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Thread: Steering loose

  1. #1
    Member henrycg's Avatar
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    Steering loose

    When my car is off I can use one finger to move the steering wheel just over an inch of play. The problem is its the same when I'm driving. There is around an inch of play at all times.

    I thought it might be old U joints but somebody told me it's not U joints and that there is an adjustable screw on the 500E to adjust play and it's as simple as that. Can anyone confirm this before I do anything and which screw would it be?

    Thanks!
    1991 500E Euro Spec (94' Face-lift) EVO II rims

  2. #2
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    Re: Steering loose

    Is it the wheel itself or are you turning the tires too?
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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    Re: Steering loose

    Ditto what Louis said. You have to check the linkages (tie rods, drag link, idler arm). Steering box wear is VERY rare on these cars, yes you can try to tighten the adjustment screw, but ONLY if the play is absolutely confirmed to be inside the steering box. Better yet, in that case replace the box with a good used one.

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    Re: Steering loose

    Id be scared to death if the hex nut was loose under the airbag! If you determine that it is the wheel that is loose, be sure to remove neg cable from the battery and wrap in a towel, then remove the airbag connection in the psgr floorboard before removing airbag to expose the nut (blue Loctite is your friend). I am phobic about it, so I also keep my head far away from the expected travel of the bag while removing the airbag.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  7. #5
    Senior Member superstar's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    Had the same issue "around an inch of play in the steering wheel", replaced tie rods, drag link, and idler arm, problem was still persisted. Finally, replaced the steering box with a rebuilt one through buyautoparts.com Now, the steering has zero play, and feels like a brand new car.
    1994 E500

  8. #6
    Member henrycg's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    Thx for the replies guys.

    The 1 inch of play of the steering wheel does not move the tires, I can lightly move the wheel with 1 finger, not affecting the wheels. It is definitely from inside the steering box, as we checked when the car was lifted. Before I buy a new steering box I'd like to try this adjustment screw, if that fails to solve it then I shall buy a refurbed box as suggested. GSXR, regarding the screw, I had a look under the car while lifted and could spot anything obvious; and had a look under the hood too. Could you advise on where the screw is located and how to get to it?
    1991 500E Euro Spec (94' Face-lift) EVO II rims

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    Re: Steering loose

    I have no experience here except the C126 gear box.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  11. #8
    Senior Member mercepor's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    The adjustment screw is on the top of the steering box, but the space is very limited. Not easy access.

  12. #9
    Senior Member superstar's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    The steering box needs to be dropped, in order to reach the adjustment screw..
    1994 E500

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    Re: Steering loose

    If you gotta drop the box to adjust... I'd replace it. Last thing you want is to have to repeat this job again, it's NOT fun.

    I've only heard of one other confirmed-loose box ever, I think it was Christian's in Germany? While it's out, replace ALL the rubber power steering hoses, particularly the one behind the heat shield along the frame rail.


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  16. #11
    Senior Member superstar's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    Steering box out..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1994 E500

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  18. #12
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    Re: Steering loose

    Quote Originally Posted by superstar View Post
    Had the same issue "around an inch of play in the steering wheel", replaced tie rods, drag link, and idler arm, problem was still persisted. Finally, replaced the steering box with a rebuilt one through buyautoparts.com Now, the steering has zero play, and feels like a brand new car.
    Same here, had the steering play and click-clack sounds when the car was off, didnt matter that i replaced all steering links and bearings etc.
    Inserted a bit fresher Stearing gearbox and its acceptable now. Not to compare with any other modern day car, but acceptable

    BTW You should only determine play when the engine runs.
    Christian K.
    06/1992 500E - DB199 Blauschwarz-Metallic
    09/1989 300E - DB172 Anthrazitgrau-Metallic
    11/1998 E430 - DB339 Violan-Metallic
    06/2003 CL55 AMG KOMPRESSOR - DB197 Obsidianschwarz-Metallic


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  20. #13
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    Re: Steering loose

    "The adjustment screw is on the top of the steering box, but the space is very limited. Not easy access."


    According to the FSM and my memory. THE ADJUSTER is on the bottom on an 034/036- you must be confused with a Non-V-8 model or W123=0) .

    Never mind- the adjuster is shown in the first picture- at the steering arm.


    Please review 46-3230. The adjuster is below the steering arm and not on the top.


    Wheel bearings, idler arm or loose steering box to chassis bolts would be the highest probability.




    Michael

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  22. #14
    Senior Member superstar's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    Never, adjust the gearbox until you make absolutely sure all the rest of the system is up to par.
    if steering gear box is worn you could be able to tighten it up a little using the alen inside the pitman arm. However, there is also another adjustments for the bearings in the piston assembly inside the box. If the pre-load or friction is not correct, too little or none - play, too much - steering won't return correctly or will not get proper assist.
    1994 E500

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  24. #15
    Senior Member Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    The way it was explained to me, by someone with many years experience and a W124.036 owner, is as follows...
    ...think of a pin running in a slot. Around straight ahead the slot wears most, with less wear to the left and right. Adjustments are possible but the differences in slot width causes problems...I did not get more involved but the advice was to just live with the play.

    Jim

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  26. #16
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    Re: Steering loose

    I agree with drop then replace, this is not a part to skimp on.
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

  27. #17
    Member henrycg's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    Ok I will defo do that while it's out. What is the part number for the steering box plz? Is it generic for all 124's? Also plz tell me the part numbers for the pipes etc

    Sent from my GT-I9190 using Tapatalk
    1991 500E Euro Spec (94' Face-lift) EVO II rims

  28. #18
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    Re: Steering loose

    1244606801

    this is what it also fits:

    Mercedes 400 E Sedan 1992, 1993
    Mercedes 500 E 6.0 E 500 AMG Sedan 1992, 1993
    Mercedes 500 E Sedan 1992, 1993
    Mercedes E 420 Sedan 1994, 1995
    Mercedes E 500 Sedan 1994, 1995
    Mercedes E 60 AMG Sedan 1994, 1995
    1994 E500
    249/275 - 8F19 or 8F32 or 8320

    1991 560 SEC
    199/268
    2014 E350 Cab 799/264

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  30. #19
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: Steering loose

    The box is V8-specific. Donor must be a 124.034/.036, all years are the same.


  31. #20
    E500E Guru 8899's Avatar
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    Re: Steering loose

    The PS low-pressure return ("straight") hose (located along the frame rail) is 201 997 03 82. The heat shield part number is 126 997 29 82. And you will need clamp 005 997 27 90. This is a difficult hose to replace...
    Greg
    '94 E500
    '03 E320 4Matic Wagon (W210)
    '08 G55

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  33. #21
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    Re: Steering loose

    Honestly,

    Find a donor 124.034 and grab the steering box and pipes. You need new stretch bolts and the sealing crush washers for the hydraulics.

    I'd pull you a used one- but have no idea on shipping something that heavy to the UAE.

    Michael

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