Date registered: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 1993 400E, 1997 E420, 2000 ML430
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Lower Ball Joint Replace DIY (almost)
Replaced Lower Ball Joint
I looked forever all over here and the Internet and could not find how to replace my LBJ for my 1990 300SE. It seems other models were way different and needed to have the spring compressed, lower control arm supported, or strut removed. I didn't need to do any of that!
Jack up car and support on stands (need new tires)
Remove tire, brake caliper, rotor
Remove tie rod from steering knuckle (2 19mm bolts)
Remove shroud and sensor
Remove bolt from upper control arm to steering knuckle
Using a tie rod tool, detach steering knuckle from upper control arm
Pull steering knuckle away from car to access ball joint bolt (22mm)
Loosen ball joint bolt
Using ball joint separator (HAMMER), break ball joint free from lower control arm
Steering knuckle should fall off with ball joint still in place
I took the steering knuckle to Sears and they removed old ball joint and pressed in new one for $45.
Before going to Sears, I rented the ball joint tool from Pepboys but it would not work because of the size and space inside the steering knuckle.
Install in reverse order
*Use floor jack to lift and guide steering knuckle into upper control arm
Don't forget to re-grease wheel bearings
MB wanted over $300 to replace one lower ball joint and my Indie wanted $200.
Ball joints 2 ea. $44
Tie rod tool $10
Ball joint tool $10
$154 total. Some places may be cheaper than Sears, but I was happy they could do it right then. I was in and out in 20 minutes. I took the second one back to Sears and was in and out as before.
Last edited by tgordy41; 11-20-2010 at 06:26 PM.
Reason: missing tool