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  #1  
Old 03-07-2016, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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Front end work on a 210 chassis

Took the E300 in for an inspection today and it failed because it definitely needs at least the left side tie rod replaced. Way too much wobble in the wheel.

So here are my questions. I have been a DIY'er for years and rarely take my cars to the dealer except for alignments and other jobs that I prefer not to mess with. One of those jobs might be front end work. Dealer always treats me well, but they are pretty proud of their work. Car just turned over 200K and the only front end work done so far has been lower ball joints at about 100K. Everything else is original. So do I take it to the dealer and tell him to just fix what's broken and do an alignment or do I bite the bullet and basically rebuild the entire front end? Car is in great shape and now that I have the electric car, it will likely get less than 5K miles put on it every year. It will be my long distance highway driver for the three or four times I take a long trip.

The other option is to rebuild it myself, but not only have I not been excited to do front end work in the past, but I also am getting less and less excited to do car repairs at all. It's just not "fun" anymore and I don't care to be crawling around on my back on the garage floor. If there is a good DIY post about this job or those who have experienced it, I'd like to take a look at it and/or hear about it, see if I need any special tools and see if I want to attack it myself at all.
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Len
'59 220S Cabriolet-SOLD and living happily in Malta
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 216,500 miles
'03 SLK320 40,000 miles - gave to my daughter
'14 Smart electric coupe 17,000 miles
'14 Smart electric cabriolet 10,000 miles
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2016, 09:18 PM
Jeremy5848's Avatar
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Location: Sonoma Wine Country
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If it's only a tie rod, you can DIY. With the old tie rod in front of you, adjust the new one to the same length, close as you can get it, and bolt the new one in place. The car should be safe to drive to some place close for an alignment.

If there are other front end problems, you'll have to decide whether you want to tackle them yourself or pay someone else. I wouldn't give anyone carte blanche to work on the front end--you might as well give them your checkbook! Instead, pay someone you trust to do an inspection. The best one is someone who can say "This part will need replacing eventually but not now. "

Jeremy
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2016, 09:59 PM
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I agree with Jeremy. Do an inspection yourself (plenty here on the fourm) and determine what needs replacing. I am just coming out of a similar situation as you. My power steering box died and while I was in there I replaced inner/outer tie rod ends, center link, and steering damper. Some of the stuff was obviously shot, some not so much but was 30 years old so I decided to replace since I was I there and it wasn't that expensive.

After that I took it in for am alignment and they couldn't do it because the ball joints were shot. I did ,pmy research and decided replacing the lower control arm wasn't for me bc I had to deal with the front springs; im no mechanic, but am halfway confident but this, I felt was out of my league. Do the research yourself and see what needs to be replaced. If I just dropped my car off, my $1200 job would have easily turned into $2500 with labor.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2016, 10:42 AM
WTB: 94/95 E320 Wagon
 
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Location: Charleston SC
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My advice: if you pay someone else to do the work, check their work! Inspect everything they touched or may have touched.
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Respectfully,
/s/
M. Dillon
'87 124.193 (300TD) "White Whale", ~392k miles, 3.5l IP fitted
'95 124.131 (E300) "Sapphire", 380k miles
'73 Balboa 20 "Sanctification"
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2016, 01:21 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 841
"The other option is to rebuild it myself, but not only have I not been excited to do front end work in the past, but I also am getting less and less excited to do car repairs at all. It's just not "fun" anymore and I don't care to be crawling around on my back on the garage floor. If there is a good DIY post about this job or those who have experienced it, I'd like to take a look at it and/or hear about it, see if I need any special tools and see if I want to attack it myself at all."[/QUOTE]

If I were you, I would have the work done by the dealer as mentioned by another poster. I am in the same boat with you, when I hold a wrench for more than a few minutes, I have to peel my fingers off because my hand cramps up. Same goes for rolling around under the car..............Its ok when I am doing it, but I pay the price with back pain for at least 3 or 4 days after the job. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2016, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
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Thanks for the replies guys. Got two tie rod ends on order and will do the job myself and see what else is going on under there while I'm at it. I'll take it for an alignment after I finish the job or tow it in if I screw it up.

Why did I make this decision? See if you can pick the correct answer.

a. I'm a cheap bastard
b. I care more about my car than any mechanic
c. It's a PIA to take/leave/pick up the car from a service place
d. When I get my car back from a shop, one thing is fixed and two more are broken.
e. All of the above
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Len
'59 220S Cabriolet-SOLD and living happily in Malta
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 216,500 miles
'03 SLK320 40,000 miles - gave to my daughter
'14 Smart electric coupe 17,000 miles
'14 Smart electric cabriolet 10,000 miles
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2016, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Posts: 2,437
You convinced me to to give it a go myself, so I did them myself a few days ago. Bought Lemfeorders Made in France that are supposed to be OEM's. They were $29 each while Karlyn's were something like $7 each - wonder where they were made and how long they would last?

The job wasn't too bad once I got the right tool. Tried a pickle fork at first, but I could not get it to pop the joint free. So I borrowed the front end kit from Advanced Auto and one of the pullers in that kit popped off the outer tie rod. From there it was easy. I did not replace the inner tie rod. It felt a little loose to me, but since I didn't know how a new one felt, I just left it. Still have to do an alignment.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
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Len
'59 220S Cabriolet-SOLD and living happily in Malta
'83 240D 351,500 miles original owner-SOLD
'88 560SL 41,000 miles - being parted out
https://sites.google.com/site/mercedesstuff/home
'99 E300 turbo 216,500 miles
'03 SLK320 40,000 miles - gave to my daughter
'14 Smart electric coupe 17,000 miles
'14 Smart electric cabriolet 10,000 miles
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