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2006 CLK 350 Convertible
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I agree with Mike. I live in a backwoods part of Arkansas where I have to travel sixty+ miles to to shop in good stores. Thus I purchase about 70% of everything I buy except groceries on line. A half hour ago I purchased a laptop from an eBay seller in Boston. I even buy the cat food from Amazon! I have bought and sold vehicles for the last 15 years on line.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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I have stopped buying car parts from Amazon or eBay unless I want cheap Chinese stuff that is not critical to its operation. An example is a "genuine" MBZ oil centrifuge cover I bought on Amazon for about $10 less than retail. It was an obvious fake and leaked within a month. I have read many accounts of similar situations with "Bosch" MAF and O2 sensors and such. I did once buy Chinese brand (Centric/Posi-Quiet) brakes for the C240 that were just fine, but I knew what I was getting. When I spend my money on critical parts, I buy from reputable sellers like Pelican, AutohauzAZ, RM European, and the various MBZ dealers that have online parts stores.
 

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2008 CLK-350 Convertible
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348 Posts
I have stopped buying car parts from Amazon or eBay unless I want cheap stuff that is not critical to its operation./QUOTE]

Agree 100%.

You can buy really cheap stuff on Amazon/eBay, but yes, you get what you pay for (sometimes less).

However, if you shop carefully, you can get some very good deals. I further agree that when the part is important, it is worthwhile to go to the vendors you listed. Often the price for the identical part varies greatly by vendor. Nice thing about on-line is you can compare price/manufacturer/warranty/shipping/tax very easily and make your decision accordingly.

For a couple of years I was fixing wristwatches for a local non-profit, and I bought a LOT of batteries. The choice was $3.95 for two (plus tax and I had to go get them) at the local drug emporium, or $3.95 for one hundred (yes, one hundred!), freight paid, no tax, delivered to my door.

But no, I don't buy Mercedes parts or airplane parts on Amazon or eBay. A tube of Torque Seal (leaves a slender toothpaste-like orange line across engine mount bolts - if the line is broken, something is coming loose) costs $11 on eBay or Amazon, it is $3.45 from "real" aircraft parts vendors.

Caveat Emptor . . . but online gives us a lot more options to choose from. Some are good, some are not so good, some are just right.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

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2005 CLK 500
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
I went with the Lemfoerder lower control arms from RM EUROPEAN... no tax and free shipping.... saved about $30 compared to Parts Geek.... they arrive on Saturday... looking forward to getting them installed then getting my wheel alignment... that along with my new Michelin A/S 3 sport should be for a smooth ride!
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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1,567 Posts
Just adding some more info to this sticky.
My CLK55 has never felt ' tight ' in the steering response and handling dept. and I think it was because the main bushing on the front right upper control arm was split.
This arm is the front most one which attaches at about a 45 degree angle to the subframe. Also know as a torque strut , or a thrust arm , it seems to be the one that fails most often.
I am replacing the whole arm with a new Lemforder .
So far I have found that I had to unbolt the brake caliper and tie it up in order to be able to move the knuckle enough to free the ball joint without straining the brake hose.
To free the forward bushing you must unbolt the stabiliser bar mount. To do that you must unbolt the link from the strut , and the headlight levelling sensor mechanism. You need an 8mm spanner to hold it with a 10mm on the nut.
You also need a good bunch of 18mm ,19mm , 21 mm spanners or sockets , E18 socket,T40 torx, breaker bar , 3 inch extension and whatever you need for the brake caliper ,, I unbolted the caliper from the mounting bracket using the 10mm internal hex bolts. (6 piston Brembo ).
Separating the ball joint was not easy because the tools I had just didn't seem to fit very well , but I got it done in the end.
I have removed the old thrust arm and found the split so bad you can see daylight through it. The cross strut or lower control arm appears to be good.
Yet to fit the new one ,,,will report if I have any issues.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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The torque strut bushing is fluid-filled, so when its rubber cracks, the fluid leaks out and you lose a good bit of tightness in the suspension. If one of bad, then all the rubber bushings on all four control arms are likely bad and I replace them all.
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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Thanks Rodney ,
The car has only done 60,000 miles,,, but it is also 13 years old ....so it's a bit strange that one has gone ,,I suspect that maybe it might have been damaged in some kind of incident/accident before I got the car, the others all look ok,,but the control arms here cost $200 each , so I think I will replace this bad one and see how it feels after that.
 

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2008 CLK-350 Convertible
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Hmmm, mine also has 60K on it, it is ten years old.

I do notice a kind of gentle "wiggliness" in the steering. The car steers very well, handles well, but the front end doesn't quite feel "tight". I'm comparing this to a memory of a long-gone 914 which I recall had razor-sharp steering (although the rest of the car was a certified, genuine and totally unmitigated catastrophe - an occasionally rolling, wanton and joyful celebration of rust and corrosion as well as a thoroughly researched and utterly comprehensive encyclopedia of everything that could possibly go wrong with cars. I swear you could actually WATCH it rusting . . . ).

