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  #1  
Old 11-03-2003, 11:28 AM
euronatura's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Guatemala, Central America
Posts: 375
She felt loose!!!???

I have not used this car, 1988 190e 2.3L, on the highway for about a year now. Just took her out on the highway (what we call the highway here at least in Guatemala - a two lane road) this past weekend and the car felt loose? Or at least felt that it was all over the place at 70 miles per hour (112 km per hour).

Last Thursday I had 4 new tires installed, Pirelli P6000 (195/60's)and had al 4 wheel alignment done also. The alignment looked good to me at least since I stayed and watched the tech work and verified that all values were within the green.

Any ideas or suggestions? Or is that I since I have not driven the car at that speed for over a year that I just do not remember. But I can tell you one thing, it just did not feel safe driving at that speed in this car. At least in my wife's car, a 2001 civic sedan, I can drive at 90 mph and the car does not feel like it is all over the place?

Also, the RPMs where at 3500 at a speed between 70 mph - 80 mph with the A/C on. Is this normal for the engine - just asking to verify.

Lastly, the millage that I got on this trip was about 23 mpg (37 km per gallon) with the A/C on and up and down mountains along with heavy foot while passing trucks and buses. Is this a good average? I ask since I have read on some other posts that poor mileage could be sings of other problems.
__________________
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

2006 - Suzuki Gran Vitara (2.0 L fully equipped) Like this car so far except for trying to put on the seatbelt.
1988 - 190e - 2.3L - 172K miles (It now belongs to the exwife)
1999 - Chevy Blazer LS Fully Equiped - killed it June 2006
2001 - Honda Civic EX - 68K miles (sold June 2004)
1963 - 220S - Dual Carb 6 cyl. (sold)
1994 - Yamaha WaveRaider (fun to ride)
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2003, 01:36 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
Ig

As speed increases so does the need for accuracy in your carís suspension and steering components. Actually, it probably isnít surprising that the loose feeling hasnít been noticed until your first higher speed drive.

Since it is difficult to diagnosis what is wrong, it is suggested that you check or have checked for you, the obvious list of items, but also to eliminate a bad alignment.

A bad alignment can and does happen. The wrong toe setting will make a car twitchy as an example. I think it is reasonable to take the car back and discuss this with the shop that just performed the alignment.

Since your car has enough miles to warrant checking all components, this is what I would do:

First, check the tire pressure. I know but I have had cars aligned badly years ago and the tech let too much air out when the tires were warm. Obvious, but you are in a process of inspection and verification.

Front suspension-

-Check the front wheel bearings. They would have to be pretty worn out and noisy but it you live where there are rough roads, it is a good idea

-Check the ball joints, tie-rod ends, center link and the idler arm bushings carefully

-Inspect your control arm bushings, are any cracked or otherwise deteriorated?

-Are your shocks in good shape?

-With the engine off but with the key in the unlocked steering wheel position, do you have excessive play? (Worn steering gear box and/or steering column links?)

-I would replace the four front sway-bar bushings regardless of other work performed, they are inexpensive, easy to do and yield good handling results

Rear suspension-

-Check all five links on each side. A common link to fail is the upper diagonal link. Often just replacing this link can eliminate some twitchiness, especially at higher sppeds

-Check your rear sub-frame and differential mount bushings. Often these are simply worn and wonít cause the twitchy handling you describe unless really worn, but are probably a good candidate for replacement

-Replace your rear sway-bar bushings and inspect the vertical plastic links ends from the swaybar ends to each lower rear control arm. Again, inexpensive, easy to do and yield good handling results

I am sure others have some great suggestions as well, hopefully this will get you started.

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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'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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  #3  
Old 11-03-2003, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
If you just had an alignment done, the tech should have caught any suspension problem. Chances are, an attachment was loosened to make an adjustment, and improperly resecured. Shake each wheel vigorously with the vehicle on the ground, engine off. There should be NO play in the rear, very little at the front.

Steve
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'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2003, 05:04 PM
euronatura's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Guatemala, Central America
Posts: 375
Dear All:

First, thanks for the replys. I just got back from the shop and had both the front and rear end checked out and everything there is fine.

I also went to the alignment shop to verify the alignment, it seems that the values for everything were different than what the values were when I had it aligned last week. (hence my poor handling experience over the weekend at high speeds) In other words, the tech must have not tightened things up therefore I lost the alignment or he used the wrong/different program. Which brings up my next question.

In setting up the machine for alignment, he entered in 1988 Mercedes from there the are 10 options available for my car:

1988, 190E, 2.3L, Automatic

The machine used is a: John Bean. The different options (programs) for the alignment values are as follows:

1) 190e Sportline
2) 190e ex. Sportline
3) 201. 01/02/12 Hardsprings
4) 201. 01/02/12 Sportline
5) 201. 01/02/12 from 11/1988
6) 201. 01/02/12 to 10/1988
7) 201. 034/035
8) 201. 034/035 Hyd, Ride Height allround
9) 201. 035/128 from 11/1988
10) 201. 036 Evolution 1/2

Now the tech used option number 2 for the alignment values this second time around. My car is not a Sportline. Therefore, I doubt that he has used the correct program values to properly align the vehicle.

Can anyone help me in telling me which alignment option the tech should use to properly align my vehicle? Remember, I live in the third world and the poor guy who aligned my car is not the most literate person and no one at the alignment shop (one of the major chains here in Guatemala) could confidently answer my question.
__________________
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

2006 - Suzuki Gran Vitara (2.0 L fully equipped) Like this car so far except for trying to put on the seatbelt.
1988 - 190e - 2.3L - 172K miles (It now belongs to the exwife)
1999 - Chevy Blazer LS Fully Equiped - killed it June 2006
2001 - Honda Civic EX - 68K miles (sold June 2004)
1963 - 220S - Dual Carb 6 cyl. (sold)
1994 - Yamaha WaveRaider (fun to ride)
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