Time to do Steering Damper; Which brand - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 04-01-2013
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Time to do Steering Damper; Which brand

My car has had very loose steering since I bought it. Not what I expected from an SLK, expecially after reading all the post about how well it handles. I was crawling around under the car this weekend and have oil leak in my steering damper (car is an 02 slk320 with 85k miles).

In looking at the way it is installed it doesn't look like that big of a job for anyone who has spent anytime under a car. The parts I find are fairly reasonable, all under $50 which is what is pushing me to go ahead and do it.

The only question is depending on what supplier I am looking at, I am getting several different brands for OEM replacements. Is one better than the other? Stabilus ($40) Meyle ($26) from one sources that also listed a Mercedes Benz brand for $54... but several other MB parts houses sell the Stabilus and Meyle interchangibly under same part number (#1244630432). Is there a difference? I want the tightest feeling one, which I guess would be the stronger damper....? but I don't know.

Should I go ahead and replace linkage or tie rod ends while down there? A service prior to me buying the car indicates ball-joints, but MB dealer was very vague on invoice.
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#2 Old 04-01-2013
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Conleyjb,
Take a look at this thread. It's exactly what you need.
www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-general-discussion/33862-drag-link-questions-does-affect-alignment.html
I went with OEM steering damper. I think everything in Mercedes is Stabilus: trunk, hood, steering dampers. It's a little bit more expensive but I'd rather go with OEM quality. As far as I remeber mine was $54 from online dealer and it was Stabilus. The drag link - I went with Lemfoerder. I did an extensive research and everybody values Lemfoerder more. I also opted for Lemfoerder engine and tranny mounts. It's the most expensive apart from if you buy from the dealer. Yes, it will lack MB logo but in general they look very sturdy and Lemfoerder is one of the OEM part suppliers as well as Sachs Boge, Meyle, etc. I compared my OEM and Lemfoerder tranny mounts and found Lemfoerder to be even sturdier. And here's how to replace it:
www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-class-diy/33861-steering-damper-replacement-change-r170.html
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#3 Old 04-01-2013
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Originally Posted by conleyjb View Post
My car has had very loose steering since I bought it. Not what I expected from an SLK, expecially after reading all the post about how well it handles . . ..
The R170 is one of the few`'modern' cars that has recirculating ball steering. It is never going to feel as 'tight' as rack & pinion (as fitted to the R171).






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#4 Old 04-01-2013
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Originally Posted by Woolly View Post
The R170 is one of the few`'modern' cars that has recirculating ball steering. It is never going to feel as 'tight' as rack & pinion (as fitted to the R171).
I only drove 2012 C class and must say that probably you're right Wolly but for us R170 owners who never did their damper in 80k and above installing a new one is like heaven and earth :-))
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#5 Old 04-08-2013
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I ordered and now have a Stablius damper awaiting me lefting to car to install. I realize I will never get the same feel as my wife's GLK, but can only hope I can get it better than it is.

At 84k I am pretty confident that my original one has seen better days. I can't be sure until I get it up in the air, but the original shock is either leaking or has been further saterated by the oil leak that I also have. I can reach up from the side of the car and its really wet around it and oily. I suspect my issue was acellerated by a combination of both, but am leaning towards the damper leaking since my oil issue has seen less than a teaspoon of oil on the garage floor after sitting for five days..... if its not one thing its another
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