W123 Idler arm bushing replacement

The 280CE came back to the warehouse to replace the idler arm bushings.   The simple description of the idler arm is that it is the part that attaches to the steering linkage from the passengers side to balance the pittman arm which connects the steering box on the drivers side. Bad bushings in the idler arm mean that the steering system is not as ‘tight’ as it should be, can cause vibrations, poor alignment and so on.  It is also often the cause of squeaking or groaning sounds coming from the steering.

The 280CE was not aligned properly, and replacing the idler arm bushings was important before an alignment was done.   There are many resources on the Internet that explain how to change the W123 idler arm bushing, but most of them do it in conjunction with the track rods.   This is not essential, and if the track rods are still in good condition, the idler arm bushings can be replaced without removing the track rods.   I found this writeup the most useful.

Even after this repair and an alignment the CE still pulls to one side.  The alignment place suspects one of the front tyres which need replacement anyway.

I didn’t get a chance to take any photos of this job.   The W123 idler arm bushing is similar to other Mercedes-Benz models of the era.   It is not an expensive part.    Often this older Mercedes-Benz’s have really bad steering.   This is normally a combination of worn out idler arm bushings, steering coupling and play in the box itself.   Of all these things, the idler arm bushings are the easiest to replace.   Once these jobs are done, the cars are transformed.

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