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  #1  
Old 10-16-2003, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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tie rod replacement ?s

Hi All,

I recently took my '87 260E (61k mi) o my indy and found that the vibration I get is from worn out tie rod bushings. He used a large plier to verify that there is some movement/play.

He said the following needs replacing:

tie rod assemblies (left, right & center )
idler arm bushings (all from a kit)
steering damper

Should I replace other bushings/parts while I'm at it that could be contributing to vibration?

I have a pretty good idea how to go about replacing the items listed, but not quite sure how to separate and refit the ball-joints on the rod ends. I have the MB CD but that isn't very user friendly.

What tools will I need for the separation? MB tie rod separator or one from Kragen <2 tined fork type wedge>?
and refit? some kind of compression tool?

thanks,
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sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2003, 04:48 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,752
A pickle fork probably isn't the tool of choice. See if you can rent a ball joint press or a tool similar to what's shown in the manual (c'mon, it's not that bad). Autozone might have the tool you need and they lend tools for free.

The idler bushing job will be messy if you have to drop the exhaust system for access. Much worse if you have pre cats.

Refitting is easy - it just bolts together without a press. Try to get the critical dimensions close to what they are now so it's a minimally unsafe ride to the alignment shop.

I couldn't get the components apart so I pulled the tie rod mounts off the knuckles (this was on a W126, I don't know if you can do this in a W124) along with the pitman arm and idler arm and took it to a machine shop to be taken apart.

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2003, 04:52 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I generally use a small 2-arm puller for balljoints.

Some folks here swear by their big hammers.

Pickle forks damage the boots. Sometimes this is not desirable.

There are so many special tools devised for this. C-frame presses, lever-type removers, pitman arm pullers...

I pretty much have them all at this point.

Still have good luck with my basic 2-arm puller from Sears 90% of the time.

If it is really stuck, I generally use a heavy duty adjustable pitman arm puller from Harbor Freight. Say what you like about HF, but this one is a quality tool! (I do have other pullers from them that are weak.)
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2003, 05:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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For the ball ends that you mentioned I use this tool (but I got it somewhere cheaper, and in black). I'll try to remember where else I saw it. This tool does it quickly and really easily w/o any damage to the boots. The hammer method isn't as reliable for me, but works great for some other folks.
http://www.jcwhitney.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=10101&langId=-1&productId=219190&mediaCode=ZX&appId=480787
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1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2003, 05:36 PM
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I bought that exact tool some years back.

It worked well in most cases, and I liked how it seated securely (no slip potential). Unfortunately, it got all bent out of shape (literally) trying to pop a stubborn joint on an Audi.

To be fair, that one was a really tough joint to crack. May have lasted for many years otherwise.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2003, 05:57 PM
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Ball joints

From Sears... I saw a gear puller and bearing puller... Will these work for ball joints?
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sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2003, 06:02 PM
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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parts and tools

From the orig post... Will I need to replace additional items to the list below to eliminate vibration or probably causes thereof?

tie rod assemblies (left, right & center )
idler arm bushings (all from a kit)
steering damper

Any other special tools other than a ball joint puller?

thanks,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-16-2003, 06:12 PM
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Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
Small 2 jaw gear puller at Sears.



Though the one I really want for my collection is the posi-lock, but it's $50, so I need to justify it:



Who am I kidding? I want the whole set:

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1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2003, 06:27 PM
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Re: parts and tools

Quote:
Originally posted by sjsfiji
From the orig post... Will I need to replace additional items to the list below to eliminate vibration or probably causes thereof?
Hard to say for sure, but you will need to fix these 'known to be bad' bits first. Certainly a good start, and certainly any of these is likely to cause vibration. Just make sure you get all of the bad joints in the linkage, or your alignment dollars will be wasted.

May as well check the suspension balljoints too, if you have not already.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2003, 06:43 PM
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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suspension

thanks... will have those joints checked too...

One more question in case I missed it... If I use a puller to separate the ball joint, will I need a special one for installation of the new one?

thanks,
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sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2003, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 963
I just changed my drag link and posted here:

W124 Drag link aka steering rod Easy DIY

The rods are easy. The center one comes off best with the lever type because there is not much access from above. The right and left have good access from below so a typical puller will work well.

Steering damper just bolts on and off.

Although you can buy the tie rod ends seperately, i.e. 2 for the right and 2 for the left, the cost is almost the same as the whole unit, so just buy the whole thing. They just unscrew. The ends on the drag link are fixed.

Check the steering damper. It should be fine if it has no flat spots when you pull it apart or compress it.

No special tool needed to put the rods back on, they just bolt on. The hard part would be estimating the spec of 35 nm torque.

glenmore
1991 300CE
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2003, 07:59 PM
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
thanks

Great info guys... I'm ready to purchase the parts and tools...

Happy driving....
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sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-16-2003, 08:28 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
All the parts you mention are likely to cause a feeling of steering imprecision or wander before they would contribute to shimmy - if that is the problem you have. If your steering feels 'bad' AND you have the vibration, these parts may help both issues. Alignment or tire balance/wear problems can cause shimmy or vibration while steering still feels accurate.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2003, 08:38 PM
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
steering

Thanks for the input...

My steering is fairly precise but we've done alignment, balancing, repack F L/R bearings, and new tires. These made things back to 95%, but there's still some shimmy. We checked the ball-joints/bushings on the mentioned parts and they have some play. I figured it's time to replace them any how...

Also, when coming up a driveway at an angle while turning, it feels there's something loose like a clinging sound. This was reduced after repacking the bearings but it's still there... less noticeable...

thanks,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-16-2003, 08:43 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 19,752
Have you checked for play in the steering box?

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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