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  #1  
Old 04-04-2002, 04:21 PM
Wendell Allen
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Question Spring Compression Help - HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!

So I've decided not to lower my car. At least not with new springs. But since it sits crooked, and outside of MB's recommendation of 20mm, I've bought new "shims" in the correct amount to level it, and slightly lower it in the process.

But imagine my surprise when I can't find a spring compressor for this thing. I've tried the regular compressors, but they won't fit up inside the spring. The openings in the bottom A-frame are too small. And they won't fit through the top either. So I rented one for struts, but the pieces that go between the individual coils are cast iron and too big to fit in. And I've tried everything I have to expand the coils enough to fit them in. Nothing works.

Mercedes makes a tool for it, but even the dealer doesn't want to quote the price to me saying it's almost as much as having them do it.

Man, this is turning into a bigger pain than it's worth.

Any suggestions from someone who's been down this road before? I'm at my wits end and I have an appointment tomorrow to take it in for an alignment.
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2002, 05:03 PM
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The Mercedes tools would be ~$1300 from a wholesale source (you need to buy front tool, rear tool, and a set of plates.) There are aftermarket tools which are cheaper, ~$500-$900 for the kit.

Or, you can rent it from Performance Products for ~$90 plus S&H both ways (~$125 total), with a ~$550 deposit. I rented it and it did work, although I don't like the "SIR Tools" brand compressor they have - it is not easy to get the center shaft "hex" to seat in the top plate. The older style Mercedes tool (no longer sold) worked much nicer, and was only ~$500 at the time. The new style is redesigned and would probably work great, if it weren't so damn expensive...


HTH,
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2002, 05:20 PM
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There is also a member of this forum who bought a similar spring compressor and is willing to rent it - similar terms as Performance Products $85-$90 rental, plus S&H both ways, plus $500 refundable deposit. Do a search for this member if you want to rent this tool because the PP tool (they rent 2 or 3) may not be available.

I used the PP tool and it worked fine for the front and back springs. I also had to level my back end a well as replace the collapsing rear springs (did a complete rebuild on the front end and springs were OK). The PP tool was a bit hard to make work on the rear springs for removal only because they were the "comfort" ride springs that have some of the coils less wide making it hard to get the plates far enough apart so the spring could be compressed enough to remove. The new springs that had evenly spaced coils went in and out much easier (I had to R&R the springs a couple of times as I tried different spacers to level the rear end).

You'll need to cancel your alignment appointment because you're not going to get a spring compressor in time - and no other tool will work other than the ones made specially for compressing M-B springs. In fact, trying to use a spring compressor tool not made for M-B springs is dangerous and serious injury could result.

Good Luck!
Tom
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2002, 07:42 PM
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This is a job better left for others...

Yes, I've been down this road. I tried everything you have tried and it is futile without the proper MB plate compressor -- especially if your springs are sagging.

You'd be better off paying Pep Boys to install the new shims for the $238 they charged me to replace all four of my springs.

Don't ask me why I chose them -- I'm sure any undercarriage shop could do the work. It's money well spent -- one less headache and possible hole in the head if a spring decides to shoot out.

Good luck!

~Paul

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  #5  
Old 04-04-2002, 07:52 PM
HGV HGV is offline
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I succesfully removed the front springs on my 87 300TD with an old set of external spring compressors. I spread the springs near the bottom to fit in the lower set and did the same with the top. It was not fun, and I had visions of being wacked in the face as the springs slipped and lt loose. The second side was much easier after I got the techniqui down and trimmed the bolts to miss the suspension. I also looked into buying the tool, but just good not bring myself to make that type of investment. If you want, you can try mine. No gaurantee that they we will for you.

Henry
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2002, 07:58 PM
Wendell Allen
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Angry I'm Freakin' Flamin'.

I really appreciate your advice on the tools. You guys always come through. But I'm REALLY pissed at myself for not asking before I even started this.

I got the drivers front side in by using two of the regular spring compressors you can get at any automotive store (on the outside of the spring cuz one won't fit inside the spring like they normally do). And that was after hours of trying to keep them from sliding around on the spring. I've been working on this thing since 10:00am, and here it is, 5:40 in the afternoon.

And I finally got the passengers side so it's almost ready to come out, but because of the way the coil wraps around the "pad" on the lower A frame, it's a no go with these compressors. Absolutely, incredibly, freakin' beautiful.

So now I have to cancel my alignment appointment, and decide: Do I want to pay the ~$125 total to rent the tool and do this myself, or pay the dealer, and I don't trust anyone else to do this right, $300 to do it for me.

Lesson to be learned:

I thought was getting 4 new tires and rims @ $300.

Which has now turned into 4 new tires and rims @ $300, 4 new "shims" @ $35, and either the tool rental @ ~$125, or the dealer's labor @ $300, and 8 hours of my labor by the time I've cleaned up this mess .

So I've gone from what I anticipated to be $300 to way beyond that, and this is coming out of the pocket of someone who is freakin' UNEMPLOYED. AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

KIDS, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2002, 08:09 PM
Wendell Allen
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ADFASDFAFGDGETa

And another thing..........

I can't believe that I was stupid enough to even try this without doing such basic research first. Considering all the info and experience that's available though you guys, not doing so was, well, stupid. What was I thinking?

Ya know what? I wasn't thinking. My father was right. I think with my azz. I don't use my brain. No wonder I'm unemployed. I deserve to be.

WWWAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2002, 08:12 PM
Wendell Allen
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I'm gonna go shoot myself now. Crap. I can't. I don't have any life insurance since I'm freakin' unemployed!!!!!

Oh! There's the dog! I'm gonna go kick the zhit out of that little runt.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2002, 08:14 PM
Wendell Allen
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2002, 01:54 PM
HGV HGV is offline
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Take a break and regroup. YOu don't need to compress the springs all the way. You can always lower the a-arm from the inside bolts. Mark the approxiamte location so you can put them back at about the same location and remove them with a floor jack under the arm. You then can remove the partially compressed spring and change out your pads. THen do the reverese and put the a-arm back in place. That's how I did mine.

Henry
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63 190d (sold)
69 220D (sold)
69 280SL (sold)
76 BMW 2002 (sold)
86 190E-16v(best 4 banger around) 195k
87 300SDL (sold)
87 300SDL 135k
87 300TD 280k (sold)
95 E320W 211k
95 E320w 111k
05 C320 4matic
06 E320 CDI 90k (Totaled by a texting 19 year old girl in a nissan)
2013 GLK 250 Bluetek 4MATIC
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