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  #1  
Old 07-28-2008, 03:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 517
Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement

Hi folks,

Following a few writeups here on the forum, I changed out my front struts. Much simpler than i thought, and no, the evil spring did not come out and bite me. Dont worry folks, the lower control arm does not pivot far enough down to allow the spring to fly off and kill you. If you want, you could always buy two sections of half inch pipe with female unions and thread it up through the spring like a bangalore torpedo!

Step 1: loosen the lugnuts
Step 2: set the e-brake, chock the rear tires.
Step 3: At top of strut inside engine bay, loosen center nut w/ 22mm combo wrench and 7mm hex key socket. Loosen 10mm nuts as well (3 of them). See picture #1
Step 4: Jack up by the center cross member at center.
Step 5: Place jack stands on either side of the jack for stability. Lower the jack and allow car to rest on stands. Remove the tire
Step 6: Move jack underneath lower ball joint. Jack up until the LCA begins to rise a little. Not too much because the car will lift off the jackstands.
Step 7: Using a 19mm socket and a 3"-ish extension, loosen the front nut. See picture #2
Step 8: Using a 19mm socket, loosen the rear nut. See picture #3
Step 9: Using a 19mm combo wrench and 19mm socket (no extension), loosen top nut. Sorry, no picture.
Step 10: Remove all the lines connected to the plastic piece that's connected to the lower part of the strut. See picture #4.
Step 11: Finish unbolting the nuts in Step 3
Step 12: Finish unbolting the nuts in Step 7 through 9
Step 13: Slowly lower the jack until the LCA is at neutral position. There should be a little tension on the jack and ball joint---enough to make sure it does not move.
Step 14: pull down on the strut mount and the strut should compress easily---at least mine did. Move to the side.
Step 15: Push the strut towards the spring. One of my struts was on there really good, so I gave it a whack with a rubber mallet. Don't hit the plastic part that holds those lines. You'll need them

Reassembly
Step 1: Remove the plastic line holder piece by pressing down on the two tabs and pushing it through. Put that piece on your new strut
Step 2: Put the rubber snubber (as I've heard these things called) onto the strut. Make sure the notches are facing upwards. Put the accordian-like shock rubber protective sleeve over it.
Step 3: Take the strut mount and push it up into the strut cup. Lightly secure with the three nuts. Of note, on the driver's side, there is a harness. Make sure to secure that one on too.
Step 4: Put the strut shaft through the strut mount and re-align the strut into place. Lightly thread on the two nuts and the nut/bolt combo. Make sure everything is aligned perfectly and then tighten down the lower nuts only.
Step 5: Push the lines back on
Step 6: Install tires and lower car
Step 7: Now that the car is resting on the tires, tighten down the upper nut and the three 10mm bolts

Sorry, I dont have torque specs. Request: someone please add them to this thread. I tightened just enough because I am having my mech put the new springs in next week.

A few notes:

- The bolts have blue loctite on them. I found them to be quite a bear to get off. I used leverage with an extension cheater bar and two came off with a bit of muscle. I learned my lesson and used a propane torch with some PB Blaster. What I did was torched them for about a good minute or two, let it cool, and then sprayed it with PBB. Then I *tightened* the bolts to break the loctite bond and then reversed and removed. Only 1 did not succumb to this method One stubborn one took two more cycles of the heat and PBB treatment

- I installed Bilstein HDs. They come with new bolts + nut/bolt combo and the top nut. Nice touch.

Attached Thumbnails
Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-top.jpg   Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-front-pass-bolt.jpg   Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-rear-pass-bolt.jpg   Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-unclip.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2008, 03:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 517
Misc pics:

Picture #1: Snubber on strut shaft. Place the strut sleeve over it and then through the strut mount

Picture #2: Strut ready to be installed. So shiny! You can also see the center mount point about to be mated to the mating point. This is the pic of the nut/bolt combo I missed

Picture #3: Tools of the trade. You'll need them if you want to make this an easy job. Don't burn any lines now!

