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  #1  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:38 PM
hiroshi07
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1996 E320 Suspension Problems

I took my car in today to my mechanic because I have been getting some unusal movement in the front end. His analysis was that the front lower control arms and ball joints along with the rear 'reaction arms' (sway bars and control arm bushings?) need to be replaced. He said it will be a very "labor intensive" job.

I am a fairly good Saturday mechanic but I have never worked on this car before, or any other Mercedes. So give me your honest opinions - should I pay the $600 and be done with it or get the parts and DIY?

Thanks. Hiroshi

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  #2  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
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If he's going to replace front LCA bushings (x4), ball joints, and also do something to the rear then sign him up......you prob dont have the tools to pull the front springs OR to press the bushings in and out anyways as it requires some special MB tools.

I had my front LCA bushings done last week and happily paid $675 to an alignment shop. Not a job I wanted to do myself.

You WILL need an alignement afterwards.
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Terry Allison
N. Calif. & Boca Chica, Panama

09' E320 Bluetec 77k (USA)
09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:47 PM
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You can get the front lower control arms complete with bushings and ball joint and replace them yourself. I assume the rear arms are the same way. But I'd put the car up on stands and check out the parts, if it were mine. Front LCA bushings are somewhat hard to judge - look for any cracks or leaking fluid.

If you do change the parts, be sure to allocate some funds for alignment. You should be able to get the alignment at a dealer for a hundred or two.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:03 PM
hiroshi07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
If he's going to replace front LCA bushings (x4), ball joints, and also do something to the rear then sign him up......you prob dont have the tools to pull the front springs OR to press the bushings in and out anyways as it requires some special MB tools.

I had my front LCA bushings done last week and happily paid $675 to an alignment shop. Not a job I wanted to do myself.

You WILL need an alignement afterwards.
I could be wrong but I don't think the ball joint needs to be separated from the LCM. Looks as if the replacement part is one piece and the 4 rear control arm bushings are not pressed out either. Seems like a relatively straightforward parts swap, no?

Either way you are right about the alignment. Now the car will be ok to drive a short distance after the work is done - like from my home to an alignment shop? Thanks
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2008, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
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My comments were in reference to the front LCA bushings. You'll need a Klann spring compressor, 25 ton press and special fittings to get the bushings out and then back in again. Click buy parts link above and look at them and you'll understand. That job, with proper tools and a lift, has to be worth at least 4 hours by itself.

The easy DIY way is to buy a new LCA complete with associated bushings factory installed for $250 per side. That leaves you $100 for labor, or about an hour.....

Most folks would use a MB puller for the ball joints too so they dont break going break in.

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N. Calif. & Boca Chica, Panama

09' E320 Bluetec 77k (USA)
09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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