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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
My front right tire is rubbing on the upper ball joint bolt. Should I add wheel spacers and call it a day, or is there an adjustment to be made?




Backstory: The front right spindle was scratched and chewing up bearings every <1000 miles, so today I replaced the spindle/steering knuckle with one from a 2002 CLK320, and installed new brake caliper seals, pads, and rotor. However... The front right tire is now rubbing on the upper ball joint bolt. It's not rubbing hard but is audible.
Prior to replacing the spindle there was tire rub only when turning in reverse, this started after changing tires (from Hankook V12 EVO to Ventus S1 Noble2's, both 225/45R17). The wheels are stock (AMG 5 spoke 17x8.5"). The upper ball joint and the tie rods are unchanged. The lower ball joint came with the spindle.
 

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Registered 2002 SLK320
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1,702 Posts
Hi,

It has to, (can only be), be one of the following ...................

Bent or incorrect wheel offset, check that offset first, some tyre places have been known to mix up a front and rear wheel rim, especially if these are a staggered set up :wink:

Ball pin thread too far through tapered orifice in hub carrier, (wear or incorrectly matched / sized parts)

Tyre size incorrect ( I haven't time to go looking them up)

Bent Hub

Bad Wheel Bearing (excess play)

Bent Stub Axle / Hub Carrier

Carefully compare things side to side, briefly swap the wheels if you are uncertain, (even if the tyres are directional, a quick test won't hurt) :wink:

HTH, Cheers Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The knuckle upper arm is 3/16" shorter than on the original. So my guess is that despite what the parts catalog states the 2002 CLK320 spindle/knuckle is NOT a direct replacement for the 1999 SLK230 AMG sport, or perhaps the replacement part had been bent.

Thank you Avel and Dave! I will bring a tape measure next time.
 

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Premium Member 1999 SLK 5.4 M113
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It should be the same part as the two platforms (170 and 208) shared the same suspension components.

how is the tire rubbing on the bolt and not the upper control arm?

can you swap the wheels left to right and see if it rubs on the other side?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did try swapping the wheels and it still rubbed. It turned out that the upper arm on the donor part was bent/buckled slightly causing negative camber. The donor showed no body damage but I suspect it had been forklifted hard onto the concrete. I have installed a spindle from another yard and the clearance is back to normal. :)

As an aside, the tapered fitting at the upper ball joint was quite difficult to separate, both times I had difficulty even using a gear puller.

Thank you all!
 
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