Author Topic: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!  (Read 277 times)

Jan S

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I replaced the steering damper and flushed the power steering system the other day - what a great difference!!!

The work took about 45 min, and its easy.

The old steering damper was completely "gone", and the old ATF in the power steering reservoir was closer to crude oil (black and dirty) and the level was way too low. I emptied the tank, cleaned it and flushed the entire system with new febi power steering fluid, also with engine running for a few seconds.

Great feeling! Steering is transformed!
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

daantjie

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #1 on: 01 June 2021, 04:27 PM »
Nice, I love easy fixes 8)
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

adamb

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #2 on: 02 June 2021, 05:46 AM »
When I replaced the steering damper it reduced play in the steering by 50%. Definitely worthwhile.

Jan S

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #3 on: 02 June 2021, 11:54 AM »
Agree adamb, and I would go even further - the new damper and flushing of the system have improved the play by 80%  ;)
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

UTn_boy

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #4 on: 02 June 2021, 02:05 PM »
Guys.....don't get too excited.  Renewing the damper will only dampen the excess play in the steering system making it feel like the excess play is gone.  It won't get rid of the excess play.  Furthermore, this will shorten the life of the damper, too.  So check your steering linkages and gear box for play and remedy those, as well.....because the excess play is still there. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

Jan S

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #5 on: 02 June 2021, 02:44 PM »
Good point.

I did a test drive after replacing the damper. Much improved drive. Then I flushed the power steering system, and did a new test drive. The improvement was significant - greater effect than the new damper alone.

Mechanical play is there for the eternity. I guess the much improved fluid in the system can remedy some of it?
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine

UTn_boy

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2021, 08:43 AM »
No.  There is no physical way fresh oil/filter and a new damper can make up for and/or remedy mechanical wear.  The new oil and filter may restore power assist, and the new damper will merely "dampen" the mechanical wear.  If there is slop in the steering then you need to concentrate on actual steering aspects (tie rods, drag link, idler arm bushing, and steering gear box).  With the exception of the steering gear box, all of those other items are readily replaceable.  The steering gear boxes are bad about wearing out in the center/straight ahead position.  Sometimes some of that play can be taken out, but not all of it.  If all of the play is taken out it usually causes the steering gear box to bind/seize at the far left or far right extremities. In other words, when turning the wheel all the way to the right or left it'll struggle to come out of that turn on it's own. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

revilla

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #7 on: 04 June 2021, 09:08 AM »
So, a new damper will simply “mask” the play... but it won’t address the root cause(s)
Robert
W116 1977 280SEL & 1979 280SE

Jan S

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Re: Power steering and steering damper - FANTASTIC difference!
« Reply #8 on: 04 June 2021, 12:33 PM »
My steering components are fine, now, after replacing the damper and flushing the system (the rest is ok). I'm uncertain about the gear box, probably old and to some unknown degree worn out.

I wouldn't say the new damper and flushing the system "mask" the play - I would say their functions are restored. The play remains.

Anyhow, the drive feeling is significantly improved.
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine