Snap went my e320 coil spring (two questions about that) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Oct 2015
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Snap went my e320 coil spring (two questions about that)

Hello,

A couple of days ago I was working outside when I heard a loud snap coming from my parked '94 e320.

Just when this happened a large truck was going by on the highway and I assumed that something had been thrown into the car from the passing truck. I walked all around the car and found nothing (I was expecting a broken window.) The snap was so loud that my family inside the house heard it - I couldn't imagine what had caused it.

The next time my wife drove the car she said that it was making a strange noise. The noise turned out to be the drivers side front coil spring which had broken about two turns up, The metal at the break was completely crystallized and there was a rust spot (the only one on the whole spring) right where the break occurred.

After doing some research on the net I've discovered that this isn't that unusual of a problem.

I have two questions that I wonder if someone might answer (The first is much more important than the second.):

1.) Does the 1994 e320 take a the special coil spring compressor that all information that I've found seems to indicate? I can't seem to find any information about my year -1994. All information seems to be for the newer e320's with the oval headlights. Mine seem to be normal coil springs and I don't see why regular clamp-on spring compressors wouldn't work. I certainly don't want to do anything unsafe when I replace the springs however. I've watched several videos and almost all seem to have at least one instance of unsafe work practices.

2) My second question is how such a small amount of rust can cause the spring to break. It obviously was the cause since I've read of so many other cases and it broke right where the rust was.


Thanks in advance for any replies. Have a good day.
Regards,
Tim
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 12:36 PM
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Your car is a W210 E class so I have moved the thread to the W210 forum.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
Your car is a W210 E class so I have moved the thread to the W210 forum.
Thank you for doing that, Noodles. I'm sorry to cause you extra work. I always get confused with the class rating. Is there a chance that I still might be in the wrong forum? My car has square headlights and seems to be listed as a W124. I don't know why I posted in the forum that I did.


Thanks again!
Regards,
Tim

Last edited by raymond-; 06-22-2019 at 02:36 PM. Reason: yeah, i think it's a 124 so I've PMed Noodles
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 02:00 PM
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Here is model chart for those having problem.

https://www.startekinfo.com/StarTek/...art_2009_1.htm

1972 280SEL 4.5
1999 ML320
2000 E320
2003 ML350
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:19 AM
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Whoops, I was rushing Tim.

That year was the W124 chassis. So I am moving the thread once again.
Sorry for the confusion.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 07:03 AM
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It is not unusual for a little rust to initiate such a failure. Springs are under tension and often see high stress, making them perfect candidates for Stress Corrosion Cracking, especially north of the Mason-Dixon line:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stre...ing#Prevention
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hirnbeiss View Post
It is not unusual for a little rust to initiate such a failure. Springs are under tension and often see high stress, making them perfect candidates for Stress Corrosion Cracking, especially north of the Mason-Dixon line:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stre...ing#Prevention

Thank you for that link Himbress. The "examples" listed near the bottom of the page you provided have boosted my paranoia . Just yesterday I changed the blade mounting hardware on my push mower. Every time I turn the mower over I think of that spinning blade held on to the shaft with just one bolt. Pretty scary when you think of all the different ways things could go wrong.

I guess that the metal in the Mercedes spring would naturally crystallize at the stress point no matter how new or old the metal was?

Thanks again.

I'm hoping that the coil springs don't need the special Mercedes compressor because it would be cheaper for me to buy the springs from my local car parts store and just rent their compressor. The rent fee is refunded when you bring back the tool. I don't mind spending the extra money for a new tool, but it seems that I would only be using it twice (each side of the car.) Maybe it could be used on other springs as well?

Regards,
Tim
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:29 PM
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You need the proper Klann or copy spring compressor. Your safety and those around you depends on it.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boyd waugh View Post
You need the proper Klann or copy spring compressor. Your safety and those around you depends on it.
Thank you. I had almost come to that conclusion and your reply cemented it. I've been reading a lot about this and see that this is the only answer apart from some really scary ways to compress a spring. I did see one home-made compressor that looked sturdy and safe, but only one. The time and effort wouldn't be worth it, and the only reason that I considered it was the heavy duty look of it.

I've decided to go with one of the Ebay clones. The reviews (if they are real) all seem to mention that they are very safe and sturdy. Everything else is secondary as long as I can get the job done safely.

My only concern is that my spring broke about four or five turns up leaving me with two springs that are going to sit in an angle to each other. It doesn't seem like this is going to be much fun to do. I still need to find the proper information on how to extract a broken spring. All my information (so far) is on replacing unbroken springs.

If anyone knows why the Mercedes style compressor is needed vs. an outside the coil compressor, I'd still appreciate the explanation, but I've already decided that this is the proper way to go.

Also, If anyone has any advice or links to details on how to remove two parts of a broken spring I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for the reply.
Regards,
Tim
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:49 AM
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You can remove the broken spring in the same way as an unbroken one with the compressor.
Sometimes the broken spring can be removed without the compressor as if the car is jacked up with the control arm at full drop the tension is gone from the broken spring and the ball joint can then be split and the spring lifted out.
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