Damn Steering boxes...

190E 2.3-16, 190E 2.5-16, 190E Evolution 1 & 2 models
16v specific information.
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AMG
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Damn Steering boxes...

Post by AMG » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 10:42 am

Oh well - it had to happen sooner or later.

Had my steering box on Hermann crap itself the other day, when taking the Missus to the hospital.

Seems that one of the O rings has either split or something - it's leaking (pissing out) on the high pressure side and between the heat shield and the box, so can't see.

Looks like I'll have to take the box out and do a refurb on it.

Funny thing is it hasn't been that long since I recall it being done.

All this after I only had the exhaust out of the car a couple months ago. Bloody cosworths are mongrels to work on I tell you. Give me a 2.6 any day.
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 Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
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.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Greg in Oz
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Re: Damn Steering boxes...

Post by Greg in Oz » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 11:31 am

See if you can get a look at where it's leaking before pulling it all apart. I had a similar situation several years ago when I owned the 350SLC. It developed a steering box leak which had me thinking I would need to pull the box out and repair it. I wasn't looking forward to that and for a while put up with topping up the steering fluid. Fortunately, before pulling it out I decided to have a look for where the leak was on the box.

Turned out to be the lock nut on the adjusment screw had come loose (which also explained why the steering was beginning to feel sloppy. All it needed was the adjustment corrected and lock nut tightened and the leak was fixed! I should have got onto it sooner before wasting maybe half a litre of steering fluid (not to mention the mess under the car).
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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oz coz
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Re: Damn Steering boxes...

Post by oz coz » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 11:48 pm

Hi Joe,
Thought the same when the 16v engine was out for the sprocket replacement job but having purchased a complete rebuild kit for the steering box it turned out to only require a new set of seals/O- rings. Still have the kit less seals somewhere if you are stuck or stuck on going that way.

Regards,
oz coz

1986 190E 2.3-16 Blue-Black
1990 300TE Diamond Blue
1987 190E 2.6 Signal Red

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AMG
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Re: Damn Steering boxes...

Post by AMG » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 10:16 am

I just realized I never updated this with my findings...
Turned out the major culprit was the high pressure feed line to the steering box.

Because it is covered in a heat shielding corrugated foil insulation, it was next to impossible to detect the leak.

Over a period of a couple of days, I investigated in detail. Firstly, I removed the foil insulation from the hose (you would not believe how difficult this is to do) in-situ. Then a liberal application of degreaser / prepsol to the entire area to ensure there was no hydraulic fluid contaminating any space. Compressed air to ensure the areas were contaminant free, then start the car and let idle until warm, shut off and leave parked for 1 hour.

nothing obvious enough at first, but after leaving overnight, it became apparent that the leak was in the crimp fitting on the steering box end of the hose.

That was the start.

The next issue was to find the correct replacement hose..... Should be easy-peasy you say, as MB EPC lists all the parts. Not so.

why is it so? (Julius Sumner-miller's best impersonation voice)

1. the EPC shows a diagram for vehicles with HVAC and one without. BOTH are different to what i physically see in my vehicle, so I look for all 201 model variants to see if others have the correct diagram. None.

2. ALL the EPC part numbers listed, which also don't match what I have under the car, are NLA. btw, my hose is the OE hose with a superseeded 201 part number which does not exist in the EPC...
agan, "why is it so?"

Well the best explanation I can come up with is the fact that the car is a 2.3-16. Not only that, but it is RHD (further complicates things, as the RHD documentation is nowhere near as accurate as the LHD) and FACTORY HVAC.
That last bit, while these days sounds like a 'woop-dee-do', back in the late 1980's was a big deal still, particularly when the RHD market simply existed (volume-wise) for the UK, Japan and HKG (and a handful of tiny markets where there was no volume to sell a high performance limited-run special version.

