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  #1  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:03 AM
afmcorp's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NW Indiana LaPorte
Posts: 571
front end tools i'd like your opinion

hello folks

i need to do some front end work on the 420sel and maybe on my 107 350sl and i would like everyone's opinion. they come from jc whitney

http://www.jcwhitney.com/item.jhtml?ITEMID=149941&BQ=jcw2

i want to be able to do the whole front end and the price seems ok when you look how much just 1 tie rod end seperator costs from performance.

tks much
craig
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1972 350sl Red/Blk 117k
1988 420sel charcoal/Blk 140k
1987 420sel gold/tan 128k
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Pound it to fit then Paint it to match!

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  #2  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:54 AM
BoostnBenz's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Normally for tie rods and ball joints I use a 'fork' which is beat in with a hammer inorder to seperate it. For pitman arms I just use a simple 2 or 3 leg gear puller. Before you buy any tools there check this site out:
www.harborfreight.com
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2003, 01:25 AM
afmcorp's Avatar
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hi jeff

thanks for the super quick reply. that is how i have done it over the years. and just a couple weeks ago had to replace a tie rod on my 4x4 that bust in my driveway backing in one nite.

i looked all over tonite on harbor freight but the only thing i can find are the pitman arm clamp. kind of a u shape with a bolt down thru the center. they have a small and a large version.

i have all the pickle forks in my tool box but somehow i got this idea in my head that you need to use a clamp type and with a center bolt you mechanically push it from it's seat. performance products wants like 68.00 just for the tie rod tool.

have you seen thomas pindelski (search on thomaspin) he has a super website. he just added some front end work so i got to get there tonite

i've got 3 front ends to do this summer so they'll get a workout for sure. i'm looking for that golden rivet. but if all else fails i'll get the fork and sledge out.

tks
craig
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Thanks Much!
Craig

1972 350sl Red/Blk 117k
1988 420sel charcoal/Blk 140k
1987 420sel gold/tan 128k
See My Cars at:http://mysite.verizon.net/res0aytj/index.html

Pound it to fit then Paint it to match!

There is only First Place and Varying degrees of last!

Old age and deceit will overcome Youth and Enthusiasm every time!

Putting the square peg in the round hole is not hard... IF you do it fast enough!

Old enough to know better but stupid enough to do it anyway!
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2003, 03:22 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Just did my front and rear suspension.

The tools I would recommend.

I have the Harbor Freight tools below

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=36861

Its ok and will work on all the tie rod joints except the center assembly. The tool is to tall and will not fit between the center rod and the engine. I would recommend that you buy a lever type unit for all the tie rod ball joints. The one at Performance products is designed for European sized tie rods.

You can get one from JCWhitney but make sure the opening will fit the tie rod ball joints on the Mercedes. I wish I could tell you what size opening that would be. Maybe some one who hase one can measure it for us and let us know.
The JCWhitney unit has a 11/16 opening.I know that the Hazet and other manufacture offer a bunch of different sizes.

If your going to replace everything you can use a pickle fork. It will destroy the boots on the tie rod. The lever type seperator will not damage the boots.

The JCWhitney tool package I'm sure will be fine.

If your going to replace the ball joints in the lower control arm you will need a ball joint press. You can rent it, Buy it ( its expensive) or pay a shop a few bucks to do it once you have the LCA out of the car.
You could also buy the Ball joint press tool, like this one
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=38335
It will work for pressing n the LCA ball joints but it does require some modification to make it work.

Here's the biggy. If your going to remove the upper control arm or the lower control arm You really should buy a coil spring compressor designed for a Mercedes. Here are your choices.

http://www.themotoringshop.com/products/springsafetydevice.htm

or

http://www.samstagsales.com/SirTool/stm_0070.htm

You can rent the Sir Tool from Performance Products.



Dave
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2003, 08:06 AM
LarryBible
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I have a couple of pickle forks but have rarely used them while doing the jobs for which they were designed. The best, quickest and most common method changing tie rod ends around the shops is with a good size hammer.

If you loosen the nut several turns and then whack the END of the suspension arm perpindicular to the centerline of the tie rod end tapered stud, it will pop loose. You then unthread the nut the rest of the way and it is on the ground. Nothing to it.

BTW, I hope everything goes well for you with the airlines. It's impossible not to hear alot about it in the DFW news media.

Have a great day,
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I have had good luck with pullers for suspension work.
That balljoint tool in that JC Whitney kit that has the pivot hinge bent removing a tie rod end, while a quality small 2-arm puller did the job. Not impressed. Can't comment on the rest of the kit.
I honestly wonder if you really need all that stuff. I think a handful of quality pullers might be a better investment.

Also a 'sometimes' Harbor Freight fan,
I recently acquired this tool:



http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=40661

This thing is beefy and adjustable. (Not all Harbor Freight stuff is this good. Their cheapo puller sets are not particularly tough.) This item is far more flexible than the fixed-width pitman pullers. It is better than a normal 2 or 3-arm puller for suspension work because the arms lock in place. Happy with this.

On my tool wish list are a set of Posi-lock pullers.
A great design, but they are expen$ive. About $50 at Sears for a midsize puller that would be good for suspension work.

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  #7  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:02 PM
Thomaspin's Avatar
pindelski.com
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 531
Cheap ball joint separator

Take a look here for a very inexpensive separator - <$20, which should avoid all that hammering and boot damage.

I bought one in preparation for my 126 front end job and it seems very substantially made. I would think anti-seize on the threads would make sense.
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:03 PM
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My preferred method is the same as Larry's. But I do use my pickle forks when I can't get a good solid hit on the joint, or when I've had one that's particularly difficult.
I always re-assemble the joint using a thin coat of aint-seize. So the next time I need to remove it, it's a snap.

Jeff Pierce
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2003, 12:10 PM
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Autozone carries some stuff and it is FREE.

You pay for the tool and you get reimbursed whenever you return it. That may help you.
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