Help Please! SLK32amg steering problem - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 07-28-2015
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Help Please! SLK32amg steering problem

Hello all you proper car drivers,


I have a 2002 SLK32AMG and its developed a problem so far no one can solve. MB dealer, MB specialist, Other Garage, 4 wheel alignment company. I am throwing money at the car to no effect. The garages who are fitting the parts have no idea to the cause of fault but say its safe to drive.
The problem,
On right hand lock only, setting off from start front left tyre feels to be pulling sideways instead of rolling forward. On the move that corner tramlines on certain road conditions and feels very skitty. I have a brand new set of Pirelli Rosso Corsa's on and the front left tyre is wearing badly. Jobs done so far,
All suspension bushes and wishbones have been tested with metal bars and pronounce ok. The following parts all renewed
Lower ball joint / steering damper / hub carrier assembly/ front top wishbone.


Draglink removed from car, checked out and pronounced ok, wheel bearing ok,
Car has always been maintained regardless of cost.
It failed 4 wheel alignment so i had the new hub carrier assembly fitted and now the problem is worse!
Can any one help please?


Mike.
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#2 Old 07-28-2015
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When they did a geometry check, do you know if they measured the 'ackerman linkage'?? They should have.

This 'linkage' as it is called is the bit that ensures that the outer radius wheel - ie your front left wheel on a right hand turn - turns into a corner less than the inner radius wheel. I am not saying it is, but it could be, and sounds to me, that your left wheel is not turning enough.
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#3 Old 07-28-2015
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Thank you Hal
I have just called the company who did the 4 wheel alignment and he said there equipment will only check what he makers specify and it only measures wheel alignment angles.
I would be interested to know who can do this, MB Dealer?


Thanks again


Mike
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#4 Old 07-28-2015
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On the 170 and AMG models it should use a spacer spring bar between the two front tyres .

Did they use for wheel alingment ?
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#5 Old 07-28-2015
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Hello Delucas


Thanks for your post I have called my MB specialist and he doesn't know of ackerman linkage or spring bars between wheels.
They aligned the 4 wheels by computer up on a ramp .
sorry not very technical.


cheers


Mike
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#6 Old 07-28-2015
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Most (I would have thought all…) geometry checking devices would be able to check for the ackerman linkage - it is tested by having the front wheels of the car on turnplates that are marked with degrees either side of centre. The idea being that when the steering is turned through, say, a 20 degree angle on the inner, the outer should turn less - maybe 17 degrees or so depending on the length of the car. The turning figures are specified by the manufacturers for each car.

I really urge you to have this done - especially as you have been renewing draglinks and the like. It may not be the culprit, but it is one more crossed off the list.

I really do question a garage/technical centre, especially dealing in high end marques that does not know what a car steering is all about. It is the difference of using mechanics and fitters I guess.
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#7 Old 07-28-2015
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Forget about checking Ackerman geometry. The correct geometry to properly turn the wheels is part of the suspension/steering hardware. The alignment guys won't have a clue what you're talking about. All an alignment will do is check camber, caster, and toe. I'm not sure, but I believe a 4-wheel alignment will also check to see if the rear wheels are in alignment with the front.

Depending upon road conditions, it isn't unusual for tires to trammel. The irregularities in the road try to pull them from a straight path. You might notice that the crown in the road will do the same thing.

You said it failed a 4-wheel alignment. What was the problem? Try this have another car follow your car down the road and pay attention to how it tracks. If anything is out of wack, you'll easily see it.

I would look for things like a bent wheel, locating link, tie-rod, spindle, or? You are going to have to find an old time mechanic who knows how to analyze suspension problems. A typical alignment shop won't be able to help you.
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#8 Old 07-28-2015
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Find a completely flat road as such and car should drive fairly straight and a slight pull to the left if .
Make sure your tyre pressures are all correct front and back .
No spacers between alloys .

Original alloys .
Not aftermarket .
No play in wheel bearings / steering / suspension etc

And even an old 4 wheel laser tracking sytem should track your car correct .
No rear coil springs broken ??
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#9 Old 07-28-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSSG View Post
Forget about checking Ackerman geometry. The correct geometry to properly turn the wheels is part of the suspension/steering hardware. The alignment guys won't have a clue what you're talking about. All an alignment will do is check camber, caster, and toe. I'm not sure, but I believe a 4-wheel alignment will also check to see if the rear wheels are in alignment with the front.