Again, it's been written many times in other writeups about the spring coming loose if you let the LCAs down too far: no, not even close. I peered up the spring cups and there's a good 2 coils still in the cups. But again, if you're the paranoid type, buy two lengths of 1/2" pipe with female unions and thread up through the springs. Or use your coil compressor and a big arse chain.
Attached Thumbnails
Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-snubber.jpg   Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-limelight.jpg   Writeup: W124 300D Turbo Strut replacement-fun.jpg  
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2009, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Thanks!

Hi Bob,

Just found this article, which is perfect as I've just collected a new strut mount for my W124 200TE. Mechanic friends have gasped with horror when I suggested I was going to do the job myself, but having had a good look around 'under there', your advice confirms my own findings. I'd guess their (perfectly valid) concerns would apply if the spring/shock was a single unit, but in this case it should be pretty straightforward.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Regards,

Creamy
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southern MD
Posts: 36
Thanks Bob, I fear my front struts are getting ready to go on my '93 300D 2.5 T. I have a consistent squeaky noise that seems to happen everytime my tire makes a complete revolution while I'm driving. I remember being told to get ready to replace them a year ago, but with work and such I was only able to do the rear shocks, rather than the front struts. This writeup will help immensely, I do have the manuals and can look up your torque values with them. I'll post what I find, and my replacement job too... Thanks
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2009, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fernandina Beach, Florida
Posts: 626
Thanks!

Thanks for the write up! I was worried about spring decapitation too, thanks for the info. I'll be putting my new bilsteins on soon...
__________________
1983 240D Silver/Blue "Sadie", unknown miles. 100k miles on WVO single tank, converted to 2 tank about 10k miles ago, FPHE, Injector Heaters, Aux Fuel pump. Alcohol/Water injection. Frantz oil bypass filter
1992 300D 2.5 Turbo Green/Tan "Jade" 267K miles Stock.
1992 300D 2.5 tan/tan "Rocky" on 2 tank WVO. Pressure actuated Turbo "rat's nest" surgery completed. 197k miles
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2009, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fernandina Beach, Florida
Posts: 626
Ok, I put in my bilsteins today. Yes, it's true, it is safe, as long as you make sure you support the lower control arm with a jack so the spring can't come out. I put a bunch of 2 by 4s under the brake rotor to make sure it couldn't come out. Also a good idea because it keeps the hub assembly in position when the shock is out.

My shocks both almost fell out. Totally shot.

Also, before you get the shocks, check what your bounce stop (AKA bump stops) look like. They are the rubber foam things at the top of the shock that stop the shock from hitting the frame. Get some new ones with your shocks if they are shot.

Also #2, check your shock protectors - the bellow looking rubber things that protect the shock shaft from dirt and contamination. Get the proper mercedes ones - the generic ones from the parts store didn't work for me, so I got the proper ones from fastlane.

I'm not sure I put them on properly - I put the big end up the top around the rubber mount at the top of the shock. They fit well there, but I'm not sure how the bottom is supposed to be secured. Anyway, it is way better than what I had, which is nothing. They had completely disintegrated.

First shock took about an hour while I worried about the spring and found out how to do it. 2nd shock took about 30 minutes, easy peasy.
__________________
1983 240D Silver/Blue "Sadie", unknown miles. 100k miles on WVO single tank, converted to 2 tank about 10k miles ago, FPHE, Injector Heaters, Aux Fuel pump. Alcohol/Water injection. Frantz oil bypass filter
1992 300D 2.5 Turbo Green/Tan "Jade" 267K miles Stock.
1992 300D 2.5 tan/tan "Rocky" on 2 tank WVO. Pressure actuated Turbo "rat's nest" surgery completed. 197k miles
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2013, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 11
Great write up!

One thing I'd like to note, on my E320 under Step 3, the top 3 nuts that hold the strut rubber mount are 13mm, not 10mm.

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