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W 123 front end rebuild preliminary settings

Old 08-12-2016, 12:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 32
Default W 123 front end rebuild preliminary settings

I just replaced all the parts subject to wear on the front end of my '81 240D ( ball joints,bushings , upper control arms etc.). I plan to have the alignment done at a qualified shop but, I'll need to drive it there so I need some preliminary adjustments. Also , what alignment adjustments need to be done on the rear axle and how do they affect the front end alignment? Can the shop do the alignment with the badly worn tires on it or will I need to replace them with new ones. I plan to replace them anyway but I wonder if I need to do it before the alignment. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Old 08-12-2016, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Prince George B.C.
Posts: 96

Hello, First , call the shop regarding the tires, its their job . Second, block the rear wheels. Now having fixed a wreck or 2
The first thing I would do is put the front end on blocks safely so that both front wheels are clear of the ground. Next center my steering wheel and tie it so that it stays centered. Loosen both tie rod clamps . Adjust both this way. I borrow a broom handle and a piece of wire taped to it. Adjust until until the front centres and rear centres distance is the same ,less than 1/8 inch . That should be close enough to drive. One more thing to check is your steering wheel free play. (1) Inspection procedure. With the engine on and the steering axle wheels in the straight ahead position, turn the steering wheel in one direction until there is a perceptible movement of the wheel. If a point on the steering wheel rim moves more than the value shown in Table 1 before perceptible return movement of the wheel under observation, there is excessive lash or free play in the steering system.

Table 2. Steering Wheel Free Play Values
Steering wheel diameter (inches) Lash (inches)
16 or less 2
18 2 1/4
20 2 1/2
22 2 3/4 A worn steering box with all new other parts = a costly failed alignment
Good luck and let us know how much the shop charged please Allan
Old 08-14-2016, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Prince George B.C.
Posts: 96

Truth, There are no obvious alignment adjustments. Further compared to most manufacturers it is really well designed. However my next door neighbour's son, slid his into a curb hard in the winter. They replaced the bent rim and sidewall damaged tire. 3 local alignment shops told them to scrap it, as they could not align it. Quote < There are no adjustments> In fact it was an easy and cheap bent parts replacement / repair. He is still happily driving it. A competent shop understands that they cannot know the vehicles full history. and should check that all 4 wheels are aligned within factory specs. The question to answer regarding how does a misaligned rear end affect the front end alignment? My experience is this. A competent journeyman alignment mechanic is the best person to advise you. I would ask that question before taking my car in. Listen carefully and choose who you feel gives the best advise and guarantees their work. Allan
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