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  #61  
Old 07-27-2003, 09:15 AM
ksing44's Avatar
1995 E320 SE
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 658
Me too

My alignment measurements are almost identical to yours, my steering wheel is off center to the right, and my car tends to drift to the right. When I purchased the car, the steering wheel was off center to the left and I specifically asked the dealer to get it straight. They laughed and said that who ever did the previous alignment didnít know what they were doing. After the dealer realigned the car, the steering wheel was slightly off center to the right side. I guess they shouldnít have laughed about the previous alignment. The car seemed to track pretty straight, but there really has always been an issue with slight wandering to the right that could, in part, be attributed to the crown of the roads. It seems to take almost constant slight pressure on the wheel to keep the car from wandering to the right. I can play with the wheel and get it to kind of stick going straight, but very quickly I need to keep the pressure on to hold it going straight. It isnít really hard pulling, but it is annoying to have to apply the constant pressure in pretty much the same direction all of the time. Hey my fingers start to get tired.

I had the car realigned when I added the new wheels, springs, shocks, spring pads, and K-MAC bushings. I specifically asked to be sure to get the wheel straight, but sure enough it wasnít perfectly straight again. This latest work was done at a very fine and prestigious Porsche racing shop. The guys seem very good and they really did a great job with installing all of my new stuff, except the steering wheel is still a bit off and that very slight right wandering is still present. I also wondered about the business with the spreader bar. I figure the Porsche guys donít know about special things required for my Benz. I am planning to try one more time at the dealer. I will be sure to tell them everything I have learned from the forums and then hope they can get it perfect.

Is it really that difficult to get the steering wheel straight? It bothers me because I want the car to be perfect and you always notice that the steering wheel is off center when you are cruising down the road. It also bothers me because sure enough the car pulls to the same side as the improperly aligned steering wheel. This makes you think it is all about the wheel. I know it really isnít just the wheel because it did the same thing when the wheel was way off to the opposite side when I first took the car to the dealer 5 years ago.

I know I havenít been much help, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone. My car doesnít pull badly, but I want it to be perfect.
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I just couldn't give up on my 1995 E320.

I think it might be like always going back to that same bad relationship with an ex girlfriend.
You feel you love them too much, or you are just too stupid to know any better.



Flickr slideshow of my 1995 E320
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24145497@N06/sets/72157616572140057/
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  #62  
Old 07-27-2003, 10:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,006
If it was my car: I would see if it CAN be aligned out and WHAT it may take to align it out. The person doing the alignment MAY see or identify why it is pulling. What were your alignment specs BEFORE the accident? Maybe they would surprise you! Get the other alignment specs SAI, setback and let see what those numbers are.
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Brian Toscano
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  #63  
Old 07-27-2003, 01:15 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
ksing: i feel your pain...we basically have an identical problem, though it could be caused by two different things between our two cars. It's such a pain and chore to keep the wheel straight. Keep checkin this thread, and hopefully it will help you solve your problem too.

brian: i'll call to get alignment measurements from before the accident tomorrow (dealer is closed today) and we'll see what they are.

As for right now. How do you check the subframe to see if it is off? Is it possible to take a leveler and place it on the four corners of the subframe to see if it is completely level? Or is that not an accurate way of doing it? How can you check the subframe? I get the feeling that when the subframe was replaced maybe all of the bushings were not with it...
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1992 500E
1989 300SEL
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  #64  
Old 07-27-2003, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
I suspect your problem is a very slight distortion of the frame, and you will only be able to get the car to track correctly by having someone who knows what they are doing adjust the alignment to offset this distortion. Setting to factory recommendations will not fix the problem, and I don't believe you will be able to completely correct the frame.

I'd call around to the better body shops in the area, especially the ones that offer frame straightening, and see who they recommend for alignments. I'm lucky here, there is a tire shop (Firestone dealer, of all people) who has a wizard working for them. I can't believe the job he did on the TE, and it only cost $35! I'm taking all the other cars down there one at a time as money and time permit......

Don't give up, but don't depend on the dealer, either -- our local one never seems to have the same techs from month to month, as as a friend of mine said, "I'm not letting at teenager work on my $60,000 car! Period!"

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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  #65  
Old 07-27-2003, 04:50 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Even though I've had 3 frame read-outs and each one shows the frame to be perfect to the milimeter it still has a chance of being slightly off? I've just never dealt with frames before, I really have no clue. I've just had it on 3 different frame machines and each one shows it perfect.

Anyone know the answer to my subframe questions?
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1992 500E
1989 300SEL
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  #66  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
There is a spec for the posistion of the boltholes in the floor, surely, to determine the position of the subframe in relation to the front end.

Did you get a actual replacement subframe, or was it used or repaired? If, like mine at the moment, it has new links on one side and not the other, it may drift until you get them replaced -- under load the torque link will allow the toe on the rear wheel to change. Mine drags just like yours, a bit less -- if I let go of the wheel, it will slowly drift right. Didn't do this before the change of links in the rear, so I know without doubt this is the issue, and I'm waiting until I get the $$$ to buy a whole set of links and subframe mounts, then will drop the subframe and do the whole shebang.

If you have bad subframe mounts, the rear subframe may be moving under the car, not much, but enough to steer funny.

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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  #67  
Old 07-28-2003, 12:39 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
The subframe was brand new, so I would hope they put new links all around...but you never know. Insurance companies are like that, if its not damaged, they don't want to replace it. The one side might have been damaged and not the other. I'm definately gonna have the subframe checked out. Thats what they originally thought was causing the pulling problem, but no one has told me so far that they looked at it. I'm gonna do some research tomorrow. Gonna get the old alignment specs (before the accident), and ask about the subframe.

