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Old 11-10-2003, 04:28 PM
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Pull to the left, not alignment or brakes

I have been dealing with a slight to severe pull to the left while driving and worse while breaking. Went to my mechanic and had him take a look at the car. He said brakes are fine (otherwise the front wheels wouldn't turn freely on the hoist) and alignment was set up properly. My lower control arm bushings are completely gone (I had the upper ones changed a year or so ago) and he adjusted the front wheel bearings but said they may need replacing.

Does this sound about right?

Please let me know.


1976 230.4 W115
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
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I would think that the lower control arm bushings are the problem.
If they are shot then when the weight of the car is on the wheels the caster and chamber will be off due to the movement of the lower control arm. With bad LCA bushings the LCA can move inward towards the center of the car as the weight is on the wheels. This will throw the aligment off.

Bearings. Yes they could be bad. But usually you get a grinding or groning when they are going bad. You can also tell by rotating the wheel when on the lift and feeling and listening for smoothness in the bearings.

Have you felt the wheels after a couple of hard breaking applications. If one wheel is hotter that the other then the hotter one is braking more that the other one.

I would suggest getting a second opinion. Your mechanic may be right, but a second opinion will help.

Additionally when was the last time the rubber brake hoses from the caliper to the body fender been replaced. They can go bad inside the hose and trap brake pressure during applications. You can't tell by the outside of the hose. But if they are old this could also be a problem. While driving they do not allow the brake hydraulic pressure to release and as you apply the brakes the next time one wheels pads are closer to the rotor and you get harder braking on that side. When the mechanic puts the car on the lift sufficent time has gone be to allow the bad hose to release the pressure so the wheel both spin correctly and seem fine.

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Old 11-10-2003, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
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If the lower control arm bushings are deteriorated and sloppy then the dynamic load of braking will throw the static alingment settings off and could cause a pull, but if you have actual numbers from a recent alignment, posting them will help in analysing the situation.

Absent of abnormal noise, wheel bearing condition can only be determined by removing and cleaning them followed by a thorough inspection. If okay, repack, install with new seals and set the clearance properly.

I don't think Mercedes has a front wheel bearing service interval for your model, but if over 120K miles, it's not a bad idea to do an inspection and repack.

The other issue could be tires. Swap the front tires side to side to see if the problem is the same. If so, it's probably not the tires.

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Old 11-11-2003, 02:32 PM
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thanks guys. So far it does sound like the lower control arm bushings. The tires I have are all new and I had this problem before changing them.

An alignment shop checked everything out and told me that he thought everything was set up fine and to check the brakes.

When I had the breaks checked, the brake shop reported everything as O.K. however, I don't believe those lines have been changed in a while, so that could also be an issue.

As the bushings need changing anyway, I will look into getting those done first.

Mechanics: Any idea how long a job that would be? (to change the lower control arm bushings only)



1976 230.4 W115
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