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  #1  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:57 PM
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87 300E- easy to change ball joints/control arms?

I belong to a car club and we occ get the chance to use lifts with real mechanics around. Is it reasonable to change the ball joints and control arms in 2-3 hours if supervised? Could I do part one time and the rest another?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:40 PM
Potomac German Auto
 
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I guess in theory if whomever put the control arms in used "anti-sieze" & you can easily extract the control arms.

Oh yeah, you have to have a press to R & R the joints properly. Although I have seen someone use a hammer in a pinch (not advised).
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:22 PM
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2-3 hours for both sides for a first timer may be a bit optimistic, though it sounds like you may have access to good tools (perhaps just the right spring compressor?) and help, so maybe....

You can certainly do just one side at a time, so long as you mark the position of the excentric bolts very carefully to preserve your alignment.
Best to get a real alignment after the other side is completed.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:23 PM
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2-3 hours, I doubt it!

Plus, remember you have to have special tools around like spring compressor, a press, etc. and you have to get an alingment afterwards.
I also suggest taking a serious look at replacing your struts and idle arm bushing and, at a minimun, changing the sway bar bushings, strut top mount and the drag link (if they are original) while you are there. The latter are relatively cheap!
As far as doing it separate, it depends on time frame in between and the amount of usage of the car. Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:32 PM
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Are the "helper" mechanics experienced with the removal of Mercedes springs? The spring compressor required for these cars is different from most others.

Jeff Pierce
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:07 PM
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The car has 313K miles.

The shops are either a)an MB dealer and his mechanics or b) an independant, reputable MB shop the MB club trusts. The techs are around to make sure we do ok.

I ask the question re time because I do not want to bite off too much and impose on the generosity of the shops. Thus if I had the right tools and it would take 2 hours- no prob.
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:24 PM
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Going back to your original question:

"Is it reasonable to change the ball joints and control arms in 2-3 hours if supervised?"

I would say that it depends on how many of you and the combined experiences.

Haasman
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2003, 11:03 AM
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I think 2-3 hours for ONE side would be no problem for one of the experienced techs. But it's probably a little ambitious if you've never done it before. I bet you could do it though (one side this weekend, one side next weekend) if you could get one of the techs to commit to working with you for the whole 3 hours.

I've only done this procedure once on my 201, and it took me all weekend to do both sides. (but I didn't have all the right tools, and you have to factor in the learning curve.) If I had to do it again today, I'm pretty confident that I could do it in one day -- not including allignment, for which I would have to go to a shop.

You could speed up the process with some prep work: have your ball joints pressed in before you start. Same with the new bushings (if they're not already).

Jeff Pierce
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2003, 12:40 PM
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Just my results FYI...

The first time I did this, the first side took all of a long day.
The second side took 3 hours.

I've done 2 more pairs since, and I've gotten it down to 5-6 hours per pair without a lift, press, or specialized tools.

Amazing the difference a little practice can make...
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