Drag link questions. Does it affect alignment?! - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 12-16-2012
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Question Drag link questions. Does it affect alignment?!

Dear fellow members,
today I replaced my steering damper and was very pleased with it! Great improvement since my old one was totally destroyed and didn't perform any other function rather than of a connecting pipe
However, as soon as I mounted it, I noticed that the middle part of the drag link (depicted on the diagram below) moves back and forward... I just used my hand and I don't even have to apply force... it moves back and forth... making an awful rattling, knocking noise...

Is is supposed to be like that???
I've noticed that when my steering wheel is turned and I drive off from my house, and pass a bump (while the steering wheel is being turned) I hear a click/knocking noise. And I think it's coming from this drag link...
Is there any way I can just replace these rubber bushings (or what's the proper name for these?) without buying the whole assembly? It runs for $250 online.
Also I have a long time problem where I did the alignment, changed the set of tires (I got Continental DWS Extreme Contact Pro, so I can rotate them left and right) but the car goes to the left... No matter how I tried to fix it it just goes to the left... May the drag link be a culprit? I don't really want to spend another $250 for drag link + $60 for tie rods + $40 for the idler arm bushing... So $350 sounds like OUCH!!!!....
I think it can be a DIY but I will need alignment after that...
I think it might be similar to this thread: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r170...e-tie-rod.html
I have a video but I need to upload it on Youtube. Never done this before =)
Had anyone experienced this? Any ideas?! I feel lost...
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#2 Old 12-16-2012
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There should not be any movement or play in any of the ball joint's !!
If there is you will never get the wheel alignment correct !

The steering comes complete minus outer track rod ends and can be bought over here on eBay / company's for approx Ł90.00 .

If you have any play / movement it will affect alignment .

Last edited by Delucas; 12-16-2012 at 06:22 AM.
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#3 Old 12-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
There should not be any movement or play in any of the ball joint's !!
If there is you will never get the wheel alignment correct !

The steering comes complete minus outer track rod ends and can be bought over here on eBay / company's for approx Ł90.00 .

If you have any play / movement it will affect alignment .
I was inclined to thinking about it too =(
Since no matter how many times I did the alignment and rotated the tires it Always goes to the right... =(
and btw, how often do you need to do the alignment? Every 6 months or 12?
There's a document over here:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/atta...-steering1.pdf
and it says "If play is present, replace track rod ball joints or drag link". Man... I just spent over $500 in parts since summer and then this thing comes up... This is ridiculous! Why don't the make this connection parts separate? A whole assembly.... =( Not really smart solution. Another question: How long will it last if I buy it new?!! Also, is it better to get it from the delaer (online) Or get from Ebay. Some ebay say it's OEM and it's a bit cheaper.. but I'm more inclined to online dealer...
The Ebay says it's Lemfoerder brand
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WD-EXPRESS-4...4e98c6&vxp=mtr
So, the total assembly inlcluding the tie rods will cost me $250 + I think it will be better to replace steering idler too while in there =)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-W17...447e22&vxp=mtr also say Lemfoerder.
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#4 Old 12-16-2012
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Depending on how bad the movement /play is !!
1 -Pulling can also be affected by your front tyres .
2 - And tyre pressures .

Swap front tyres over and see if car pulls to right !
If it does then it's your tyres that are affecting your pulling more !

But obviously the tracking will still be out !
But the tyres are causing the car to pull to left so drastic if the above mentioned occurs !
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#5 Old 12-16-2012
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The Ebay says it's Lemfoerder brand

That is a good make
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#6 Old 12-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
Depending on how bad the movement /play is !!
1 -Pulling can also be affected by your front tyres .
2 - And tyre pressures .

Swap front tyres over and see if car pulls to right !
If it does then it's your tyres that are affecting your pulling more !

But obviously the tracking will still be out !
But the tyres are causing the car to pull to left so drastic if the above mentioned occurs !
I got the set of the new Contis. The most expensive non-directional I could get for that car! I rotated them twice already. Every 3,000 miles and it just pulls to the right.... The guys at the alignment are giving me measurements and say that alignment is fine =( But it's not! Before that I had other brand of tires (Ziex, full B*****t!) 1,5 year ago and then it started to pull. They were directional and I couldn't swap them... The guys at the alignment told me it's crappy tires, but I didn't want to spend money on another set and just kept driving. My front ones were OK, but the rear ones erased completely.... It looked OK on the outside, but on the inside they were bold! Did just 12K's on Ziex and I'm not a racer... So I got Contis! Really pleased with those! BUT the issue with pulling to the right persists...
So, the I'm inclined to think it's the drag link that "Plays"...
Now, is it better to get one off the Ebay or go with the dealer?
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#7 Old 12-16-2012
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If you can get Lemfoerder brand from the bay go for it and the steering idler bushes get from main agent .

