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  #1  
Old 11-10-2004, 05:19 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
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preparing to do some major work to the 300E...

Within the next couple weeks, I plan to replace the rear lower control arm bushings and serpentine belt tensioner.
My main question rests with the replacement of the belt tensioner, it's making a noise and the pulley is also making some noise, so I want to replace them both. However, I read that the pulley comes with the tensioner, but what other parts do I need to replace when doing this? For instance, does the spring wear out when the tensioner does, do I need to buy any other separate bushings or parts to complete this job so I can do it all and put ir right back together without waiting for parts?
Regarding the rear control arm bushings, what else do I need to buy except for the inner and outer bushings? I've already replaced the other links, but do I need to replace that ball joint in the arm or are there any other parts I should replace?
Thanks
David
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:41 PM
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Rebuilding my rear suspension this week...

The control arm itself has an inner bushing and an outer bushing.
The inner one is like $8 and the outer one is like $30.

There is no balljoint in that arm.
One of the links, often called a "tie rod" (second from bottom on front) does have a balljoint on it (on the hub end).
If you replace that one, you might consider getting the eccentric bolt kit to go with it.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2004, 06:05 PM
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I just replaced all 4 arms on each rear wheel. MB does not seel just the bushings. They sell them with the arm. Price is not all that much diff from getting just the bushings. One was $22, one was $34, one $47 and the tie rod was $63. If you do replace the tie rod you need to have a tool to pus out the tie rod from the wheel carrier side. I tried using C clamps, pry bars ... ended up buying the tool from MB for $90. If you want to buy it from me, let me know. Maybe we can make a deal. The Tie rod comes with the eccentric bolt if you get it from MB.

It's not a hard job as long as you can free the nuts. I got 7 out of 8 done my self. Had to bring it in to have one of them cut loose. I could not break it for all the tea in China.

You will probably want to have it alligned since the configuration will be different with the new bushings.
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2004, 11:30 PM
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davidmash, I am speaking of the lower control arm itself in the rear. Not one of those links. The lower control arm has replaceable bushings. I know what your talking about regarding those other pieces, but I've already replaced them all to no avail.
What do you guys think about the serpentine tensioner, what else should I buy?
Thanks
David
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2004, 10:44 AM
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If you are buying the complete tensioner set, you need nothing else...although it would be a good time to replace the belt as well.

The most common noise issue wth the tensioner is the shock bushing, not the pulley. When the bushing wears out, the shock starts banging around its mount, most prevalent as a knocking sound at idle.

And while you are in there, check your fan clutch. Much easier to replace if you got stuff out to do the tensioner...
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2004, 04:31 PM
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How do I know if the fan clutch is bad? When the car is shut off, it still spins for a little while, isn't that a bad thing? How do I know is I am buying the complete tensioner set? The pic just shows the tensioner. Will the set incluse the shock, bushgins, etc. that I need?
Also, so I don't need to remove the spring to replace the inner and outer bushings on the lower control arm? They are both on the bearing carrier?
Thanks
David
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2004, 02:48 AM
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The belt tensioner comes with the tensioner and the pulley. It does not come with the damper, which you can check by removing the top bolt and pushing up and down to see if it damps okay. It should be reasonably stiff. If not, then I would replace it while you've got things apart. If the shock is okay, but the bushing is worn, I would just rig something to take up the slack, like a washer or teflon tape or something (you can't buy them separately).

Orientation of the tensioner/bracket is important to making sure everything fits properly. This post has some good pictures and stuff:

1993 300se belt tensioner adjustment

Does your engine overheat in stop and go traffic? If not, your fan clutch is probably okay. Good fan clutches will also make a whooshing noise when you first start the car, and then get quiet after a few seconds, and then make the whooshing noise whenever the engine is running hot.
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Old 11-14-2004, 03:44 AM
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There's an idler pulley on a bracket that bolts to the front of the timing chain cover. Release the belt and check that pulley before you place your parts order.

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  #9  
Old 11-14-2004, 12:37 PM
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The rear lower (main) control arm has a bushing on the inside. The outer side is a "bushing looking" ball joint that is pressed into the hub carrier.

To get the lower control arm out you can do it without a spring compressor. First, disconnect both the shock lower end and the sway bar link from the control arm. Then support the body, lower the wheel just below where it would stop when the shock is attached (the shock limits travel downward), then support the inner attachment with a jack. Remove the bolt, then carefully lower. The tension will go off the spring on the seat, then you can remove the outer bolt and remove the arm. Disclaimer: care must be exercised. Failure to do so may result in injury or death.

On the belt, tesioner, etc.... Invest in a (about $10) stethoscope so you can listen to the different pulleys, shock, etc. to determine the source of any unusual noises. Also pay attention to the fan bearing bracket. It is an aluminum casting with a bearing and hub (that the fan mounts to). That bearing can go bad also.

Have fun !!!!!!!!!!
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