Steering Box - problem solved

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Styria

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There are two problems that the steering boxes on our 116s and 107s are subject to. The first relates to the leakage of oil from seals that have gone hard, and this is quite easy to rectify by disassembling the unit and resealing it. More often than not, you are supplied with an exchange unit, and whilst it has been resealed, there is very little control one has over the quality of the exchange unit from a mechanical point of view.

How often have you heard that "sure, the box doesn't leak any more, but there is considerable free play in the centre position, causing imprecise steering action when driving straight ahead. I have been reasonably lucky in having fairly good units on hand that I have been able to procure over the years, but really given the age of the boxes, good and serviceable ones are hard to come by. You have the choice of adjusting the free play in the centre position, but the action towards full lock becomes very stiff and only adds to the problem of poor steering quality.

I am pleased to convey that the problem has been solved by machining various internal components of the box. The cure may not totally be 100%, but it comes very, very close. Like with most things when there is extra work involved, an additional cost factor needs to be applied, which in this case is just about $180.00 on top of the usual cost of between $400.00 to $480.00.
It is an excellent solution to an age old problem. Regards Styria
 

motec 6.9

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Hi styria its nice to know if i need a box in the future i think i was lucky i managed to buy a brand new box and have it fitted in adelaide in 2003 from f wann motors at the same time i fitted new struts to my car which since then has only traveled 6000km looking forward to adding many more:)
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi Motec 6.9, you're unlikely to experience any problems in the foreseeable future, not even with seals simply because of non-usage of your car in between times. Nice to know that you have an almost new box.

BTW, are you still making progress with your 6.9 ? Considering the time and effort put into the car, I am sure you must bo looking forward to getting it back on the road. Regards Styria
 

s class

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styria, I presume you are referring to machining the teeth on the sector shaft and working piston? THese parts are available new from the dealership, but are prohibitively expensive.

I was fortunate to recently aquire all the sector shaft/working piston NOS sets from a liquidated dealership stock, at bargain prices. I recently installed the first set in a fellow club member's car, and the results are quite astonishing. The steering feel is nothing short of 'delicious' for want of a better description. Of course, I only have a finite number of these sets, so eventually I will be needing to look at solutions such as you have found.
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi S-Class, my apologies for being late in responding. Obviously, fitting a new set of gears would be ideal, but machining them is a better than reasonable alternative. The first box modified appears to be working well, and this is obviously the way to go other than the installation of a new unit that Motec 6.9 managed to obtain, or the new gears you have managed to purchase. I have now another modified unit on hand, thus in my opinion this was an important breakthrough. Regards Styria
 

Michel

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I have now another modified unit on hand, thus in my opinion this was an important breakthrough. Regards Styria

What's the chance of having that unit fitted to the 690SEL Godfather? :D
 
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Styria

Styria

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What's the chance of having that unit fitted to the 690SEL Godfather? :D

Well. I will talk to the powers that be to see if you are on the 'good boys list' and deserving of favourable consideration :D Hmmm...only just, the message has come through that your number of postings ought to be increased ! They're hard task masters. Regards Styria
 

mathew

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Guy's is the 116 steering box the same as what is was fitted to the latter W126 model?
Cheers Mat
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi Mat, I am not sure, but will endeavour to find out for you - I take it that you are referring to interchangeability. However, if your reference relates to reconditioning, or should I say rebuilding, the process and principles involved should be the same. Regards Styria
 

mathew

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Ok then I think I might consider doing mine next year with 368K under her she is a little worn (at high speeds:):):))
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi Mat, the internals of the box would appear to be just about identical. There may be some exterior casing variations, but I doubt it. There is in fact a very comprehensive post that deals with the overhaul of these boxes in some great detail in the Technical Section of the Forum. Regards Styria
 

mrkozzy

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I was reading the steering box posts with interest.
questions.......

was the 116 steering box the same all thru the 116 model range?

I have a d jet 1975 and a K jet 1978 donor car. Both are 280 SE models.
I was thinking of stripping the K jet of its steering box (and having it resealed) then getting the mechanic to swap them over at the next service. Obviously no point if the boxes are different. Does anybody know?
 
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CraigS

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Something I also need to look at - not specifically the steering box, but I think my coupling is kaput. There is a horrible metallic sound when you turn the wheel slightly in any direction. I noticed that the drag link was bent, so have a (proper 6.9) replacement (yes, they are different than a standard W116), so that also needs to be installed once up and running. The good news is that the broken bolts in the intake manifold have been removed, helicoils inserted and ready for it to all go back together. Hope to make some progress Sunday, but am not going to rush it. I still need to replace all of the hoses while I am in there.
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi Mr. Kozzy, I would be very surprised if the boxes are not interchangeable between the two models. As a matter of interest, also, just have someone ascertain that the box is still serviceable from a mechanical point of view. Just pay some attention to the amount of free play in the centre position, and also avoid over-adjusting the free play in the box. Regards Styria
 
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Styria

Styria

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Hi Craig, you are obviously getting to be quite serious about getting the 6.9 sorted out, and up and running. The Inlet Manifold can be tricky to remove, with two or three of the retaining bolts being subject to being water affected. I reckon you did really well in having the offending bolts removed by a professional ('Rusted-In Bolt Remover). Sort of thinking back to when I was involved in this type of job, I have never been able to understand why MB resorted to utilizing Allen headed bolts, rather than hectagonal type bolts. Another problem area relates to the bottom bolts that secure the water pump housing (the unit between pump and engine block) - they are inclined to rust themselves in, and removal of internally stripped heads of Allen Bolts can present a real headache.

Regarding the drag link - sure enough, they are 6.9 exclusive, somewhat difficult to come by, and fairly expensive. Good luck with all the work you are carrying out, and I am hoping to see either the 6.9, or the 6.3 for that matter, at our get-together on the 9th June. Regards Styria
 
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Oversize

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I actually thought the boxes were different but I could be wrong...

What's the difference in the drag links?
 
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Styria

Styria

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Craig and Mark, the 6.9 drag link has completely different dimensions length wise, and the welded on bracket has been re-located. $100.00 ? Cheap at that price, normally it is much higher than that. One could even try OZ price for "that surprise", and I have also found that after market suppliers hardly ever stock the 6.9 item. I personally have resolved to having mine re-built, but the cost is well in excess of $100.00. Regards Styria
 

CraigS

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To be exact, it was $90.95 plus freight, but I bought a few items so the freight was not significant.
 
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