Mercedes SLK World banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered 1997 SLK230
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted in the "What did you do to your SLK today?" thread that I took my 1997 230 for its annual MOT and it passed. This is of course great news but...

...part of me was hoping they might pick up something with the steering/suspension that's causing poor handling on some road conditions. At times its almost like driving cars from back in the 60s and 70s when cross ply tyres were common. There is a real tendency to tramline and follow any ruts in the road. At the moment it has Pirelli 6000 tyres on stock 16" wheels (205x55s on the front and 225x50s on the rear). The car has always done this since I got it back in February 2013 and each year it passes the MOT with no advisories. In the time I have owned the car and as part of general maintenance I have:

1) Changed the steering damper (that helped a bit)
2) Replaced all the bushes and suspension links at the rear
3) Replaced wheel bearings all around
4) Replaced the anti roll bar bushes
5) Had a full four wheel alignment done on a Hunter alignment system

Given that neither I or the MOT man can find anything wrong I'm wondering if it's purely a tyre problem. Has anybody experienced this behaviour from the tyres alone or indeed any other cause that wouldn't necessarily show up on an MOT?

I am probably going to need new front tyres as a minimum this year so are there any tyre recommendations for good handling.

Any of your thoughts welcome.
 

·
Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
Joined
·
28,785 Posts
Can't remember what was on our '04 230 when we got it but it trammed badly.

Played with pressures and that helped.

Switched to Michelins all round and 'Presto!' nor more tramming.

Could be that simple. Especially given the work you have already done.

I used 'tyres on the drive', who discount multiple tyres and will do the switch at home or work.

Hope you solve it, cos' a sweeter handling 230 is a joy.
 

·
Registered 1997 SLK230
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that quick response. My experience over the years with Michelins has always been brilliant and they seems to last for ever too! Time for some googling for the best deal on Michelins - it always used to be Costco.
 

·
Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG; 2000 SLK320
Joined
·
210 Posts
One thing I notice you haven't mentioned in your list are the steering idler arm bushes, which can contribute to vague steering and tramlining. Perhaps worth a try and cheaper than a new set of tyres.
 

·
Registered 1997 SLK230
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
One thing I notice you haven't mentioned in your list are the steering idler arm bushes, which can contribute to vague steering and tramlining. Perhaps worth a try and cheaper than a new set of tyres.
That sounds like a top notch suggestion - why don't I have ideas like that!

I am going to need new front tyres anyway but I think looking at the idler arm bush first is a sound idea. It could also explain why the front left (idler side) tyre has worn much more on the outer edge than the front right even though the tracking was pretty much spot on. Clearly makes sense to check this out and fix any problem before splashing out on new rubber.

I'll look into this over the few weeks ("Senior Managements" birthday is coming up so tinkering time is a tad limited right now). I'll feedback on the outcome.

Thanks again.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
When the front wheel bearings were replaced, did they set the clearance to the correct value? Mercedes has a unique way of specifying the bearing clearance, and it may have not been followed.
 

·
Registered 1997 SLK230
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestion. Yes when I changed the front wheel bearings I used a dial gauge to set the end float in accordance with WIS. The issue predates the wheel bearing changes and didn't improve or deteriorate after the change. I changed them because the front left was shot and droning badly at around 40mph.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I had the same issue and assumed it was due to tired suspension components as my car had 150K on it at the time. It had a set of Kumhos and the rears were getting worn. Swithced to a set of Uniroyals and it was a noticable difference. Tracked like a train.
 

·
Registered 1997 SLK230
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just a quick post to update on the current status.

Following the sound advice above re the idler bush I splashed out £20 on a Lemforder repair kit which I finally got installed on Saturday. The car immediately seemed very different with a much more positive feeling about the steering. Probably the best improvement I have ever had in a car for such a small outlay!

Today the two front tyres were swapped for a pair of Good Year "EfficientGrip Performance" tyres.
I picked these because they were on an offer I couldn't refuse in terms of price and are B rated for fuel efficiency, A for wet grip and noise is just 68db. The drive home was a real joy - the car seems truly transformed for less than £150. Bargain!

I have just one issue remaining which is just how on earth do you torque up the central bolt of the idler bush!!
There is just no way to get a socket and torque wrench anywhere near the bottom nut from underneath. I always understood you torque up the nut and not the bolt. But in any case whilst I can get a socket onto the bolt head from the top you need to use a couple of long extensions and a UJ coupler onto the socket thus rendering any torques setting meaningless. So at the moment I have just gone for "suitably tight" whatever that means.
Anyone any advice on this?
How do the pros do it...

Cheers to all
Bob
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top