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Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

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monarchd's picture
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Intermittent,about 60 to 70 mph the front tire starts to shake, I slow down a little and it goes away, Won't happen again sometimes for several day worth of driving and then twice in a row. To the frontend shop several times, they say thay can't see anything wrong. Can anyone help??

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Steel belt slipped in the tire?

Front end guy probably eliminated the obvious like:

loose lug bolts

lower ball joint

loose wheel bearing

bulging tire

tie rod end

steering damper

pitman arm

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Hello,

You may actually have a warped rotor or your wheel may be damaged. I recently cured one of my badly-wobbling W126's by simply replacing the wheels. (Turns-out, one of the wheels was damaged but the damage was not really visible at all!)

I hope this tip will be helpful to you.

Mustapha
Cape Girardeau, MO

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

You might try what is called a road-force wheel balance. Some well-equipped tire shops have a special (and expensive) balancer that uses a rotating drum which presses against the tire. This simulates the force of the road on the tire contact, just like the weight of the car on that wheel/tire combo. This can reveal a hard to find imbalance and also can reveal problems within the tire itself. I had this done to my 420SEL and it made a significant difference in high speed running. Before doing this you should have the tire shop carefully observe the tire/wheel rotating on the balance machine to see if there is any out of round or wobble.

Also, some vibration may be due to improper tire mounting. There is a small spot on each new tire that should be aligned with the tire valve. This ensures the very slight out of round that exists with all wheels and tires is offset to its practical minimum amount for each wheel/tire combination. Any time a tire is removed from the wheel you should mark the tire valve location on the tire so it can be returned to the same spot later.

JCH

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Sometimes if the strut rod bushings (MB calls them brake struts) are so bad they can cause wobble, but that usually only happens after hitting a bump. If you roll the car slowly about 2 to 5 miles an hour and tap on the barkes while having someone look at the front wheels, you may be able to tell something about the strut rod bushings. If the wheel moves forward when you tap the breaks the bushings are shot. Sometimes you can hear the wheel or struts moving back and forth as you tap on the brakes.

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Sometimes if the strut rod bushings (MB calls them brake struts) are so bad they can cause wobble, but that usually only happens after hitting a bump. If you roll the car slowly about 2 to 5 miles an hour and tap on the barkes while having someone look at the front wheels, you may be able to tell something about the strut rod bushings. If the wheel moves forward when you tap the breaks the bushings are shot. Sometimes you can hear the wheel or struts moving back and forth as you tap on the brakes.

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Hi Bart,

I believe I have the problem you mention, with my back-up W126 and I remember the previous owner stating something about "bad-bushings..." The vehicle is fine until one hits a bump, then it is a mess!

Can you elaborate on this bushing issue? Also, would you happen to have a rough idea, how much such a repair could run? (Parts needed, etc?)

Currently, this is not a big issue, since this is my back-up car and already, I have a bad wheel on this vehicle. However, I think I've located a set of four replacement W126 wheels/tires and if I can get the bushing issue addressed, then this would be a fully functional vehicle, in all aspects.

Thank you in advance, for your time.

Mustapha
Cape Girardeau, MO

P.s., My back-up Merc is identical to my primary Merc (same exterior color) save for the interior color. My primary has a black interior and my back-up has a light gray interior. At one time, I had three W126's with identical exterior color (anthricite) and all three had differing color interiors: one black, one light-gray and the other was tan. I don't even think that anthricite was necessarily a popular color and I suppose just "freak-luck" must be the reason, why I ended up with three of 'em.

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

The strut (brake) rod bushings keep the cars front wheel suspension from moving forward and backwards when you accelerate or brake. On these types of cars they are more sophisticated then most struts. They have ball and socket type of action. Actually, they also help stabalize up and down movements of the wheel. I can't remember exactly the effect they have on aligment, but I think they also provide some camber adjustment.

There are rebuild kits available. Usually both sides are bad when they go. I found a great wheel and frame shop that put them in and aligned the car fro about $450. That will not happen at the dealers.

Bart

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Re: Left Front Wheel Wobble,can You Help?

Having replaced the brake support rod joints and bushings myself, I can offer a couple of tips.

The manual calls for a come-a-long but provides no details as to why. Book procedure assumes work will be done on a lift.

It can be done easily on a set of ramps with no come-a-long required.

Alignment afterwards is a must.

If you replace and align one side at a time you get to pay for 2 alignments.

The bushings were easy for me as I had a hydraulic press in the garage. Still easy for me because I have access to several more.

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