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  #1  
Old 04-29-2007, 02:16 PM
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Question W124 Suspension and Steering Restoration Help

Okay, so heres the deal. I have recently found a nice 1986 300E for $1000. Its such a solid well engineered sedan, and Im stuck on getting all the little quirks out. First thing on my checklist is the creaks and squeeks comming from the suspension and or steering linkages. I have compiled a list of parts and researched prices that may or may not need to be replaced, this is where you guys (the MB professionals ) are going to tell me what I need to scratch and what needs to be added.

List:
  1. Tie Rod Assembly Frnt Rgt+Frnt Lft $48 for both
  2. Drag Link $34
  3. Steering Damper $30
  4. Idler Arm Repair Kit $20
  5. Control Arm Bushing Kit (Pair) $72
  6. Sway/Torsion Bar Bushing $15
  7. Strut Mounts (Pair) $55
  8. Ball Joint (Pair) $32
  9. Sachs Comfort Struts/Shocks (Pair) $235.46
I basically want to allievieate the squeeks and creeks while making my ride and steering feel like "new" for the least ammount of money. I will be doing all the work myself thus labor is not of any concern.

Thank you guys!!!!

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Old 04-29-2007, 02:23 PM
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How many miles are on the car? What condition are the springs in? Get an alignment after you do the suspension work.
Welcome to the forum. I'm sure you'll get lots of info here.

Jason
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:29 PM
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Jason One,

Thank you! There is 160,000 miles on the car. The springs, well they seem to look good to me, the car has a good bounce to it but I'm not really sure how to determine if they are worn out or not. Also, I'm guessing my list of parts sounds pretty good to you for starters?
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:52 PM
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Well, the pros on here will help with your list. I'm not really sure myself. Where are you looking for parts? I just posted a query regarding springs and or shocks for my 87 300E. A search will surely give lots of threads on this same topic.

Jason
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1988 300CE 120K RIP(Midnight Blue/Parchment)
1987 300E 202K (Arctic White/Palomino)


Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. ~Song of The Open Road
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:20 PM
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I guess my list is pretty good then?
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:55 PM
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maybe these

Only possible things left are:
10. Rubber buffer that fit on the shaft of each strut (about $20 pr.)
11. Shock boot for each strut (the rubber piece that covers the strut shaft, about $16 pr.)

Start saving money for the "rubber" to do later- motor mounts ($100), trans mount ($22), flex disks ($140), drive shaft center support ($30), exhaust hangers x3.

Dave

Last edited by ds190; 04-30-2007 at 07:06 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2007, 06:58 PM
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The other biggie is that you will need to buy or rent the proper spring compressor. Ordinary compressors will not work.

Steve

Last edited by softconsult; 04-30-2007 at 06:58 PM. Reason: spell
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2007, 07:08 PM
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for the ball joint replacement

[QUOTE=softconsult;1494645]The other biggie is that you will need to buy or rent the proper spring compressor,

for when you get to the control arm bushings (and ball joints).
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:38 PM
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i think you guys are right on ...this has been the Rx for our 124's...never had to do ball joints or control arm bushings, however.
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1997 s320 154k (what a ride). Sold with 179k miles. Replaced with Hyundai Equus

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Old 04-30-2007, 09:58 PM
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I would first have an indy mechanic inspect and pry on the bushings and balljoints. Very likely that they are fine. If they are not, then I would do all the other things first and then have the indy do the balljoints and bushings.

I would also have him do the idler arm kit. It is an absolute bear to get the large bolt back in. I couldn't do it, so I put in in backwards and paid him to put it in correctly.

I would also recommend repacking your front wheel bearings and setting the play with a dial indicator.

Steve
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2007, 10:53 PM
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Thanks guys, thats a pretty in depth answer and just what I was looking for. Now I'm going to mention doing the job without the spring compressor as I have read that it can be done, if done carefully and properly. I have looked at the control arms and bought a spring compressor that I have modified to work decently. I belive that if I jack up the car and place a block of wood underneath the control arm then lay the car down, I can unbolt the strut allowing me to then just jack up the car slowly allowing for a controlled release of the control arm with spring? Note that the springs will be somewhat compressed from the modified spring compressors just for safe practice. Would this method, in essence actually work? I know I would be running a serious risk but when money is tight I find ways around things, and yes I take the chance. Call me a entrepreneur if you must!
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:29 AM
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Instead of the "Sachs Comfort Struts/Shocks (Pair) $235.46" I would go for the Bilstein HD (Heavy Duty) shocks. Much better.

Additonally I would also budget for inside and out wheel bearings. Use the latest silicone paste. Be sure to re-check after only a few miles of driving on them.

Sway bar bushings- you should be buying four: two for the bar and 2 for each of the connections to the lower A arm.

Regarding the Tie Rod Assemblys, your prices are quite good. Be sure the ones you are getting have an allen key recess in the ends. The cheapos don't and can be very hard to hold/tighten/install once they start spinning.

Check the motor mounts while you are there. If there is less than roughly an inch between the oil pan and the cross brace, these should be done as well.

The upper shock mounts really do deliver a nice ride quality difference.

Been there, done them.

Enjoy your results!

Haasman
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2007, 07:44 AM
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One last thing, check your medical insurance, and write your will.

Sorry, I just don't understand taking the risk to save a couple of hundred bucks in labor.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2007, 08:27 AM
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Great thread. It's good to know where to begin on my 88 300E front end. I took it on a five hour road trip last week and it vibrates right at 75 mph. Well, it vibrates more at 75. Only a little at lower speeds. I will gladly compress my springs any day as I work on my car for the pleasure of a job done right with the parts I choose to install. The markup on parts at a shop can be prohibitive.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2007, 09:05 AM
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I'm definitely in the save money camp. However, when it comes to things like control arm bushings or motor mounts, I will spend the extra money for Dealer parts. I'm definitely believe that if I do it myself I can be assured that it was done correctly, or done at all. However, I also look at basic economics.

To safely compress and decompress a MB spring, you need the correct spring compressor. They ain't cheap. Balljoints? You've got to get them out and press them in. Tie Rod ends? Do you really want to start hammering on your MB suspension withy with a pickle fork or should you buy the tool? I bought that tool and it made the tie-rods job a pleasure. Control arm bushings? Same thing, you need the proper tool.

Therefore, in my way of looking at things, you have to ask yourself just how many times are you going to do this job? Is it worth it to spend money on tools that you may never use again? For me the answer is no, I'm not buying those tools and I avoid a pig of a job.

Steve

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