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  #1  
Old 09-16-2004, 11:16 AM
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W124 ball joint help?

After isolating a front end squeek/groan to the ball joint I started the R&R in the manner I'm used to with other cars. Remove the wheel, disconnect sway bar, remove the ball joint pinch bolt, pickle fork the ball joint to seperate while supporting the a-arm with a floor jack. All went fine until I lowered the floor jack and found the a-arm ball joint jamming against the dust cover/brake disk on the way down. At this point I reluctantly looked in the service cd only to find Mercedes recommends removing the a-arm for ball joint replacement. Surely this isn't required.

At this point it looks like I have to remove the dust cover which involves removing the brake caliper and wheel hub/brake disk so I can lower the a-arm fully. Is this correct or is it possible to force the a-arm past the dust cover as is?

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Jorg
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Old 09-16-2004, 02:32 PM
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Try using a big fat chisel in the split where the bolt pulls together. This should give you enough play to make the pin of the ball joint slide out. Yeah, it kinda hits up against the dust shield. It'll do that when you put it together later. just work with it. Also helps to remove the tie-rod end from knuckle.
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Old 09-16-2004, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89-300ce
At this point it looks like I have to remove the dust cover which involves removing the brake caliper and wheel hub/brake disk so I can lower the a-arm fully. Is this correct or is it possible to force the a-arm past the dust cover as is?

Thanks
Jorg
No man. Remove the caliper, detach tie rod, unbolt the strut at the top and remove the hub and strut as an assembly. You need the room to work.

Possible to do on car, but do not let that spring fly and kill ya.

Popping balljoint out with hammer is not too bad with control arm on car, but install is tricky in that position.

It really is much easier with the CA removed, and sitting in a vise.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:07 AM
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Too late! I already popped it off with everything still attached. I might have a problem getting the new ball joint back into the control arm because it just cleared when it came out. Didn't have any problems removing the balljoint with a balljoint press. Used the original adapter that came with the press but will make a custom adapter for the other side when it needs to be done.

Funny thing, the new Lemforder ball joint pressed in with my fingers. That can't be right, right? I've got an exchange comming for it this afternoon. Where there different size balljoints used on the W124 or is this most likely a manufacturing defect?
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:47 AM
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"Funny thing, the new Lemforder ball joint pressed in with my fingers. That can't be right, right? I've got an exchange comming for it this afternoon. Where there different size balljoints used on the W124 or is this most likely a manufacturing defect?"

Something's not right. Your balljoint and CA both have the same number as mine.

If you put the (proper)new one in the freezer, it will press in easier.
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:17 PM
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Weird! I just picked up a ball joint from Mercedes and it looks like it will also be too loose. The ball joint should be a press fit right? This one also looks like it is a thou too small. I can push it in by hand.

Worst case should I red Locktite it, or tack weld it in? I have heard that some of the newer models have the ball joints tack welded into place and that you have to grind the welds off to remove them.


Jorg
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:25 PM
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Makes no sense. Locktite is not near strong enough. The entire weight of the car is conspiring to knock the joint down through the arm. I guess it could be welded, but still makes no sense to me. I have done 3 pairs of these. They all pressed in tight.
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:14 PM
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I can't figure it either. I gave the control arm a light sand with emery to clean it up since they are usually such a snug fit, greased both the ball joint and the control arm, applied the press and it just pushed in like nothing. I actually pushed it out by hand. I saw no indication of damage or distortion at the control arm and the metal looks hella strong compared to the pressed steel housings most ball joints go into. The ball joint that came out is measurably larger in diameter than both the Lemforder or Benz (stamped TRW with a Benz star by the way) that I got to replace it. I'll go stare at it some more tonight.


Jorg
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Old 09-19-2004, 09:17 PM
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Jorg

Don't keep us in suspense .... did you figure it out?

Haasman
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:18 AM
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It's figured. The ball joint from mercedes fit. Even though it measured a bit smaller than the original one I pulled out it did press in properly. Maybe there was enough rust on the old one to throw off my measurements.

The Lemforder however certainly did not fit, although it was identical in appearance, so it was the proper model ball joint. I'm not sure how to explain that. I would think something like that would be picked up through quality control.

I was quite surprised that the Lemforder through Part Source, a national retailer here in Canada was $46 Cdn. while the Benz one was $28 Cdn. The Benz one was marked TRW and had the star logo stamped into it.

Here's a question. This car is a keeper. Front springs are a bit sagged. I'm sure the ball joint on the other side is due. Should I just do the control arm bushings, springs, and ball joint and be done with it or should I perform the individual repairs as they come due?
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:03 PM
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89-300ce

glad to hear you finally got them.

Regarding your question of doing the rest of the suspension at the same time: I would say it depends on the mileage of the car and of course the condition of the bushings etc. One part for me is an alignment. I rather not pay for repeated alignments so doing them all at once seems to make economic sense.

You also said your front springs are sagging. From my experience it is rare for front 124 series springs to sag. I am wondering if something else is going on. Remember you can adjust the ride height by spring collars that come in various thicknesses. You can tell by the number of "numbs" on the edge of the rubber spring collar at the top of the spring. In trying to figure out what influence a change to provide, remember that roughly twice the thickness of the collar to ride height change.

How are your tie rods and idler arm bushings, sway bar bushings Ft & R and of course rear links?

Haasman
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:27 PM
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Are these spring collars obvious? I briefly looked up there but didn't see any. Are you saying that 1/4" collar = 1/2" lift?

The rear looks like it was gone through before I bought the car. I haven't checked the steering linkages yet but everything feels tight ie. little play and tracks true.

Jorg
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89-300ce
It's figured. The ball joint from mercedes fit. Even though it measured a bit smaller than the original one I pulled out it did press in properly. Maybe there was enough rust on the old one to throw off my measurements.

The Lemforder however certainly did not fit, although it was identical in appearance, so it was the proper model ball joint. I'm not sure how to explain that. I would think something like that would be picked up through quality control.

Here's a question. This car is a keeper. Front springs are a bit sagged. I'm sure the ball joint on the other side is due. Should I just do the control arm bushings, springs, and ball joint and be done with it or should I perform the individual repairs as they come due?
I've always used the Lemforders, and never had a problem.

I think once you have the springs out, you should replace the CA bushings. No point in removing the springs again anytime soon. As far as replacing springs, they tend to last a long time.
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