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Old 01-26-2017, 08:57 AM
BirthdayBenz's Avatar
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Location: South Carolina
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Mercedes UCA vs Lemforder

I'm ordering parts for a complete front suspension overhaul on my W123 sedan. I'm trying to buy as many genuine Mercedes parts as possible. However, upper control arms from the dealer are $462 each. Lemforders are $53.

I've heard good things about Lemforder and using these UCAs would cut the total cost of the parts almost in half. Can anyone justify spending 8X as much on Genuine Mercedes UCAs vs the Lemforder?

I cant seem to find a thread with a good comparison of these specific parts.
Old Blue - 83 240D manual trans, OM617, 2.88 diff.
The Californian - 85 300TD - SOLD
Basket Case Europa - 2001 G500
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Old 01-26-2017, 09:04 AM
Stretch's Avatar
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Mercedes uses many different brands. After paying the dealership price for those parts you might be rather frustrated to find they have been made by TRW (and marked as such) who on the whole are usually cheaper than Lemforder.

As for a specific thread comparing these parts - well - in a way I've tried to find out who made them originally and I started a thread on that some time back: Problem is Mercedes chopped and changed.

Lemforder as a brand is more often than not not found on "original" W123s. Boge, however, are. Boge are now part of the same group as Lemforder (ZF) and therefore are probably going to be about as good as you can get.
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NorCal
Posts: 577
I used the lemforder UCA when redoing the front end.

but ordered the Mercedes rubber bushings that go with it.

also have used lemforder for idler arm, tie rods, thrust arms, motor mounts. no issues.
all made in various parts of Europe. Germany, Czech republic, Poland, Slovenia.

the motor mounts I just installed had the Mercedes insignia, partially scraped off, but still visible.

so chances are that the UCA that Mercedes sells may just be supplied by lemforder.

I'd say go for it.
1983 300CD Turbodiesel
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:59 PM
ngarover's Avatar
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Location: Northern Georgia
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I have Lemforder everything in my front suspension. And it has now lasted over 100,000 miles. I'll be getting under it over the next few weeks to do other maintanance so I'll check the condition of the LCA etc. but have not noticed anything bad in driving the car everyday. Hard to argue about 100,000 plus miles on any part....
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:03 PM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,281
Sounds like an IQ test. I paid $400 for my 1984 300D and sure wouldn't pay $920 for a pair of UCA's. There is minimal force on the UCA, mostly from the anti-sway bar in turns, so I can't see anybody's cast aluminum failing, and unlikely they differ much in quality. Depending on price, I might keep the aluminum and just change the rubber. I did that when the anti-sway rubber bushings degraded, causing rattles in my 1985.
1984 & 1985 CA 300D's
1964 & 65 Mopar's - Valiant, Dart, Newport
1996 & 2002 Chrysler minivans
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:49 PM
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Location: Middle TN
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Buy 1 each of the bolts that hold the UCA & LCA to the body. You may ahve to cut 1 or both out. Use a sawzall with a new metal cutting blade and go. Don't waste valuable time trying to remove a bolt stuck in the bushing that only turns and doesn't back out.

Put the blade on the metal part of the bushing, pull the trigger, done. Oil the threads on your spring compressor before each use.

Use fine all thread, large washers and pipe sourced from the scrap bin at the hardware store to get the bushings out and in. I bought a socket that fit over the bushing and made a center support out of 3/4" thick wood to support the bushing. The socket supported the shoulders of the bushing and the wood supported the base. Add grease and the bushing goes in easier than you expect. No press needed.
85SD 240K & stopped counting. 84SD 180,000. Thinking of painting both.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5,594
Here is a trick I use when taking stuck control arm bushing bolts off ( it works great with leaf spring eye bushings )

Make sure the replacement parts will fit.

Torch off the spring eye, the outer portion of the bushing is steel and will be cut off as well.

Scrape off the now flaming rubber, also be sure when torching to stay clear of the bushing, it can spray a random flame of molten rubber like a flame thrower.

With the nut removed, heat the sleeve up a bit and push the bolt through. If this does not work with minimal effort, rotate the bolt until you see a seam on the inner sleeve. Use a sharp chisel to expand the seam and the bolt will pretty much fall out at this point.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:23 PM
BirthdayBenz's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Carolina
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Thanks for the input. I'll give the Lemforders a go.
Old Blue - 83 240D manual trans, OM617, 2.88 diff.
The Californian - 85 300TD - SOLD
Basket Case Europa - 2001 G500
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