DieselBenz's Duct Tape Tie-Rod Story
So I was driving around and I noticed my tires were squealing a bit and the steering seemed kinda funny. I then parked diagonally and pulled into the curb, my right front tire resting on the curb. So I come out and start to back up, but it's really hard and I hear a tire squealing, I can't really back up. So I get out of my car and start to walk around it, figuring a caliper has locked or something. I then get around to my front right wheel, and it's cocked all the way to one side. the other wheel is straight aligned with the car. DANG! I jack it up on that tire and see this:
Broken Tie Rod < W123 Disjointed Tie-Rod -end (video)
So it look like the tie-rod (left) has fallen out of it's socket (right). The tie rod is just dangling and movable. So for the FIRST TIME in 10 years (I've owned it for 10 years) my beloved W123 has left me stranded, and in need of a tow truck. Or so I thought. I called every tow-truck company in the book, and they seemed to be booked or not working on a friday night. I then hung out for about four hours waiting to get hear calls back from them. (They rarely call back - jerks) Having a 25 year old car, I have a fairly big set of tools, but nothing I could do could fix this. I did not want to leave my car parked at the 2 hour parking place I was at downtown, overnight. So I start looking at it, and I try to put the socket back in. No chance whatsoever! I needed one of those ball presses or something. So then I took off the tire to look closer and got an idea. I put the spare wheel under the car, and aligned the socket (left, movable) under the joint (stationary, attached to the right front wheel), and aligned it right above the frame of the wheel. I then lowered the car and it pushed the ball back into the socket, using the car's weight. And it snapped back in!!! Another W123 owner came to see if everything's good (we're a nice bunch to each other, -eh) and I described what I did, and he said if I can get away with it, I can add another notch into my car for that one! Then I DUCT-TAPED the crap out of the thing, as tightly as I could (I have zero idea if this helped at all) and then tried to drive. The steering made some noises, but IT WORKED! I drove home late at night, white knuckled, about 15 miles, and making FEW slow WIDE turns as possible. I figured if that popped out, I'd be in REAL trouble REAL quick if one front wheel turned full left or right. I drove most of it at 25-30 MPH (most were neighborhoods, since I didn't want to turn, just get as close to my house as possible). But I made it home, all was fine!