HELP C280 1996 Drag Link with Inner TIE RODS

Hi folks,
I just failed state inspection, technician said that I need to replace the Drag link assembly with inner tie rods, he stated that this will be about
$630.00 parts and labor. I did not want a local shop touching it, I called the dealer, and the dealer wants to know if both need replacement or only one side, I could not answer the dealer. I do not want to go back to the gas station. I have no clue as to what is happening, I am not into cars, I just drive them to go to work, but I want to be cautious, I need advice please. Thanks
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I believe the dealer just thinks you want the outer tie rod ends.
The drag link comes with the inner and outer ends on it. #56 here: http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.asp?TP=1&F 2029&M2%2E920&GAr2%2E606&GMq7%2E465&CT=F&catDV&SIDF&SGR0&SGN

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I just looked up the cost of the parts online. Retail on the tie rod ends is $24. The drag link repair kit is also $24.
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WHERE???? Go here http://www.importeccatalog.com/ and enter part number 2024600505 and you will find that it is $220.
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I was looking it up in buymbparts.com where the same part is $173, but that's the entire tie-rod asembly. In all likelyhood you only need the tie rod ends which are only $24 each.
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On a 202 body drag link, the inner tie ends are part of the drag link. Only the outers are replaceable. For the inners, he will need the whole assembly.
That is what he asked about: "I just failed state inspection, technician said that I need to replace the drag link assembly with inner tie rods,....."
It is also spelled out that way in the subject title. Key word INNER.
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Ouch.
Call around. You can get better prices from people even thatn the prices on their websites. I'd shoot for $150 for this part.
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The "drag link" is also called the "idler arm" and is simply a pivot point in a linkage and is the right side mirror of the (left side) arm from the steering box. If your car has >100K miles such a repair is plausible otherwise suspect. The inner tie rod ends attach to the idler arm and are pivot points. IMHO it's more likely that the outer tie rod ends would be the ones to be worn than the inner ones but the cost won't differ much in either case. If it were my car I'd get another repair estimate.
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No, the idler arm is the idler arm. What Mercedes calls as the drag link is actually the center link. If you picture a 56 Ford pickup, the arm between the Pittman arm and the center link is the true drag link.
In the link I sent earlier, #8 is the idler arm: http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.asp?TP=1&F 2029&M2%2E920&GAr2%2E606&GMq7%2E465&CT=F&catDV&SIDF&SGR0&SGN
It connects to the right side inner tie rod end. If the Pittman arm was pictured between the steering box and the drag link, it would connect to the left inner tie rod end.

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autohause has drag link/center link and tie rods both sides as a complete unit 133.55 plus postage i have a 1964 220sb and i have recently replaced same with parts from autohauz a good mechanic should be able to replace in about 2 hrs it took me 4 hrs laying under my car with front of car on jack stands.$630.00 seams a bit rich if only replacing center link when members have found item for $24.00 $610.00 for labour that is $305.00 an hour
If you were in australia i would do the job for $150.00 plus parts but then i am retired
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Agreed on autohausaz.com that have your part for $133.55. However, the shipping is free!
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Hi,
I have read each and every post here, I thank you ALL and I mean all of you. I printed all these Diagrams, I found a local repair shop that has a huge MERCEDES store sign on top of his shop, I spoke to the owner, I explained to him what I need. He did not say anything at first, all he wanted is my keys, He put the car up in the air, he took me under the car, and I was standing under the car, and I am 5, 8 tall, and the car was still one foot higher than me, He had a fluorescent light he took about 5 minutes inspecting, finally he said that the center bar is OK, but the left and right tie rod ends need to be replaced, he then moved them, and they were a bit loose, and there is play. I asked, how much, he said $160 parts and labor, I accepted. The mechanic is a very honest person I will go back if I need service. The next day I went to a different state inspection station for inspection, and it passed. I took everyones advise and did exactly what all of you suggested. Thanks to all.
Roger

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Well done! You saved yourself $470 from the guy who wants to rip you off. This is how everyone should shop around... and when you finally find the one to trust, stay with them... don't go anywhere else. Keep them alive with your business and refer your friends to them if they have Mercedes.
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Ok, now that this issue has been resolved, how do I close this thread?, do I own this thread, cause I opened it. Please advise, and thanks in advance.

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THAT will cost you $670 in parts and labour.
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Very original :)
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