This meant that just about every RHD 2.3-16 with HVAC - be it factory or dealer-installed(local market content rules) has slightly different components to other cars. For example, the power steering hard lines run a different route, the cooling return line is totally different to every other 201 & 124, the hose lengths are different, a couple even have different fittings to normal 201/124's. the AC lines further complicate the issue, due to the location of the compressor relevant to the inlet manifold and the Power steering pump.
As a result, just about every hard-line, from trans cooler to power steering, even the fuel delivery & return lines, have 'just enough' difference in them to make things sufficiently difficult to identify and even to obtain.

3. So, the hose that 'somewhat' matches the description of my part (with the correct end-fittings) happened to be a 124 24v RHD coupe part. woopee I say.... and check to see if the one in gretel looks the same..... but it looks WAY too long. hmmm

4. Priced a genuine 124 24v RHD coupe hose. it wasn't as nasty as I thought. I ordered it, thinking it's not the end of the world if it does not fit, it's still half the price of what the hydraulic guys want to charge me to remake the existing hose - and it would still arrive quicker than they could make one... (how lazy are those guys anyway? don't get me started)

5. Part arrives, I compare it directly to the hose (that took me 4 hours to remove.... yes, that's FOUR hours, by the book process, but without the special 17mm Hazet extension crows-foot 6 sided socket that is required - believe me you want this tool... I bought one to install the hose, after the undignified agony I endured under the car) and it's longer.... by 4 inches.... so no small amount...

I think about a cut-n-shut on the hose, and decline my own thought. "just get on with it and stop f-ing around". I was also decidedly anxious to get it fixed.

6. fitting the new hose, which happened to come with stainless steel hard ends, not zinc plated ones, was a doddle... when you have the right tool to do the steering box end! Paying particular attention to the correct placement of the angled fitting, it took only 15 minutes to install and correctly route, before checking and final tightening (which took another 10 minutes)

7. the new hose, being longer, actually has better routing than the original. An added bonus, as it keeps it further away from heat-related issues, as you can see from these poorly taken pics at the time.... (sometimes I just can't be bothered taking pics... this must have been one of those times)
ps-hose-leaky.jpg
ps-hose-16v-new.jpg


the Engine mount and mount arm needed to be removed to remove and refit the hose, and the rear alternator cover was also removed for extra access at the time. While the mounts were out, I replaced them with the DTM mounts (to see how much stiffer they are) which added only an hour to the entire process. While the benefits of the mounts were clearly evident, the NVH increase, particularly at the 2500-3Krpm band and the 6Krpm+ band were simply too intrusive for a road going vehicle and as such were soon replaced with genuine (harder) MB mounts from the AMG124. (looks exactly like the corteco brand, not febi/lemforder)

Like all things MB, once you have done the job once, the next time you have to do it takes about 1/3 of the original effort. That's one of the reasons I actually enjoy working on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Sure, they can be frustrating as all hell to own and maintain by oneself, but the reward for effort is dollar-for-hour by far the best ratio for any road-going motorized vehicle I've owned.

It also reminded me of the requirement for 'factory' special tools. Sure, you can get away with not needing them in all but the most delicate or specific jobs, but crikey, the reduction in effort, even for a one-off use in this case, makes it worth more than the cost of the tool outright.

which reminds me.... Greg.... that damn carrier bearing puller still hasn't arrived and I had all but forgotten about it. I'll chase it up and give you a buzz later this week.
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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 Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
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.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

User avatar
Greg in Oz
OZBENZ Admin
Posts: 3214
Joined: Tue 01 Aug, 2006 10:08 pm
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Damn Steering boxes...

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 17 Feb, 2015 12:21 pm

Presumably the same hose would suit my 2.3-16 given that it is also RHD with factory air. Hopefully I'll never need to buy one but if I do I'll have to remember your experience or find this post.
AMG wrote:...which reminds me.... Greg.... that damn carrier bearing puller still hasn't arrived and I had all but forgotten about it. I'll chase it up and give you a buzz later this week.
I was wondering if you had that tool yet. Not that I have been in any hurry as I haven't done anything about getting the bearings.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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