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Old 03-10-2003, 11:14 AM
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csnow csnow is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
IMHO, this job can potentially be done with primitive tools.

I use a vice and big hammer to knock them out, and also to knock the new ones in. This works very well, and is actually much faster than setting up a press. Also gets out any pent-up aggression.

The arm itself is quite tough, and it would take some deliberate effort to damage it in this process.

Hammer installation requires a pipe or large 12-pt socket of the proper diameter, as you do not want to be striking the relatively weak center of the balljoint base {same deal even with a press}.
It helps to grease the pressing surfaces, and put the new balljoints in the freezer first (contraction), though you may not have access to refrigeration.

The tricky part is the alignment, since removing the arm will disturb the camber/caster settings.
If the position of the eccentric bolts is marked and repositioned very carefully, you would come out close.

It is actually possible to R&R a balljoint without removing the CA (and springs) from the car.
I know this is blasphemy, and potentially dangerous, etc. so I won't provide any directions, but if I were a jungle mechanic, I would do it that way.

Also, if they actually need to replace the CA bushings, the install orientation is different for the front vs. the rear ones, and even well-provisioned American mechanics are often unaware of this MB nuance.

All that said, a careful dirt-floor mechanic with primitive tools has the potential to provide good results in this case.

Best of luck.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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