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  #16  
Old 09-15-2009, 12:24 PM
latief's Avatar
1993 300E 2.8- M104
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gainesville, FL
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I changed my front struts and mounts last week without a compressor. easiest job ever. keep a hydraulic jack under the control arm to prevent it from being pushed too far down.spring is not going to move don't worry.......

there is plenty of space inside the wheel well to change whatever you want. just get someone to help you hold down the strut shaft, or tie it down with a shop wire similar to how they come new......loosen the upper strut-mount bolt while car is on wheels, and tighten it also only once car is off the jack stands....

easy job. i changed struts on my other car with McPherson struts....that was way harder and scarier and definitely needed a spring compressor.....

good luck

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  #17  
Old 09-15-2009, 01:29 PM
LarryBible
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You've gotten some good instructions and directions here. I hesitate to dive into such a thread as this when I don't know the person or the equipment they have to work with.

Please be careful and think your way through this. It is not all that dangerous for anyone with a floor jack and a little experience doing such things. For a neophyte, if he were to misunderstand, the consequences could be severe.

When I first started posting here almost ten years ago, there was a frequent poster who was an A&P mechanic by trade. It was very clear that he had witnessed a serious accident at one point. He was always jumping into threads begging folks to be safe. I referred to him back then as the self appointed Safety Officer. He did a great job of it.

On a forum such as this, there is no possible way to know a persons abilities, safety consciousness or mindset.

Be safe out there!
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2009, 04:01 PM
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I have all the tools necessary and more, just need the best process.

Safety #1
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:49 PM
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I've done it and posted a detailed thread - do a search on my name and you'll find it. I'd do it again without fear.
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08 W251 R350
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  #20  
Old 09-16-2009, 03:58 AM
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As mentioned putting a floor jack or a bottle jack in a sturdy position under the control arm should keep the spring in check. If the spring still seams too threatening you can hold it with a spring compressor. In my experience, conventional spring compressors don't fit the narrow W124 springs or at least they won't fit in the small openings in the spring mounts. Eternal compressors won't work because of the spring curvature and space constraints. The Mercedes W124 spring compressor has two pretty much flat, discs that you slide between the coils of the spring with a threaded rod between them. It's pretty expensive though. Using this disc style compressor as an idea, you can get a heavy threaded rod at the hardware store (5/8" diam should be big enough). Cut it at a length so that it sticks out of both the top and bottom access holes in the spring seats. Note the small size of the access holes (I think the lower one is a little larger). Get four large heavy "fender" washers with diameters somewhat larger than the access holes. Put two on the bottom of the rod with a bolt to hold them there and run the rod up through the spring from the bottom hole. Put the other two washers on top and bolt it down tight. Turn the bottom bolt in till you feel it start to pull the control arm up. Some grease on the rod where the bolts turn wouldn't hurt. In conjunction with a jack support under the control arm this should be an effective safeguard to hold the spring. I used a similar method when I did my ball joints.

I'm not an engineer, so like all suggestions from DIYers involving dangerous procedures.... consider them carefully and try them at your own risk!
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  #21  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:39 AM
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Location: DFW / Collin County Texas
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Here is my info from this thread: Possible to Remove W124 Lower Control Arm Without Spring Compressor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercoleza
SUCCESS! Well I just removed the control arm successfully WITHOUT a spring compressor. It was so easy I'm actually quite amazed. I don't think doing so was dangerous at all. Here's what I did:

01. Set parking brake and chock rear wheels.
02. Jack car very high up at center of crossmember.
03. Place 2 jack stands at frame near jack points.
04. Remove wheel, caliper, and sway bar with impact wrench.
05. Separate steering knuckle from outer tie rod.
06. Remove jack, place under control arm, jack up slightly.
07. Remove ball joint pinch bolt with impact wrench.
08. SLOWLY lower control arm, then remove spring.
09. Remove eccentric control arm bolts, then remove control arm.

Note in step 8, as long as you lower very slowly, there really is no need for a spring compressor. I rented the loaners from AutoZone to be safe, however the jaws were too big to fit between the coils so it turned out I couldn't use them anyway. Just for safety I ran a ratty old 20 amp extension cord through the spring as indicated by the yellow line in my previous picture above, but it never came into play and I don't see how it would since the control arm's geometry will not allow it to let go of the spring until the spring is almost fully extended. Once the ball joint pinch bolt is undone, the control arm just needs to drop somewhere between 45 and 90 degrees and you are home free.

At the end of the control arm travel, it appeared the arm was "springing" back up, making separation of the ball joint and subsequent removal of the spring a little precarious. Upon observation, it appears this was a function of the rubber bushings acting counter to the eccentric bolts; in the future I believe loosening the bolts enough to clear the eccentric will reduce or eliminate this springy feeling, allowing the control arm to drop all the way to 90 degrees more easily.

It does look like reinstalling the spring is going to be a royal pain, only because it is going to want to pop back out. But I'm sure I can get it to catch just a quarter inch of the control arm indentation, which is all that is needed to be able to raise the arm and compress the spring once again.

