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GSXR did a comparison of both the MB branded TRW arms, and the aftermarket TRW ($130) arms. Its on youtube.

$130 can also get you the FEBI arms from spain, which are re-packaged as beck arnley from [email protected]

I bought, but have not installed the Spanish Febi's since the picture BA shows is the MB TRW's.
Knowing they are a reboxer, I took a chance hoping to get MB arms for $130....no dice they don't match the pic.
 

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The state of after market control arms of for the W124 is rather sad these days. The control arms consist of three major components - the steel stamping, the ball joint, and the rubber bushings. These days these components are out-sourced to China or second tier manufacturing economies in Europe and elsewhere, with the rubber bushings and the ball joints primarily coming from China while the steel is stamped and the arm assembled on this side of the pond. Interestingly, I believe even the MB parts come from these places, but there is a key difference in what MB does with them and how they control their manufacturing process.

The same steel stamping is used on the W201, the W124, and the R129, but the rubber bushings are different or in different orientations for each application. MB has the the proper quality system as well as the understanding of the subtle differences the different combinations of parts make, so they can make sure that each control arm is assembled properly and as such, performs as the engineers intended.

The problem I have seen in the after market is that non MB "assemblers" just don't have these quality systems or the understanding or the differences the different combinations of parts make. As a result, you see things like W201 bushings used in combination with R129 bushings sold as a W124 control arm and so on.

So, at the end of the day, you could luck out at get an aftermarket arm the was "right", or you might not. With the MB quality system and engineering understanding behind every part, MB parts are correct every time.
 

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ok - I will come clean ...

I just bought control arms from FCP.

The left arm is Febi, the right arm is TRW. Why? Because FCP had the left arm on clearance - $99! (but not the right arm lol). So about $225 for both. And FCP offers lifetime guaranty for their parts - we'll see how that goes.

I will be your guinea pig. If these parts kill me (or worse kill someone else) I will post from the gates of Hell :angel

My expectation for the lifespan of these arms is around 60k to 70k miles. Good or bad, I will post my observations.

The TRW arm was made in Spain btw. The Febi arm, despite the Germany markings, came from parts unknown. The TRW arm appears better in quality to the Febi - but who knows. I'm curious to see their performance.

I understand OP's cost dilemma. Genuine MB arms are $850 for both if you shop around. $850 compared to $225? that's a big difference
 

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the bushings don't have part numbers on them. the TRW bushings do have the 2 dot/3 dot orientation marks like the genuine ones. the Febi bushings have different orientation marks - actually a single mark vertical and horizontal.

can't say how these compare to Lemforder. i could not find Lemforder arms with the welded ball joint.
 

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the bushings don't have part numbers on them. the TRW bushings do have the 2 dot/3 dot orientation marks like the genuine ones. the Febi bushings have different orientation marks - actually a single mark vertical and horizontal.

can't say how these compare to Lemforder. i could not find Lemforder arms with the welded ball joint.
OK This I didn't know!

Tell me more on pressed vs. welded ball joints
 

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In ages past TRW was one of the assured "go-to" vendors.

I haven't had the kind of work that carries me into such purchases in a couple of decades, but time was I wouldn't have blinked twice at the brand. Nothing in this thread suggests to me that TRW has suffered the kinds of declines as Meyle, for example, which used to be good but now at least with some things is to be avoided. (The stories I've read and experienced lead me to quantify Meyle as "to be avoided" along with the likes of unbranded chinese junk or, of course, the dreaded URO.)

In any event, I'm going to follow this thread to see how it all turns out, hopefully our guinea pig will keep us updated good, bad or otherwise. ;)

Good luck, all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok - I will come clean ...

I just bought control arms from FCP.

The left arm is Febi, the right arm is TRW. Why? Because FCP had the left arm on clearance - $99! (but not the right arm lol). So about $225 for both. And FCP offers lifetime guaranty for their parts - we'll see how that goes.

I will be your guinea pig. If these parts kill me (or worse kill someone else) I will post from the gates of Hell :angel

My expectation for the lifespan of these arms is around 60k to 70k miles. Good or bad, I will post my observations.

The TRW arm was made in Spain btw. The Febi arm, despite the Germany markings, came from parts unknown. The TRW arm appears better in quality to the Febi - but who knows. I'm curious to see their performance.

I understand OP's cost dilemma. Genuine MB arms are $850 for both if you shop around. $850 compared to $225? that's a big difference

Can you see if the boot pops off like on that?

