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Old 12-17-2010, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1999 ML320
Location: Michigan.
Posts: 36
Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320

Just put a new set of Michelin tires on the 1999 ML320. The Tech at Bell wants $1100.00 to replace the front Ball joints and tie rods. Most of that is labor.

I have more time then money these days, to replace the ball joints, dont you just unscrew the nuts and tap them out and replace ?

Any tricks regarding the Tie Rod replacement ?

Its dang cold here in Michigan to work in the garage, but would prefer being cold over the paid pf paying $350.00 Labor....

and I can buy the parts for 20 cents on the dollar vs their estimate.

Thank you in advance for the tips.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jul 2008
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found this in the forums... might help!


http://www.benzworld.org/forums/atta...-i-tie-rod.pdf
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: 02 ML320
Location: Bronx, New York
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If the ball joints have never been replaced before, then it is much more difficult than you believe.

The ball joint is attached to the steering knuckle, not the lower control arm. So the knuckle has to be removed the the ball joint pressed out. Then the replacement ball joint is screwed on with the large nut, but of course you need the special tool for the nut.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf R&I Low. Ball Joint #1.pdf (60.1 KB, 1678 views)
File Type: pdf R&I Low. Ball Joint #2.pdf (34.5 KB, 1051 views)

Last edited by 43sqd; 12-17-2010 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was able to do mine with a screw type ball joint ball joint press that I rented. It was pretty straight forward. You do need the special ball joint socket to tighten the replacement press in screw tight ball joints.

Last edited by 55erdriver; 12-21-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The locking rings on the ball joints not only need a special tool, but require a very high torque as well. 350.00 labor for two ball joints on an ML is pretty resonable.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1999 ML320
Location: Michigan.
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Ok, I just replace my right side outer Tie Rod. Piece of Cake.
1) remove wheel and its totally exposed. 2) Remove Nut at ball joint end. 3) hit 5 times and shock the ball joint to fall out. 4) Break loose the locking nut on the other end. Unscrew 25 revolutions and replace.
My only glitch was it was rusted in and I had to drumel the slots an additional inch to
get it to turn out. I recommend anyone with a little talent to give it a go.
Do not be afraid.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am glad you got it done.

I hope your are going to get an alignment. I can promise you it is out of spec now even
if it feels like it tracking correctly.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 2 wheel drive W163
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My alignment is great but I have a whining noise from 5-45mph. I was thinking its the transfer case and planning on changing the fluid. However, I was informed that it may be my ball joints...

What do worn out ball joints sound like? Im pretty sure my tie rods have been replaced.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Date registered: Mar 2006
Vehicle: 2002 ML 320 Sport, 1997 SL 500, 1997 E-420
Location: Puerto Rico
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Front Ball Joint Replacement.

I replaced the ball joints and it was not that dificult at all. The front axles didn't have to come out. I used the moog replacement ball joint that use a nut to drive them in. I bought two special tools, a ball joint puller ($35 in ebay) and a pin wrench ball joint socket ($19 in ebay, too). All others tools needed were in my tool box: 19 mm wrench, 21 mm socket, T-40 torx bit, 10 mm socket, and.... Note: the pin wrench socket is for 3/4" ratched. You can buy an adapter for the 1/2" ratched. This is the route that I took. Hope it works for you. Hey, my first language is Spanish, so, be patient with my English language knowledge.

1) Park the truck with a 8" ramp beneath the tire in the oposite side that you are going to work with. This way the sway bar will help keeping the suspension up.

2) Jack it up until it looks level and put a jack stand to the chassis, close to the front door.

3) Put the floor jack beneath the ball joint and raise it until you see that the whole truck is moving. Put another jack stand as close as possible to the ball joint.

4) Remove the tire. Remove the brake caliper (with the T-40 torx bit) and hang it aside. Remove the brake antilock sensor and the brake disc, you will need an allen key.

5) Remove the upper ball joint nut (19 mm) and the rack and pinion end joint nut (21 mm).

6) Using the ball joint puller, get the upper ball joint and the end joint loose and out of the way.

7) Pull the hub to the front to have access to the lower ball joint nut (21 mm).

8) You can use the ball joint puller to get it loose or you can hammer it out (as I did) since it is not needed anymore.

9) Turn the hub about 120 degrees to expose the ball joint and support it on the lower control arm.

10) Using a small hammer you can pesuade it out.

11) Put the new ball joint and install it with the pin ball joint socket. You'll need a strong helping hand here to hold the hub. In my case I drive it about half way and finished it once the hub was mounted back. As many good repair manual says, reverse the process to complete the project.
Attached Thumbnails
Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05809.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05811.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05812.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05815.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05817.jpg  

Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05820.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05821.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05822.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05823.jpg   Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement ML320-dsc05825.jpg  

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Old 05-26-2011, 02:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 2000 ML55 AMG
Location: Salem, OR
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joselopez, thanks for the writeup and pics. Nice work.
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