In summary, it is my opinion that a spring compressor is more of a convenience for this job. I could see where it could be essential for other jobs, such as when you wish to remove the spring without disturbing the ball joint and/or tie rod, etc. but for my purposes it was perfectly safe to remove the spring without one.
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  #22  
Old 09-16-2009, 08:06 AM
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Hi gmercoleza

How did you get the spring back in again?
Did you use the approved spring compressor?
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivanerrol View Post
Hi gmercoleza

How did you get the spring back in again?
Did you use the approved spring compressor?
No, I just did the reverse of the above procedure, just wiggled the spring back in, then used a jack to raise the lower control arm, then reconnected the ball joint. I think the spring compressor is needed if you want to remove the spring without disrupting the ball joint and lower control arm eccentric bolts.
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08 W251 R350
97 W210 E320
91 W124 300E
86 W126 560SEL
85 W126 380SE Silver
85 W126 380SE Cranberry
79 W123 250
78 W123 280E
75 W114 280
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:50 PM
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Okay so got to it today!

So my findings....
1) My shocks are very worn. They need to be replaced
2) Bump stops are done for

You do not have to jack up the car to do the mounts if you can compress the strut enough. First pictures I just unbolted the nut and knocked the shock down with a rubber mallet then pulled it down with my hand underneath. Obviously be careful. You may not be able to if the shock is new...but with mine it was easy. Didn't even need to jack the car up.





Recommendations for new shocks? Should I go OEM $62/each or go bilstein comforts $120/each? I'm torn between the two. Price isn't a problem...I just don't know if the bilstein comforts would be a nicer ride than the OEM?
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  #25  
Old 09-26-2009, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for all the advice guys. Here is the summary and How-To, just got done with it. It has made a huge difference in ride quality!


---


This job is actually quite easy with the correct method and does not take long either. Start by loosing bolts on wheels, jack the car up and support it on quality stands.
Remove wheel and place new jack under the lower control arm. MAKE SURE to SUPPORT the weight of the car ON THIS JACK. You want the spring to not move when you release the strut. Once the lower control arm is supported, unbolt the bolt on the top of the mount in engine bay. Push shock down (should do if worn) and now remove mount.
PS: If your shock is worn a bit, you may not need to jack car up. You can do it all with wheels on ground. Just unbolt top mount bolt and push shock down. Now replace.

If shock is needed to be replaced continue. Undo the three bolts holding the shock in place. The upper mount will need a 19mm wrench to hold other the side from spinning. The bottom two are easy. Remove strut and support brake disk and associated items from hanging on the brake lines. Prop it up with a box or something....

Installation is reverse. My tip is to push the shock through the mount and secure using an old bolt to hold it in place. Now do the upper bolt FIRST because it holds it in the right place. Should be straight forward.

Safety is always #1 with anything suspension related, but as long as the lower control arm is supported, you should have no problems.

Pics:












---

Hows the black shock cover supposed to sit? I can't figure it out ?? It's not a huge deal and I have the top clipped in so it looks okay, but I always like doing the job correct, or at least knowing for 2nd time around.
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  #26  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:18 PM
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Easy peasy.

Only a couple of comments .

I support the brake rotor when I have the strut off to prevent damage to the brake line hoses.

If you can push the strut spines down easily without lifting the car then the struts will be shot.
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  #27  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:57 PM
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Agreed. I happened to find a nice notch it sat in comfortably, but everybody should support it.
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  #28  
Old 09-27-2009, 11:13 PM
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At the top the boot slips over the two "ears" on the bottom of the shock mount. I think you can see the ears in your second photo with the bumpers. Spraying a little 303 protectant on them makes it a bit easier. It's mostly done by feel with both your hands under the fender. You want to try and get it so the 2 ears are on the same rib of the boot. Also in your second photo you can see a plastic ring on the shock. It may be that you are supposed to secure the lower part of the boot on this ring but I've found that this shreds boots prematurely. If you have them attached like this, they shred easily the next time you jack up the car and the suspension drops to full extension.

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  #29  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:17 AM
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Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,438
I took the cheapo route this weekend and swapped in some new strut mounts....as mine were beyond shot and squeaking and clanking. My drivers strut is extremely dead, it almost did not want to go back up (did very slowly) after it was pushed down by hand! Passenger side was a little stronger. Both are original. I'll replace them later on when I do my tie rods/center link so I can have an alignment done with all fresh parts. For now it drives fine, a bit wallowy but not that bad....and all the noises are gone! I was actually able to pull apart the old passenger side strut mount by hand in two pieces!

I did the job by putting a floor jack under the jack pad at the corner I was working on, then I lifted the car (with strut bolt loosened already) until the strut just started to leave the mount. I then stopped jacking it up, compressed the strut, quick removed and swapped the mount, re-bolted it all together, and lowered the car down. I did it all with the wheels still on and sitting on the ground.

When I do the struts themselves in the future (gotta save some $$ ) I will put the floor jack under the hoist pad of the chassis, and a jack stand under the control arm. This way, should my jack release pressure unevenly or too quickly it will just set the weight of the car on the stand/control arm rather than dropping the control arm and over-extending it. Much safer IMHO....and more controllable.
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  #30  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
My drivers strut is extremely dead, it almost did not want to go back up (did very slowly) after it was pushed down by hand! Passenger side was a little stronger. Both are original.

When I do the struts themselves in the future (gotta save some $$ ).
I would be saving up some hard earned quickly. The tie roads and centre are not expensive compared to good struts. That's not a difficult job change either - just get a joint separator.

The handling on your car is compromised without top notch struts. Your struts are shot and are non functional - they are there for show at the moment.

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