Control arm replacement - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1976 450 SE
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Control arm replacement

So I'm driving Charlie around (my 76 450 SE), and note a rattling below what seems to be around the steering column. I could not find anything loose that would cause this. My friend jacks the front end up and starts wiggling the front driver tire. Low and behold, there are no bushings on my control arm. The rattling is the metal on metal action where the control arm is bolted to the body. Yikes. I was forbidden to drive. And rightly so. That could be catastrophic if it broke on the road. Long story short, looks like it is not a hard thing to repair. Anyone have any helpful tips to make this job easier? I am going to replace both control arms, with ball joints and bushings already attached. I think that would be better then just replacing the bushings since I am unsure how damaged the metal is up in there. Should I replace the other parts that attach to the control arm and ball joint? Any special tools I'm gonna need besides beer? Thanks for any help you can give me.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 04:53 PM
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One common thing to watch out for is the springs. The coils on these are about 2cm thick and support the weight of the car on them. This results in them storing what can technically be referred to as One Hell Of A Lot of kinetic energy. If one on those things gets loose, it can take out the neighbors' dog. After going through your body, the garage wall, and the neighbor's house.

There are special super heavy duty spring compressors needed to get them out and in safely. These are NOT the ones that can be rented at the parts store.

Remember: It's not just a car. It's an Adventure.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Killer springs...

Do the springs have to be removed to get at the control arm? There doesn't seem to be anything in the way really. Are these springs part of the control arm, and if so, where would they be located. Are you referring to the big spring that is 12" high, 6" wide and soft as a downy chick? Would jacking up the car and taking the load off help at all? I don't wanna be killing no kids or dogs in this process... The spring is to the rear of the control arm. Thanks.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:33 AM
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The spring does not need to be removed to R&R the upper control arm. The shock limits the travel of the spring, but I keep a jack under the wheel assembly just for safeties' sake.

If you need them, shocks would be one component to replace while you're in there. Brakes, of course. You will also be replacing the sway bar end bushings if you are purchasing the assembled kit.

Do a search over on the 123 forum--there's tons of DIYs and info on doing this job.

1981 300TD--310k miles
1970 280sel--172k miles
1966 230--162k miles
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the forum referral. I did get a great reply on how to do the job, complete with pictures. Nice referral.
Regards. Sharon
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