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1998 SL500 Black on black
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I spent 8 hours today trying to swap out my springs. 2 went fine (ofcourse ran into stupid problems but finally solved them) but I have two left that I ran into problems that gotta wait until tomorrow!

Front Passenger:
The ball joint bolt is 1/4 of the way through and it won’t budge from either end trying to smash it with a rod and hammer. It’s basically stuck and the ball joint has dropped a little. I tried banging the ball joint back into its correct place but it won’t budge either. Any solution to getting the bolt out? The opposite side slid out fine.
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Rear Driver:
Upon releasing the rear bolt to the LCA, the LCA dropped on what looks like a stabilizer bar and resting on it. Now the control arm moved its way to the left and still sitting on the bar. I didn’t have this issue with the passenger rear! Btw, what is this bar called? Looks like it needs a particular socket to remove the bolts?
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Registered
1992 500SL, 1993 300SE, 1997 S320L, 2000 C230K, 2003 E500, 2005 Smart ForFour, 2008 Smart ForTwo
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381 Posts
I can’t see what “bar” you’re talking about?

But in terms of getting the wall joint out, get right in the socket and spray it with penetrating spray. Leave it overnight and then next day should be good, had a similar issue when changing control arms on my w211.


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Registered
1998 SL500 Black on black
Joined
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I can’t see what “bar” you’re talking about?

But in terms of getting the wall joint out, get right in the socket and spray it with penetrating spray. Leave it overnight and then next day should be good, had a similar issue when changing control arms on my w211.


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Outstanding Contributor
R129 500 SL 1991
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1,038 Posts
Stop with the hammer bashing and head scratching, and start following good practice. Honestly, it’s lucky you haven’t been injured. I can just visualise you getting the jack under the rear arm and trying to pull it back with your foot against the exhaust. Don’t do that.

You haven’t even removed the plastic cover from the u/s of the rear control arm, but you’ve jacked underneath this anyway? You need to disconnect the rear shock absorber, so this cover has to come off.

You haven’t used a spring compressor, which is why both arms have shifted out of position. The front joint has moved outwards slightly and is pushing against the side of the socket, which is why it won’t budge. The rear has shifted sideways and now rests on the chassis torsion strut.

Before you do anything else, get a spring compressor. But you will have a problem now removing the plastic cover from the rear arm because it’s wedged against the strut. You need to get this off to disconnect the shock and use the compressor, which fits inside the spring. Remove the two screws holding the plastic cover on and pull the top of the plastic cover with both hands, outwards and down, and it will release from the control arm. You might be able to shift it out the way enough, but the end will be pinched against the chassis strut.

Use the compressor to remove the spring force on the LCA. Then you can pivot the LCA down and remove the spring. Use the spring compressor when installing the new springs.
 

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Registered
1998 SL500 Black on black
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Stop with the hammer bashing and head scratching, and start following good practice. Honestly, it’s lucky you haven’t been injured. I can just visualise you getting the jack under the rear arm and trying to pull it back with your foot against the exhaust. Don’t do that.

You haven’t even removed the plastic cover from the u/s of the rear control arm, but you’ve jacked underneath this anyway? You need to disconnect the rear shock absorber, so this cover has to come off.

You haven’t used a spring compressor, which is why both arms have shifted out of position. The front joint has moved outwards slightly and is pushing against the side of the socket, which is why it won’t budge. The rear has shifted sideways and now rests on the chassis torsion strut.

Before you do anything else, get a spring compressor. But you will have a problem now removing the plastic cover from the rear arm because it’s wedged against the strut. You need to get this off to disconnect the shock and use the compressor, which fits inside the spring. Remove the two screws holding the plastic cover on and pull the top of the plastic cover with both hands, outwards and down, and it will release from the control arm. You might be able to shift it out the way enough, but the end will be pinched against the chassis strut.

Use the compressor to remove the spring force on the LCA. Then you can pivot the LCA down and remove the spring. Use the spring compressor when installing the new springs.
Everything went fine on the opposite ends. And I’m not trying to pull away at the rear LCA. I understand it’s under pressure.

I’ve spent hours searching for the name of that bar it’s resting on which required a triple square socket to remove. I’m trying to figure out what size socket it needs and will remove this bar or strut so I can slowly lower the LCA.

as for the front, I’m going to chisel between the knuckle to open it up a bit hoping the ball joint will fall right out like the opposite end.
 

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1998 SL500 Black on black
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I’ve thrown in the white flag...went back at it again today but my body can’t handle much more. Unsure what to do now
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,391 Posts
Put another jack under the rotor or lower control arm where the ball joint is.
A 4x5 wood in the same area longer than 12" will also do.
What is happening is that you have pushed the smooth bolt section out, and you are stuck from compression in the threads.
By using a wood under the arm/rotor, and by lowering the jack, you will be pushing the ball joint pin IN the socket taking the pressure off...
So the bolt will be loose easy to slide out.
You may need to put a vise grip on the ball joint pin, move it left-right, as the hammering may have jumped the corners on the threads.
Regards.
aam.
 

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1998 SL500 Black on black
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Put another jack under the rotor or lower control arm where the ball joint is.
A 4x5 wood in the same area longer than 12" will also do.
What is happening is that you have pushed the smooth bolt section out, and you are stuck from compression in the threads.
By using a wood under the arm/rotor, and by lowering the jack, you will be pushing the ball joint pin IN the socket taking the pressure off...
So the bolt will be loose easy to slide out.
You may need to put a vise grip on the ball joint pin, move it left-right, as the hammering may have jumped the corners on the threads.
Regards.
aam.
Thanks for your tip but I’m misunderstanding. Do you mean put a jack under the LCA and lifting it up so it’ll slide back into the knuckle? I have tried this multiple times with no luck. So I must not understand exactly what you’re interpreting. Sorry about that
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,391 Posts
This time in more detail.
I'm Greek, not easy to understand.
Where is Ray? Help.
First you must remove the tension. That's what Robert very well said, by using a spring compressor.
But there is more than one way.
I don't want to repeat my above post.
Remember that the problem is wedged threads, wedged to under tension ball joint.
You may try to hammer something like a thin chisel/screwdriver, to open, between the split where the pin is stuck.
See, you have ball joint pin, with a groove, than a part like a vice. Bolt screw tightens the vise.
Now by removing the nut , the vise supposed to loosen. It didn't.
(If you had hammered a chisel in. The vise would have been loose.)
The scenario.
The hammering of the bolt pushed the smooth bolt side out.
More hammering.
The bolt threads make the bolt thinner...
Now you have room for the bolt threads, to wedge, by turning slightly the ball joint pin.
The bolt threads got in to the softer pin and the split metal.
Now you have a vise, in to another vise.
A Gordian Knot, is born..
Regards,
aam.
 

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1998 SL500 Black on black
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I got it completed! Thanks everyone for your help. Time to tackle on the other projects.

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