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  #16  
Old 07-22-2003, 09:35 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Always write down the milage on the car, in front of the service writer, when you take your car to the dealer. The "kids" in the service department were driving it on dates, and damaged both the wheels and the fender, and the dealership, not MB, owes you recompense.

Writing the milage down, rather ostentatiosly, usually puts and end to this crap, If there is more two miles or so difference when you pick the car up, demand both usage fees and repairs of any damage you claim. The service workers are NOT entitled to use your car for personal use, not even to go pick up lunch "on a test drive" without your permission.

Get to a good independent shop. Any shop, dealer or otherwise, that damages a car and won't make good before even telling you is doing the same kind of work on your car -- crap.

Hans had to have a fender repaired and painted once on short notice when a car rolled and dented a customers -- told the customer about it on delivery. Shop insurance usually takes care of it, but the shop is liable for any damage they do through carelessness.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #17  
Old 07-22-2003, 10:00 PM
Benz300
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hedpe,
now that you mention that the tires were changed after the bodywork it leads me to rethink the scenerio. I've had michelins put on by sears once. they were the pilots. and right after i drove out of the shop with the new tires the car started to pull to the right like crazy. i knew it had to be the tires since it was just fine before i got them changed. sears wouldnt agree with me but i finally spoke to their manager and had them switch the brand to dunlop to test out the hypothesis. as soon as the dunlops were put on the car was going strraight again. during the arguments, they tried to rotate and move the michelins every possible way but nothing changed the pull to the right.
so at the end i would really suggest trying to put two different tires atleast in the front. could be temporarily . could be worn/old. but that will eliminate the cause and then would give u a better understanding of whether it's the alignment or the tires.
at instances i've had the dealer rotate the tires in the past and the car started pulling. so now i've asked them to leave the tires where the are. i guess it's the terrible quality control of the tire manufacturers these days that leads to situations like these for customers. !
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  #18  
Old 07-22-2003, 10:48 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Get the numbers for caster on the front, too -- these are strut type suspension, and if the strut bearing is installed funny, they will track funny.

I had a damaged subframe on my K-car, and it pulled until if failed the Canadian inspection and I had to replace the subframe (quite a feat, manuall tranny subs were almost impossible to find). Fixed the problem, the alignment shop told me the couldn't get one wheel right up front. No kidding, it was cracked in two places and bent to boot!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #19  
Old 07-23-2003, 03:11 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Alright guys, I got the alignment measurements faxed over. I don't have a scanner, and the fax looks really bad anyways, so i'm gonna type them up:

--------
Front
--------
Camber:
...Left: -1.1
...Right: -1.1
Cross Camber: -0.1
Toe:
...Left: 0.14
...Right: 0.18
Total Toe: 0.32
?et Dack (bad fax): -0.15

------
Rear
------
Camber:
...Left: -1.6
...Right: -1.5
Toe:
...Left 0.10
...Right: 0.09
Total Toe: 0.19
Thrust Angle: 0.00


That's what I got on here, if you need a direct scan let me know and I'll try to get one of the sheet, look it over! Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2003, 10:11 PM
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hedpe

What kind of an alignment machine was this done on? Can you find out? Make & model-

Haasman
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2003, 10:13 PM
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I am not positive, I can call tomorrow and get the make and model for you guys. I wasn't aware different makes give different readings.

First thing tomorrow morning it'll be up.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2003, 10:16 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Caster?

If the caster (backward tilt of front steering axis) is off on one side, it will pull. Everything else can be fine, and it will still pull.

I don't know how adjustable it is (probably a combination of caster/camber), but it must be correct.

If the upper mounting point is displaced, it will be hard to get right.

ditto for stagger in the front wheels (one farther forward than the other) -- if this is the case, the toe will measure correct, but in fact won' be right -- one side will be in further than the other when the car is pointed straight ahead. Can be corrected by altering the toe so that the total is correct, but the two sides differ to run straight. I don't know what effect this will have on the tires, but if it is pulling now, one front is going to show signs of incorrect toe and not the other.

This can also be the case on the rear subframe if the floorpan is distorted.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #23  
Old 07-23-2003, 10:19 PM
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Under caster on the paper all it has are dots

Caster:

left: ......
right: ......

