6.9 steering box problems

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Styria

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Most of you would be familiar with the location of the Steering Box on right hand drive cars - very, very close to the exhaust manifold and thus subject to SOME pretty hot temperatures. The questions I have these are as follows:

1. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the fitting of some heat shield ?

2. Would it be beneficial as far as longevity of seal life etc. is concerned.

3. If you were to purchase a seal kit, where would you buy it from ?

4. How much work involved in changing seals etc. etc.

I have a reason for seeking answers to these questions, and I am obviously interested in thoughts or remedies or solutions by other forum members.

Also, is the box fitted to 6.9s the same as that for say a 280 or 450. Regards Styria
 

motec 6.9

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Hi styria you can buy an exhaust wrap in rolls from most speedshops usually fitted on exhaust headers on sprint cars it will cut down the heat quiet a bit or if you get headers made up get them ceramic coated or have your cast manifold coated as for the steering box i have no idea about other than i paid just over 400 for a new one in 2003:D
 

motec 6.9

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Ps Styria VPW list ACE exhaust wrap 25mm 15m rolls for $36.38 hope that helps 50mm 15m rolls are $68.00:)
 

John S

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From reading previous forums the steering box seals are readily available and good quality on the aftermarket, where there is a big price reduction compared to purchasing from a MB dealer. However it seems that there were a number of different "O" ring seals available for the W116's so you will need to know the code of the box or the exact build date of your car to ensure that you obtain the correct ones.

On the basis that power steering seals have not been an ongoing problem on W116 models, I tend to think that the heat is not a concern - however as the W116's use a "heat shield" on the engine mounts made from thin sheet metal, a similar shield could be set up to protect the power steering pump without too much trouble.

Regarding wrapping the exhaust with a heat insulating material (which seems a great idea), just watch out that the life of the manifold / pipes that you insulate is not drastically reduced.
 

WGB

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My understanding is that the 6.9 box is unique with a faster ratio - but other than that all seals and bearings are the same as far as I know - but will check that out when I have time to access my home computer.

There is also a clear, precise pictorial with explanation on changing the seals in a box that has been circulating - I have a copy at home and will either send you a copy or post the link if I can find it today.

Bill
 
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TJ 450

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W126s are fitted with an aluminium heat shield over the steering box, from the factory. I have no doubt that it would help, but I'm pretty sure you would have to remove the exhaust manifold to implement such a modification.

Tim
 

SELfor50

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Great guide Bill, very very good.

On the steering box models.. I know there are different models across the 116 range.. But I think the only difference is the ratio's in the gearbox, eg gears. Some are less turns side to side etc.

For heatshield, I'd go with the ceramic coating option of the headers plus a heat shielf fo the box.. or for easy way do the wrap around as motec has suggested.

Cam.
 

Lukas

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Re different models, MBSpares insisted on a 6.9 steering box when they swapped the one on the blue car, so there is some kind of difference.
 
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Styria

Styria

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I'd like to thank each and everyone of you for your input, suggestions, solutions etc. Obviously I had a particular reason for raising the subject matter, and unfortunately no one has come up with where they would be sourcing the kit from. I'll reply to each of you wherever appropriate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill, that version of the repairs is absolutely first class-I have it in my filing system and once time permits, I will take the liberty to list it in the Technical Section. The facility is available, it is just that I have not yet used it.

TJ450 - yes, some form of heatshield would definitely be of benefit - must admit though, I am not totally certain as how one would go about it.

Motec 6.9 - the heat insulation would be excellent (I would daresay), but that area of the engine is just so restrictive spacewise - in fact, it is well nigh (almost) impossible to remove the exhaust manifold separately. I know it can be done, but only just....one of the less pleasant 6.9 under bonnet jobs.

JohnS - I take your statement on board, and I would daresay that, from original, and possible using a 'genuine' Benz seal kit, incidentally priced at $210.56 plus GST (10%), the boxes are largely trouble free. It is when one uses an after market kit, that problems seem to arise.

It is only in the last, say, two years, that I have had to pay attention to the re-conditioning process. Prior to that, I'd hand the box over to specialists (but never on exchange), they would carry out whatever work necessary and that'd be the finish of it. It has been brought to my attention that after market seals have a limited life cycle - probably, at best, two years. It could even be less than that. The "O" rings flatten out badly, and also become quite brittle and unyielding. So, from hereon in, no more after market kits. However, rather than purchasing genuine, I am likely to look at outside suppliers that would be able to supply 'O' rings of greater intensity and heat resistance.

I will keep everyone posted on what further enquiries will come up with. Regards Styria
 

TJ 450

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I will have the 380SE on the premises by Saturday. I should be able to take a photo of the heat shield arrangement.

It is a piece of aluminium sheet that fits directly over the steering box and is mounted to the chassis with sheet metal/self tapping screws.

I think it would actually be possible to fabricate and install such a device without removing anything and it would be of great benefit to the longevity of the rubber coupling etc.

Tim
 

abl567

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Styria, I've requested a P&A from the classic centre for the seal kit, will let you know soonest
 

abl567

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Part Number 107-460-00-61
$83 bucks, delivered, in stock (thats aussie dollars):D
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi abl567,

Art that figure you have quoted, it is just a bit more than one third of the Australian price. I should also point out that it is a particular specialist rebuilder that has branded the after market kits as 'rubbish' and he uses seals and parts that he obtains from other sources. Those details are not known to me. Regards Styria
 

WGB

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I will have the 380SE on the premises by Saturday. I should be able to take a photo of the heat shield arrangement.

It is a piece of aluminium sheet that fits directly over the steering box and is mounted to the chassis with sheet metal/self tapping screws.

I think it would actually be possible to fabricate and install such a device without removing anything and it would be of great benefit to the longevity of the rubber coupling etc.

Tim

I'd like to see that picture Tim

Bill
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi styria you can buy an exhaust wrap in rolls from most speedshops usually fitted on exhaust headers on sprint cars it will cut down the heat quiet a bit or if you get headers made up get them ceramic coated or have your cast manifold coated as for the steering box i have no idea about other than i paid just over 400 for a new one in 2003:D

$400.00 - new, reconditioned or rebuilt ? If new, that is cheap. It is not always realized that if one buys a re-sealed box in exchange, initially one has no way of telling how good, or bad for that matter, the box might be mechanically. So that aspect is another consideration to be factored in. Regards Styria
 

TJ 450

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It seems my impression of the W126 steering box sheild was slightly off the mark, as it only covers the coupling. It is an improvement in any case.



Here are the cars positioned for all sorts of work to be carried out...



Tim
 
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