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Old 08-15-2003, 01:12 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
rear suspension links questions...thrust arm, tie rod...

Alright guys, I'm still on the hunt for the 500E's pulling problem. After over 100 replies in the other thread regarding the problem, and hundreds of views, you guys have been a hug help to me. The last thing we came up with in trying to narrow why the 500E is pulling to the right on a strait road was the rear suspension links.

Just to give background to those who don't know, because it is important in figuring this out is that it was in an accident. In the accident the left tie rod was replaced, a new camber kit on the left side, a new thrust arm on the left side, a new control arm on the left side, and a new lower control arm. The only thing I didn't see that was replaced was the camber strut. Everything got new bushings on the left side, and NOTHING was replaced on the right side. The right side still has an 11y/o tie rod, thrust arm...everything is old. I brought this to the attention of the person who's been helping me try to figure this out. And he does NOT think that old links on the right side would make any difference.

People on the forums suggested that the rubber in them might be worn out causing the links to be "loose" and cause movement in the back end. I asked him about this and he says that he didn't see that any of them were loose and that they do not wear to the point where it would cause this problem. He just refused to believe that old links on the right side and new ones with new bushings on the left could cause such a problem. Anyone ever have experience with this? They are 11 years old, there HAS to be wear on the rubber. And from what I understand, without removing the links and the bushings it's impossible to tell how badly they are worn.

What do you guys think? Anyone ever replace only one side and have this problem? Or replace one side and NOT have this problem? Is the tech bs'ing me or could this possibly be the problem. Thanks so much guys.
2013 C300 4matic
2009 C300 4matic

2001 E320 Sport
1992 500E
1989 300SEL
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 508
I just had ''my rear-end'' refurbished last week. My W124 is 14 years old and was still with its original bushings.
Upon a visual inspection, prying around all the links and control arm, nothing seemed to present much wear or signs of deterioration. But I knew the car was not handling properly.
When the control arms were removed from the car, I realized what 14 years of driving can do. All bushings/pins/bolts showed the effect of time and mileage. Over the years rubber bushing does not maintain their designed stiffness or pliability and cause handling problem.
My car now drives like a new one (almost)
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:47 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096

Sorry to hear you are still on the "quest" to solve this problem.

I was reading through another thread regarding replacement of links and was reminded that the suspension must be at ride height level prior to tightening the bolts that secure the links, otherwise a preload is introduced.

I am wondering if possibly this happened when the links were replaced in your car?

Your car could actually align and sit properly but because the bolts were tightened at say full extension (sitting on a lift) the rubber in the links, when on the ground, would actually be in a twisted state.

If this were the problem, the solution would be to put the car on a rack that supports the car by its wheels, loosen all the new links at both ends, bounce it a couple of times and then tighten and retorque them.

Maybe a wild idea but would definitely contribute to an odd pull/drift.

'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 08-15-2003, 04:11 PM
MrCjames's Avatar
California Dreaming
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 599
1) Does the vehicle have a definitive pull or is it a drift? If it is drifting try adding 30 minutes of caster lead to the right side and see how it tracks. I am not certain if this has been suggested at anytime but worthy of trying if it has not.

2) If your left front was subjected to an impact strong enough to create the amount of damage stated, you may want to consider a new steering box.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
The rubber in the links I replaced was definitely thinner on the pressure (load) side of the bushing, making the link effectively shorter. The torque link had separations -- frayed rubber "strings" around the sleeve.

If the links are unequal lengths, the actual angle of the tire on the road will be different side to side.

Has the steering box been recentered correctly? I don't remember. If not, it will "recenter" itself by pulling to the center position, and if this doesn't coincide with the straight ahead driving condition, it pulls.

If this is the case, or you have a bad spool valve that is holding some pressure in the steering box at center position, it's not an alighment problem and you won't get funny tire wear. If it is an alignment problem, you are going to get odd tire wear pretty fast!

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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