pulling to the left - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 11-20-2012
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pulling to the left

I've just got back from the local garage after taking the car to get the tracking adjusted because the car will wander to the left if you take your hands off the wheel.

They said that they could not track it because the (I forgot what they called it) was worn out. The part on the end of the track rod end. Steering arm or something (sorry)

Anyway, they checked the system for the part, phoned two suppliers and came back to me with, "Cant do it, dealership only - you need an entire steering rack"

That sounds both frighteningly expensive, and possibly untrue.

I know I've been a bit vague with the details, but I'm wondering if anyone has anything to contribute, is the garage right?

Thanks
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#2 Old 11-20-2012
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I'm not familiar with your model but I would think they would be talking about the tie rod ends need replaced. Fairly common and pretty easy to replace.
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#3 Old 11-20-2012
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how old are front tires? when was last front end alignment?


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#4 Old 11-20-2012
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Originally Posted by kcflhrc View Post
I'm not familiar with your model but I would think they would be talking about the tie rod ends need replaced. Fairly common and pretty easy to replace.
kcflhrc, Do you have any picture or diagram to refer to it? I have some weird alignment problem. It always pull to the right. I do tire rotation every 3000 mileas (It disappears for a while but still pulls a little...) If it's easy fix, I can do some DIY. Just need to know how these look first and inspect them.
Do any of the diagrams refer to the tie rod ends?
http://www.getmercedesparts.com/parts/2003/MERCEDES-BENZ/SLK230/?siteid=214660&vehicleid=1419476§ion=FRONT%20SUSPE NSION
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#5 Old 11-20-2012
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I'm no Mercedes mechanic but I have worked on quite a few Chevy's in my day. In that drawing you link to it appears the tie rod ends aren't a separate part. It would be Item #1 in that drawing called the Center Section is what I would think needs replaced.
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#6 Old 11-20-2012
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Originally Posted by JaysonM View Post
kcflhrc, Do you have any picture or diagram to refer to it? I have some weird alignment problem. It always pull to the right. I do tire rotation every 3000 mileas (It disappears for a while but still pulls a little...) If it's easy fix, I can do some DIY. Just need to know how these look first and inspect them.
Do any of the diagrams refer to the tie rod ends?
http://www.getmercedesparts.com/parts/2003/MERCEDES-BENZ/SLK230/?siteid=214660&vehicleid=1419476§ion=FRONT%20SUSPE NSION
Jayson,
Look under "Steering" in the left hand menu. I believe they are talking about the Linkage Assembly, and it does look like the Tie rod ends are not offerred separately. You may want to call them or the dealer to make sure. Regardless - the total cost is only $250 or so - not too bad for a mercedes major component.

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#7 Old 11-20-2012
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I found it on Parts Geek also for a 2003 SLK 230. It appears it is the complete assembly.

http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/200..._assembly.html
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#8 Old 11-20-2012
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Seems to be a complete assembly... Will check if anything's wrong in there the next time I do the oil change! Great thanks for quick responses! Also was looking at idler arm repair kit...
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#9 Old 11-21-2012
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Originally Posted by matphillips View Post
I've just got back from the local garage after taking the car to get the tracking adjusted because the car will wander to the left if you take your hands off the wheel.

They said that they could not track it because the (I forgot what they called it) was worn out. The part on the end of the track rod end. Steering arm or something (sorry)

Anyway, they checked the system for the part, phoned two suppliers and came back to me with, "Cant do it, dealership only - you need an entire steering rack"

That sounds both frighteningly expensive, and possibly untrue.

I know I've been a bit vague with the details, but I'm wondering if anyone has anything to contribute, is the garage right?

Thanks
The garage is correct it's a a tie bar /joint is not available separately !
You have to buy complete not to bad a job to do and don't forget 4wheel alignment afterwards .
I have one to do at some point .
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#10 Old 11-21-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
The garage is correct it's a a tie bar /joint is not available separately !
You have to buy complete not to bad a job to do and don't forget 4wheel alignment afterwards .
I have one to do at some point .
I just phoned the garage to ask them what it was they said was wrong, they said "Track rod" or "steering rack arm" depending on what people call it.

