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  #1  
Old 02-25-2002, 05:58 PM
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Location: NW Arkansas
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front suspension question on a w126 (really, any MB)

Anyone ever have front end work done on their w126? Or any MB for that matter?

How difficult would it be for DIY'er to do the front lower ball joints and the Idler Arm? Then I could just run it to the shop and have them do the alignment. I noticed these are cheap parts, so I think I might be getting gigged on parts/installation/alignment, quote was $450 before tax.

Thanks.
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1994 C280 204k miles
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2002, 06:19 PM
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well...

Just talked with a guy at work that does a lot of work on domestic and Jap cars and he said the MB is waaaay differentent than those and probably would not be worth my time to do it, so I feel better about letting a "pro" work on it.

Thanks anyway.
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2002, 06:21 PM
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Replacing the idler arm bushings is a piece of cake on an SD. The lower balljoints are probably best left to a pro.

Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2002, 07:27 PM
benzat
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I have had my entire front end replaced...the front lower ball joints have to be done by a pro.

there is a special MBZ tool to use on them..the lower ball joint sits in a curve and your local tire shop will not do it..

you can save some money by taking the part in only and having it put in. The upper ball joint is on the upper control arm so that is easy.

new drag link, idler arm, tie rods, upper control arms, lower ball joints, sub frame bushings, back sway bars, inner and outer berrings, and the list goes on and on and on..

benzat
1982 380 SEC
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2002, 12:27 AM
Mattman
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Benzat, how many miles had you done when you rebuilt the front end and was it really noticable the difference in ride quality?

Matt.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2002, 05:03 PM
NIC
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Matt,

I was reading this series of posts and saw your question. I just re-did the front end on my '85 300Cd with 149k miles and it did make a big difference. Distinct improvement in overall feel. I replaced everything except the upper control arms, which seemed in good shape. None of the work was too awful and I am not an expert by any means.

No question it was worth it to me.......

Good luck. If you proceed, read all the many posts on how to do the various parts and you should be fine. Watch out for the spring compression stuff. Very important that you use the right type tool to compress the spring.

Nic
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2002, 05:08 PM
Mattman
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Thanks Nic, did you do the lower balljoints yourself?

Cheers
Matt.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2002, 05:25 PM
NIC
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no, they were done by a mercedes shop. everything else I did. had some help from front end guy with a couple of the ball joints on the tie rods (they were really stuck in there!). if you have basic skills and are careful, should not be anything you can't overcome. just watch that spring.....it really intimidated me.

if you haven't done your shocks, do them first as they make a big difference in ride. I thought mine were fine but changed anyway and boy, what a difference they made.

Nic
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2002, 05:58 PM
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What kind of shocks did you use? Did you replace front and rear?
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2002, 07:13 PM
benzat
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Mattman

Ive owned the car for 4 years..the person(more like something I dont dare post) who owned it tried to put on 15" wheels on the front and 16" on the back and ruined the front end. broken motor mounts, engine shocks, brakes, control arms ball joints wheel berings.

It drives like a dream now..had it done at 110,000 miles. Ive driven other MBZ and like the way this one rides now.

the person that owned it before was it DIY with out knowing what he was doing.


benzat
1982 380 SEC
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2002, 09:24 AM
NIC
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DWCasey,

I used standard bilstiens (which I believe are also called "comforts") and I did front and rear. Much discussion about what shocks to use but appears bilstiens are viewed as best overall. Some people like the sport version of the shock but I wasn't looking for a hard ride. With the standard shocks, my car has a pretty firm ride anyway.

Nic
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2002, 10:32 AM
moedip
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My mechanic friend and I did the lower ball joint on the passenger side of my 560sel ourselves. It was 2 years ago but I don't recall any cussing. If I remember right - we removed the lower member with the ball joint and took it to his 12 ton shop press. We removed the old one and using a variety of metal plates to hold the member at the right angle and using assorted 3/4" drive 1 1/2" 21/2" sockets to fit over the new ball joint as a mating surface (as a press die NOT as a socket)- slowly pressed the new one in. It did take about 3 tries to make sure it was going in straight. If I remember right the whole job took about 2 hours. If we didn't have the press - our Mercedes Dealer said that if we brought in the member with the ball joint in - they would remove and replace for $60.00 CDN. plus new ball joint. Where there is a will - there is a way!!
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