S124 all over the place

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by CCAALLVVIINN, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have recently bought a smart 1990 300TD with non sport line suspension (predictably).

    It wanders like a bitch, it is bordering on dangerous, so I've stopped driving it.

    The springs all seem new (at a glance - shiny and black) and underneath is generally tidy.

    The car sits higher on the passenger side, front and back.

    However, I noticed that the bolts which hold the lower wishbones to the chassis are not tight, I have tightened them up, but I think they are eccentric.

    I have spoken to a couple of garages, none of whom seem keen to sort out the set up.

    How best to deal with this, is the level that the car sits on related to the wandering, or should I get this investigated and then get a four wheel alignment carried out?

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Club Veteran

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    A wandering car is most certainly not what you should get from a 300D. Some are susceptible to sidewinds but normally the cars most certainly are not dangerous.

    Springs may well be wrong, there are specific ones for each car.

    Anti roll bar Bushes, droplinks front and rear, subframe bushes, ball joints, wishbones and tracking most probably need a very good check by someone who knows what they are doing. Also steering idler , damper and steering box. Any good independents with W124 experience within tolerable distance - I know it's a bit of a trek but for this I'd genuinely go to Olly for someone who really does know what they are doing.
     
  3. WG M-B

    WG M-B Auhorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Front ball joint will also make it feel all over their place. Almost like you have to constantly correct the steering
     
  4. a111r

    a111r Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had that on a 124.
    Front ARB bushes: night and day, so cheap and simple!
     
  5. bolide

    bolide Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So many possible causes... If the car has had new springs but wanders my immediate thought is that someone was trying to cure the problem and failed, Which suggests work done by non-experts. Which suggests everything is suspect

    Check the leading rear subframe mounts have not rotted away. After that, check everything else on the suspension & steering

    Most of the wear seems to be at the front of these cars but wandering suggests to me that something may be loose at the rear - subframe mount or rear control arm

    What do the tyres look like? The wear pattern will tell all

    Nick Froome
     
  6. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    The ball joints have to be "suspect" as they are prone to failure and can be dangerous when they do let go. A good heave with a pry bar would be well advised - get the wheel in the air and see if you can lift the the suspension at the ball joints?
     
  7. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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  8. WG M-B

    WG M-B Auhorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    It's also hard to get play in them without lifting the actual wishbone
     
  9. OP
    OP
    CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That's a great response chaps, thanks a lot, my problem is no decent indie, I'm in mid Devon if anyone has a recommendation......

    Cornerstone garage Tiverton is closest
     
  10. WG M-B

    WG M-B Auhorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Is it far from Somerset? Avantgarde are in Somerset and I know Steve knows his onions
     
  11. OP
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    CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Depends where in Somerset, I'll give it a google, thanks for the recommendation
     
  12. OP
    OP
    CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ok, progress so far, the leaning to one side seems to be two different springs on the rear, not immediately obvious in situ, but upon removing one was thicker with a different coil per length??? Ratio than the other , new springs ordered

    When taking off the lower wishbones the mechanic noticed the bolts had worn away the mounting brackets, so must have been loosened for some time he thinks

    We will see what new springs, rubber pads and remedying the brackets brings
     
  13. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    These cars react very well to re-bushing. A new steering damper is a cheap part and an easy DIY. You cannot overestimate the dangers of the lower ball joints giving out. If in any doubt? Replace them. If they let go then front wheel parts company with the suspension. At speed this would be catastrophic. At a low speed it is still likely to do severe damage to the car and your undergarments.
     
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  14. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Have a look at the rear subframe bushes too.
     
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  15. bolide

    bolide Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Have a look at everything

    The only thing you can guarantee with a 300TD is that it will have been neglected for long periods of time

    Nick Froome
     
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  16. OP
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    CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You're not wrong!
     
  17. OP
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    CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As a conclusion to this thread, for those that are interested, the final and proper remedy to the leaning suspension was found to be replacing the front anti roll bar mounting brackets with a pair of the same size, unlike the differing sized ones fitted!

    Hooray!
     
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