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  #1  
Old 09-03-2003, 04:54 PM
DeNnNiS
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Stability problems

Hi guys,

Iím new here. I have a MB SLK 200 (not kompressor) sept. '97, which I bought second hand 2 months ago. It was supposed to have 50.000km when I bought it.
I noticed 2 things that troubled me a bit :

a) When I was running over 160km/h the car gave me the impression that it was really unstable. I thought that my car was bouncing more than it should and I was not feeling comfortable when I was passing beside other cars. I had a 1,4 VW Golf IV before which even with 180km/h gave me a much better sense of stability and safety. I donít know if this happening because its a roadster... Is it possible that there is a problem with my suspension or something? The absorbers and springs have never been changed and are almost 6 years old. Did anybody have a similar problem?

b) I donít have a traction control (ASR) system. Today it rained for the first time after I bought my car and the road was very slippery especially when it first started. When I was pressing normally the pedal, the real side was going like crazy. My SLK has only 136Hp and my tires are also very new (only 2 months old). I had to press it very softly and donít go over 40km/h to be sure I will get home without crashing it. Should I worry about that? Can this problem be connected with the first I had?

Before I buy the car I went to an authorized MB dealer who checked it and told me that the car was in very good condition and it had never crashed.

Thank you in advance

P.S. sorry for my English :p
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2003, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Sounds like you need new tires. When they get old, the steel belts will separate from the body of the tire, causing the tread to deform. This will reduce the amount (width) of rubber on the road, and cause the problems you have. They also vibrate.

Cheapo tires will cause the same problems, make sure you have at least H rated (130 mph) tires from a good manufacturer. Off brand low cost tires don't belong on these cars!

And check the inflation pressure, too -- overinflated tires will also have very little tread on the road, very dangerous.

Your Benz should track very nicely at high speed, and you should have decent traction in wet weather -- not superb maybe, but decent.

Peter
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2003, 04:53 AM
DeNnNiS
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Thanx for the reply, but actually my tires are brand new. I changed them as soon as i go the car (2 months ago). I have the DUNLOP SP SPORT 01, (the front is 91 H/V/W and the rear 92 W), so i think that there must not be a tire problem. Maybe i should check the pressure, but i dont know...

thanx anyway
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2003, 05:42 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
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This sounds more like weak or worn springs...I am assuming they are original?

The symptoms you describe are caused by a suspension that feels as if it's "floating" rather than "tracking"

Generally MB springs don't call themselves to attention unless they are extremely old. So check struts as well...
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2003, 09:46 PM
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Weak springs only let the car sit lower unless broken, in which case it sits LOTS lower and rides real strange, dry, wet, icy, whatever.

If you have good tires and the pressures are correct, you could have several other problems, or combinations:

Are the wheels original, or if replacements, are they exactly the same offset as orginal wheels? Those "wide ride" offset skinning things popular around here a couple years ago will ruin the handling, doing exactly what yours does, since the suspension is set up for zero offset and you now have LOTS of it.

Second, do you have any torque steer (pulls one way on acceleration and the other on deceleration) or any thumps or bumps from the rear? Usually accompanied by the feeling that the rear of the car is moving around on the subframe. This is bad links in the rear suspension, allowing the toe on the rear tires to change under load. Drives terrible, and wet roads get scary. Seriously overinflated rear tires make the back end squirrely, but won't thump or torque steer.

Last, worn tie rod ends on the front or a poor front end alignment will make the car VERY sensitive to crosswinds and road surface. A proper front end alignment requires the use of a spreader on the front wheels to pre-load them out. If one is not used, the toe-out will too high, I think, and the car will dart all over the road.

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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