I agree $850 vs $260 for my sunday driver.....
 

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here are pics

TRW on the left and Febi on the right

20150527_180640_resized.jpg

Again, TRW on the left and Febi on the right

20150527_180735_resized.jpg

I moved the ball joints around on both and saw no problems. As you can see the TRW appears more like genuine than the Febi but that may not mean anything. Both arms weighed 12.8 lbs btw.
 

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here are pics

TRW on the left and Febi on the right

View attachment 1457889

Again, TRW on the left and Febi on the right

View attachment 1457897

I moved the ball joints around on both and saw no problems. As you can see the TRW appears more like genuine than the Febi but that may not mean anything. Both arms weighed 12.8 lbs btw.
It's hard to tell from the angle of the picture (and end on view would be better), but it appears that the Febi LCA is equipped with the W201 style bushings. My standard procedure for LCA replacement is to buy the aftermarket LCA and a set of genuine MB W124 bushings (still less money that an all genuine MB LCA). I then remove and throw away the aftermarket bushings and replace them with the genuine MB bushings, properly positioned for the W124. As I said before, I have had no issues with the steel stampings or the ball joints on the TRW or Febi parts. The bushings are always the issue. There is a lot of engineering that went into the bushings on these and they are the key to proper performance in each application. Don't Eff up your car's handling with the wrong bushings.
 

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TRW brake parts are used by Mercedes for a lot of their cars .
MB uses a lot of suppliers, some of which have a so so reputation in the aftermarket. They key difference is that the MB Quality System ensures that the parts meet MB specifications for parts supplied to MB, whereas the specifications and quality requirements for the aftermarket versions of these parts are determined by the supplier. These are often much less stringent than those required by MB.
 

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ok - I will come clean ...

I just bought control arms from FCP.

The left arm is Febi, the right arm is TRW. Why? Because FCP had the left arm on clearance - $99! (but not the right arm lol). So about $225 for both. And FCP offers lifetime guaranty for their parts - we'll see how that goes.

I will be your guinea pig. If these parts kill me (or worse kill someone else) I will post from the gates of Hell :angel

My expectation for the lifespan of these arms is around 60k to 70k miles. Good or bad, I will post my observations.

The TRW arm was made in Spain btw. The Febi arm, despite the Germany markings, came from parts unknown. The TRW arm appears better in quality to the Febi - but who knows. I'm curious to see their performance.

I understand OP's cost dilemma. Genuine MB arms are $850 for both if you shop around. $850 compared to $225? that's a big difference
First i would not mix these arms on your car .I would want them of one make only.
 

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@Flooby

regarding the Febi bushings - I've looked at a lot of images of the w201 bushings and it appears that they have the same orientation markings as the w124 bushings - except for the early w201. The early w201 bushings have the single orientation mark like the Febi's in the photo. So I'm not sure what to say about whether the arms have w201 bushings.

It's not a bad idea to switch out the bushings with genuine (or maybe lemforder for $50). I'm more concerned about the quality of the ball joint than the bushings. I'm going to install both of these arms as they are and share with everyone the outcome so that we all have an update as to the quality of these parts.

Interestingly, Mercedes is not even listed as an application in the Febi website. Perhaps they've stopped manufacturing for Mercedes cars.
 

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@Flooby

regarding the Febi bushings - I've looked at a lot of images of the w201 bushings and it appears that they have the same orientation markings as the w124 bushings - except for the early w201. The early w201 bushings have the single orientation mark like the Febi's in the photo. So I'm not sure what to say about whether the arms have w201 bushings.
Yes, they appear to have the early style W201 bushings. I have personally received Febi arms so equipped in the past.

[MENTION=76601]
It's not a bad idea to switch out the bushings with genuine (or maybe lemforder for $50). I'm more concerned about the quality of the ball joint than the bushings. I'm going to install both of these arms as they are and share with everyone the outcome so that we all have an update as to the quality of these parts.
I hope you are experimenting on the 1988CE and not the 1995 E420 - I think it would be a shame to use a V8 car as a guinea pig.
 

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sorry flooby these are going on the E420. If either or both of these arms are really that bad then I'll take my medicine. I do drive a lot in my cars so I'll know soon enough.

On the bright side I'm expecting new MB tie rods and center link from Mr. Lionel today and they will be installed with the arms.
 
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