slow turning produces no noise or vibration, at all.
After all the weekend checking and maintenance...the thump is still there, by the way.
Puzzled,
John
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2000, 09:43 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Well, after all that you've got to check a few more things. The steering rack and the tie rod ends are possible sources, especially if the rack is loose and moving back and forth. Suggestion, get the car up on a lift and have someone cycle the wheel back and forth quickly. You may be able to notice if anything is moving around or making any noise. Ball joints are another possibility, but I'd bet that it's probably the rack, tie rod ends or the steering linkage u-joint(from the steering wheel to the rack) Hope this helps..

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2000, 09:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
This car has no steering rack. It has a gearbox called a sector. IF there is play in any of the tie rod ends or drag link ends, they should be replaced. You can check the latteral play with a pair of large channel pliers. Also the idler arm bushings are normal thump makers.

------------------
Benzmac:
1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
SERVICE MANAGER FOR 14 BAY FACILITY
MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM


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  #7  
Old 03-13-2000, 10:05 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Benzmac, it's just like the detroit iron. Wow. I thought the 190's had racks. Well, you've enlightened me once again. Thanks. Well if it's a sector and recirculating ball arrangement, I would look at the mounting bolts to see if any are loose or broken. If any are a full lock to lock cycle of the streering wheel should give it away. This is of course in addition to all the other things suggested to look at.

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325

[This message has been edited by jeffsr (edited 03-13-2000).]
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2000, 09:48 AM
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Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
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Benzmac and Jeff,

Ok guys, I guess I will get to have some more Saturday morning fun looking at this suspension, which is fine by me. I am still amazed at some of the details and care built into the design of this auto. This may be my first M-B, but it will definitely not be my last. When I add up all the cash I've thrown away at poorly made domestic autos, the result produces a distinctly sick sensation in my stomach.

Anyhow, I will spend sat. morning looking at:
- tie rod ends
- drag link ends
- idler arm bushings
- ball joints

Did I miss anything?
Thanks,
John
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2000, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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Yep..You should also look at the steering box as mentioned earlier to be sure it's tightly attached to the frame. Also the linkage from the steering wheel shaft to the steering gear and anything else Benzmac suggested. Have a great weekend!!


------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325

[This message has been edited by jeffsr (edited 03-14-2000).]
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