Have an '81 240D with only 117K actual miles. Problem is the rear of the car
"dog walks" down the road to the tune of about 5 or 6 inches to the right. I
've check to make certain everything is tight but when I place a straight
edge on each rear wheel it always points to the right. I've been told the
only remedy is to replace the rear wheel carriers. Does anyone know of an
easier fix? I can get the parts from a wrecking yard but it's really a job
pulling those things out. The rest of the car is great and, although it
drives fine, I don't like the idea of going down the road partially
Check both of those areas and everything is in good condition. Everything
seems to be very tight, just off line. The subframe was the initial suspect.
I have a complete set of manuals and have looked that section over several
times and can find no adjustments so it would seem that the arms supporting
the bearings are just out of alignment. The only thing that is puzzling is
that both seem to be out of alignment the same way...both to the right and
both between 5-6 inches. I'm told you're the MB guru so any suggestions will
be seriously considered.
That was my first suspect since the car did rear end a large truck. However,
it was not enough to even break the headlights although the grille got
creamed and the hood buckled. The first thing I did was take some
measurements to check the rear subframe alignment. Everything checked out
within 1/16th inch, not nearly enough to cause the existing misalignment. I
keep coming back to the rear hubs, both of which are aimed to the right. I
can find no stress cracks in the paint on either rear bearing carrier
although this would seem to be the most likely place of suspect. Again,
every single bolt and bushing appears to be in good shape. No buckling
observed anywhere. When measurements are taken from each mounting bolt on
the rear subframe to the center of the front lower cross member everything
is nearly perfect. I feel any accident serious enough to cause this degree
of misalignment should be observable and should certainly show up by taking
required measurements. The center-to-center measurement from the front/rear
hubs is also nearly identical. It's as if someone put a huge pry bar on each
rear axle hub and twisted it to the right. Any other suggestions?
There is one thing you can do to see if your frame is straight... at each
jack points... drop a plumb line and make a mark on the floor... move the
car away from that marks and measure the diagonal direction... front right
to left rear... front left to right rear.
If the frame is square as it is supposed to be, then the two measurements
would be equal. If not, then your frame is bent.
Now here is the problem... not every car after accident can be straightened
all the way. That's okay because the wheel alignment will compensate for the
rest... as long as the front wheel is aligned to the direction of the rear
wheel, the car will track straight. It is a long explaination but you should
be able to find some info on internet regarding alignment.
Thanks Tiger. Good advice. I'll try that and let you know. Too bad it's not
as easy as with a solid rear axle vehicle where you can simply shift one
side forward or backward to obtain straight tracking. Had one "expert" try
to tell me it was simply a matter of front end alignment. Couldn't explain
to him the physics involved but essentially told him that if you took an
equal sided yoke from the two rear wheels forward that the forward point of
the yoke should be dead center. If that point is off to either side the
vehicle will "dog walk" down the road. Anyway your advice is well taken.
I'll let you know the results.
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