New member needing advice

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donaldcarmicheal
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Hi,

new member here and hopefully next week , will be the owner of a 2015 G350 cdi , but need some help before I follow through with the purchase.

Currently drive a 2016 Defender 90 owned from new and last week went to test drive the G to which the previous  owner had added an aftermarket bodykit and 22' wheels,  I was given the keys and told to take it a test drive but returned within an hour as the steering was awful (everything else from interior and build quality was beyond comparison to the Defender). I'm was aware of the steering play prior to test drive

The salesman called a few days later to advise that the car was taken into their workshop for comparison and they have 'fixed' the steering issue by;

- all 4 tyre pressures were out by some margin so rectified to correct pressure  

- they discovered the car was fitted with 30mm wheel spacers all round so they have been removed .

Based on the above, I've paid a deposit and a follow up test drive arranged Monday.  I'm based west of Glasgow and there are currently no similar  G wagons for sale in Scotland so can't drive another to do a comparison.  Thus, my questions are:

will the above 2 fixes dramatically improve the steering and ride comfort (it tramlined really bad as well) 

What wheel size / tyre is best suited for the G as I suspect the 22' wheels will be replaced if purchased 

anything else I should check / look out for during the 2nd test drive ?

All comments greatly appreciated !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pistonhead
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Re: New member needing advice

I would ask to hang on to the removed spacers which are only required to prevent the front wheels fouling with the inner arch on full locks and some prefer to space the wheel arch outwards for esthethic reasons only.

Using spacers can affect the vehicle steering geometry in-so-far King pin inclination gets out of vehicles designed tolerences, basicaly this takes out the steering sensitivity and steering self centering actions. It is worth having the vehicle inspected by well branded recovery agencies, importantly have the front bearings checked out, if there is excessive play this usually means front bearing job at 5.5 hrs per side and some £300 for the bearings. DO NOT have the play adjusted out, this only acclerates the rate at which the bearings self destroy.

The steering damper is a weakness in the G's. Steering wheel vibrates at around 50+ MPH and can be very strong vibration to the point the vehicle is difficult to control at high speed camber.

The only other suspension stability issues are control arm bushes and any excess play in any of the ball joints, the steering box its self has inhert play some people don't like. Ensure the vehicle has a good service history and book to go with the vehicle.

JASONGDS
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Re: New member needing advice

Not familiar with what the factory tyre size should be, but looks like those tyres have far too low profile?  Would have thought properly set up, steering would be easily ahead of a Defender,  having taken the front axle apart just so much quality there. I presume those spacers partly to blame, though may need more attention to see it returned to the factory specification. 

Just adjusted my steering box after 200k, and 29years, tho admittedly my newer LC is much sharper, but that's a rack system 

Nick123
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Re: New member needing advice
I drive (real) LandRovers and our 1988 G-Wagen. The G-W steering is light years ahead of the L/Rs. Tyre pressures is a very easy fix and the seller should have checked them before any test drive. Low profiles would likely exacerbate any issue. As Pistonhead recommends: a reputable inspection (AA, RAC etc.) would be a sound investment. Good luck with it all.
Jdring
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Re: New member needing advice
I have the 2012 G350cdi. Same model. It drives like a dream. The steering is a little heavy but no tracking issue at all because I have standard wheels and setup. IMO the ride you mention is damn annoying and almost certainly because they are low profile and wider wheels, which also look daft (my view). The ride in a G is firm enough without it being firmer due to low profile, on UK roads. Surely the spacers were there to accommodate wider wheels. If you remove the spacers you should go back to standard wheels. If you do that, and wider arches will be wrong. It's a lovely looking G but there it depends if you like the blinged (brabus style) look, and that includes the ride. There are quite a few G350s in the UK. I get 25mpg and good HP and performance. Cruises at any speed (I mean any) you need and smooth transmission.
bigblock
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Re: New member needing advice

Hello and welcome to the GWOA. 

You didn't actually say what the issues were with the steering apart from being awful so its a bit difficult to try and advise what the problem might be. As others have said riding on 22" wheels with spacers and incorrect tyre pressures is not going to help the situation but it would be helpful to rule out any mechanical issues.

In general the steering on all G Wagons is very reliable however it has a recirculating ball setup rather than the more common rack and pinion. This tends to feel a little vague and is slower to self centre which can feel strange if you are not used to it, fitting wider tyres tends to exagerate this but it certainly doesn't make it feel 'awful' as you have described. If it is a bad as you say I would be concerned there may be some underlying accident damage or worn components. Does it track straight when driving and braking with your hands off the wheel? Is the tyre wear even across the surface of all four wheels ?

Given that you are buying the car from a non franchised dealer and it has been 'modified' I would invest in a pre-purchase inspection from a specialist, it needs to go up on a ramp and be given a good lookover. The 2015 G350 is the later facelifted 463 model so I am not sure why someone would want to fit an aftermarket bodykit but then they also fitted 22" wheels so who knows what goes through some peoples heads! I have never driven a car on 22" wheels that did not shimmy and wobble over bumps and the rubber band tyres make sure you feel every bump and ripple in the road.  

Good luck with your next test drive and let us know how you get on.  

 

 

 

JASONGDS
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Re: New member needing advice

Also, wasn't the 350 subject to some recalls on engine, with oil issues? Or  am I dreaming? 

Jdring
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Re: New member needing advice
JASONGDS wrote:

Also, wasn't the 350 subject to some recalls on engine, with oil issues? Or  am I dreaming? 

Absolutely. MB overdid it keeping the oil to a minimum and there simply wasn't enough getting round the engine causing seizures and MB engine replacements. The fix before that point was a deeper sump, oil cooler airflow and I think oil pump. All should have that work documented or it's a no no and big risk. Mine had a 2016 engine. There are some other posts on here about it. Good to mention - it's much more important than a skitty ride due to low profile wheels.
Theo
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Re: New member needing advice

the recall referred to the 2011 model, therefore it does not apply here.

Just yesterday drove a friend's 2015 Land Rover 90, in comparison to a G it is agricultural.  Generally speaking the G's weakness is front-wheel traction when accelerating especially out of corners, it is not the steering.  

What wheel/ tyre dimension does the car have? the 350 drives on 18 inch with 265/60 tyres, largest dimension sold for G is 21inch on 295/40.  All tyres dimension approved by Mercedes have the same circumference.  If a tyre with a different circumference is fitted then both the instrument cluster and transmission module need to be reprogrammed, sometimes people talk about this on forums but I have not met anybody who has actually done it.  If the electronics are not reprogrammed the ESP will continously interfere in corners which might be the steering problem you refer to.