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Old 05-17-2019, 09:57 PM
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Location: North Alabama, USA
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123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement

123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement
Today during a front end rebuild on my 123 300 TD Wagon, I replaced the sway bar bushings.
FYI, this Wagon sway bar measures .975 / .984 inches diameter, which is 25mm.
The inside diameter of the over the counter Mercedes Benz Wagon Bushings, P/N 123 323 1285 is 0.850 inches, which is 21.5 mm. Not surprised with the smaller diameter than the sway bar due to the compliance of the rubber. They were $32 each as of 5-17-2019. The only sources I found for aftermarket Wagon versions would require me to order them from Europe and I did not have time to wait.
The inside diameter of aftermarket Sedan Bushings, P/N 123 323 0585 Retail P/N ES#: 1649027 is .80, which is 20.3 mm, about 1mm smaller. I did not have a sedan sway bar handy to measure.

The Wagon Bushing, P/N 123 323 1285 has 4 small holes. The Sedan Bushing P/N 123 323 0585 has 8 small holes. Both part numbers are split to allow the bushing to slide over the sway bar. Both sets of bushings had the Mercedes Part Number molded into the bushing as well as the Mercedes Star.
The Sedan Bushing P/N 123 323 0585 is harder rubber and harder to squeeze even with the extra holes.
I bought both examples of bushings to compare them visually, dimensionally and installed.
After I first installed the Mercedes Benz Wagon Bushings, P/N 123 323 1285 and tightened down the sheet metal clamps, I noticed that the bushing was distorted from the spring forces and had a gap between the sway bar and the inside of one side of the bushing. I found this surprising, especially since it is .125 inches smaller than the bar. Close up examination shows much distortion. As I want to reduce body roll in this wagon I am not enthused about the gap and distortion. So I removed them and installed the Sedan Bushings, P/N 123 323 0585. I did not increase the inside diameter of the Sedan bushings or alter them in any manner. Once installed, they have no gap. I did endeavor to be sure the split was pointed directly opposite the sheet metal clamp. There is no torsional twist distortion like there was with the Wagon bushings and there is no gap at any point around the bar. There is compression evident from the sheet metal clamp as the 8 holes are somewhat closed up, but not like the Wagon Bushing had. The sedan bushings will be left in place unless I experience some unforeseen issues using them at a later date.

As I was in rebuild mode on this vehicle, the brake booster was removed, battery and tray removed. Previous owner had removed the air conditioning, so I have none of that to contend with, if it were in the way. I do not know if it would have been or not. Harbor Freight pry bars, some blocks of aluminum and wood and long thick screwdrivers were used for prying. I unhooked both ends of the sway bar from the upper control arms and removed the outer sway bar to control arm rubber bushings. It was not a terribly hard job, but I do have the Mercedes Sliding Lube, 000 989 14 60 that is called for. And it does definitely help with the small amount of wiggling the bushings into place. Not supposed to use oil or grease per Mercedes.

To get the outer sway bar rubber to squeeze into the upper control arm, I used a pair of Vise Grip Welding pliers to squeeze it and the outer washers into place. This allowed me to get the bolt started into the sway bar.

I had been dreading this job for some time now. But with the power brake booster and battery removed it was not so bad. In retrospect, I should have done it the day before I installed the upper control arm(s). I am pretty sure with the upper control arm(s) removed during my rebuild, there would not have been any resistance force on the bar and the bushings would have been easier. But they did not arrive in time for that.
I considered filling the 8 holes in the bushings with round aluminum stock. But I will save that for the next setůI have used this sort of hack in the past with leaf spring bushings on other automobiles to stiffen them.
Attached Thumbnails
123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-123-wagon-sway-bar-bushings.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-new-wagon-bushing.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-old-wagon-sway-bar-bushing.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-123-wagon-sedan-sway-bar-bushings.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-123-sedan-bushing.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 05-17-2019, 09:59 PM
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More Pictures

More Pictures
Attached Thumbnails
123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-mercedes-sliding-fluid.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-applying-sliding-fluid.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-preparing-install-bushings.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-distorted-wagon-bushing.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-distorted-wagon-bushing-ii.jpg  

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80 300 TD Wagon W123, 4 Speed from 79 240D, SLS Rear Suspension
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North Alabama, USA
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Picture of Sedan Bushing on Wagon Sway Bar

Picture of Sedan Bushing on Wagon Sway Bar
Attached Thumbnails
123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-installing-sway-bar-bushings.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-sedan-bushing-wagon-bar.jpg   123 Wagon Front Swap Bar Bushings Replacement-vise-grips-install-upper-arm-sway-bar-bushings.jpg  
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87 300D W124
83 240D W123
80 300 TD Wagon W123, 4 Speed from 79 240D, SLS Rear Suspension
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:19 AM
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Thanks that was some good information there.
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