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  #1  
Old 09-29-2003, 03:59 PM
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bent wheel

I have a W126 300SDL.

I encountered a friendly forest creature in the middle of the road, scrambling across it, just a few minutes from my house. I locked up the brakes and tried to swerve around it. I heard a clunk, like the type of clunk you get when vaccuum pressure is too low in a transmission. The car started pulling WAY off to the left, and the steering wheel followed. When I tried to center the steering wheel, it would still pull dangerously sharp to the left.

I got out of the car and inspected the driver's side wheel (as that's where the clunk came from). Didn't notice much, until I went to the front of the car and compared the two front wheels. The bottom of the wheel on the driver's side was bent outward about 15 - 20 degrees, and the one on the passenger side was perfectly straight.

What could it be?

I will drive the SE for now.

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1987 300SDL (324000)

1986 Porsche 951 (944 Turbo) (166000)

1978 Porsche 924 (99000)

1996 Nissan Pathfinder R50 (201000)
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2003, 04:19 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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Something is definately broken.
It's either your lower ball joint ( number 10), your Lower control arm bushing ( number 7 )or possibly your track rod mount (number 20 and 21). It is possible that it could be your spindle, but highly unlikely ( number 9).
Do not drive the car. Have it towed to a suspension shop, Dealer or an independent that you like. Or if you are a DIY your looking at some suspension work.
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-126-front-suspension.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car

Last edited by dmorrison; 09-29-2003 at 04:28 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2003, 06:27 PM
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What does the trailing arm look like? I think that is what snapped. Help me guys, my baby is down and out (the same one in the avatar).
__________________
1987 300SDL (324000)

1986 Porsche 951 (944 Turbo) (166000)

1978 Porsche 924 (99000)

1996 Nissan Pathfinder R50 (201000)
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:03 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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Jack the car up and place it on some jack stands. Just the left side.
If you don't have any jacks and jackstands use the Mercedes jack. Just don't go under the car while it is jacked up. remove the tire. This will allow you to view the area better. Look at the assembly. Let us know what looks broken. With the wheel the way you discribed something will not look right. The attached image is for the SDL that you have. the previous picture was for the SD.

You do not have a trailing arm in the front suspension. So lets go through each one.

Item #13 and #14, this is your track rod mount and track rod. item 13 will be screwed into item 14 which is the rod. The rod is inserted into the lower control arm, Item # 6. this shoul dbe a solid instalation and connection.

Item #6 This is the Lower control arm. It is attached to the frame of the car at the bushing which are #7. That bolt and rubber bushing go throu the hole at the end of the control arm and that is bolted to the fram of the car. the other end of the LCA should be attached to the steering spindle #11. It is attached by a ball joint #12. the ball joint is pressed into the LCA and then a bolt attaches it to the steering spindle.

Item # 11 is your steering spinlde which is attached to the Upper control arm (UCA) at the ball joint #3. The other side of the UCA is attached to the frame of the car by a bolt and bushings #5.

#4 is your sway bar attachment that goes thru the UCA. Don't worry about this.

Broken pieces. Are any of the following broken. # 6 the lower control arm. #11 the streering spindle. #3 that upper control arm.
#14 the track rod. Are any of them disconnected. Your track arm may have released form the track rod mount, #13.

Are the subframe bushings #16 still attached to the car body?

Your going to have to get the car up on a lift or on jacks to be able to tell us what is broken in the car.

Dave

PS If you can place the car on 2 front jackstands. Remove both front tires and start comparing the 2 front sides. The car is built symetrically, only a mirror image. Compare both sides and tell us what looks different. Remember there mirror images, but each component should look the same left side to right side.
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-300sdl-suspension.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,220
this is what broke off,

__________________
1987 300SDL (324000)

1986 Porsche 951 (944 Turbo) (166000)

1978 Porsche 924 (99000)

1996 Nissan Pathfinder R50 (201000)
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:43 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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My 1986 300SDL front end. Us it to compare your sus pension. this is the driver side.

Dave

PS Now compare what you see here and what is on your car. Match the parts you see assemled to the diagrams I posted.
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-300sdl-front-sus-1-gif-.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:44 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
More

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-300sdl-front-sus-3-gif.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:46 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
More. This is from the rear of the tire.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-300sdl-front-sus-5-gif.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
More rear. What your looking at is the track rod going into the track rod mount. Forn top to bottom, the horizontal units are the brake line, the ABS sensor wire, the track rod and the bottom horizontal unit is the steering linkage, called the tie rod.
The trackrod is going into the track rod mount and bushing set up which is blocked by the plastic cover.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
bent wheel-300sdl-front-sus-7-gif.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:52 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Thats your sway bar. It goes into the Upper control arm. It allowed the UCA to rotate forward and the geometry caused the wheel to tilt in the way you described.

Dave

Make sure nothing else is wrong. The sway bar could have broken due to something else breaking.
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2003, 08:16 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,220
dmorrison, thank you for those excellent pictures for "compare and contrast".

What happened was the sway bar broke because of excessive rot. It was too weak and broke off the control arm.

That means I'd have to replace the sway bar, and they cost a fortune.

That's it! I am moving southward to where winters are non-existent!
__________________
1987 300SDL (324000)

1986 Porsche 951 (944 Turbo) (166000)

1978 Porsche 924 (99000)

1996 Nissan Pathfinder R50 (201000)
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2004, 02:07 AM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
I'll Go Upside Your Head!
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3,378
What did you ever do about your sway bar? have you replaced it yet? Did you do it yourself? If so, what did you do about the fusebox? Did you just keep it in or mark the wires?
Thanks
David
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2000 Honda Accord V6 137k miles

1972 300SEL 4.5 98k miles

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  #13  
Old 05-07-2004, 01:44 PM
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Posts: 2,220
I got rid of the car. What a POS, please don't remind me.
































...............Just kidding. I had it repaired by someone else: My father(helped with the cost). I have much to learn, but I know enough to keep my blood pressure levels in acceptable territories.

You really need the right tools and equipment to challenge a project like that. I, unfortunately, am not setup for that sort of thing. Thus,....

Last edited by DslBnz; 05-07-2004 at 01:50 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2004, 06:49 PM
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Location: Kensington, MD
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So what did something like that repair cost?
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'87 300SDL 277K Miles
'89 560 SL 68K Miles
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2004, 07:32 PM
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Ugghh,...It wasn't cheap.

Figure about $800. Pretty much ALL labor, sway bar part was under $100.

PITA PITA PITA. I keep hearing. Oh well, it means I won't be getting rid of this car anytime soon. And that's still fine with me, as I could never replace this thing.

I don't even want to KNOW what the dealer wanted for a fix. Since they charge a standard hourly rate of $105!

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