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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2018 GLC300 (Wife), 2010 GLK350 (sold), 2003 ML-350 (Totaled!)
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sooooo....

I was happily changing out my brake fluid with my new power bleeder and all was going well. I had worked my way around to the last wheel, the front driver, when...in a slow motion...the truck began to roll and fell off the jack. It seems that in my haste to finish, I had forgotten to replace the rear wheel chock. :(

Now, I quickly replaced the chock and jacked her back up in less than a minute (while cursing loudly) and it appears as if nothing is damaged. It came to rest directly on the lowest point, which I believe is the lower control arm (ball joint?). (?) The rotor didn't appear to hit. It wasn't a full on SLAM/DROP either, but more of a controlled descent if there is such a thing.

My first concern of course is safety. I don't want my wheel flying off on the highway. What should I look for? How does one inspect this area for damage?

Yes I have jack stands. No I wasn't using them. I consider myself very lucky I didn't lose a finger (or much worse) and have learned a valuable lesson, that's for sure. I still feel like a complete tool though. :tool: On the other hand my brake fluid is all clean & shiny. :eek:

Here is the location of the landing zone (not my truck, found pic in archives):
 

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2001 ML430( gone but not forgotten), 2003 Porsche C4S, 2006 9-5 Aero, 2007 ML 350
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30 Posts
Sooooo....

I was happily changing out my brake fluid with my new power bleeder and all was going well. I had worked my way around to the last wheel, the front driver, when...in a slow motion...the truck began to roll and fell off the jack. It seems that in my haste to finish, I had forgotten to replace the rear wheel chock. :(

Now, I quickly replaced the chock and jacked her back up in less than a minute (while cursing loudly) and it appears as if nothing is damaged. It came to rest directly on the lowest point, which I believe is the lower control arm (ball joint?). (?) The rotor didn't appear to hit. It wasn't a full on SLAM/DROP either, but more of a controlled descent if there is such a thing.

My first concern of course is safety. I don't want my wheel flying off on the highway. What should I look for? How does one inspect this area for damage?

Yes I have jack stands. No I wasn't using them. I consider myself very lucky I didn't lose a finger (or much worse) and have learned a valuable lesson, that's for sure. I still feel like a complete tool though. :tool: On the other hand my brake fluid is all clean & shiny. :eek:

Here is the location of the landing zone (not my truck, found pic in archives):
Based on your description of the incident, I think you should be fine as any significant damage. On the other hand, you may have bent some front end components ( albeit minimally) and if tha twere the case your front end alignement would be out of spec and you would feel some sort of pull at highway speeds. If non evident, then watch your tire wear and if abnormal in the next few thousand miles, a front end alignment would be in order........

My $.02 Demosan
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,980 Posts
Glad to hear that you were not hurt!

Thanks for sharing this with the forum - it helps reinforce to those who read about the proper procedures for jacking. Just imagine someone under these circumstances who is lying on his back under the truck when it started to roll.

Check the condition of the control arm bushings to see if any are torn from the ground contact. The tearing forces may have been present with the control arm stationary on the ground and the truck still rolling backwards. Those are the forces that would cause damage. If you don't see any, put the wheel on and try a slow drive in a non-congested area to check for pull and wobble. Otherwise, a tow to an indy is in order.

For peace of mind, you may want to drop a few scheckles at an indy to get confirmation of the condition.
 

W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2018 GLC300 (Wife), 2010 GLK350 (sold), 2003 ML-350 (Totaled!)
Joined
1,836 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's. I took her for a drive and everything seems normal. No pulling, no noise/wobbling, etc. Everything seems solid.

I think i dodged a bullet. Just a nice gouge in my driveway blacktop. :p
 

W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2018 GLC300 (Wife), 2010 GLK350 (sold), 2003 ML-350 (Totaled!)
Joined
1,836 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for sharing this with the forum - it helps reinforce to those who read about the proper procedures for jacking. Just imagine someone under these circumstances who is lying on his back under the truck when it started to roll.
Yup, that why I posted it. As a reminder for everyone to stay focused when dealing with very large & heavy hunks of metal. :p
 

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ML320,C230, F250, Bayliner, Mountain Bike, Fleetwood Motorhome etc...
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1,840 Posts
One thing most people don't realize is an all wheel drive with a 3rd differential will roll if one wheel is off the ground. This is something that most people would be too embarrased to post but if most people will admit they have done something stupid sometime. I'll admit I have too. I'm glad you posted this as we all become complacent and forget little things like chocking the wheels. Glad you or someone else didn't get hurt. This is a learning moment for all who read this. Always chock the wheels, don't depend on the parking brake or "park" position in the transmission.
 
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