I found this page with a diagram http://germanstar.net/170s.htm
but I dont think this part is shown there.

If I get the part ordered, is it the kind of job that I can do with a helper and standard tools? Particularly if the helper knows more about mechanics than I do !

The front tyres are not old but I dont know exactly as they were put on by the previous owner.
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#11 Old 11-21-2012
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Mercedes may not sell them separately (not surprisingly), but they are available. In fact about Ł10 each on EBAY uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-OUTER-TI...item4a99e91159
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#12 Old 11-21-2012
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Before you go any further check with a mercedes mechanic first i did the same thing and took the car to a dealership 3 ppl all told me that mercedes incorperate steering to the left or right (depending in which continent you live ) its a safety measure if you fall asleep behind the wheel the car will steer off the road instead of into oncoming traffic .
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#13 Old 11-22-2012
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I think you need to take it to someone who knows there track rod end to there tie bar's !!
Track rod ends are easily available for these cars !
But if it the rest of the steering mechanism its complete.

Find out if its the track rod end first !
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#14 Old 11-22-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
I think you need to take it to someone who knows there track rod end to there tie bar's !!
Track rod ends are easily available for these cars !
But if it the rest of the steering mechanism its complete.

Find out if its the track rod end first !
Agreed, it's booked into a friendly garage that I know for this Saturday. The place is further away from me but I can stand under the car with them and point at things and take pictures etc, this way I should be able to find out exactly what they as saying is wrong.

Thanks for all the tips, update in a few days
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#15 Old 11-22-2012
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Before you go, take it out on a dual carriage way... and find out if it pulls the same way on both sides of the road. The crown of a road will cause the car to drift towards the respective shoulder.

Sorry... but I just don't believe the "engineered to go in the ditch" explanation. Sounds like a warn n fuzzy explanation for the above...
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#16 Old 11-23-2012
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Originally Posted by Der Flieger View Post
Before you go, take it out on a dual carriage way... and find out if it pulls the same way on both sides of the road. The crown of a road will cause the car to drift towards the respective shoulder.

Sorry... but I just don't believe the "engineered to go in the ditch" explanation. Sounds like a warn n fuzzy explanation for the above...

Thats what i said to the mechanic but he said if you fell asleep behind the wheel would you rather the car veared to the left/right into the ditch or into oncoming traffic thats the idea that mr mercedes came up with i think its in the manual too.
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#17 Old 11-23-2012
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The part you are refering to the whole assembly is the Center Link/Drag Link. It has both inner and outer tie rods and the center link attached. I just had mine replaced on my slk this week. The whole part was $260. I paid $250 to have it installed and aligned. Fixed my steering pull and tightened the steering up really nicely. I will replace the steering damper myself in the spring. Its only $30 and is really easy to do.
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#18 Old 11-26-2012
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Back from second garage with more info and a photo. Looks like I will have to just bit the bullet and buy the new drag link. From the looks of it, it may be something I can install with a friend.

The picture below covers what the mechanic told me, in that when turning the not on the track-rod end, the track rod is rotating also, which means the tracking can't be adjusted. I'm sure something else will just go wrong if I try to replace a bit of it, there has to be a reason that it comes as a whole part, right?

Thanks all, off to ebay now to source the part
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#19 Old 11-26-2012
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did anyone heat the nut up to break the rust ? nine times out of ten that will do the trick,also spray some wd40 on it and work the nut free.

big shock the garage have not given it a go

last time i had mine done at hiQ they had to warm the lock nut up on my 171 trackrod arm.


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#20 Old 11-27-2012
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My god it amazes me what people will replace before having a go at things !!

1- Use some brought force to free up tie bar !

2- use some heat to free up tie bar by warming up nut / tie bar /track rod end !

3- once heated up use cold treatment that some times works !

4 - use freeing agent /copper grease and just soak it before you commence work!

5- failing that if you have removed whole of rack .
Clamp tie bar in vice and use 21mm spanner ( i think ) to free nut and use force too free up !

6 - if all fails new rack !

7- note replacing the rack still may not cure your pulling to left !!
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