W140 parking brake, upper control arms, steering assistance

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s class

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More W140 work this evening.

I removed the valve covers for a once-every-so-often inspection of the cam oilers. These little devices have machined oil galleries, and one of the ports is closed off during manufacture by a small steel ball, and the casting is peened to keep it in place. Unfortunately these balls can and do break free - a known M119 weakness. The consequence is that this ball then is free in the valve area, and the corresponding cam and tappet go short of oil. Symptoms include persistent valve ticking and eventually cam damage. Prudence is to do periodic inspections of these oilers. Simple enough heh? Well yes, but from the start of stripping to having the engine running again is at least 90 minutes due to the amount of stripping.

At least I can report all the oilers are still good - a happy state of affairs as replacing the oilers involves releasing the camshaft bearing caps. Not nice.

I then got on with removing the handbrake shoes - necessary because during a recent business trip, I was travelling home about 250km at 3am, after a 20 hour day, pulled over to take a break, and when resuming my trip was to tired to notice the handbrake was still on. Those poor little handbrake shoes were no match for 300hp of quadcam v8 over the next 100km. The handbrake shoe arrangement is almost identical to the W116, thhough the clearance adjustment mechanism is of a considerably improved design, and much, much easier to adjust than trying to blindly twiddle that little toothed wheel inside the drum in the W116's case.

I also pulled off the front upper control arms to investigate the clonking they have developed. Can you believe, MB does not provide a bushing kit for them. The arm has to be replaced entirely, for some $400 per side. Ouch. Autohaus does offer a cheaper Meyle alternative for around $100 plus postage per side. Anyway, these upper control arms have hydraulic bushings, and mine are well past their best. ho hum.
 
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