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1999 E320 4Matic Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I had the front end of my 1999 E320 inspected two days ago and they said that the right upper ball joint is very loose and the replacement part costs $247, so with labor and alignment would cost $566 to change it.

I do know some mechanics that would install parts that I buy, but I haven't consulted them, yet, to see what they'd charge to install parts that I supply.

I've found replacements parts online ranging from $50 to $110.

So far, I've only found one video online for changing the upper right ball joint / control arm assembly and it included a lot of other work that I don't need, so I'm trying to determine whether this is something that I might be able to do at home in my drive way.

I didn't find any information on this site, but I'm not real good at searching this site. Did find a couple for lower ball joints, but those won't help me with this.

So, could you point me to any videos that address just the replacement of the upper right ball joint / control arm assembly?

Any written instructions would also be appreciated.

I don't have a garage to do the work so it would have to be done in my drive way and would have to be completed in one day.

I've never done any work on the suspension of any car. I have done some other basic repairs on this car, but not too complex.

Do you encourage me to give it a try myself, or to leave this job to the professionals?


Thanks
 

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I just did that job on my car. I think the 4matic and rwd are the same.
It’s very doable. Much easier than the left side.
You will need 16mm socket and wrench, ball joint puller, magnet and Phillips head screwdriver
Open the hood, disconnect the battery,
Remove the black for the computers,
Disconnect and remove most of them until you can easily access the silver nut for the upper control arm bolt.
Remove the wheel use the ball joint puller to dislodge the upper control arm ball joint from the hub.
Then remove the silver nut and the long bolt.
The nut has a built in washer so use a bit of gum to hold the nut when reinstalling.
To help installation there is an access panel in the wheel well but I didn’t use it.


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1999 E320 4Matic Wagon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that info rufrob.

I’ll look into that approach.

Any recommendations for or against any particular brands of upper right control arm / ball joint assemblies?

I’ll probably order today or tomorrow.
 

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Buy the best you can afford and then some. Trust me. DO NOT BUY CHEAP PARTS. Stick with Meyle Lemforde etc. I recently cheaped out and bought unbranded sway bar links. They lasted 2 months. The cheapest clutch master from Rockauto lasted 20mins.
Unless you don’t mind doing the job twice.


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1999 E320 4Matic Wagon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that info rubrob. I won't buy the cheapest - about $50, but also won't likely buy the most expensive - over $200.

Which I chose will likely depend on whether I do the work myself or pay someone.
 

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1999 E320 4Matic Wagon
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

I bought a Moog part for $58 and a local one-man shop installed it this evening for $60. He opted not to remove the computer to reattach the nut until he'd been struggling with it for about an hour and it ended up taking 1.75 hours total. Probably would have been right about an hour, if he'd moved the computer out of the way to begin with.

Last weekend I bought two sets of two used tires of different brands, but with good tread, so next step is to get the alignment checked and get the new tires mounted and balanced. All four of the old tires are worn down the the wear bars on the inside edge of the tires. I hadn't had the alignment checked for about four years and Walmart doesn't inspect tires for unusual wear when they rotate and balance tires, so I suspect that ball joint may have been bad for the last four rotations.

Thanks for the advice and guidance.
 

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2000 E55 AMG
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34 Posts
If you're doing the right side, I think using the hole in the wheel well to get access is much easier than removing all the computers/relays to get to the nut in the rear. I used my camera in video mode to see the nut and get a wrench on it. To get the nut back on, I used a magnet pickup tool to hold the nut in place while I had my helper/wife start the nut.

Jack it just slightly off the jack stand so the suspension is loaded up before tightening the contral arm bolt.
 

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96 E320
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155 Posts
Based on reading this:


one guy recommends Lemforder or TRW upper control arm. I think Lemforder is an OEM supplier (at least to newer models?). However, that looks like it'll run you over $200 for the part. Search around for 2103304107 and see what's available.

Edit: Cheapest OEM part I found so far is $196.43 at autohausaz.com:

Edit2: For $125 you could buy used and do both sides:
 

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2000 E55 AMG
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Don't buy the OEM part. Buy the Lemforder part. It's the same as the OEM without the little star on it. Upper control arms are $84 each at FCP Euro. I bought Lemforder rear end links and compared it to the old part. See photo. They just rubbed off the star! LOL

2611843
 
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