Depending upon road conditions, it isn't unusual for tires to trammel. The irregularities in the road try to pull them from a straight path. You might notice that the crown in the road will do the same thing.

You said it failed a 4-wheel alignment. What was the problem? Try this have another car follow your car down the road and pay attention to how it tracks. If anything is out of wack, you'll easily see it.

I would look for things like a bent wheel, locating link, tie-rod, spindle, or? You are going to have to find an old time mechanic who knows how to analyze suspension problems. A typical alignment shop won't be able to help you.
Good gracious, you have bounced back into life have you?

I think the OP would notice a bent wheel and no, the way to test/check geometry is not to follow a car and see if anything is out of whack. You put the car on a jig. One with turntables.

And please, if it is at all possible in your small mind, please try not to be so rude. We all know you are the expert on everything, but just try to work with people instead of against them.
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#10 Old 07-28-2015
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Originally Posted by Hal Adams View Post
Good gracious, you have bounced back into life have you?

I think the OP would notice a bent wheel and no, the way to test/check geometry is not to follow a car and see if anything is out of whack. You put the car on a jig. One with turntables.

And please, if it is at all possible in your small mind, please try not to be so rude. We all know you are the expert on everything, but just try to work with people instead of against them.
You are very amusing. The French seem to think Jerry Lewis is a genius which would probably explain your mental confusion.

Forget the nonsense Hal comes up with. He likes to act smart, but he'd have difficulty putting bread in a toaster.
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#12 Old 07-28-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike865 View Post
Hello Delucas


Thanks for your post I have called my MB specialist and he doesn't know of ackerman linkage or spring bars between wheels.
They aligned the 4 wheels by computer up on a ramp .
sorry not very technical.


cheers


Mike
The extension bar is used on a few mercedes benz new and old .
And its listed in any autodata tecnical wheel alinment book that lists all wheel geometry .

Wether the new tracking sytems req this and compensate i dont know .
But i do know it lists it to be used .
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#13 Old 07-28-2015
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just had my tracking done by kwik fit as I had new coils on the front, and they do check rear alignment, also got a pretty print out as well. All seems tickety boo..
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#14 Old 07-28-2015
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Mmmm kwik fit
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#15 Old 07-28-2015
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Thanks for all your advice folks


I will contact my MB main dealer tomorrow


hopefully get my car sorted soon


Mike.
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#16 Old 07-28-2015
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how long have you had the car and something this major does not happen over night
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#17 Old 07-28-2015
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Maybe he needs to drive another slk and see if there is any diff ?
And if so he knows theres something seriously wrong and its not right .
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#18 Old 07-29-2015
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Hello again folks
just catching up on the thread and your advice.
I have had the car for 10 years and had some real fun driving it and I can use it.
I have owned many cars and never had a problem that leaves garages scratching there heads. I am not willing though to surrender car for MB fitters to "look" at for many hours at Ł75+.
I am not technical and will call on my main dealer today to ask about ackerman adjustment.
Thanks again for your input
Mike.
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#19 Old 07-29-2015
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Mike - The ackerman is not adjustable other than replacing an incorrect part. Briefly, if you are not technical, the ackerman steering is designed into the car so that the outer wheel, as I think I said earlier, turns slightly less into a corner allowing the car to turn the corner smoothly.

When you say that your problem only happens on one lock, this is a classic symptom that the ackerman link geometry can be out. Now, you mention a new draglink and hub carrier were fitted. A typical fault upsetting the steering angles is the fitment of an incorrect part - I do not know the cars that well, but could there have been a change in design and you have a part that was designated for an earlier/later model? Another common one is a bent steering link. I think someone should examine everything down there very carefully as it will be a simple one and easy to spot!

Keep us posted on anything as it is interesting to track all this!
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#20 Old 07-29-2015
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Hello Hal
All new parts fitted to my car are original Mercedes benz parts . I did order a new draglink to be fitted and when the existing part was removed and the new one offered up a bracket welded to the part was 180 degrees out facing the wrong way to connect. The mechanic checked out existing draglink and said all parts were ok so it was refitted.
I understand what you say about the ackerman linkage but will still have a run out to see my main dealer.


cheers


mike.
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