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Old 01-21-2002, 07:23 PM
Posts: n/a
Angry **HELP** Spring leaped off while driving 97 E420 **UPDATED**


Can anyone help me out here!

I just had my 1997 E420 shipped across country. Everything seemed ok coming off of the truck and after a quick hop around the block so I signed off of the shipment manifest.

Driving around the block I hit a small bump on the street. (Very small, it was an old manhole cover that was sealed over -- nothing unusual at all). I heard a BANG and then some loud whumping in the front left wheel wheel. It sounded like bowling balls in a dryer. Then ZING and I saw the entire spring shoot across the road! Fortunately I was only driving about 20 miles an hour and I was already in the right hand lane so I pulled over safely. I was able to run across the intersection and retrieve the suicidal spring. It appears to be intact. On the plus side I now have that sporty "lowrider" look ;-) too bad it's only on the front left side of the car!

My question is: what is involved in putting the spring back on and how much should I expect to pay?

Oh, and by the way, the shipper was American Auto Transporters of Canton, MA ( Please, no comments about how I should have tested it more thoroughly before signing off... believe me, I know!

**Update from the dealer**

The dealer just called and told me that the upper spring mount has been completely jerked off of the car. As in, it is no longer present at all on the car! Plus, it is a perfectly clean break along the weld (this is a welded part, not a bolted part). The dealer says that they have never, ever had to replace one of these due to "natural causes" (i.e., wear and tear), it only breaks if the weight of car is put on it by unnaturally attempting to pull/tow the car in an unnatural manner.

Fortunately the dealer also said that the shipper is welcome to send a representative down to check it out and he will show the shipper exactly what it looks like.

The good news is that welding on a new piece is estimated to only cost $492... the bad news is that my deductible is $500. It would be a pity to have to bring the lawyers into this one... let's hope that the shippers see the light of day. Thoughts?

Last edited by groove1962; 01-24-2002 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 01-21-2002, 08:32 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Exclamation Do not drive the car!

Who knows what kind of damage you have already done. Don't make it worse. The price will depend if that is they only have to reinstall the spring, probably less than $200. If you have other damage, the sky is the limit, unfortunately. Hopefully, that is not your case.
The way the trucks secure the vehicles to the platforms are very crude. Usually they use chains attached to different parts of the car, like the drive train (HINT), to secure them. If it was attached to the wrong place...well damage will ocurr.
Sorry about your mishap!
'86 300E
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Old 01-21-2002, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Currently assigned @ Travis AFB, CA
Posts: 165
Sorry it happened

1. Being with the military I know how this can happen, they must have hooked the shipping chains to the springs. Look at the springs for rubbing marks.
2. Do youall have AutoZone in MA? They rent a spring compress tool, its a good deal, you pay for the price of the tool but when you return you get the full price back!
3. Yes its true, I did this and was happy with the service!
4. Oh make sure you get the kind that goes inside the spring.
5. Last thing look over the contract you might be compensated, we had a guy in Iceland once had an alignment problem, when he took it in, it was discovered that one of the links was bent from being hooked to hold it study during transit this was about 4 months after the delivery. He got an estimate of proof from the shop and the got paid for the repairs.

Thai GI sends...
GI but not GI Joe
They call me "The Thai GI"
Thai in the US Arsenal
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Old 01-21-2002, 11:17 PM
Gilly's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
We had a 210 chassis in our shop this past summer that the upper spring perch broke off of. I don't know if you've had a chance to survey for further damage or not, but I'd try to look around up there and make sure all is well. Seems to me the car I remember was a 420 also.
I wouldn't want to speculate too much on if this was transportation related or not, but it does seem to be too much of a coincidence, doesn't it?
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Old 01-22-2002, 02:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: CA
Posts: 90
probably need to get new spring pads and the center cap that goes over the spring pad and spring. make sure the new spring pad is the same thickness as the right side.

good luck
1997 E420
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:39 PM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
Just a hint, I wouldnt even want to be near one of those springs with an autozone rental compressor(not for breakage, but because you can't really compress it enough with the autozone compressor). the front springs on an eclass are bigger and harder to deal with than the springs on the rear. Maybe something from snapon...and I think maybe MAC had something in their catalog that looked acceptible.

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Old 01-22-2002, 09:56 PM
Gilly's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
Would it be worth buying a spring compressor for this one job, especially from one of the high-buck tool distributors?
I wouldn't sweat the rubber spring pad as long as you have it, it's just a piece of rubber. If it's not damaged, it's up to the task.
I'm still more concerned about looking at the upper spring perch to make sure there isn't broke. If it is, a spring compressor is the least of your worries.
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Old 01-26-2002, 10:37 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Portland,Oregon
Posts: 50
It doesn't look like they want that much to repair it, just have the dealer do the spring. I have replaced many springs in cars and it is still one of the most dangerous things to do. If the spring comes loose what ever is in the way will be removed or damaged. You can't replace ( human) body parts that cheap.
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Old 01-27-2002, 01:05 AM
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Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
We hadn't seen one either until last summer, and as I said, it was also an E420. We have had several 190E's do this.
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