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Steering Gear Box

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fwnairn's picture
Minnetonka, MN
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Joined: December 20th, 1999

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1998 E320 Wagon
1991 300CE
1987 300SDL

Hello, (I put this on the "For Sale" Forum for some reason and got a response from Don350DSL. Thanks!) I'll try it again in the right place.

I'm on my second rebuilt steering box (1987 300 SDL - 316K) and my steering still has 2"-3" play at the steering wheel - all other steering components pass inspection. I am now convinced rebuilt units are a waste of money - paint, seals and that's about it ($350).

Anyone have information on a good source for a new factory unit at "discount" or reasonable price? Local MB shops want $$$.

Thanks for any help.

Fred

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Fred

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rogo's picture
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Re: Steering Gear Box

You say that all other steering components pass inspection and you have still had to install 2 steering boxes. Did the inspection include all of the parts in the attached diagram, begining at the bottom and working up?

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Virginia Beach VA

87 300SDL
95 E300D

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jtripp's picture
Babylon, NY
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1996 S420 LWB
1995 S350
Re: Steering Gear Box

This is a reply to a post on the Technical section today:

Re: while i'm at it. steering wheel play.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do a search on this or other forums under loose steering or adjusting the steering gearbox. Most Mercedes gearboxes are needlessly replaced due to ignorance.

Most people and most mechanics don't know how to adjust the early Mercedes steering gearbox.
Attempts to remove loose play have usually resulted in even more loose play. This is because the adjusting screw is turned counterclockwise. I know this doesn't sound right but the adjusting screw goes thru a hollow shaft and the clearance is done on the opposite end.

Jack up the car and place on stands. Remove left front tire. Turn steering wheel to straight ahead. With engine running loosen up the locknut and turn the adjusting screw with an allen wrench counter clockwise till you feel a little resistance and back off a little then tighten the lock nut. Go back inside the car and check the free play. Don't try to remove all free play 3/8 " is fine. Turn the wheel fully to the left and right to check for binding. Don't let the extra free play on either side of straight ahead bother you as the gears are cam ground which prevents them from binding when removing free play centered.

Let us know how the job turns out.

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New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

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merrill's picture
Austin, TX
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1978 300D
1966 230SL
Re: Steering Gear Box

Fred
where did you get your rebulit box from?

I have found an online source
mercedessteering.com

just curious.

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fwnairn's picture
Minnetonka, MN
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1998 E320 Wagon
1991 300CE
1987 300SDL
Re: Steering Gear Box

Thank you, Gentlemen~

I will give that a try though I am pretty non-mechanical but I can learn.

John, I believe Mercedessteering is where I purchased the rebuilt units. The first was no improvement on the original and they replaced it saying they did not have a problem with this box. The replacement is no better, in my opinion, because, as I said, with the engine off and the wheel at center there is 2" - 3" . Now, I haven't tried this with the engine running as suggested so I must do that. I will let you know how that works.

And, no, I am sure that "everything checking out" up front is only a bit of a pull and shake at the shop. They did replace the upper left control arm last week and then did a re-alignment as part of that process. It is not a Mercedes shop but they race Porsches and Audis so are probably competent. Thanks for the help and I will report pack.

Fred

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Fred

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fwnairn's picture
Minnetonka, MN
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1991 300CE
1987 300SDL
Re: Steering Gear Box

Hello, Again,

I didn't do a very good job on the response. Sorry. Thanks for those tips. I will go and inspect the beast again and get back to you in proper order this time.

Fred

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Fred

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jtripp's picture
Babylon, NY
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1995 S350
Re: Steering Gear Box

Testing for loose play with the engine off is invalid. There is a shuttle valve inside the gearbox that has to be pressurized so that the pitman arm follows the input shaft. What you are experiencing is the loose play inside the control valve when no pressure is there. There will be loose play with the engine off even on a properly adjusted box. If you still have lots of loose play with the engine running either the gearbox needs adjusting or you have worn front end parts.

All cars with power steering including rack and pinion steering will have more loose play with the engine off. Try it both ways and see for yourself.

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New York club member since 1976.

Continuous Mercedes ownership since 1964.

1993 300SD with '99 606 engine. 111,040 miles.
1994 S350   75,238 miles
1995 S350 148,124 miles.
1996 S420 with '99 606 engine  Sold
1999 S600  one of 14 imported  Sold 
1989 Bentley 8  Sold at 40,000 miles.

Member
fwnairn's picture
Minnetonka, MN
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Joined: December 20th, 1999

Posts:
93

Vehicles
1998 E320 Wagon
1991 300CE
1987 300SDL
Re: Steering Gear Box

Thanks, Again:

I did test the steering wheel for excessive play with the engine running and found it to be less than I previously found with engine off: about 1" now. I will get out and get under in a day or two and try the adjustments suggested and post my results.

Whilst driving, the car appears to wander about a bit, especially today with a strong wind here in MN, or when there is a camber on the road, so I seem constantly to be correcting which is a little tiresome and I would like to have it not do that.

Fred

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Fred

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thegearboxguy's picture
Las Vegas, NV
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1990 300SEL
Re: Steering Gear Box

Fred, My name is Chris Brown I own C & M Hydraulics. All we do is rebuild MBZ power steering gearboxes, pumps, and air pumps with clutches. We have been in business over 14 years. We deal only with the larger parts dist.. Most of the online stores can get our product if they ask. Loose gearboxes are sometimes not diagoned correctly for many reasons, if you like give me a call and we can talk.

Thanks,

Chris

702.734.8090

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