If there is nothing wrong with track rod ends re-use .
And apply some copper grease on tie bars so they can be adjusted Years later for alignment etc .
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#8 Old 12-16-2012
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Scrub that comment it looks like the eBay unit comes with track rod ends .
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#9 Old 12-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
Scrub that comment it looks like the eBay unit comes with track rod ends .
That's why I'm interested!
Woolly just PM'ed me and said that Lemfoerder is from premium quality parts world =)
And the one from Ebay comes with tie rods!!! Which is awesome!
Also the steering idler arm repair kit is also from Lemfoerder:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Steering-Idl...48b625&vxp=mtr
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#10 Old 12-16-2012
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Lemfoerder

Yes used them before not had any probs with them .
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#11 Old 12-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
Lemfoerder

Yes used them before not had any probs with them .
Alright, that's sounds more promising! Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas! Just want to fix it a be done with it!
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#12 Old 12-16-2012
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Well hit the buy it now section !
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#13 Old 12-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
Well hit the buy it now section !
Ok, I digged through Ebay and found several sellers:
The parts are all the same, just the sellers and prices are different =D
From Ebay I can get the whole drag link assembly including tie rods! for $223.29
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WD-EXPRESS-4...62068b&vxp=mtr
or $242.39
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WD-EXPRESS-4...cec7ee&vxp=mtr
or $274.76
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WD-EXPRESS-4...a0c52f&vxp=mtr
But all the ads are the same: Lomferder brand, just sellers are different!

Which one should I choose? I would go with the cheapest =)
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#14 Old 12-17-2012
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Lightbulb

Ok, was googling for the price for my new drag link and came up with BMA Auto Parts.
They have the full drag link assembly including the tie rods! Same as Ebay, a few bucks cheaper!
http://www.bmaparts.com/item.wws?cli...ERDER&sup=IMC&
The price is $203.05 + I found a %5 Coupon: "SpecE30" =)
So, the total price wend down to $ 192.90 Yaay!
So, if I get the steering idler arm repair kit
2024600319 for $30-40 it will total me $232.90 !!!
Which I think is not that bad for such a major component!
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#15 Old 12-17-2012
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Dont forget 4 wheel laser alignment .
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#16 Old 12-17-2012
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Originally Posted by Delucas View Post
Dont forget 4 wheel laser alignment .
Just ordered these! Hope everything's going to be ok! And I will not visit the alignment every 6 months to learn the issue =))
BTW, how often do you do yours?
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#17 Old 12-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysonM View Post
Just ordered these! Hope everything's going to be ok! And I will not visit the alignment every 6 months to learn the issue =))
BTW, how often do you do yours?
Lol

As often as i like
I have my own 4 wheel laser alignment equipment.

Id say if you have any steering / suspension work done or if you kerb the wheels etc
Or if you change alloys or coil springs .

Common sense tells you normally if your car starts to pull or if your tyres are wearing.
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#18 Old 12-17-2012
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My experience has been that the only place I can get a proper alignment is at the dealership. There used to be special tools needed, i.e. a spreader bar for example, that usually could only be found at the dealers. Camber, caster and toe are all inter related and changing one will often affect the others. A lifetime alignment that some people think is a great deal is not worth it if you have to go back every month to get it checked and adjusted and you go through a couple of sets of tires until their trial and error alignment finally gets you close. A good alignment shop also will not align your car is any front end parts need to be replaced. My dealer charges just over $100 and I usually get an alignment when I buy new tires which for the SLK will be every six or seven years at the rate I'm going.

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#19 Old 12-17-2012
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I also have the spreader bar !
But it's not used on all Mercedes only ones that are listed in data book .
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#20 Old 12-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
... A good alignment shop also will not align your car if any front end parts need to be replaced. .....
True. I know mine won't.

Jayson, not wanting to rain on your parade but if the tie rod ends are that worn you're probably going to need ball joints and A-arm bushings too. Everything needs to be tight to get a good alignment.
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