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  #1  
Old 08-02-2003, 02:53 AM
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Unhappy Couldn't Replace Idler Arm Bushings

Car: 1989 260E

After reading multiple threads here on replacing the idler arm bushing, I was prepared to do mine today.

I was able to remove the heat shield and then the lower nut on the existing bushing bolt. I could push the bolt up until it bumped up against one of the pre-cats. That is as far as I got.

The lower bushing is in very tight, and I could not budge it with pliers. Do I require special tools to remove it?

My understanding is that once the lower bushing is out, the bolt can be angled and pushed out past the exhaust. Then the upper bushing can be tapped out. The new parts can then be installed, but with the bolt upside down.

And help on this would be apprecuated.
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2003, 03:26 AM
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Grasp the lower bush with large offset slip-joint pliers, horizontally. Don't pull down, gently rotate it until it breaks free, then pull down. For more info from our 190E, follow this:

Steering idler rebush - '91 190E

Steve
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'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2003, 10:55 AM
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Great info, I got an idler arm repair kit sitting at home waiting to be installed. Some of the steering parts are hard to access. I just did my drag link not too long ago, too a bit of time since I had no 'real' tool for ball joints, but I managed

xp
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2003, 11:12 AM
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Thanks Steve.

My first question, since my tool knowlege is limited, is what is an offset slip-joint plier? I am sure I have seen one, but don't know it by name.

Second, once the lower bushing is out, will there be enough room to angle it out and around the exhaust?
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2003, 11:30 AM
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You can get a much better bolt removal angle if you also tap the upper bushing out....an old piece of tubing works here..
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2003, 01:25 PM
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Once you pry the lower bushing out, use a piece of pipe like Authur mentioned or use a screw driver and carefully knock the upper bushing out.

With the upper bushing out, angle the bolt and push it out. You may have to wiggle the exhaust pipes a little and the bolt will come right out. And you can get the bolt back in the same way (wiggling the exhaust around).

Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2003, 03:07 PM
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You guys are the best.

Right now, I am refinishing my rear bumper and trim. Tomorrow (or tonight if I have the energy) I will tackle (again) the bushing, after getting the correct pliers and other beefier tools.

It really is tight under the car, with not much wiggle room. With the right side on a jackstand, I have about 15 inches of clearance. I go under the car from just behind the right wheel well. Would another angle of approach, i.e from the front, make a difference?
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2003, 08:27 PM
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While we are on the topic, does anyone know what the idler arm nut torque spec is? I need to do this job on my car too.

Thanks,

GregS
'84 300D, 176k
'90 300CE, 166k
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2003, 12:00 AM
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150 Nm
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2003, 08:36 AM
LarryBible
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When I replaced mine, I simply cut the head of the bolt off and put the bolt in from the bottom up. Just to be sure, I used loctite on the nut since I was putting on top.

Steve Brotherton recommended this approach and it worked well. If you have a torch handy it makes this a very quick job, If you don't have a torch, cut it off with one of the small air grinders and a cut off wheel. Be careful to be out of the tangential path that debris would take if the wheel came apart.

Good luck,
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2003, 09:57 AM
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Hi Larry,

Thanks for the scoop. My only issue is that I have no means of raising the car beyond the height of my jackstands, so I am limited in terms of space.

Even with the bolt cut off, my biggest problem is removing the bushings. They are in really tight. Twisting out the bottom one should not be too big a hassle, but the top will because I cannot get any leverage. Perhaps I can do it by very carefully measuring the clearance between the top of the bushing and the pre-cat above it, and then very gently lowering the car onto a length of hollow pipe that will push the bushing up and out enough for it to be pulled out by hand.

I am hoping that the new bushing and bolt can then be more readily angled and tapped in from above.
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2003, 11:37 AM
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With the car on jackstands, you should be high enough to tap out the upper bush with the lower removed. Unless you have an unusually high-precision adjustment on your floor jack valve, I would NOT try what you suggest. The idler arm bracket is not designed to support the weight of the car, and that is what you risk.

What you could try, since the car is on stands, is using the jack to push the pipe up into the idler housing. Still, very careful.... Tapping with a hammer is a lot less risky.

Steve
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'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:05 PM
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Steve, OK -- I will not pursue the "drop the car on the pipe" option. I'll do the hammer thing. (A hard rubber mallet should suffice?)

Interestingly enough, when reviewing service records, the idler arm bushing was supposed to have been replaced three years ago, but never was. Would the idler arm issues account for sterring wheel play -- when the car is not in motion?
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:14 PM
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If you mean 'freeplay' at the steering wheel - not likely. A worn idler is apparent by observing from underneath while someone turns the steering wheel slightly. While driving, bump steer, rut steer, and vagueness in the feel are symptoms caused - among others - by a worn idler.

Freeplay at the wheel rim is due to looseness in the steering box, steering coupler, pitman arm ball joint, or various combinations of worn steering pivots.

Steve
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'91 MB 190E 2.3
'08 RAV4 Ltd 3.5
'83 Lazy Daze m'home 5.7
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:28 PM
EricSilver's Avatar
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Location: Fairfax, VA
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Thanks Steve. I like having a small steering dead spot, but occasionally wonder if response would be improved by tightening things up.
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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