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Old 08-09-2002, 12:33 AM
Blitzen Bob Blitzen Bob is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 13
Most DIY projects do not have the potential to have such deadly consequences. Suspension repairs are a different story however.
Do NOT attempt DIY suspension work and spring removal without a very heavy duty spring compressor. I don't care if someone says they,ve removed 100 pairs of springs using the bolt or hook type compressor discussed here, the 101st pair may be the one with your name on it. Treat spring removal on any car as a loaded weapon that has a hair trigger. Now treat Mercedes front springs with ten times that respect.

The following is an excerpt that a friend of mine, a MB tech for 30 years, wrote for another list

Because I am so enamoured with establishing perspective,
read the following and really think about it.

When I first came to town and started working as shop
foreman of a dealership I found a little package in the tool
room that made me a little nervous. Seems one of the
guys had compressed a front spring from a 450SE and
had forgotten to use ample anti-seize on the threads of
the compressor before he started. Most of us just use
air tools to run the compressor down, which he did also.
He didn't notice that the air wrench was no longer turning.
The nut that winds down the screw thread had galled onto
the screw thread and the spring was in full compression.

This means, there was no way to unwind the spring. It was
stuck tight as a toad. This compressed bomb was laying
on the floor in the tool room. I talked with the owner of the
dealership and he OK'd my getting rid of it anyway possible.
This was just too serious a problem to handle unofficially. I
called the Bomb Squad. They came down and looked
at the problem item. So, here are guys who were used to
blowing up shrapnel filled pipe bombs and this is what they

They had no means of disposing of this compressed spring.
They said if they blew it up, they thought there would be
shrapnel for miles around. They suggested we bury it in
a manner that would never allow it to be dug up. About a year
after I left the dealership, they built a new building and that
spring and compressor are buried deeply in the foundation
of that building. Sorta the Jimmy Hoffa of the MB special
tool world. It was the only way to get rid of it.

Yes, we do springs in a matter of fact way, every day. We
just hook up the compressor's and take them out. It's part
of the occupational risk. We get paid to do it. Do you think
we like to R&R spings....No way. It is the most dangerous
part of being a mechanic. I don't know about those flimsy
little springs on American cars, but I can tell you that the
springs on a Benz are the stoutest coils of spring steel
you will ever see and they are the longest you will ever
see which means that when they are compressed to coil
bind to remove them, the energy is up into the kilotons..
It is a small mushroom cloud waiting to happen.

Treat coiled springs as if they were hot nitroglycerin and you
will survive just fine..


Thanks for letting me vent. This is a serious subject for me.

Blitzen Bob
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