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  #1  
Old 06-26-2007, 12:11 PM
JBG JBG is offline
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Replacing Caster Bolts...6 to 8 hour job????

My 300 TD wagon is at the local Indy shop getting an alignment; the guy said it might need new caster bolts which is a 6 to 8 hour job. From the searching I just did on the site this seems totally excessive...true??? These guys overcharge a bit but damn, this seems like a long job from what I can tell. What do you think?????

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Old 06-26-2007, 12:45 PM
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might.. pfft... unless they are broken I don't see new ones.

they told me the same thing

"If we have to remove the caster bolts it will cost extra and by the hour..."
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2007, 01:05 PM
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Turns out it's not the caster bolts, but the upper control arm/ball joint that needs replacing. 4 hours (maybe 5), $120 for the part. Guess it beats 6 to 8 hrs!!!

I also decided not to buy tires from this shop but to get them myself instead. Will most tire shops put the tire on the wheel for you if you buy a couple of tires from them?
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBG View Post
Turns out it's not the caster bolts, but the upper control arm/ball joint that needs replacing. 4 hours (maybe 5), $120 for the part. Guess it beats 6 to 8 hrs!!!

I also decided not to buy tires from this shop but to get them myself instead. Will most tire shops put the tire on the wheel for you if you buy a couple of tires from them?
Dude, do they salt the roads where you live? If not, you should be able to do both sides yourself in under 2 hrs. 1 hr if you know what you are doing...
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:26 PM
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Yes they salt the roads here (western Massachusetts). How does that impact this part/fix time? I have no idea what this job would take so that's why I'm asking. I assume this shop is ripping me off, I just want to know by how much. Inflating by one hour isn't too big of a deal, but by two...doubling the time....ahhhh. I hate this shop....
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JBG View Post
Turns out it's not the caster bolts, but the upper control arm/ball joint that needs replacing. 4 hours (maybe 5), $120 for the part. Guess it beats 6 to 8 hrs!!!
I could do both sides in one hour. UCA's are easy. Do it yourself and save $$$.

What's a "caster bolt," anyway? Is this a W123?

Last edited by tangofox007; 06-26-2007 at 01:39 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2007, 01:33 PM
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I think the caster bolt is the eccentric bolt, but I could be wrong. I would imagine that if that needed replacing, the car would be undriveable, or at least call for a tire replacement after a couple miles of driving.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:02 PM
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Dude at the shop made it sound like compressing the spring is extremely hazardous, etc. etc.

I'm kind of stuck between a rock and hard place on this one. I'll do some work myself but I've never had to deal with suspension issues. My ignorance is costly; then again, if I f**k this job up, I'm out of my only vehicle (plus having to get it towed/fixed/spending tons of money for screwing it up).

Any of you live wise mechanics live in Western Mass and want to make a friend????????
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:03 PM
JBG JBG is offline
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oh yeah it's a w123 TD wagon. 1985
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:09 PM
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Dude at the shop made it sound like compressing the spring is extremely hazardous, etc. etc.

I'm kind of stuck between a rock and hard place on this one. I'll do some work myself but I've never had to deal with suspension issues. My ignorance is costly; then again, if I f**k this job up, I'm out of my only vehicle (plus having to get it towed/fixed/spending tons of money for screwing it up).

Any of you live wise mechanics live in Western Mass and want to make a friend????????
It is dangerous, but you don't need to, as long as you keep the shock attached.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:32 PM
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I think the caster bolt is the eccentric bolt, but I could be wrong.
That would be the camber bolt. When the alignment shop does not know the difference between caster and camber, it might be time to put that shop in the rear view mirror.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JBG View Post
Dude at the shop made it sound like compressing the spring is extremely hazardous, etc. etc.

I'm kind of stuck between a rock and hard place on this one. I'll do some work myself but I've never had to deal with suspension issues.
The only part of the job that is a little problematic is separating the ball joint from the steering knuckle. Autozone will lend a tool for that. If you have a problem there and can't get it separated, you have not lost much. Just put the nut back on, reinstall the wheel and pay someone to do the job. On the other hand, once the ball joint is free, you are only two bolts away from getting the UCA off. Changing a flat tire is only slightly less complicated that replacing an upper control arm.

Last edited by tangofox007; 06-26-2007 at 02:49 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:41 PM
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That would be the camber bolt. When the alignment shop does not know the difference between caster and camber, it might be time to put that shop in the rear view mirror.
Your right! In that case, does the w123 even HAVE a castor bolt?
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:44 PM
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No. Caster on a W23 is adjusted and controlled by the guide rods.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:46 PM
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Upper control arm is around $50.00. Certainly a DIY. Spring and shock are not an issue on UCA, only LCA. Yes. it's dangerous to compress. I've done UCA, jack up, remove wheel, lower down onto jack stand at lower control arm. You may want to replace torsion bar bushings. The most difficult part for me was lining torsion bar back up UCA with bushings and washers. Ended up going to the hardware store and getting the longest bolt with correct threads, fitting bushings on and one washer, tighten just enough to pull everything together, remove, it'll stay there, and install correct bolt, torque to specs. Remount wheel, of to the align shop. Maybe three hours, (not counting over night trying to come up with an idea for the torsion bar) doing for the first time. I had written instructions, fumbled my way through it. I replaced a tie rod while I was there. Good luck, not difficult, save money, and enjoy satisfaction of completing an unfamiliar job. Don't know about caster bolts.

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