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  #1  
Old 07-11-2005, 08:37 PM
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Strut mount removal question SL500

On a SL500 1998. Can the front strut mounts be replaced without the use of a specialized coil spring compressor? I know with some cars the mount can be replaced withought disconnectingthe lower part of the strut. BTW, i only have strut spring compressors that fit on the outside. They are the kind auto parts stores rent out.
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2005, 02:24 PM
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Help anybody...
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2005, 04:32 PM
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Don't use the auto parts store compressor!

500SL front suspensions are similar to 124 front suspensions. I have heard of guys doing strut replacement on 124s without removing springs. It is a little bit tedious and you have to be careful. You can do a search on strut replacement and see what was done for 124s. Just remember that working with springs is dangerous and once you disconnect the strut there is nothing holding the spring in there but the tension you keep on the lower control arm.
It is safer and easier to do (and the only way I would do it)with a spring compressor. Once you get the spring out of there everything is easier to deal with.
Don't use the auto parts spring compressor under any circumstances. (You can do a search about that and hear some horror stories.) You can rent the right kind of spring compressor from Performance Products. It might work out well for you because they are located in Van Nuys CA which is probably close to you.
Be sure to check out the procedure in the manual before you start the job.
If you do not have the manual try stopping by the dealer and talk to the mechanics and see if they will print up the appropriate pages for you.
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:56 PM
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hughet,

Thank you so much!

I will consider the Perf parts rental. I will also raise the car (wheels unsuported). That should let me know how relaxed the spring can be without popping out. Then I'll place stands both under the car and the lower arm so that they, and not the strut will be holding the coil under tension when the strut is disconnected froim the tower. I wonder if I'll have enough cleareance at this point to remove the strut? I may be nervous about relaxing the coil more at this point for fear that it would pop out. I may also try to compress the strut rod by hand (with the mount and strut rod nut removed) and try to slip out the upper mount without removing the strut. If the strut is not to stiff maybe I'll be able to compress the piston/rod enough.
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:26 PM
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Erubin,

I was getting a tightness in my chest reading your post.

Do a search of removing coil springs and use of spring compressors. One thing I can tell you for certain: Do not, under any circumstances, use the rental-type compressors. I've had a set of them fly off the spring and hit me in the head -- seriously ! I knew they weren't fitting properly, but I thought I would just use them to contain the spring as it was compressed by the weight of the car. Clearly, that was a BIG mistake.

If you insist on proceeding without the proper compressors, then at least put a chain through the spring and around the control arm as a "safety strap".

Good luck!

Jeff Pierce
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Last edited by tvpierce; 07-30-2005 at 08:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2005, 05:33 PM
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Try this

Jack up the car and set it down on the jackstands. Remove the wheel and disk and caliper. Then slide the floorjack under the end of the control arm so that the underneath side of the ball joint is centered in the jack cup and put a little tension on it. Note the position of the control arm and don't let it go more than an inch below where it is. The spring should stay in place and the only question is whether you have room to unbolt the strut to remove and reinstall it. If you can't, then put it all back together and do it later when you have a spring compressor.
Why are you changing struts on such a new car? I hope that they are not the hydropneumatic ones that cost a fortune!
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:57 PM
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The upper strut mount, right side is cracked through 180degrees (1/2 the circumference). Mount will be replaced not the strut.

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2005, 04:50 PM
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Mission accomplished. I replaced the cracked strut mount withount removing the entire strut and without a coil compressor. The key is to keep the lower arm supported so the spring does not fly off (I also tied up the coil spring with several heavy duty straps as insurance). Once the 3 mount nuts and center piston nut is removed I got a helper to compress the strut by pushing in the piston shaft with a screw driver. At the count of three he released the screw driver and before the strut could expand i slipped off the mount. Same drill for putting in the new mount.

Per hughet I allowed the floor jack to come down about an inch which i needed for extra cleareance, but not so much as too allow the spring to fly off.

For the record i do not recommend anyone else doing this. the risk of injury is too great. I must confess that i was nervous doing it but i was very deliberate and thought through every action before proceeding.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2007, 12:38 PM
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Erubin, did you remove the brake caliper and the disk? I will follow your method as it makes perfect sense to me, push down on the strut post and slip the new mount in place. Thanks.
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