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Discussion Starter #1
This is a message to all UK owners of R171 SLKs'.

Today I left home to go to the gym, arrived and then left and when driving home realised that the handling was 'off'.

It was a bit like a 'shimmy' that I felt through my bum - a bit weird.

Got home and had to drive to Epsom for a meeting (51 miles away) considered taking the LR Discovery V8 but considered that the MPG on my SLK 350 was so much better I would save about two UK Gallons of petrol.

Big mistake.

The 'shimmy' got worse, and I called my local garage and booked the SLK in for next Tuesday (12th Nov 2019) to have the rear suspension looked at.

Drove home at reduced speed (45 mph).

On the A31 - just south of Farnham - Hampshire (UK!) - something snapped in the rear.

The car pirouetted 360 degrees twice across both lanes of the dual carriageway at some 45/50 MPH and ended up hitting the central reservation (which is grass ) rearwards.

Thanks to whatever Guardian Angel is up there - no traffic was near me but they all stopped and jumped out to help - I got off the grass with both rear wheels pointing in different directions.

AA turned up (Heroes!) and I was towed home the final 15 miles (So near yet so far!).

Looks like the rust in the rear subframe was so severe that a bracket holding some kind of Rod began to break off - which explains the 'shimmy' but then finally snapped and the result was me doing an impression of the Fandango down two lanes of double- carriageway.

So please. All R171 owners - get your rear-subframes checked.

The good news is that no one was killed or injured, I have just been made redundant for the third time in my life so I need this like a new hole in my old head, but I do not have cancer and was not being passed by a 38 Tonne Artic when it happened otherwise I would have gone underneath it with terminal consequences.

I hope that the Guardian Angel can also help find me a new role as obviously I am destined for greatness.

Best Wishes all

Mark
 

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Like you say Mark, main thing is it being a walk away.
Glad to hear it.


For those reading, this is not an isolated incident.
It is also, potentially worldwide.

Any area that salts roads in winter and suffers a damp climate, or near salt water
can suffer this issue.

There are other threads and definitely one where the ending was similar, but down an A road.

Get your mech to check this every year.

A replacement rear chassis, or repair is nothing, compared to what might happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are other threads and definitely one where the ending was similar, but down an A road.
Thanks Avel Du, the A31 is a 70 MPH Dual-Carriage way, but thus only two lanes - I was bloody lucky, it could have happened earlier in my trip on the M25 Orbital (hah hah!) 5 lane motorway that encircles (sometimes!) London which would have had a different outcome.

I am sat here at home with two LR Disco 2s ready to roll and a very VERY large Gin and Tonic close to hand - Osteopathy visit on Monday to check that my (already) broken spine is not damaged any more - at least I hit the grass central reservation rear-wards otherwise I would have head-butted the wheel etc which would not have been a good look - I have some pictures of the car but I am not sure they would help, but please people - check your sub-frames.
 

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Glad that you survived virtually unscathed

A car we looked at was at a dealer in a seaside town. The car looked great BUT a check on the MOT history showed an advisory that there was corrosion at the rear suspension. In the UK always useful to check the history.
 

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I don't think the rear sub frame is adequately protected from corrosion. Its an expensive job but had to be done on mine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think the rear sub frame is adequately protected from corrosion. Its an expensive job but had to be done on mine as well.
Just had the quote from the garage - c£650+VAT for a new subframe - main problem is a bust rear wheel which are hard to get.

My feeling is that it's an okay price to get the SLK back on the road, from now on the subframe will be sprayed annually with ACF50.

With labour charges it's likely to be around £1.5k - fingers crossed.
 

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My feeling is that it's an okay price to get the SLK back on the road, from now on the subframe will be sprayed annually with ACF50.

With labour charges it's likely to be around £1.5k - fingers crossed.
Hello from just up the road in Basingstoke - Thanks for flagging this up for R171 owners :tu:
I use to work in Alton & know the A31 well, so sorry to here of Your expensive adventure in Your SLK....

I do have a spare 2010 design R171/350 front wheel, but different size from the rear...
Fingers crossed Your get the car all sorted:
 

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Sorry to hear this Mark, but relieved you are OK. I wrote a diatribe about discovering this type of issue last year on the forum and can only echo your advice. It also reassures me that I took the right decision to send the car back to the dealer and not trust their repair.

Check the subframe and catch it before it's too late if you own a 171, and if you are looking to buy almost the first thing one should do is get underneath it sadly. And if you see one covered in waxoil - be careful. You never know what that is hiding.

I hope your luck changes on the job front and you get yours moving again. It's the labour cost that makes the subframe repair expensive - but at least physically you are fine and your perspective on this is quite right. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's the labour cost that makes the subframe repair expensive - but at least physically you are fine and your perspective on this is quite right. Best of luck.
Thanks - local guys are competent and charge £40 per hour - they replaced the engine in my TD5 Disco so they know what that are doing - issue is availability of replacement wheel.

Hitting the central reservation was good for my back (broke the spine in 1973) but my knees are all over the place as they were rammed against the lower part of the steering wheel!
 

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Check the subframe and catch it before it's too late if you own a 171, and if you are looking to buy almost the first thing one should do is get underneath it sadly. And if you see one covered in waxoil - be careful. You never know what that is hiding.

Funny you should say that; as a direct result of this thread I was underneath the OH's SLK yesterday with a wire brush, checking it over, and the rear subframe is now liberally sprayed with Waxoyl. You can't win! :grin:
 

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I Believe i have been mentioning corrosion on the SLK 171 underneath and points of reference where corrosion starts as well as the rear chassis for ages now ........

I treat mine / check every few months and clean and if apply Hammerite with Satin Black .

So far so good in a 10 year old SLK . :nerd:

As a note there are some more important corrosion points to look in to .
 
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