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Old 09-14-2003, 11:56 PM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
83 240D How hard is it to replace an Upper Control Arm?

When replacing the Lower Ball Joints on my 83 240D, I noticed the upper ball joint on the Control Arm flapping loosely.. is this thing hard to replace?
Where can I find a procedure?
Finally, how many hours are involved, and how extensive is the work?
Do I have to dismember he Front End?
Any special tools?

83 240D How hard is it to replace an Upper Control Arm?
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:56 AM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096

I have replaced an upper control arm about 5 years ago and as I recall it really isn't too bad. I did this because the ball joint was bad. Made a significant difference.

You have watch the spring- I held the car up with jack stands and then support the lower control arm with the floor jack in order to manager the spring. The arm comes off rather easily.

Check the big rubber bushings, especially the ones for the sway bar, they often need to be replaced.

The inner bolt is a bit tight but not too bad. Remember the bolt/nut orientation, makes reassembly easier.

Releasing the outboard end with the ball joint just required some banging to get it to release. It is a tapered fit, BTW so once you get it to move, it comes right out of the wheel hub. I used some heat I believe. Watch the brake line on the caliper, once the ball joint is free the hub will want to fall outward.

I still have the old arm, it sits on my desk. Since it is all aluminum, I used a steel brush on a grinder and buffed it out. People ask me all the time what it is. Some I tell them it is a landing gear strut from the Moon Lander ..... they buy it until they look closely and see the MBZ star on it ....

Hope this helps,

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:03 AM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
I know that Haasman has done the job using a floor jack.It would be best if you use a coil sping compressor to hold the spring while you disconnect the UCA. However you decide to do it, as always, be careful. Consider replacing the UCA bushings and sway bar bushings while you have the UCA out. If the UCA ball joint is bad your bushings are probably bad also, both being about the same age.
Easy job, not considering the coil spring . Release the upper ball joint from the steering spindle. unbolt the UCA from the body of the car, unbolt the sway bar, install the new UCA with new bushings and sway bar bushings ( a little silicon spray helps it go in easy), Torque to specifications, reattach the steering spindle, torque to specs and release the floor jack. Get an alignment.
The concern is the spring force while the UCA is released from the steering spindle. Your floor jack MUST not slip form the LCA or the entire force of the spring will be released. Make sure you have a good floor jack. Not a cheap flimsy one. Chain or strap the LCA to the floor jack pad. Again you don't want the LCA slipping off the jack pad.
With the coil spring compressor, you don't need to worry about this.
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:59 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
I'm confused. If you just replaced the lower ball joints which is the most difficult part, because it involves dealing with the springs, why are you having a problem with the simple replacement of the upper joint and why didn't you replace it with the lower joint? Peter
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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