Should I start looking at stuff, and if so, at what, or am I just being paranoid? What are the usual suspects here?

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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With rubber, it's not always mileage - age is also an issue. Regardless, the front control arm bushings on these cars are really only good for about 60K miles. After that, they degrade. Many owners won;t even notice as it happens slowly over time. Fresh control arms and an alignment will have it driving like new.
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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Hey Mike , great description of your old car ...
Maybe start by looking for splits in the torque strut rubber bushings.
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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I have installed the new thrust arm and all seems to be good.
It was quite a lengthy process because of the need to move the stabiliser bar , the strut , and the brake caliper.
The new Lemforder part was different in that it had a circular hole in the bushing , rather than an oval hole with ridges to catch the grooves in the bolt.
Not sure what difference it makes.
I couldn't get my torque wrench onto the bottom strut bolts because the car was too close to the ground , so I just had to guess how tight to turn them , other than that , it all went well.
Another job ticked off my list.
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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Since this is a sticky ,,it should have torque specs.
Wheel bolts ,,110Nm ,
Strut to knuckle,,top bolt 120Nm then 90 degrees. Bottom bolts 110 Nm.
Ball joint nut 50Nm then 60 degrees.
Thrust arm bushing nut 80 Nm then 120 degrees. Tighten with hub raised to normal ride height.
Stabiliser bar mount bracket 25 Nm.
Drop link to strut ,,,M12...100 Nm ,,,,M10 ...55 Nm.
Brembo caliper to bracket 10mm hex bolts,,,115 Nm.
Blue medium thread locker should be used on all,,,,except wheel bolts and ball joint.

If anyone notices an error please advise....it worked for me..
 

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I decided to do the left one too since it was probably on the way out , and obviously was different to the new Lemforder on the right.
The left side was a bit easier ,,,no need to move the caliper for some reason ,? , no ride height sensor to undo, and I got my torque wrench onto all nuts and bolts.
I found the hardest part was putting the stabiliser bar bracket back on.
The rubber and the bar wants to go on an angle ,which makes getting the bolts back in difficult.
I jacked up the end of the bar a little bit which helped the rubber sit evenly against the sub frame.

Now I need to get a wheel alignment done and it will be as good as new.
 

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2005 CLK500 Cabriolet
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Since this is a sticky ,,it should have torque specs.
Wheel bolts ,,110Nm ,
Strut to knuckle,,top bolt 120Nm then 90 degrees. Bottom bolts 110 Nm.
Ball joint nut 50Nm then 60 degrees.
Thrust arm bushing nut 80 Nm then 120 degrees. Tighten with hub raised to normal ride height.
Stabiliser bar mount bracket 25 Nm.
Drop link to strut ,,,M12...100 Nm ,,,,M10 ...55 Nm.
Brembo caliper to bracket 10mm hex bolts,,,115 Nm.
Blue medium thread locker should be used on all,,,,except wheel bolts and ball joint.

If anyone notices an error please advise....it worked for me..
Probably a stupid question but I have this repair coming up too. Just to clarify, when you say:

Thrust arm bushing nut 80 Nm then 120 degrees.

Do you mean tighten to 80 Nm and then turn the wrench another 120 degrees afterward?
 

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MY05 CLK55 AMG , MY05 CLK320,Former,C180 Kompressor,Jensen Healey,Ford Capri V6,Alfa GTV.
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There are no stupid questions.
Yes, tighten with your torque wrench to 80Nm.
Then tighten another one third of a turn or 120 degrees of a complete circle. I just use a breaker bar for this.
Be sure to jack the hub up to normal ride height first. There is a concave section near the ball joint which is ideal as a jacking point,,,,with a bottle jack.
You need an E18 socket for the strut top bolt , also 21mm for the nut.
Strut bottom bolts are 19mm.
Thrust arm and ball joint nuts are 21mm.
Stabiliser bracket is E12 and link nuts are 18mm.
 

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2004 W209 CLK 240
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As mine has now done 270,000kms (167,000 miles?) I've just replaced all 4 front end bushes.

I noticed that fluid filled bushes have been mentioned here a couple of times but neither the ones I took off or the ones that I put on were fluid filled.

The parts were bought from Pelican and were Febi Bilstien and genuine Benz. Perhaps they thought with our crappy roads over here we needed the tougher versions :smile
 

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Wag230 well done.
I am not sure about the cross struts ,but the torque strut/thrust arm bushings probably did have fluid inside them.
If your old ones were cracked at all the fluid leaks out and disappears.
The new ones have fluid inside them ,,,,but you won't see it from the outside,,,just rubber.
 
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