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Ron in SC 01-21-2006 03:47 PM

Clanking noise from rear of 300TE: What's the source?
2 Attachment(s)
Vehicle is a 1992 300 TE with 133k miles on it.

When I go over speed bumps and/or humps which are everywhere in my area a clanking noise is heard coming from the rear of the vehicle. I think it’s on the drivers side only, but not sure.

So far I’ve checked the following:
1- the bushings in the multi-links seem to all be intact. Car has no rust at all anywhere,
2-Makes noise if car is in neutral when I go over bump,
3-makes noise if car is in gear when I go over bump,
4-noise is not from spare tire or tools,
5-noise is not from rear windshield washer tank,
6-noise does not seem to be coming from a shock,
7-while exact location of noise is hard to pinpoint, it seem to be coming right from behind the tire, i.e., wheel,
8-condition of supporting joint at bottom of rear wheel carrier looks poor, see photo below,
9-Muffler and rest of exhaust system is not source of noise.

I’ve also attached a diagram of wheel carrier, the supporting joint is # 7a. The spring link is #6.

A photo of the supporting joint is also attached.

So does anyone have any idea what the source of the sound might be?

WRM 01-21-2006 04:36 PM

have you adjusted the parking brake shoes?

Ron in SC 01-21-2006 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by WRM
have you adjusted the parking brake shoes?

No I've not done that.

hihosilver 01-21-2006 06:41 PM

check ant. motor

dtanesq 01-21-2006 08:51 PM

I have the same issue with my 1988 TE as Ron does with his. I've had all of the things looked at that Ron has and I even looked at the antenna motor. None of it seemed to be the culprit.

If you have any success, Ron, please let us know.


Ron in SC 01-21-2006 09:15 PM

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I suspect it's the supporting joint, 7a which I discussed in my first post. It's also called the rear outer lower control arm bushing. That joint seems to function kind of as a ball joint in the rear. Hopefully someone that had this problem will view this thread and let us know. I'm sure I'm not the first person with this issue.


Here's a photo of the special tool to remove the supporting joint installed on the car.

taker22 01-21-2006 10:20 PM

Ron- had same problem on my 1989 300TE. Replaced the rear sway bar links and bushings and it solved my problem. Hope this helps. Jay

Bruno_300TE 01-22-2006 09:45 AM

Other possibilities might be:
- the upper hydraulic strut mount (rubber settled, loose nut)
- lower strut mount worn (ball joint)
- subframe mount
Good luck, Bruno

Ron in SC 01-22-2006 10:10 AM


I checked the rubber mounts and they are fine. The lower strut mount if I'm not mistaken is what my manuals refer to as the supporting joint.

I looked at the subframe mounts but I can not tell if they're ok, visably they look fine.

Bruno_300TE 01-22-2006 10:20 AM

By lower strut mount I actually meant the foot of the strut that it is part of the strut itself. It is a ball joint that has some play on my car. The protecting rubber boot got damaged allowing water to enter so I asssume. The only cure seems a new strut (pricey).

Ron in SC 01-22-2006 11:07 AM

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Below are two photos, the first is for orientation relative to where photo is taken. Second is of the part we are talking about, I think. The support joint bolts to the spring link after it is press into the wheel carrier. Does that make sense?

I did remove the torsion bar link (which is in fine shape) to check it and get a better view for photo.

That support joint/control arm bushing/ball joint is only about $30 each.

It occurred to me that you might be talking about what I would call a ball joint on the bottom of the hydropnematic shock.. Actually I had both shocks out to install new bump stops and new boots, both ball joints on the bottom of the shocks were in excellent condition.

Bruno_300TE 01-22-2006 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by Ron in SC

It occurred to me that you might be talking about what I would call a ball joint on the bottom of the hydropnematic shock..

Yes, I have been talking about those - sorry about the confusion.
I have been replacing the supporting joint 7a as well. It works well with the tool you have shown but do not try without it (do not ask how I know...).
I have read those can cause noise when worn but do no know from experience.
Good luck, Bruno

Ron in SC 01-22-2006 03:31 PM

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Below is photo of spring link separated from wheel carrier. Tension on coil spring was relieved slowly with a floor jack while vehicle was on lift.

104.992 01-22-2006 03:48 PM

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I was able to get the wheel carrier joint out with a combonation of stuff that I picked up from home depot. See picture...

Ron in SC 01-22-2006 04:42 PM

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I used your directions to remove the spring link with no problelm. Below is a photo of link and the coil spring after I wiped them down with simple green, they look quite good. I was going to replace the inner bushing on the spring link but it look and feels like new.

The support joint is another story. I'm not sure it's is the cause of the rear suspension noise, but I'm changing it because it look and feels worn out. See the photo of the supporting joint below, I cleaned it up and you can see what is essentially a ball type joint inside.

I may spring for the MB special tool or I may make one like yours. Did the joint come out easily with the tool you made? And were you able to seat the new joint with no damage to boot?

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