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  #1  
Old 07-31-2002, 08:35 PM
1992300e
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Coil Spring compression

Hi all,

I am having a hell of a time trying to re-install my coil spring. Got the free loaner tool from VIP but will not fit back out after I have compressed the spring and installed. Should I use the outer type of compresor? the type with one on each side?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your help.

Joel
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2002, 02:05 PM
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Front, right?

1) Jack the car fairly high under the crossmember.
2) Place jackstands under crossmember or rubber lift points behind wheels, and remove jack.
3) Drop the control arm as low as possible, and seat the top of the spring in its mount.
4) Compress the spring just enough to get it positioned in the groove on the arm. I have heard this can be done without compressing the spring at all, but I have not tried this personally. I used the cheap 'bolt type' compressors that are available from many places ($9.99), but the one you rented might work. If you do use the 'bolt type', you may be able to compress just the inside of the spring so that it bends towards the angle of the extended arm. This worked for me.
5) Once bottom of spring is seated, jack under control arm as close to balljoint as possible (this is important, since the weight of the car will not compress spring enough unless you are far enough out on the arm [leverage]).
Keep jacking until the weight of the car comes of the jack stand on that side, then you can install strut, etc....

Be careful. That spring has a tremendous amount of potential energy.
Hope that helps.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2002, 02:19 PM
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Save yourself from potential death, and either pay someone to do it (under $100) who has the correct spring compressor, or rent the correct one if it can be located.

Do a search on this site for spring compressors.

Don't mess a round with Mercedes springs.

:-( neil
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2002, 03:17 AM
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IMHO this procedure is safe so long as you are careful. I have now done 6 control arm R&Rs this year without special tools or flying springs.

The key to safety and success here, as in much of life, are applying common sense, and a deep respect for the laws of physics.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2002, 11:10 PM
1992300e
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Thanks

Hi guys,

Well I got the spring back in this morning. CSNOW I ended up using pretty much a variation on your suggestion.

Car on jack stands, used bolt type spring compresors, one on each side. Well kind of on each side, because of the way the spring seats I had to have the clamps at about 160 dgrees rather than straight accross from each other. Compressed spring just enough to get top in place and bottom hooked into control arm. You can not start without compressing some.

Used jack to push control arm up and then released and removed compressors. Getting ball joint back into spindle was another chore, but by prying gap open a little more was able to get back together.

Thanks for the help and follow-up, hope this helps others. (I realize there are allready quite a few posts on this subject.)

Joel
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2002, 05:34 PM
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That's great news, Joel.
I'm glad it worked out for you.

I hate to see folks use expensive specialized tools when there is a workaround.

Credible sources say this can be done without any sort of spring compressor, but I just can't figure a way to get the bottom of the spring seated without at least some compression.

Perhaps that works if you are using shorter sport springs.
Bolt-type compressors are so cheap, that I'm not sure I care.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2002, 05:50 PM
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you are correct

Hi CSNOW,

You are correct, there is no way, at least with my car to get the spring in without a compresor. With the control arm bolted in and pushed all the way down I still needed at least an inch and half compression.

Now, contradicting what I just wrote. You could by placing a jack under the control arm, jack up the control arm, line up bolt holes, bolt in control arm etc.

Actually, that's how I got the spring out. I undid control arm, with ball joint still attached to strut and guided down with my jack, big floor jack. Of course, my jack slipped and my brother and I were almost killed when the spring per-twanged.

I can't imagine puting it together that way. Those springs are incredibly dangerous.

I was sure glad to get that job done.

It would be great if the local members of this forum could arrange a meeting, maybe a get together in Southern NH, Northern MA. Were we could talk shop in person and I could thank you guys. The help provided in this forum is invaluable.

Thanks,
Joel
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2002, 11:55 PM
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famous last words "hey guy's these $9.95 spring compressors made in China work great on my Merce!!!!!*********".......
William Rogers......
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2002, 09:27 AM
1992300e
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Not sure what your point is

Hi William,

I can infer from the tone of your post you are somehow uncomfortable with my tool selection.

Just like you, and I am sure most others on this site, I work hard for my money and make every effort to spend it wisely. I have no problem (maybe a little) spending money when I perceive I am getting value for the dollars spent.

Not sure why I would choose to spend money when I can make do with a free rental tool.

Furthermore, I would gladly purchase my parts and tools for that matter straight from the dealer if I got anywhere near the customer service and professional courtesy I get, for example, here on this forum. I have spent time and effort going to the two dealerships in my area (20 mile drive to each) only to receive a blank stare from the guy at the counter, that is, when he finds it convienient to acknowledge my presence. And when I did order parts it took three trips back and forth before I got the correct part.