Cross caster: ......
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  #24  
Old 07-23-2003, 10:55 PM
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hedpe,

I took a look at your aligment figures and compared them to mine. Note my car was balanced with a 180Lb weight placed in the drivers seat at the time of aligment so there may be slight difference.

In the front your Camber figures are pretty close to mine, mine are actually -1.08L and -.94R. My front caster is 10.93L and 10.97R. The toe is totally different than yours, mine are 1.2L and 1.2R.

In the back my camber is -1.98 and -1.76 although I don't think camber has much of an affect with the problems your having. The toe in the rear is much different as well with 2.4R and 2.4L.

I would imagine that having different left/right toe figures would definitely cause pulling in one direction, can anyone else confirm this. Anyways I hope this helps.
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  #25  
Old 07-23-2003, 11:04 PM
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Caster should be something like 8 degrees on this car -- will check for sure offline are report back -- I've got the CD.

Will take a while, as I have a Mac and the damned pif file won't run on a Mac, I have to dig around file by file.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #26  
Old 07-24-2003, 01:36 AM
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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The type of machine shoudln't matter if its calibrated. The car will pull towards the side of lower castor, typically 0.25-0.50 degrees. HUNDRETHS of a degree are not significant. 10.93 and 10.95 will not make a signifcant change in your handling or pull.

If the frame floor is damaged where the spring perches or subframe mounts go you will have issues of some sort. Two simple measurements you can make:

Measure from center of star on wheel to underside of fender lip on all four corners.

Measure the distance from the center of the wheels front and rear on each side (wheel base). See if they are the same on left and right sides.

Also, Benz300's point about the tires may be the problem even rotating them around. I bought 4 Michelin MXV4+ premium tires and things dont' feel right with two of them. Try different tires. RIMS may also cause pulling if they are bent.

HTH,

(edited to correct typo about castor)
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Last edited by md21722; 07-26-2003 at 04:30 PM.
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  #27  
Old 07-24-2003, 02:35 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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I'm not sure I understand these alignment measurements...I'm far from an expert on this stuff. I don't know how much of a difference a tenth of a number makes. Maybe some techies can help us out on this one...

how can our toes be so different?

i don't understand how i can have a reading of .1 and .09 on toe and you have like 2.4, anyone have insight on this?

md27, good thinking on those measurements, i'll post them first thing tomorrow morning also. I'm curious to see if they'll match up. Measuring from front to rear will also tell me if one wheel is more forward than the other as other guys were mentioning.

As for the subframe mounts, i'm gonna have to call the guy who put on the subframe and have them checked out.

As for the tires, the first dealership that busted my brakes and my wheels up and my quarter panel, well, they SAID they tried taking stock wheels from another 500E and putting them on and they said it still pulled. But i find it hard to believe a word they say. I'll look in to putting different tires on, maybe i can swap my buddies from his VW, he's got dunlop 225/50/17 (i think) on them. We'll see.

All of this is helping a lot guys, it's actually giving me a sigh of hope thats left finding this problem. Thanks again
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  #28  
Old 07-24-2003, 02:42 AM
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Oh, check out what I noticed too guys. From the brake line problem (you can see it to the left), i noticed how the bolts shifted from the accident I'm assuming. Look at the 3 bolts and look at the marks around them. You can see the marks where the bolts used to be, and where they are at now. Could this make any difference?

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  #29  
Old 07-24-2003, 12:15 PM
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Those marks suggest to me more than the steering box may have been removed at some point. The steering box, steering shaft, and then the steering wheel must all be centered before setting the front end. That is the correct procedure for aligning the front end of the car. Not everyone does it this way including the dealers. The steering box accepts a tapered screw to center it. Verify the turn signals cancel out at exactly the same angles left and right. The steering wheel should lock in the center. If any of these things are off, your car may have issues going down the road correctly. MY car is at the dealer today for this reason. MY car was pulling left with new tires. I centered the box, reposition the steering wheel, and brought it to them with a crooked steering wheel and a copy of the shop manual. Its at the dealer right now actually. I caught their error.

HTH,
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  #30  
Old 07-24-2003, 12:48 PM
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how do you check exact angles in which the turn signals turn off? I can make an estimate, but is there a way of checking for sure? Anything i can look at to get an EXACT angle to make sure the steering wheel is centered properly? I'd imagine the steering box is if they just replaced it. Hopefully.
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