My shop installed them for $290 (i provided the part)
Originally Posted by Maytag
I've discovered a bad lower lower ball joint, drivers' front on my '99 ML430. (200k miles! )
In doing searches, it seems this may NOT be a favorite DIY procedure, but it is do-able.
I think I've got a pretty good handle on what it'll take for me to do it myself. Now I'd like to compare value:
Can anyone give me an idea what it SHOULD cost to do this procedure if I take it to the M/B dealer?
What about an indy-shop?
wait a minute. i thought that is the procedure to check for busted engine mounts?
Yes, Bosch was stating earlier in that post that he didn't think ball joints were the issue here with the clunks, but more likely engine/tranny mounts needing replaced. He then went on to describe how to test for that.
This is the press tool I bought and worked great. Also I have never heard of a clunk being caused by a ball joint. I think that would be your motor & transmission mounts.
If you have a 99 with 200000 miles, I would think that they are gone. Easy to check, lift the hood, start it and hold the brake, then shift into gear, press the gas about 1/2 throttle and watch the engine raise up. I am sure that is a problem (they all have it).
It's possible. I know that the ball joint is bad. But tomorrow I'll follow your procedure as well and see about the motor mounts. thanks for the heads-up!
If you can afford it, try to replace all 4 lower ball joints and upper a-arms w/ bushings, torsion bar bushings, & sway bar bushings front and rear. Itll cost more in parts but not much more labor if done as a complete job. If you only change the bottom lower joints, say, in the front, then the worn components will strain the new causing premature failure, maybe only last months. Plus you want renewed handling and confidence as a new truck would give, not just a fast repair to keep the wheel from falling off. Itll save big money and many, many headaches in the future if you do it right the first time. You will find all components, once pulled and in your hand, have obvious wear and in need of replacement. These components are wear items and should be expected to be replaced every 80 to 100000 miles (if you want to maintain the new ride and handling quality) Then do all the driving you want confidently with peace of mind that you aren't going to hit the guy next to you when you hit that nasty rut the tractor trailer rig left for you in your lane. Super flat cornering with nearly zero body roll at quick speeds.
boschbrakes, I like the suggestion.
Tell me: is this something I can trust to an Indy? I'm not as friendly with my Benz dealer as I'd like. I've twice caught them trying to pull a fast one on me. (Well, once was with my Jag, but same location / dealership)
I'd like to have it done correctly, but I don't want it to hurt me in the pocket.
Normally I do all my own work, but I've got projects stacking-up, and I don't want to tackle this right now.
Yes I think that a good independent should be able to do this job, provided they have the tool. Some may have to buy it. Itll take you a day for the front and a day for the back, it's pretty easy, just time consuming. A shop, I am not sure of the "normal hrs" for this job. I know that Benz wanted, cause I called them, about $3500 for all that but I did it DIY for $1400+ 2 days (buying the tool as well). If you make a grand a day then its a wash. VERY well worth the investment.
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