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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I need to replace the front shocks/struts, lower ball joints, and lower control arm bushings. Since this work is much more than I can handle right now (I don't have the time) I'm contemplating having an indie do the work (one told me it's a 9 hr job). I already bought the parts on-line at a considerable savings. I wanted to replace the entire lower control arm but for 4-Matic models, no one has aftermarket parts and the MB ones cost about $650 each!! (and this is the discounted price) so I will only replace the bushings.
My question is: are there any special tools required for this job that an indie will not have? I have the service manual and I see that the upper control arm, the tie rod, and other components need to be removed from the arm and steering nuckle and I want to make sure that "generic" tools can do the job.
A spring compressor for Mc Pherson struts is required but most shops should have that tool.
Any other recommendations?
Thanks!
 

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I believe there are some special press tools needed to get the lca bushings out of the arm.

why do you believe that these items need to be changed?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just took the car for state inspection (dealership). One strut is leaking and so are the lower control arm bushings. They also found the ball joints need replacement.
Would a shop such as Midas, that routinely do suspension work have the neessary tools?
 

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I replaced all my shocks at MIDAS for $60/each last september! Bought them at mercedesshop.com.:thumbsup: As far as the dealer could tell they did an excellent job.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I called Midas and they told me to bring the car in so they can take a look at it to let me know if they can do the job or not and how much it would cost. I'm going there either tomorrow or Saturday morning.
They quote I got from a MB indie is 9 hrs labor at $89/hr + $95 for the alignment.
Thanks for the info!
 

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9 hours is way too much. That is $800 just for labor! It looks almost like a dealer price!! I would do the alignment at the dealer ....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
9 hours is way too much. That is $800 just for labor! It looks almost like a dealer price!! I would do the alignment at the dealer ....
Agree, this is why I will try Midas first.
Since you did it there, were there any special tools required? Did you have to guide them on how to do the job or was it as simple as taking it there and letting them do the work?
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Took it there on a Saturday at 9:00AM picked it up at 1:30PM and paid $276 (taxes included). They did not mention any special tools. I did not guide them at all. They also mailed me a FREE Oil Change!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Took it there on a Saturday at 9:00AM picked it up at 1:30PM and paid $276 (taxes included). They did not mention any special tools. I did not guide them at all. They also mailed me a FREE Oil Change!
This was for the shocks only, right? Who did your control arm bushings?
 

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I replaced the bushings at the dealer. Call me stupid but I did. The idea of a 20% discount makes me feel better :)
 

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And

the 180%profit that the dealer took from your wallet made them happy:thumbsup:
win win deal
:bowdown:eek:hlord
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use the dealer for diagnostics and then either repair the vehicle myself (most of the time) or have someone else do the work.
 

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Actually ohlord it was around $75 more than what indies in the area were asking (as far as i can remember) so I am not feeling that bad. Of course you would diy :thumbsup: it as usual :) but many of us are not as mechanically efficient as you would expect. You can argue it of course, but please do not get me wrong. All of us dread and hate dealer's service department but there are scenarios that they come in handy. You should know though that I do appreciate all your comments and suggestions on maintenance and brand products. BTW danielsternlighting sent me some nice bulbs :thumbsup: Thanks for the suggestions in previous posts.
 

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Midas

did the shocks so you are still in the plus side of the upkeep:thumbsup:
:bowdown:eek:hlord
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, after going to 3 different Midas shops and getting quotes from $880 to $905 for labor only (they all go by book time and don't combine jobs so they're quoting me 9+ hrs of labor) I decided to hell with all of them and I'm going to do the work myself.
I have WIS so all the instructions seem pretty straighforward; I spent $600 on the necessary tools (spring compressor, bushing pressing tool and ball joint/tie rod removal tool) and $600 on parts. I have plenty of other tools including an air compressor and air tools so I should be good to go. I know I'm not saving a whole lot this time around but next time I need to do any suspension work, I will have all the necessary tools already. Yesterday I spent over an hour familiarizing myself with the front underbody part of the vehicle and took many pictures that will be helpful throughout the job. I plan on spending 8-12 hrs doing this. Will let you know the outcome.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
don't forget to get an alignment very soon after the work is complete.
Good luck! I'm sure it will work out just fine!
I know. The first thing I'm doing as soon as I complete the job is going to the dealer to get it aligned.
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most

of those tools are rentable at your local tool rental place.So you might want to call around.
:bowdown:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
of those tools are rentable at your local tool rental place.So you might want to call around.
:bowdown:
I went to Autozone since they have a tool loaner program. I borrowed a strut compressor of questionable quality which did not work (would not fit through the coil spacing); their tie rod / ball joint removal tool "might" work, and they did not have anything to remove/replace the lower control arm bushings so I decided to purchase the tools. I intend to keep this wagon a looong time so I'm sure I'll be replacing ball joints and perhaps lower control arm bushings again; if not, when it's time to replace my W124, I will do so with another W210 4-Matic so I'll have the tools for it as well.

What other place rents these tools?
 

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We

have places up here called united or aa rentals that rent yard tools,power tools etc. and they all carry heavy duty pro grade pickle fork
,spring comp
ohlord:bowdown:
you also have the option of renting the tools to other members with a deposit.
replace you drop link bushings while down there.
call autohausaz.com they will quote on the non stocked parts you need.
 
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