Author Topic: How to align a W116.  (Read 10363 times)

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,055
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Re: How to align a W116.
« Reply #15 on: 17 July 2019, 02:37 PM »
I just got back from the dealership. The service advisor met me and said he needed to have his technician look at the car first so they can decide if it's even worth working on, or if it's just a waste of money. He said that even if they decide to work on it, they'd have to shuttle me home because they wouldn't have it done until tomorrow because it's so old and likely to be a nightmare. I already called around to alignment shops before, and the only ones that will work on old Mercedes are way downtown.

An employee who was inside asked me why I have North American bumpers and Euro headlights on my car, and why I have screens in front of them. Well, you can actually see at night with Euro headlights, compared to the ridiculous 5" sealed beams that the USA lights had, which came with ugly plastic doors that break. I told him the screens came from Australia to protect the glass from getting stone chips, and the skid plate came from South Africa. He laughed and said, "So your car is pieced together out of multinational parts."

After a while, the service advisor came out and said that it failed the test, so they won't work on it. He said the (relatively new) steering damper is leaking and it needs new spring pads. I told him that it has brand new spring pads. He said, "Then you need the correct ones. They make many different types, you know." I said, "I know, I installed the exact same ones the car calls for, AND they are the same part number that came out of it, with the same number of nubs." He said that's all well, but the car is setting too high up front, so they won't touch it. I said that the front bushings probably just need to be loosened so the car can drop down a little in front. Ugh. I went out of my way to replace EVERYTHING that hadn't already been replaced, using genuine Mercedes parts as much as I could, and they still found a reason to not work on it. It even has new springs, for crying out loud.
« Last Edit: 17 July 2019, 08:21 PM by Squiggle Dog »
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

UTn_boy

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,115
  • Location: knoxville, tn
Re: How to align a W116.
« Reply #16 on: 29 July 2019, 01:00 PM »
I just got back from the dealership. The service advisor met me and said he needed to have his technician look at the car first so they can decide if it's even worth working on, or if it's just a waste of money. He said that even if they decide to work on it, they'd have to shuttle me home because they wouldn't have it done until tomorrow because it's so old and likely to be a nightmare. I already called around to alignment shops before, and the only ones that will work on old Mercedes are way downtown.

An employee who was inside asked me why I have North American bumpers and Euro headlights on my car, and why I have screens in front of them. Well, you can actually see at night with Euro headlights, compared to the ridiculous 5" sealed beams that the USA lights had, which came with ugly plastic doors that break. I told him the screens came from Australia to protect the glass from getting stone chips, and the skid plate came from South Africa. He laughed and said, "So your car is pieced together out of multinational parts."

After a while, the service advisor came out and said that it failed the test, so they won't work on it. He said the (relatively new) steering damper is leaking and it needs new spring pads. I told him that it has brand new spring pads. He said, "Then you need the correct ones. They make many different types, you know." I said, "I know, I installed the exact same ones the car calls for, AND they are the same part number that came out of it, with the same number of nubs." He said that's all well, but the car is setting too high up front, so they won't touch it. I said that the front bushings probably just need to be loosened so the car can drop down a little in front. Ugh. I went out of my way to replace EVERYTHING that hadn't already been replaced, using genuine Mercedes parts as much as I could, and they still found a reason to not work on it. It even has new springs, for crying out loud.

Scott, to avoid the front end sitting too high when putting everything back together you have to compress the front springs in situ a little past normal ride height, and then tighten the sway bars to the upper control arms.  Afterward, release the spring compressor and the front end will rise back up to normal ride height, or close to it.  Granted, this is assuming the service tech wasn't just saying it was too high for the hell of it just to let you down easy and/or to avoid working on it.

Sadly, most, if not all, dealerships will usually turn away anything that is over 12-15 years old.  New techs aren't trained to diagnose, nor are they trained with an understanding of how things work anymore.  They're pretty much trained to confirm the complaint and make the repair diagnostics tells them to make.  Since the inception of the W140 and R129 the key factor in research and development has been to design the cars with pre-planned obsolescence in mind.  They don't want the cars to last more than 10-14 years with daily use.  Having said that, nothing really stays the same with the cars themselves, and techs rarely stay at the same dealership for any notable length of time.Gone are the days when you'd be fortunate enough to run into a tech that had been working at the same dealer for 40 years.  They are the ones that were so valuable because they knew about the older models but could also work on the newer ones. 

I hate you had to endure this experience.  I wish I were closer! 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour