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  #1  
Old 04-19-2004, 01:43 PM
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control arm question

in reading earlier posts, i'm a little fuzzy on what to do.

to remove the front lower control arm, do i need to compress the spring somehow? i borrowed a spring compressor that mainly consists of two rods with claws on each end to compress the spring. the car is sitting on blocks now with spring in the 'relaxed' position. i'm afraid that if i unbolt the inner bolt there might still be enough energy in the spring to cause an accident.

thanks in advance guys.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:59 PM
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How's your medical insurance? Do you have any dependents?

There are 3 common types of spring compressors out there. The internal one with the 2 rod prongs (like you describe). The internal rod with plate (Klann and Sir Tools) and the outside jaw type.

Please don't use the internal rod or outside jaw style. They can't hold the stress from these springs. Plus the internal prong type can slip. If the prongs are thick enough to hold the stress (like the ones used for a truck chassis), the thickness of the rod material will generally prevent you from fully compressing the springs.

These other compessors CAN kill you if they break or are used improperly.

Borrow a Klann or worse case a Sir Tools design.

My front end guy who does lots of trucks (Humvee too) and sports cars, will not currently touch an MB spring. He is getting a custom made 1" threaded rod (ACME thread) compressor and custom metal plate setup for MB springs. It won't cost nearly as much as a Klann, but it will not break. The Klann is faster, but this setup will be inexpensive and safe.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:15 PM
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if you will allow me this blond moment....so you are telling me that unless i have this special spring compressor, the lower control arm stays on the car.

on a related note, can i remove the lower ball joint without compressing the spring?
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:51 PM
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Its real dangerous without the proper tool. You decide if the risk/reward ratio works for you.

I think others on the list have removed the lower ball joint without compressing the spring, BUT I think you'll need to secure the spring (with jacks and heavy chain carefully!) and you'll need a special ball joint removal tool. It can be done, but for a typical DIY, its dangerous to do it this way.

I wouldn't do it this way.
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Old 04-19-2004, 03:01 PM
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thanks for the limb-saving tip. i'll leave this job to the professionals.
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:44 PM
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Whoa there, slow down, all is not lost. While I recommend the correct compressor for removing the lower arm others have done it with other tools. Granted most of these folks seem to be very experienced DIY's or even professionals. The lower balljoints are pressed into the spindle so they are easily changed without removing the lower control arm. Simply support the car by placing a jackstand under the lower arm and the weight of the car keeps the spring in check. The shock will also keep the lower arm from extending too far. Changing lower balljoints is a relatively easy job provided you can get the old joint out and have the correct press to put the new ones in. RT
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2004, 06:56 PM
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That's correct - but the BJ job is still rather unpleasant in general on a 123. BT, DT. The spring compressor is technically only required for LCA removal, which is usually only if you want to replace the LCA bushings. Most everything else can be done with the LCA (and spring) in place on the 123 chassis. The 124 is a different story entirely, and I'm not sure about the 126.

FYI - you can rent the proper spring tool from Rusty (800-741-5252) or Performance Products. I don't think FastLane rents the spring tool, AFAIK... (?)

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  #8  
Old 04-20-2004, 12:45 AM
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just my two cents here and nothing more...

if the ball joints are shot, how is everything else?
how long can the car be laid up?

this suspension system is military grade, strong, overbuilt, and easy to maintane...when we did my w123 suspension, we took it all out and reconditioned all to new...the ball joints junk, the swaybar bushings gooey, other rubber brittle and cracked - the most horrid being the rear joust bumbers and front subframe bushings....

once you have a safe and sound set of front and rear spring compressors you can go to town on thses old things...heck even taking out the rear subframe goes easy as pie with a spotter...

again just my two cents...and who really wants to do a ball joint like this on the car???
Jake
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