Brian, Peter, Steve, Afshin, you guys have been a HUGE help, I can't thank you guys enough for the constant replies and help to try and solve this problem. Hang in there
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  #68  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:23 AM
LarryBible
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After I asked twice if you had taken the tires from the right side and swapped them with the tires fromt the left side, you have said that the tire shop "CHECKED" the tires. The only way you will know for sure if it is the tires is to swap them side to side.

So I ask again, HAVE YOU SWAPPED THE TIRES FROM SIDE TO SIDE TEMPORARILY TO SEE IF THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM????????

Good luck,
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  #69  
Old 07-28-2003, 10:16 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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Posts: 507
Quote:
Originally posted by hedpe
Ok we can officially axe the tire and wheel idea. I went up to the place where i get my tires from. They checked each tire, tried rotating them, and new tires. Nothing worked, it still pulled to the right.
I also said I rotated them in the original first post. I'm sorry if I'm using the wrong terminology, but by rotating I mean I've tried swapping the left to the right and right to the left. Sorry.
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  #70  
Old 07-31-2003, 10:50 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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ok guys, it's been a while because my car was in the shop for a tranny leak that they do not see. I'm so mad. It leaves a puddle with a diameter of like a foot on my garage floor, i take it to the shop, and it does not leak a single drop for them. This car is really making me mad.

But back to the pulling problem...for the subframe, it was a brand new subframe. I asked, not all of the links and bushings were replaced, only damaged ones from the accident. I don't know which side was or wasn't.

psfred: how much are a complete new set of bushings and links for the subframe? I'm getting desperate...

Also, I had the tech put the car up on the rack for me to check out the rear suspension. The shop that did the original work told me that the whole right side suspension was replaced also. I saw nothing replaced on the back right suspension. Though I had the tech look at it and he saw absolutely nothing wrong with it. I also looked and couldn't find anything wrong. The bushings seemed fine, nothing seemed out of wack.

We looked at the rear left suspension, and we could see that nearly everything was replaced. I don't know if suspensions need worn-in. Is it possible that the rear left suspension just needs worn in?

ALSO, very important info here. We took the car to a custom alignment shop. The guys who were working on my car suggested it to me, they only do alignments and have been doin it for 25+ years now. So the car went down there, they looked it over and saw nothing wrong with it like every other shop. So they decided to try and do a custom alignment. I don't know the EXACT alignment measurements, I can call and get them if you guys want them. But they said they set the alignment specs so basically if you let go of the wheel you should slam into the left barrier, and it was STILL pulling to the right. They did two custom alignments which would make any normal car hit the left barrier and it would still go to the right!@#(!*@!# I'm gonna go crazy.

help Thanks guys.
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2013 C300 4matic
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1989 300SEL
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  #71  
Old 07-31-2003, 11:11 AM
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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So they replaced the subframe and put back the old links on the right side but new ones on the left? Weaker parts side to side could cause you some problems when the suspension is loaded as going down the road at speed. There is nothing to "wear in" in the suspension. The parts are supposed to be tightened with the axle half shafts horizontal or the weight of the car on the suspension so they are tightened in their neutral/natural position where they will spend most of their time.
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  #72  
Old 07-31-2003, 11:12 AM
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Location: South Eastern, MA
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Worn bushings will respond significantly different than a new bushing, I'm not sure if this is the problem but it definitely makes sense to have everything the same if you want it right.

Regarding the tranny, if you honestly saw 1Ft Dia of tranny fluid under your car I'm not surprised the dealer couldn't duplicate it, it's probably already empty! Did they repair the seal?

On another note, put up a post in the Good MB Shops and ask if there are any good PM's in your area, sounds like the dealers are useless out there.

Do you have the printout from the last two alignments to determine what they changed?

One last thing to check although I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make. Check your spring pads to determine if they are the same on both sides. Stock pads have 4 bumps on the front and 3 in the rear.
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  #73  
Old 07-31-2003, 11:37 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
I don't know exactly what links were kept and which links were replaced. I'm trying to get ahold of the tech who did the subframe. I will post more details later about it.

As for the bushings. I'm gonna take some pictures tonight for you guys of the rear left and right suspension. The rear left side got all new suspension pieces with new bushings. The right side has the old suspension pieces and old bushings. Should this make a difference enough to make it pull like this? If it's any difference i'll just replace the bushings for the heck of it. If the suspension pieces need replaced with it.....i'll think about replacing them. I've already put a lot of money in to trying to find this problem.

Thanks for the suggestion about the spring pads, I will check them around 2pm est time and post later on about them. I have to get the car back from the tranny shop.

Stay tuned guys If i lived by you guys i'd take you out to dinner for all the help...
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1989 300SEL
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  #74  
Old 07-31-2003, 12:28 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Posts: 507
Ok I just talked to the guy who did all of the original work on the car. He said that NOTHING was replaced on the right side as far as suspension, bushings, and subframe links. So the left subframe links were replaced but not the right.

Which side links did you get replaced psfred? I'm really gonna have to look in to this right side more...it's kind of dissapointing that the major impact was my rear right side and nothing was replaced back there other than body damage.

I'm going back to the orignal guy tomorrow and we're going to look over things.
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1989 300SEL
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  #75  
Old 07-31-2003, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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I would replace everything on the right side that was replaced on the left side. Don't overlook the four mounts that attach the subframe to the frame floor. (I am referring to busings and mounts).
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Last edited by md21722; 07-31-2003 at 12:59 PM.
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