I am in the professional services industry (accountant), clients pay huge money for my time ($150-$300 per hour) (of course I get paid a tiny franction of that, hence doing things as economically as possible). I treat my clients with TLC and respect and if I can find anyway for them to get something done more economically or efficiently I do, including ways to decrease my time (fees), and travel expenses. That's the only sure-fire way to ensure a continuing mutually beneficial relationship.

I can see from your number of posts that you are a seasoned Merc. guy, probably a better mechanic than me and you've probably offered a lot of valuable advice. I appreciate, more than you know the advice people like your self have given out helping newbies like me, thanks.

Moderator, sorry if this note is off of the intended path for this forum.

Joel
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2002, 01:47 PM
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Joel,

I'm in the process of doing the same procedure on my 190E. (I have it apart now, and will reassemble tonight.) I removed my springs the opposite of how you did yours. With the car up on jack stands, I loosened the ball joint while supporting the control arm with a floor jack under the ball joint -- then carefully lowered the jack. I added a safety measure though -- before I started, I chained the bottom of the spring to the control arm. It turns out the chain was not necessary, but I still plan to use it on the install (just for safety)

Can you ellaborate on the problems you encountered while re-installing. (I want to get an idea for what I'm up against tonight)

BTW, I would be interested in attending a New England get-together of forum members. (I'm in Portland, ME)

Jeff Pierce
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2002, 06:12 PM
1992300e
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Hi Jeff

You definately approached it better than I initially did.

My probelm was getting the spring to sit into the control arm. My car 300E, 124 did not allow me to set the spring into the control arm even with the control arm unattached to the ball joint and pushed all the way down. With the spring seated in the top I needed to compress the spring about 2 inches in order to get it to sit into the control arm. Then I could start to jack up the control arm and then insert the ball joint into the spindle.

Problems with reasembly:
1) Getting a spring compressor to fit the spring, the free rental I used initially, the type that fits in the middle of the spring did not fit through the hole in the control arm.
2) The two piece compresors, one on each side needed to be lined up a certain way so they would not hit the top mounting (cup) that the spring seats into. I ended up having the compressors at 120 degrees rather than 180 degrees opposite eachother.
3) Getting the ball joint back into the spindle. Took a lot of jigling and wiggling, finally used my big screw driver to spread apart the opening where ball joint fits into, actually left screw driver wedged in as I fitted ball joint. Beware, another guy (very helpfull) noted that if you spread the joint too much you'll have trouble getting the bolt back in. And don't forget to line up the notch on the ball joint so that you can fit the bolt back in.

That should about do it. Don't forget to torque everything up.

Good luck,
Joel

I'll work to figure out a date and place for a get together and post and see what happens.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2002, 05:33 PM
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I should add that if you place the bolt-type compressors on the spring before disassembly, and while the weight of the car is still compressing the spring, the control arm will not get to as steep an angle before the spring can be removed.

If you leave the removed spring compressed while you do your repairs, reassembly is a snap.

My instructions for Joel were written as such because he already had an extended spring that was off the car. The whole process is much easier if the springs are held in a compressed state throughout.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:32 AM
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Coil spring compressor

The bolt type coil spring compressor may work on the REAR springs, if you want to go that route.
Do NOT use this type of compressor on the front coil springs.
There is MUCh more "spring"in the front springs. The proper tool ,that is specified in the workshop manual, costs around
$900. It can be rented from many sources however.
I cannot overstate the danger in doing this job with the wrong tool. We all work hard for our money, but to place your life in danger to save a few bucks is false economy.

Bob
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2002, 04:01 AM
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Blitzen Bob What is the correct spring compressor for this application? The internal one?
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2002, 09:43 AM
1992300e
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Internal one

Hi,

Yup, the internal one. It's pictured in the CD manual.

And as Bob states, he's definately correct regarding the proper tool.

Must admitt, I did not take the time to try to find a place that would rent the mercedes internal tool, and like usuall, I had so little time to get the work done I made do with what I could find.

But, considering the compression on that spring, correct tool is advisable.

In a perfect world I would have liked to use the official tool. Not sure (I think I know the answer, profit margin / or, discourage do it yourselfers) why benz tools are so crazy expensive.

I did use a piece of threaded stock placed down the middle of top mounting, spring, and control arm in-case the spring let go.

Scary proposition, I hate springs,
Joel
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