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  #1  
Old 04-30-2021, 01:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 42
Very Lose Steering wheel

84 300D recently completed a front end rebuild on the car in hopes to get a firm steering wheel
  • Guide Rod mount
  • lower control arm bushings
  • upper control arm bushings
  • idle arm bushing
  • tie rods
  • drag link
  • steering shock absorber
  • ball joint

    REAR
  • Differential mount
  • Subframe bushings
  • Tranny mount
  • rear shocks 20k miles bilstein



However, I still notice that the steering wheel seems to feel loose, not loose like going to fall off, but when driving it has some "Sway" and inch to the left and right. And it constantly sways back and fourth, making it feel very loose. It turns and movves fine, but while the wheel is dead center, is has this weird sway of an inch or two in each direction. When it moves in each direction, the wheels dont move, thats why it feels so loose! Adjusting the box doesn't seem to much. Flex disc? Any ideas

Thanks!


Last edited by Lenovolost; 04-30-2021 at 09:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2021, 02:22 AM
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Have you tried a valve adjustment?
Think a compression test might be in order.
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2021, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnLeCar View Post
Have you tried a valve adjustment?
Think a compression test might be in order.
anyone else who is not clinically insane?
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2021, 04:02 AM
Rogviler's Avatar
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Location: Colorado
Posts: 842
Hey, that's the standard fix for everything around here.

It's probably your steering box though. The posts after this one will be telling you not to adjust your steering box. But if you want to adjust your steering box, you loosen the nut on top, then turn the allen-headed screw counter-clockwise until the steering is tighter but not so tight that it binds up. I did that about 10 years ago to mine and haven't had an issue since.

Or you could get a new or rebuilt steering box. Just don't adjust it or the car will burst into flames.

EDIT: I saw that you did try adjusting it. You might as well go farther with trying to adjust it and if you go all the way and it's still loose then it's definitely worn out, which happens.

Last edited by Rogviler; 04-30-2021 at 04:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2021, 04:08 AM
bkc bkc is offline
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Sometimes it can be the rear end causing such symptoms. It feels like the front, but is actually the rear. Check rear shocks, rear swaybar, etc. Could be something simple.
__________________
Current stable:
1976 MB 240D [W115.117/616.916] (acquired 11Jun76)
1991 MB 300SL-24 [R129.061/OM602.962, was M104.981] (acquired 25May12, diesel conversion in progress)
1993 Jeep Cherokee [XJ] (acquired 12Apr14)
2007 MB E320 Bluetec/CDI [W211.022/642.920] (acquired 10Oct18)

-- Deceased...
1993 MB 300D 2.5 Turbo [W124.128/602.962] (totaled by Dominos driver 28Mar12)
1990 MB 300D 2.5 Turbo [W124.128/602.962] (acquired 4Sep15, totaled by Uber driver 11Jan21)
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2021, 04:08 AM
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Steering coupling? May need two people to check it out. There is always a little play in recirculating ball steering boxes. Compared to rack and pinion. Steering box could be excessivly worn as well.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2021, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkc View Post
Sometimes it can be the rear end causing such symptoms. It feels like the front, but is actually the rear. Check rear shocks, rear swaybar, etc. Could be something simple.
I wasn't aware the rear end could have an effect on the steering. Il check things out in the PM
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2021, 05:38 AM
Shadetree
 
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Obviously,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenovolost View Post
anyone else who is not clinically insane?
The first thing you do is clean out the lint trap then unplug and replug the machine.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2021, 08:45 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Rogover is right in my opinion. If adjusting it did not work I bet you didn't do it correctly. The center screw must be turned anticlockwise to remove free play. I have adjusted these boxes with over 300K miles and gotten them sweet.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2021, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkc View Post
Sometimes it can be the rear end causing such symptoms. It feels like the front, but is actually the rear. Check rear shocks, rear swaybar, etc. Could be something simple.
I'll second this advice. My 560SEL had a good 2" of slop in the steering when I got it, all over the road and borderline unsafe in crosswinds at highway speed. Rebuilding the front end got it down to 1.5" or so, but when I redid the rear, it's now under an inch. No adjustment to the steering box at all. Car never wanders or weaves. Subframe bushings make a HUGE difference on how stable the car is on the road.

