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  #1  
Old 04-14-2004, 09:40 PM
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Front suspension fix....go all the way or fix only what's broke?

Here's the deal: The guide rod mount bushings (as described on FastLane) are shot on my 126....quite typical from what I hear. I also have one lower ball joint on its way out and a tie rod end. The upper ball joints look ok. Boots are intact. So here is my question: Do I do an entire front suspension rebuild "while I'm at it" or do I just fix the lower ball joints, tie rod ends and guide rod bushings?

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Old 04-14-2004, 10:02 PM
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With past cars (123's and 126's) I have only repaired what was needed and have been very pleased with the results. Often only one ball joint is gone and the other continues well. This approach will save you money with two exceptions:

-If you are into an area and in the process you anothe part is hard to get to or requires a lot of work, do that part as well

-Repeated alignments. Around N. Calif the dealers are ripping people by charging $150 for a four-wheel alignment.

Haasman
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2004, 10:21 PM
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I suppose it's akin to the preference of pulling off the band aid slowly (only doing what's needed) versus the one big yank method (rebuild). Either way, it's going to hurt.
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:26 PM
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Yeah, one of my big concerns was repeated alignments. While I am doing this, I am thinking about installing either Eibachs or H&Rs so I only have to align it once. I have no idea what an alignment costs in my neck of the woods.

If I only fix what's broke, that leaves the lower control arm bushings, complete upper control arms, sway bar bushings (the ones that go into the control arm), bearing bracket bushings, and all other tie rod ends. That's quite a wad of cash right there. Enough to pay for those springs and then some. I pressed on the bearing bracket bushings and they are still quite pliable. I'd love to do an entire rebuild, but when you're runnin' on a budget, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" may not be such a bad idea....
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:43 AM
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My thought would be to at least replace the lower ball joints as a pair. Since you are most likely going to have to go to a shop to have this done, you might as well have both done at the same time. The lowers aren't expensive anyway. -Besides, if you are going to be taking all kinds of things apart while replacing the guide rod bushings, you might as well do the lower ball joints at the same time.
Then again, the tie rod assemblies aren't too crazy price wise either, and since you're going to have it up (and maybe borrow a separating tool) you might as well do the lot.
The upper joints/control arm, are a little pricier...But, since this is something you don't need special shop equipment for, you could just do one side at a time.

Good luck

-Larry
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, the upper control arms are about the priciest parts on this job. I found a pair on ebay for 92, but they are made my "Hamburg Technic"....non-OEM from what I know. I'm wondering how much of a stickler I should be regarding OEM brands. Febis are almost $100 each.

I have a question regarding the tie rods and drag link. On all these parts sites and on ebay, you can buy entire tie rod assemblies and drag link assembly. Why would I want to do this if I could just replace the ends?? Is there something I am not seeing here?
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:56 AM
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I separate front end work into two categories: that which requries dealing with springs, and that which does not.

Shocks and steering linkage do not deal with springs.

Lower control arms, upper control arms, bushings & ball joints all deal with springs.

If you drive the car a lot I would change everything. If it sees only a few miles, I would change only what needs to be changed. Busted boots can go for a while before causing problems.

When I rebuilt the front end of my 3/4 ton truck, I did upper and lower ball joints, & bushings. I left all the steering linkage alone, it was tight anyway.

I also agree with what haasman said about what's hard to do and what's easy once its apart. That is pretty much why I have my philosophy about 2 categories of suspension work.

Regards,
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:04 AM
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Regarding springs, I am going to put Eibachs or H&Rs on it while I'm doing this (I hope a spring compressor from AutoZone will work!). So granted I do it all, the whole front suspension will come apart.
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbtjc

I have a question regarding the tie rods and drag link. On all these parts sites and on ebay, you can buy entire tie rod assemblies and drag link assembly. Why would I want to do this if I could just replace the ends?? Is there something I am not seeing here?
On the w124 you can get the tie rod ends for about $10 less than the tie rod assembly but then you realise that the complete tie rod has two ends. In other words for $10 more you are getting two ends and an assembly.
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:49 AM
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AutoZone spring compresors will most defintely NOT work and if you attempt it will be VERY unsafe. MB spring compressors cost $500-700 or can be rented for $70-100. The entire front suspension does not need to come apart to slip in new springs. When I did them on my 124, I even left the tire on (so there was something extra between me & the spring).
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:54 PM
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I know that the suspension does not have to come apart to put on new springs. But I will likely be taking my entire suspension apart anyway to renew all the bushings if I can find things at the right price.

Where can you rent an MB spring compressor? Just curious, what's wrong with the AutoZone ones? Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2007, 12:13 PM
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this is an old thread I know, but I am needing to rebuild the front end on my SD, and I wanna know costs up front, I got busted boots all around, the upper ball joints are gone, the Guide rods also are gone. the lower control arm bushings are shot, the idler arm is worn bad. etc. lets put it this way... my worn out 79 TD is MUCH quieter over bumps etc than my poor driver SD...

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Last edited by vstech; 06-11-2007 at 12:41 PM.
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