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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
W211 DIY Lower Control Arm and Ball Joint Change

Why?

Dealer wanted $66x2 for ball joints and $400 for Labor. For the Lower control arm $290x2 and another $400 for labor – a total of $1,500

I decided to change it myself. I purchased both Ball joints on ebay for $53 (free shipping), and both lower control arm for $162 (including shipping).

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I had to buy two special tools. 1) Ball Joint Separator $35 (including shipping) and 2) Ball joint Remover/Installer $92.00 (including shipping).

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For a total of $342, this job saved me over $1150.00.

1) Jack up front of the car, put jack sands on both sides, leave the jack in the middle, put stopping blocks on both rear wheels.

2) Take the front wheels off, remove the dust pans from under the car.

3) Loosen the 21mm nut on the ball joint (top) and the 21mm nut on the lower control arm ball joint (bottom).

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4) Use the Ball Joint Separator tool, break loose both ball joints. I highly recommend this tool!! Use an impact wrench if you can, when the ball joint breaks loose, it is quite violent.

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5) The other end of the lower control arm, loosen the nut and bolt that holds the body (9/16 - 12 point socket and a 21mm socket).

6) Remove the Lower control arm.

7) Lower the steering knuckle out of the way, then Put the Ball Joint Remover/Installer Tool on the Ball Joint, press the old ball joint out. YOU MUST HAVE THIS TOOL, THIS JOB CANNOT BE DONE WITHOUT IT. ALSO, YOU WILL NEED TWO BREAKER BARS. ALSO CANNOT BE DONE WITH OUT IT.

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8) Using the same Ball Joint Remover/Installer Tool, press the new ball joint in.

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9) Put the steering knuckle, ball joint back together, tighten the ball joint.

10) Put the new lower control arm back in place, tighten the ball joint, and the nut and bolt on the other end.

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11) Put the dust pan back

12) Put your wheels back on

13) Lower the car, you just saved over $1,150.00!

Also see my write up on DIY W211 Front End Alignment – search for it on this forum!

DIY W211 Lower Control Arm and Ball Joint Change

Mercedes DIY Alignment
 

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Very nice! Where did you purchase the Ball Joint Removal and separator tool?

Well good thing this is covered on my extended warranty.
 

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W211E320CDI
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Haha, it's more of a Yay! I get to play outside today. But that's only because I have the right tools.

It is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY important to have the right tools, and NOT the general loaners from Autozone.

I've known guys with a pitch fork that was pounding the sh*t out of the ball joint and steering knuckle for 30 min (each side) before it popped. The tool did it in 10 seconds with an impact. Not to mention no pounding on the hands and dents in your suspension!!!

Even more important, the Ball Joint press made for the Mercedes ball joint fits PERFECTLY, not just some generic size bushings. The tool is also about 10lbs and it's heavy duty. If you tear your front end apart using generic loaner tools, you'll end up stuck mid way in your job, then will have to leave the old ball joint there, putting everything back together.

You're already saving over a 1K, spend the extra $130 and buy the right tools. If you're really cheap, sell the tools on ebay after you're done and get 1/2 your money back. :D
 

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E500
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You are so right about the correct tools. Very nice write up. My joints failed under warranty at 65000 so I didn't have to do them. I am disappointed there are so many ball joint failures. I expected better of MB quality/engineering.
 

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2006 E500 - Flint Grey
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philipk2003,

Perhaps we should have a tool loaner thread! People who have these specialty tools that you may only use once can just rent them out???
 

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Thanks for posting this

I have an '05 211 CDI. 124,000 miles on the ODO. Have the same issues. Your repair outline will be very helpfull. Thanks again for posting.
 

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my buddy got a kmac installed on his Clk...the shop tried to remove the ball joints and broke their tool. They didn't have the correct MB tool. He ended up taking it to another shop that worked on german cars.
 

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2006 S500, 2003 ML350, 1996 C280 (Previously 2002 CLK320, 1995 C220, 1980 300SD TurboDiesel)
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You're the man.
 

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My left front wheel is making a really annoying squeeking sound over bumps and when I push down on the car. I went to my specialist and he told me its the ball joint. Now, hes trying to charge me $100 for the ball joint and $90 to install it. I found it on Auto Parts in Canada! - OEM and Aftermarket Canada Auto Parts for $42, I just wanted to make sure a few things first:

Is lemfoerder the OEM product?
Is the part # W0133-1619710 the correct part #?

Are there any other ball joints I need to replace? I thought I only had to change 1, but in this install (which is superb, thanks) you are using 2 ball joints.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

my car:
2000 S430 non 4-matic
 

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Very cool, thank you. I have to say my merc mechanic gave me a price of $800 with new arms for BOTH sides and labor included. I think for the $450 more I'll just let them do it. They will be much faster than me and I won't have the headache. But for how much you saved I'd of done the same thing.
 

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My left front wheel is making a really annoying squeeking sound over bumps and when I push down on the car. I went to my specialist and he told me its the ball joint. Now, hes trying to charge me $100 for the ball joint and $90 to install it. I found it on Auto Parts in Canada! - OEM and Aftermarket Canada Auto Parts for $42, I just wanted to make sure a few things first:

Is lemfoerder the OEM product?
Is the part # W0133-1619710 the correct part #?

Are there any other ball joints I need to replace? I thought I only had to change 1, but in this install (which is superb, thanks) you are using 2 ball joints.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

my car:
2000 S430 non 4-matic
Well don't forget he is of course going to charge a mark up on parts, after all he's doing the work to get them. His mark up isn't that bad the way I see it. Plus that's really cheap to do the install, I'd say at that price let him do it.
 

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Congrats on DIY algnment!

It is a clever strategy to transcend the conventional dependency on possibly less than precise alignment shops, by using a bit of fundamental technological ingenuity at home.

My personal technique for checking alignment is simple, but effective. The only tools needed are an eight-foot long 1" x 4" board, a 2 ft.-long level, some masking tape, and a pen.
For toe in:
1) park the car on relatively level grounds and lay the board in front of the front tires, calibrating the exact toe in distance with the vertical level, and marking the distance on the masking tape stuck on the board.
2) lay the board behind the front tires, and calibrate the distance on the board in the same manner as in step one
3) compare the two distances, and if a significant variation prevails, jack up the car, remove the tires, loosen and adjust the tie rod ends accordingly, so as to bring the two distances to equal

For castor/camber:
a simple reading with a 2 ft. level on each front wheel with the car sitting relatively level, will indicate adequately if any adjustment is required. Both wheels should be similar and close to vertically level. If there is significant deviation, then spacers can be removed and camber/castor adjusted.

Before beginning to perform the DIY alignment check, it is wise to elevate the right front wheel on most MB models and try grasping and moving the suspended wheel to identify any wear in steering components. It may be necessary to replace parts such as the drag center link, tie rod ends, and lower ball joints, prior to engaging the alignment.
 
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