Alignment matters too. You want the toe as close to zero as you can get it. I've found with the 126 anyway, that positive toe (even a tiny bit) will make the car wander on a crowned or sloped road and you'll feel like you're rocking the wheel all the time.
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---Gone but not forgotten---
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'91 350SD - "Jest-D" 176K (Sold 12/20/20)
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2021, 09:38 AM
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In all seriousness, if you check the rear end, just spend the money and replace the rear sway bar links. They may look ok but odds are the ball joint ends are loose and worn. They are not that expensive and are easy to remove/replace. Might want to take a look at the rear differential mount as well. Again, easy to replace.
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2021, 10:04 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diseasel300 View Post
I'll second this advice. My 560SEL had a good 2" of slop in the steering when I got it, all over the road and borderline unsafe in crosswinds at highway speed. Rebuilding the front end got it down to 1.5" or so, but when I redid the rear, it's now under an inch. No adjustment to the steering box at all. Car never wanders or weaves. Subframe bushings make a HUGE difference on how stable the car is on the road.

Alignment matters too. You want the toe as close to zero as you can get it. I've found with the 126 anyway, that positive toe (even a tiny bit) will make the car wander on a crowned or sloped road and you'll feel like you're rocking the wheel all the time.
Sure, but first try adjusting the box. It's free of charge.
__________________
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2021, 10:57 AM
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Typically rear end steer is detectable as you come on and off the power. The steering of the vehicle changes.

I agree with the others as well. To tighen a steering box It seems counter intuitive to seemingly back off the adjustment.
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2021, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Sure, but first try adjusting the box. It's free of charge.
Except that the adjustment on the MB box is not a slop adjustment, it's a lash adjustment. It preloads the gearset. If the box is wasted, all you're gonna do is make it tight and wear it out even faster. My experience with these cars to date has been that 90% of the slop in the steering is suspension. Once all the worn out crap is replaced, the slop left in the steering is normal for recirculating ball steering systems. Jumping straight to ruining the steering box instead of fixing the underlying issues is a band-aid fix and will come back to bite your ass later down the road.
__________________
'91 560SEL - "Delta 88" 197K
'94 BMW 525i - "The Red Car" 181k
---Gone but not forgotten---
'86 300SDL - "The Diseasel" 190k (Totaled 1/31/19)
'91 350SD - "Jest-D" 176K (Sold 12/20/20)
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  #15  
Old 04-30-2021, 02:02 PM
bkc bkc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
Typically rear end steer is detectable as you come on and off the power. The steering of the vehicle changes.

I agree with the others as well. To tighen a steering box It seems counter intuitive to seemingly back off the adjustment.
When one of my w124s was wandering all over, it did it even when just maintaining a speed. If it had happened when accelerating or decelerating, I would have caught the true problem a lot earlier. It was letting the rear end dance to the surface texture of the road, pretty much, which felt like steering issues. Replacing a couple of the mulitlinks and/or their bushings fixed it beautifully. On my w115, it was when the rear shocks were weakening. Replaced those and steering has been great for years.

__________________
Current stable:
1976 MB 240D [W115.117/616.916] (acquired 11Jun76)
1991 MB 300SL-24 [R129.061/OM602.962, was M104.981] (acquired 25May12, diesel conversion in progress)
1993 Jeep Cherokee [XJ] (acquired 12Apr14)
2007 MB E320 Bluetec/CDI [W211.022/642.920] (acquired 10Oct18)

-- Deceased...
1993 MB 300D 2.5 Turbo [W124.128/602.962] (totaled by Dominos driver 28Mar12)
1990 MB 300D 2.5 Turbo [W124.128/602.962] (acquired 4Sep15, totaled by Uber driver 11Jan21)
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