1995 E320 ball joint LCA options - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 05:29 AM
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Well I had to do the same on a R129 and chose the febi route. The new lca's said they were made in Spain and they seemed like build quality was ok. I went with the whole lca since by just replacing the ball joint you miss replacing the rubber bushings on the arms themselves. To me that was important also. I have not put many miles on it yet so only time will tell. The MB ones were simply too much money since I also replaced springs, struts and spring insulators at the same time.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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1995 E320 ball joint LCA options

Well I finally came around to working on my E320's front suspension - the driver's side at least. I'll work on the passenger side next week.

I replaced the tie rod with Hamburg Technic rods from eBay as they came as a pair. I'll see how long this will last compared to Lemfoerders. No more clunking over potholes.

I also replaced the strut mounts with Meyle mounts from eBay and that was a little hard to do with the strut lowered and supported by a jack. I could already notice the difference with a tauter ride.

I then just repacked and rebooted the ball joint after opening it up and finding no play and rust. I had bought a new ball joint boot set and cleaned up the old grease then put on new grease. I had also tested the ball joint for play using the method in the DIY and there was no play. Control arm bushings were still intact.

Anyways, the hard part was using the jack as a support to the LCA while rebooting the ball joint. It was nerve wracking knowing the coil springs is just inches away trying to kill or maim you. The inner spring compressor I rented from Autozone didn't fit. I had to lower and raise the LCA with the jack to get the ball joint pin out once and back in several times very, very slowly and carefully.

Anyways, all three job done on driver's side in two hours. I'll tackle the other side next week.


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Last edited by mercron; 03-20-2017 at 03:02 AM.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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1995 E320 ball joint LCA options

Bad news. My passenger side ball joint has some play in it, maybe 1 to 2 mm downwards, but with some resistance. After cleaning it of the old grease, there was no sign of rust. I just repacked it with grease and rebooted it until I get new balljoint / lower control arm combos for both sides.

My question is, how long can I still drive this car with a repacked balljoint with some play but no rust? Can I still drive it while waiting for parts or should it not be driven at all?


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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:17 PM
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Bad news. My passenger side ball joint has some play in it, maybe 1 to 2 mm down. After cleaning it of the old grease, there was no sign of rust. I just repacked it with grease and rebooted it until I get a balljoint lower control arm combo for both sides.

My question is, how long can I still drive this car with a repacked balljoint with some play but no rust? Can I still drive it while waiting for parts or should it not be driven at all?


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I'm normally on the W201 and W126 forums, but my W201 has the same front suspension. The critical part to replace is the ball joint as it is the only thing connecting your LCA to your hub. I replaced just the ball joints on my car, as I could not justify the expense of a spring compressor and brand new arms (and can't really afford it as a college student either).

Ball joints are a must replace item on these cars, a friend of mine and his dad almost plowed their 300E into a ditch because the ball joint separated, the spring left the perch, and the whole hub/strut assembly decided to leave the rest of the car (the car was junked for $50 after that). The joints themselves are $17 for Lemforder, and I used a harbor freight ball joint press to press them out, but they are a pain in the ass to press out without the MB press (I think you can rent one from some guy on peachparts for like $35 + shipping).

If you don't have the cash for even the cheapest LCA, then please at least do the ball joints. The LCA bushings won't leave you stranded or cause an accident and should be the last of your worries if strapped for cash.

By the way, the failure mode for these ball joints is that the ball shoots out of the worn socket.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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1995 E320 ball joint LCA options

Thanks. My 1995 W124 balljoints are built in to the LCA. I wish I could just replace the balljoints like the older version.

I already ordered the BJ/LCA's for both sides. It'll take 2 - 3 weeks to arrive. I was just wondering if I can still drive this car during that time until I replace them.

Then I'd have to find some way to rent an MB spring compressor as the ones at the parts store do not fit.


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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:30 PM
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Thanks. My 1995 W124 balljoints are built in to the LCA. I wish I could just replace the balljoints like the older version.

I already ordered the BJ/LCA's for both sides. It'll take 2 - 3 weeks to arrive. I was just wondering if I can still drive this car during that time until I replace them.

Then I'd have to find some way to rent an MB spring compressor as the ones at the parts store do not fit.


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You should be able to, but I'd try to drive it as little as possible until you complete the repair.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:56 AM
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Thanks. My 1995 W124 balljoints are built in to the LCA. I wish I could just replace the balljoints like the older version.

I already ordered the BJ/LCA's for both sides. It'll take 2 - 3 weeks to arrive. I was just wondering if I can still drive this car during that time until I replace them.

Then I'd have to find some way to rent an MB spring compressor as the ones at the parts store do not fit.


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These are getting ridiculously cheap.

5pcs Coil Spring Compressor Telescopic Repair Tool Kit Clamps For Mercedes Benz | eBay
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 01:52 PM
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I was just wondering if I can still drive this car during that time until I replace them.
I would not drive that. If that ball joint lets go, you rapidly transition from driver to passenger, endangering not only you but other people around you as well. Huge risk!
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 03:30 PM
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I tried a cheap compressor but the plates were too thick to fit the coil gaps. I sold a mid tier one that worked for me to another be member and he reported it didn't fit his coils.
So it looks like they're not all created equal. And spring sag happens.

Another member had the same experience as me too.
Make sure you can return if necessary.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:04 PM
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This is the one I bought off eBay about 7 or so yrs ago. This far, it has worked like a champ on every MB (201, 124, 140) I've had during that period and more that one junk yard car and loan out.

Everyone is speaking the truth in this thread. Mine is just another experience.
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