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  #1  
Old 01-01-2001, 03:03 PM
shoe's Avatar
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This is the weakest part of all of my mechanical knowledge. I was doing routine maintenance and noticed that both front wheel's tilted in at the top. I don't have a lift that I can raise the car up and do a component check so I'm counting on someone else's knowledge. Steering seems to be as tight as a 17 year old one would be. and I noticed that the tires were wearing on the inside. It also tends to float a little at highway speed's. It's a 83 300D Turbo.Any advice or direction would be a great help. Or help me locate a good MB front end shop.
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2006 E350 98K miles
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2001, 09:42 PM
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Most old 123's have this problem...It comes from wear in the upper control arms, lower control arm bushings, and in the brake strut rod mounts.

All of this can be replaced and realigned, but the cost is usually in the 1k dollar range.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2001, 10:01 PM
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Donnie are these prices part's and labor or are they just part's. Would parts shop carry these part's? I can do the replacement and then get the alignment. Are you referring to the ball joint's in the steering knuckle and the upper control arm?

[Edited by shoe on 01-01-2001 at 09:40 PM]
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2001, 12:34 AM
dlswnfrd
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Not Alone

Shoe, You're not alone. At 169,300 miles my W124030(300E) had the Front Shocks and Steering stabalizer replaced. Fortunaley for me I had no tire wear, just spungee front springs and road wander. I mail ordered mine from IMPCO at 1-800-243-1220 or http://www.************************. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald.
Straight and true.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2001, 01:20 AM
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The parts are fairly reasonable about 30bucks ea. for the lower ball joints and I think about 50 or so ea. for the upper control arm/ball joint combo. These were TRW brand.
The lower joints will have to be done at a shop that does MB work...there is a special tool to press the new joint in place. The uppers you can do, but you may need a friend for a few minutes when it comes time to put it back together (mostly with putting a big bolt back in its home) The track rod mounts (I have not replaced these) looks fairly straighforward, and may be even the easiest out of the three. When I had inside wear (with incredible feathering) the uppers were at fault. One of my lowers had failed prior to the upper replacement..no tire wear involved, just noise.
I think that the biggest consumer of $$ is the time involved with the uppers, but if I had to do them again I could probably do each side in about 45 minutes if I wasn't in a hurry (which I would not recommend being in)

-Larry
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2001, 08:57 AM
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Thank's for the input. That's what I needed to know. I will submit a request to parts shop for the availability and prices.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2001, 11:02 AM
dlswnfrd
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Confused

LarryDelor, you're right on the costs the ball joints are cheap even from M/B. But you make reference to a upper controlarm bushing. On my '87 300E there is no upper controlarm, only a shock/strut that attaches to the frame and the steering knuckle by 1 nut & washer at the top, 2 bolts & 2 washers and 1 bolt & nut at the steering support; That's it. Happy Trail Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald.
Straight and steady
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2001, 04:13 PM
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Keith, here is a write-up of my experiences on the front end:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just for general information, I just finished replacing the upper inner and lower inner control arm bushings on my W123. Overall the job was easier than I expected after reading through the archives and none of the arms had
to be removed from the car.

Lower Bushings: I used the bottom 1/2 of a generic "J" hooks-style spring compressor to compress the coil spring from the inside going upwards. Compressed just enough to take the pressure off of the lower arm. Then after removing the eccentric bolt, pried out the aluminum tube and then the old bushings using two pry bars together (with the arm still attached to the car). Slicked-down the new bushings with a minimal amount of silicone grease and pressed them into place with a C-clamp. Reattached arm and returned coil spring back to seat.

Upper Bushings: I replaced these with no support under the lower arm; the front shock takes all of the coil spring tension. Removed inner arm retaining bolt. Disconnected upper ball joint with a small gear puller and a small hammer (for persuasion). Rotated upper arm 180 degrees about the torsion bar? bushing. The old bushings pretty much fell out. Slicked-down the new bushings with a minimal amount of silicone grease and pressed them into place with a C-clamp. Rotated the arm back and reinstalled the retainer bolt and upper ball joint nut.

Observations: The upper bushings were completely destroyed relative to the lower bushings. I think they are somewhat under-designed given the function they serve. However, they are relatively easy to replace...1.5 hours approx. The lower bushings had concentric cracks in the rubber, but they were still intact. They were off center though, making a proper wheel alignment difficult/not possible. I don't think compressing the coil spring is dangerous as long as a center-type used. I wouldn't chance using a MacPherson strut (outer) type here because one of them is sure to slide to one side and maybe injure you or kill you in the process.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Before tackling this job, the leaning-in problem is most likely the upper bushings which fortunately are easiest to replace. I would do these first and then see if any problems persist.

Gary
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2001, 06:11 PM
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Thank's for the input Gary, that's just the info I was looking for. I have access to the puller's you mention. I will have to replace the lower ball joint on the right side, the rubber seal is gone and there is rust present. So I feel it should be replaced on principle. I am going to take another look at the whole assy. to make sure there are no other worn part's.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2001, 11:46 PM
dlswnfrd
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123300d driver

Sorry for the butinskie, I serviced the front suspension on my W124, not a W123. Happy Trails Beep Beep from read closer Houston.

Donald.
clean my specs next time.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2001, 11:32 AM
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Donald, no problem. I enjoy reading about any other front end set-ups just in case I ever switch to one of those cars!

Shoe, if the ball joint rubber is bad, then you have more work ahead of you than I did. But it's still not real bad. The upper arm also comes as a replacement with new bushings and new ball joint. In my case the upper and lower ball joints and cups were still OK after 21 years (they look original to me).

Gary
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2001, 01:05 PM
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Yea I figured that it would be more involved for the ball joint. I have ordered the complete upper arms just for my piece of mind. I still need shock's and will get those shortly.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2001, 10:18 PM
dlswnfrd
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123 300D

Thanks, it was a case of putting your fingers to the keys before the brain was in gear. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald
W124 not a W123.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2001, 02:12 AM
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I didn't use a spring compressor...

I managed to sqeeze the springs together with my bare hands, and then while holding the spring together with one hand, I replaced the other parts.
Just kidding! Seriously though, If you have the vehicle up high enough (with proper support, of course), you can take a floor jack, place it under the area where the lower joint is, and give it a little lift, not much....after that, you can loosen the nut that is fastened to the upper ball joint, and slowly lower the floor jack (one of my uppers stuck in place, so watch that it doesn't stick, and then jump at you...maybe give it a little love-tap with a hammer, to motivate). After you have wrestled the new upper arm into place, raise the jack, and put the nut back on. Double check the tighness after you have lowered the car, in case it decides to seat itself a little further.
Hope this helps!
-Larry (not Arnold Schwarzenegger)
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2001, 11:10 PM
dlswnfrd
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Compressors are CHEAP

Larry, your post came to my READ. I have a 124 not a 123, even at that a Spring Compressor costs less than twenty bucks and with a floor or bottle jack it sure makes Arnold feel good. Happy Trails Beep Beep with a weak grip from Houston.

Donald
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and a little expel gas too
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