Steering wheel free-play

1986-1995 : 200TD, 200CE, E200, 260E, 300E 2.6, 300E 2.8, 300E, E320, 400E, E420, 500E, E500, 300CE, E320, 230TE, 300TE, 300D 2.5 TURBO, E300 DIESEL, 300TD, 300E 4MATIC, 300TE 4MATIC, E36 AMG
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Ralf_CT
S Class
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Joined: Sun 13 Mar, 2016 8:43 pm
Model you own: w124
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Steering wheel free-play

Post by Ralf_CT » Sat 14 Oct, 2017 2:39 am

I've got the W124 230E with +-25mm of play at the steering wheel when moving the steering wheel lightly from side to side (with the engine off, before any steering box resistance is felt). I can only assume it's the coupling pinch-bolt, or the coupling itself. How difficult are they to remove?
1992 W124 230E Auto, M102.982, 208,753 km, MBSA-built - CURRENT.
1985 W123 280E Auto, M110.988, 110,265km, MBSA-built - SOLD.
1985 W123 230E Manual, M102.982, 219,320 km, MBSA-built - SOLD! :(

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MercMad West Australian
450 SEL 6.9
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Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by MercMad West Australian » Sat 14 Oct, 2017 7:34 am

Have someone rock the wheel back and forth while you are watching the steering shaft and box etc. Any number of flogged out steering components can cause this, even the box itself.

Assumptions make an ass out of u and me
MMWA

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DBW124
250s
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Model you own: w124
Location: Melbourne Inner East

Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by DBW124 » Tue 17 Oct, 2017 6:52 pm

In some original road tests of W124s there is mention of a certain amount of steering free-play while at rest, that disappeared once the car was in motion.

When I purchased my E280 it had 111,000 ks on the odometer, and seemed to have no free play while travelling on smooth level roads at urban speeds (despite displaying plenty while stationary).

Currently it has covered in excess of 240,000 ks. I've had tie-rod ends, drag strut and strut upper mounts replaced within the last couple of years. The struts themselves were replaced about 90,000 ks ago. While not as tight when I first bought the car, the steering is not obviously loose or vague.
W124 E 280

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Christo C
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Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by Christo C » Tue 17 Oct, 2017 7:06 pm

My 1986 W124 230E has similar approx 25mm play when engine is off - no noticeable or annoying play or wandering when driving - approx 285,000km on clock. All other steering components in tip-top condition; just had a steering alignment & checkup - expert very happy with all components and play.
BTW the alignment was worth every penny!

But MercMad’s advice is good - observe the underbelly while someone rocks the steering wheel.
~Christo
1986 230E W124.023 M102.982 Thistle Green Saloon "Janis"

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MercMad West Australian
450 SEL 6.9
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Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by MercMad West Australian » Tue 17 Oct, 2017 7:34 pm

I have a 307,000km very neglected parts car quietly rusting away in my backyard, I will go check for freeplay.
MMWA

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MercMad West Australian
450 SEL 6.9
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 2:23 pm
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Perth

Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by MercMad West Australian » Tue 17 Oct, 2017 7:38 pm

Free play you say?

Check this out...
IMG_3124.JPG
IMG_3125.JPG
Now thats free play!

Its about 100mm, LOL
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MMWA

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Ralf_CT
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Joined: Sun 13 Mar, 2016 8:43 pm
Model you own: w124
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by Ralf_CT » Fri 20 Oct, 2017 2:26 am

Checked it out, it's the section of the coupling where it attaches to the steering box input shaft. Although the pinch bolt is tight, there's still some play on the splines. I'll have to loosen the bolt and re-tighten. There's no play in the box or suspension.

I've also got some suspension 'roughness' on the RF at city speeds and a sort of a wheel bounce at around 110kph (wheel balance and alignment all okay). I previously replaced the shocks and mountings (RF shock was bouncing) but the roughness is still there. Checked the steering stabilizer earlier - there is resistance one way but it's initially 'springy' the other, this could possibly be the cause. Also checked the lower ball joints by jacking the car up, placing bricks under the lower control arm, lowering the car to take the load off the joint and then using a plank as a lever under the tyre. There doesn't seem to be any noticeable up-down play.
1992 W124 230E Auto, M102.982, 208,753 km, MBSA-built - CURRENT.
1985 W123 280E Auto, M110.988, 110,265km, MBSA-built - SOLD.
1985 W123 230E Manual, M102.982, 219,320 km, MBSA-built - SOLD! :(

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AMG
OZBENZ Admin
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Re: Steering wheel free-play

Post by AMG » Fri 20 Oct, 2017 8:37 pm

Replace the coupling.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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