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1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered new upper a-arms (with ball joints) and lower ball joints to finish off my front end rebuild. I have already done the lower bushings and tie rod ends. I'm looking for someone to tell me it's a piece of cake. I have ball joint tools.
I don't even know if it needs them, but it going get it anyway. Then I will know what i have.
 

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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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I ordered new upper a-arms (with ball joints) and lower ball joints to finish off my front end rebuild. I have already done the lower bushings and tie rod ends. I'm looking for someone to tell me it's a piece of cake. I have ball joint tools.
It's a piece of cake. You barely have to remove the tire. The only problem I ran into was the nuts were rounded off, so to be sure I went and got new bolts and nuts from the dealer. You don't have a lot of room to work, but I was able to easily get the ratchet wrench on through the wheel well. On one nut I had to hold the head of the bolt with a box wrench to loosen it. I used a puller to get the ball joint loosened.
 

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1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
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Discussion Starter #3
Well I finally got off my lazy ass and tackled the first side on this project. Everything went like clockwork. The bolts that go thru the upper control arms were hard to get lined up because of the space and ols worn out eyes. Old parts were good condition. I guess they were changed at some point. Anyway, now I know they are good. Only got one side today, finish up tomorrow. Total time today about 2 hours and I think I can beat that on the next side.
 

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1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I finished the other side in about an hour and half. All parts I changed out looked like new. Go figure. Anyway it's done and I know it's in good shape.
Anyone want a set of upper control arms with good ball joints, just say the word. Free for the shipping. There are only $110 apiece new, but if you are on a tight budget and need these parts. I think there were replaced just before I bought the car, I just don't know.
 

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71 280se 3.5 Cab, 06 C230, 06 ML350
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628 Posts
Was it easier and cheaper to replace the whole control arm(s) than doing just the ball joint? Looks like they, the ball joints, just press into place.

While doing the tie rods I notice that the ball joint on the drivers side had the rubber seal torn so I guess I'll need to replace it.

Control arm and bushings look good. On the other hand what do I know I don't know what bad ones would look like so everything looks good to me.
 

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1980 450SL & 1988 560SL
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Discussion Starter #6
Was it easier and cheaper to replace the whole control arm(s) than doing just the ball joint? Looks like they, the ball joints, just press into place.

While doing the tie rods I notice that the ball joint on the drivers side had the rubber seal torn so I guess I'll need to replace it.

Control arm and bushings look good. On the other hand what do I know I don't know what bad ones would look like so everything looks good to me.
Top control arms comes with ball joints and for the price you can't beat it. The top ball joints are rivited in place while the lower are pressed in. If you have a tron boot you will need to replace it because you will have no way to relub it.
Lower control arm bushing are the first to wear and the lower ball joints are larger and wear out first.
I would not buy upper ball joints and grind the old ones out and rebolt new ones when for a about $60-70 more you could have new upper bushing in the deal with an eaiser install.
 

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71 280se 3.5 Cab, 06 C230, 06 ML350
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628 Posts
OK. What do I look for to figure if the lower control arm bushings are worn out?

Also, how did you do the replacement? I assume you had to compress the springs and then what? Remove the upper completely and reattach then the lower pressing the ball joint out then the new one in, and replace the bushings?

Any tips and tricks? Where the uppers about 450 each?
 

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1983 380SL, 1985 500SL, 1986 560SL
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99 Posts
So? It does not change the size of puller needed or the fact I am trying to get tie rod ends off and do not know how.
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,092 Posts
I thought you were asking a question to the OP...

You will probably get more replies making this a new topic but I will give it a try. If you have access to air tools an air hammer with a pickle fork did the trick for me. Or just the pickle fork and a BFH (big f%$#ing hammer). I have had little luck with pullers...

ps...chances are the pickle fork will tear up the boot on the tie rod...

 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,092 Posts
You may or may not rip the boot. 50/50 chance. I was replacing my tie rods so it didn't matter. Mine came up unscathed and could have been re-installed but I think I got lucky.
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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22,841 Posts
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Back in the day Moog Automotive products used to sell several different styles and sizes of universal replacement boots.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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I haven't needed a fork yet..on anything. Just a well placed whack with a hammer and it literally will fall off.
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,092 Posts
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Back in the day Moog Automotive products used to sell several different styles and sizes of universal replacement boots.
Just like MB sells replacement boots for the 560SL upper ball joint. As far as the tie rods go at $14 each I'd opt for new...
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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Just like MB sells replacement boots for the 560SL upper ball joint.
Seriously?

I'm guess just the 560SL, then....because they don't have any for mine.

I ended up buying new ball joints.
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,092 Posts
Seriously?

I'm guess just the 560SL, then....because they don't have any for mine.

I ended up buying new ball joints.
They call it a repair kit. Comes with 2 boots and wire clips to hold them on. Since the ball joints on the upper control arms on the 560SL cannot be removed it's either new control arms or the repair kit.

part # A0003300585
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,319 Posts
They call it a repair kit. Comes with 2 boots and wire clips to hold them on. Since the ball joints on the upper control arms on the 560SL cannot be removed it's either new control arms or the repair kit.

part # A0003300585
Hmmm. Maybe that p/n is only for post 1986 SLs?

I know I inquired about the kit and it was no longer available...I was told. But my ball joints are riveted on, so I bought some Meyles from Mercedessource for $22 each.
I haven't changed them yet as the ball joint is still tight. I just pushed some grease through the break in the rubber.
 
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