MB uses fairly soft springs rather strongly compressed. The result is that the spring for the front suspension is about four inches longer that the space with the control arm hanging down, and it won't come out (except sideways at high speed) unless you have a spring compressor to "shrink" it down. You cannot safely use a jack under the control arm or just drop the suspension like a Chevy, the spring is much too long.
A new control arm is going to cost considerably more than the shop time to put it in, sadly.
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!