Drag Link Assembly

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Active Member
Feb 5, 2013
'01 W203 C200K Auto Estate
Hi all,

There is an advisory on the MOT of my new car about the drag link assemblies.

Being new to this kind of set up (double wish bone) and other differences compared to the usual normal set ups. I wonder what this part's role is and how it affect the steering/suspension if it's flagged up as possible wearing down too much.

(Should note it drives taught, but it kind of veers awkwardly or tends to, steeting in the middle pretty much. Could be a tracking issue.)

Is it a big job? I have ball joint seperators, ramps, jacks, all the usual stuff, does it need removal of any tricky parts for easier access? Finally, is it one piece as I've seen on ebay? Since the MOT advisory has left two advisories, one for each side.

Thanks a million.
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The drag link is the central link arm of the recirculating ball [steering box] steering assembly Its also what one end of the steering damper is attached to. item 56 here in this diagram from an early C200 SV STEERING LINES TO SELF-LEVELLING DEVICE & AUTOMATIC LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL (ASD) STEERING íà Mercedes C 200 (202.020) | Êàòàëîã çàï÷àñòåé Mercedes, ïîäáîð àâòîçàï÷àñòåé äëÿ ëåãêîâûõ àâòîìîáèëåé Ìåðñåäåñ (ðåãèîí Åâðîïà) ïî àâòîêàòàëîãó.
If going for a replacement aftermarket part get LEMFORDER who are OEM for Mercs of that age.
So is it comes with track rod ends attached? Looks a very doable job. Need rear tyres first though. Thanks for ur help.
Yup complete assembly although you can buy the outer track-rod ends separately if they are the worn parts. Its probable that its the inner ball joints that attach to the steering box and idler arm that are worn though.You will need a ball joint splitter probably. Renew the steering damper =small shocker [ about £35 ] while you are at it [unless its very recent]- they are always knackered. The car will need tracked afterwards although careful "mirroring" of the existing adjustments before you fit the new drag link will get you off to a good start.
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So what are the actual symptoms of a worn drag link joints/steering damper?
I've just bought the car, so all I see is that it's on the last MOT as an advisory.
It's all about how much 'slop' there is in the steering system - from when you start to turn the steering wheel to when the road wheels start to move.

On mine there should be a MAX of 1 inch of movement at the steering wheel edge, until the road wheels start to turn.

Yours will be similar.

Do the test with engine off.

Stand outside of car with front door open, and move steering wheel back and forth until you see front wheels start to move.

How much movement was there on the steering wheel outer edge ?

Should be no more than 1 inch.

Let us know how you got on.
A good test for wear in these ball joints is grip them gently in your hand. Then get an assistant to rock the steering wheel side to side [ ignition key on / engine off to release the steering lock] You will feel any play in the joint as a very slight movement through your hand. Make sure your assistant doesn't move things too much to trap any fingers! Its sufficient just to load up the ball joints in either direction to detect wear. You will detect movement by touch better than visual inspection unless the joint is very worn. If you can detect movement visually I would renew any joint with that amount of play/ wear.
ok, i'll try that tomorrow, all i have noticed when driving is that it tends to kind of feel lazy at first, bit its still sharp when it moves, and then it feels like tracking needs doing, until i turn the other way, again until it becomes sharper. familiar?

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