Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 1994 E320
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
The Febi control arms I had installed - probably unnecessarily - less than four years ago are shot. The issue came up during a long drive earlier this week: lots of creaking noise, harder steering, and some serious handling issues. The main culprit turned out to be the right-side ball joint, but the left-side one wasn't in much better shape, either.
My mechanic absolutely would not let me buy another set of replacement Febis from the local market, insisting instead that I should go online and either just spring for a (hugely expensive) pair of OE control arms, or find me a set of aftermarket ones that are better built than the Febis.
As a temporary solution, he simply "pressed in" the sheet metal backing plates of the ball joints to take up some of the slack caused by the wear, and changed out the rubber bushings with a new set of Febi units (which was a complete waste of money, if you ask me.) The car still drives just as poorly, especially in a straight line.
I know that there isn't a whole lot of fanfare around the forum as to the quality of aftermarket control arms around. In an admittedly cursory search, I found that Corteco's control arms seemed to be the priciest, followed by Monroe and Vaico. Other brands, including ABS, DYS, FAI, Febi (natch!), JP, Moog, Swag, Triscan, and TRW, were much cheaper than the top three most expensive ones (not including OE.)
1. Barring OE, does the pricing of the various aftermarket control arms necessarily reflect their quality? In other words, seeing as it's more than twice as pricy as Febi's, would the ball joint of a Corteco-built control arm be bound to last longer than, say, Febi's ball joint?
2. My particular car's control arms are 124 330 34 07 (left) and 124 330 35 07 (right.) The EPC also lists 36 and 37 - are these Sportline control arms?
3. Given how much more expensive they are, is there anything to be gained by ordering and installing the Sportline (36/37?) control arms instead of the "regular" (34/35) ones? I've got a pair of Sportline front springs lying around, and I've already got Sportline sway bars on the car, so there's that.
Last edited by Six_wheeler; 06-01-2019 at 06:08 AM.