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Crosswinds

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robgee:
Gentleman my question concerns your experiences with crosswinds and the effects they may or may not have on the cars behaviour.Here in sunny Melbourne for our overseas members probably the closest thing to Chicago in the southern hemisphere.I  am experiencing having to constantly correct my steering input with these wintery wind gusts that tend to plague us at this time of year.I realise that this is a pretty slab sided vehicle but thought that the aerodynamics that benz is renown for may help compensate for this.Could my car have some other problem?Otherwise it tracks straight and true under normal conditions.
Regards,
Rob

michaeld:
Robgee,
I get my share of wind buffeting as well in the California desert.

If you not experiencing steering/suspension issues apart from being hit by heavy gusts of wind, I would say you have no worries.  Other than building a car with a Formula One racer-type profile, I'm not sure that a car CAN escape the effects of wind buffeting.

I used to have a couple of smaller, lighter cars that REALLY got taken by the wind; my heavy 450SEL hardly budges in comparison.  But if I'm hit w/ a good right angle gust I still have to compensate.

robgee:
Hi Michael thanks for your reply it certainly makes me feel more secure in myself and my wallet if you know what I mean.
Rob

michaeld:
Robgee,
These cars have absolutely fantastic suspensions when they are functioning properly; they were years and years ahead of their time (zero offset front ends, anti-squat rear, etc).

On the downside, they are "sealed" units (i.e. no zirc fittings), so maintenance is impossible.  If you buy a car third or fourth hand, you might well end up w/ a suspension that is in dire need of maintenance, as these owners couldn't afford - or didn't want to be bothered - with expensive work that is non-essential to being able to drive the car.  I myself was fortunate to buy a one-owner car which had very recently had the front end rebuilt (to the tune of about 3 grand).  It's so nice.

These cars will go on and on, even if they have been neglected.  They were well built.  But if you are only having "concerns" when a good gust of wind hits you sideways, I'd say your car is quite all right.
Mike

s class:
Do you have excessive play in your steering around the centre point?  If the answer is yes, you should inspect the rubber coupling at the top of the steering box where the steering column connects.  Otherwise your steering box could need a service/rebuild. 

Other simple things to check - the steering idler arm bushes don't last long (say 100 000km in my experience).  It is fairly easy to diagnose play in this bushing, and replace it if need be.  This seems to be the weakest point on the steering.  A bushing kit is not expensive. 

Ryan in South Africa

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