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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the middle of replacing broken front springs. Both springs broke on the bottom end where the spring meets the lower control arm and had about a whole coil (360degrees of coil) broken off.

I have 210k miles and with the springs off noticed the lower ball joints were shot, so replacing them.

Question is regarding the Upper and Lower Control arm bushings. They seem fine and I've heard that these really don't wear, its more the ball joints that wear out.

I have removed both lower ball joints, so the steering knuckle is separated from the lower arm. The Upper bushings still have some "spring" in them. They seem fine. You can't replace the upper ball joint, you have to buy the whole arm assembly. I'd rather not, although I prolly should since everything is all apart.

The Lower arm arm bushings also seem fine. Springs being replaced with OEM stock. Shocks were replaced about 20k miles back with Bilstein Sports (BP3-1854).

Just leave the control arms alone?
 

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00 C-230, 04 C-240
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468 Posts
The flex bushing (rear) on the lower control arm should be replaced. I replaced them with solid, poly bushings. The upper control arms, with high mileage, should also be replaced. What coil springs are you going with?
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I bought OEM stock springs from MB of Fort Lauderdale. They have great discount pricing on MB-branded parts, cheaper than AutohausAZ and Partsgeek. I considered lowering springs from Eibach or H&R but I didn't want to deal with the camber correction issues.

Like I said, I'm kind of cash poor and not really wanting to spend another 100-200 replacing the upper control arms and lower bushings. Am I being stupid, especially since the whole front end is torn apart right now???
 

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2010 E350, 2005 Tundra Sold the 1998 C230
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322 Posts
I bought OEM stock springs from MB of Fort Lauderdale. They have great discount pricing on MB-branded parts, cheaper than AutohausAZ and Partsgeek. I considered lowering springs from Eibach or H&R but I didn't want to deal with the camber correction issues.

Like I said, I'm kind of cash poor and not really wanting to spend another 100-200 replacing the upper control arms and lower bushings. Am I being stupid, especially since the whole front end is torn apart right now???
Spending this much time and energy on the front end only to have it half way back to new and tight doesn't make much sense to me. I would replace all the bushings and call it done, even if they are just marginal. Then you don't have to worry, but that is me. YMMV.
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Perhaps you're right, but considering that the entire body was a complete rust basket case last year, I'll wait until I'm convinced my body restoration holds up. Also, this is not my DD and between me, my wife, and a 17 year old daughter, it may get 6k miles in the next uear. If I get some knocking in front or can't get a good alignment, I'll replace to other bits.
 

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1995 C220
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2,800 Posts
Unless you can physically see cracks in the rubber on the lower bushings, dont worry about them. If you can, then a set of polys are the way to go for a diy guy, hard part is the labor getting the old ones out.
 

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00 C-230, 04 C-240
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The flex-bushing cracking is hard to spot, as they tend to separate where the rubber connects to the sleeve, and the only way to see the crack/separation is to twist the center of the bushing.

I found that the best way to get the flex-bushing out is to use a small diameter drill-bit on the rubber, and once the rubber is out to cut the sleeve.
 

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96 C220, 85 300D , 84 300D (sold), 80 300TD (sold)
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188 Posts
My thoughts would be that if you are removing the springs and with that many miles, I would inspect the LCA bushings. My guess is that they are worn. They are worn on mine with 324k miles and am planning to replace them. Since removing the spring is part of the process, just saying that might as well plan on it.
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I decided to pass on the UCA assembly and LCA bushings. I just don't have the cash right now and I would be about $300 more on top of what I'm already investing. The upper and lower bushings look good and are very springy. New lower arm ball joints installed and new springs, rotors, pads.

Back on the road for a test drive tonight about 15 miles. Sure feels nice and tight up front :).
 

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96 C220, 85 300D , 84 300D (sold), 80 300TD (sold)
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I decided to pass on the UCA assembly and LCA bushings. I just don't have the cash right now and I would be about $300 more on top of what I'm already investing. The upper and lower bushings look good and are very springy. New lower arm ball joints installed and new springs, rotors, pads.

Back on the road for a test drive tonight about 15 miles. Sure feels nice and tight up front :).
Sounds good. What did you use for a spring compressor?
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Used the standard "internal pull" style spring compressor (not the Mcpherson strut type). Got a loan-a-tool from Autozone. Worked well. The MB tool might be easier, but certainly not worth buying ($300).
 

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1999 C280 210k miles
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200 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I forgot to note that, obviously, getting broken springs off is easier than getting new springs on. Make life easier by disconnecting the shock, steering knuckle and sway bar from the LCA after you've removed the old springs. That gives you more clearance to replace the springs. Once the compressed spring in in place, use a jack to position the LCA to replace the shock bolt and sway bar.
 

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So after replacing your springs and lower ball joints, Your not having an issue with it being wishy washy at freeway speeds? Every morning when i do my 40 mile one way commute, i feel like im about to loose one of my wheels from out underneath me. im trying to fix this on budget(3 week old newborn at home).
 
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