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1992 sl500 129.066
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally got time to replace some much needed suspension parts.....after 20 years of service these parts were retired......strut mount, strut/shock absorber, ball joint, control arm, control arm bushings and steering damper........i recommend if doing the control arm bushings and ball joint to go ahead and spend a little more and get the whole control arm as the parts are installed already and it is a time saver....plus maybe some aggravation ...lol......

removed springs without spring compressor.....I do not recommend this as there is a risk of getting hurt or worse.....if you have a little experience and knowledge about springs it can be done easily......you should never take a spring lightly as it holds a tremendous amount of energy.......i took some pics to help anyone else with the other items listed.....the mb spring compressor is the safest most adviseable way to complete this DIY,,,,,,

View attachment 409022

This would be your basic suspension components showing wear.....this is the underside of the stut mount ( which is cracked and dry rotted) you need to watch for this as it can cause a really expensive problem.....damaging you hood if it fails....not to mention a list of other problems...

notice the strut shock absorber....when these go bad they will do a number of things.....a good indicator is when they go bad they leak and will look like this one.....

View attachment 409023

these are what bad control arm bushings look like and that is putting it mildly...



This is the order i chose to go about this.....others have other opinions or methods....

1. loosen the lug nuts while the car is on the ground..........Raise up the car and immediately put a quality 3 ton jack stand under the rubber jack points. put a protection layer in between jack stands and rubber if you don't want to damage them.......( i personally do not like to jack up one tire......i will do both tires on one side or in this case both front tires.) I suggest at least two jack stands and two jacks...
 

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1992 sl500 129.066
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
continued DIY

2. remove the brake caliper.....there is two thin rods that can be knocked back. I used a nail set and a tap of a hammer.

View attachment 409031

3. remove the brake pad sensor wiring harness. (mounted on the brake caliper) and abs wire that is attatched to the through bolt on the strut shock assembly....

there should be a plastic two prong clip holding the abs sensor that wraps around the strut shock absorber...depress the prong end and push through....

..there is four bolts that hold the actual caliper together....two 19mm bolts hold it to the hub.

this pic below is what it should look like

View attachment 409032

View attachment 409033

View attachment 409036
 

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1992 sl500 129.066
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
continued DIY

As you notice in the earlier pictures i have a jack under the control arm. your still ok at this point but you must put one under and lift the lca up. watch the spring compress and also the jack stand....if you start raising above the jack stand you have gone to far.....

4. remove the strut....there is 3 bolts and all 19mm.....the one you already loosened when you took off the anti lock brake wiring.....that is the through bolt.......the other two are lower and go through the strut/ shock.....

5. once the bolts are broke free which can be a pain.....( pipe and breaker bar may be needed).....i like to lower the jack ever so gently until strut gets to a point where it is extended.....once pressure is off you go up top......there is a 21 or 22 mm bolt holding the strut mount.....you must use an open ended wrench as the bolt usually holds a 7mm allen wrench in the middle......put a sturdy allen wrench in the middle and do not let it spin.....while loosening the big nut...i used a 7/8 which was close enough...then remove the 3 strut mount bolts which are 13 or 14 mm......

6....you should now be able to get the strut/ shock out and the strut mount...

View attachment 409045


this nut was rounded by a previous owner who probably put a socket on it....you must use the allen key or wrench...

7. If you want to save yourself some time. loosen the 19 mm bolt that is way down about an inch above the ball joint boot....it can be difficult......

8. when you got that bolt off....leave it on the ball joint stem for now....remove the tie rod assembly....one shorter bolt and one 4" bolt.....swivel them out of the way once loose.....

9. once this is loose do not let the rotor go. it will be loose and go to strange angles......but you don't want to damage anything....keep a small pry bar near. if you cant pull it off just put a little pressure under it and it will come off the ball joint stem.....be careful not to damage the rotors.....

mine need to be replaced but yours may not.....heres a pic of where you should be....

View attachment 409046
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok now that you have made it this far you better read this twice......these are crucial for your safety..........you have the jack under the lca......if you can fit another jack stand somewhere under the lca for added safety great......

10. I leave the sway bar and bushings for last....that is technically supposed to hold the spring in on its own....so remove that last.....on this step you want to mark the ecentric bolts with white out.....go past the big washer to the frame also......LOOSEN BOTH BOLTS ON the lca.......DO NOT REMOVE THE NUT OR BOLT!!!! I usually leave 3-4 threads at least.

View attachment 409056

11. Now the sway bar and sway bar bushing......you need to go up or down with the jack to get the pressure off the sway bar.....if you notice the bottom bolt or top bolt is extremely tight you need to stop....move the jack up or down slowly to find out what will take some tension off......

12. now you got the sway bar nuts off....remove the sway bar bushing and you look like this .....

View attachment 409057

13....from here on out your movements with the jack are on hyper alert.....the sway bar will be in the way of the lca bolts. what i did was lower the jack ever so slightly and clear the sway bar....once lowered past that the spring will bend outward.....

14. here is the trick....you have to get the car high enough so that the lca can lower to depress the spring....take my advice and get the car up high as you do not want to get into a position where its not high enough and your tip toeing around.....GET IT HIGH THE FIRST TIME......when you raising the other jack to get the car higher you need to periodically raise the jack under the lca.....You do this because when your jacking up the car, if you go to long without raising the other (lca jack) it could get to an angle where it slips before you get it high enough....

15. once your confident you have both jacks high enough then you lower the lca jack only.......as slow as you can.....i think it took mine over one minute for my jack to go all the way down.......see how the spring looks......straight up and down and still in the groove on lca......if you have the car up high enough it will drop to the ground with no energy in the spring......

View attachment 409058
 

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Discussion Starter #5
one thing i forgot. hang your brake caliper and tie rod on a bungy chord set up to keep them out of the way........once you get here you can start replacing.....reverse order.....start with the bushings on lca, then spring, then swaybar, etc......You tighten the struts and strut mounts and bushings when the weight is on the tire.....i'm sure i could have missed something as this was a lengthy post but if it helps someone. great.....
 

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1995 E320, 2004 C240, 1995 SL320, 2000 C280, 2000 SL600 (Sold)
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Thank You very much for your post. Im getting ready to do that and this helps alot with my confidence in being able to do it myself.
 

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Timeship, see you yesterday, but you already knew that.
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Good write up.
 

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1998 MZB 500SL-R White with grey interior, 84k mikes
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one thing i forgot. hang your brake caliper and tie rod on a bungy chord set up to keep them out of the way........once you get here you can start replacing.....reverse order.....start with the bushings on lca, then spring, then swaybar, etc......You tighten the struts and strut mounts and bushings when the weight is on the tire.....i'm sure i could have missed something as this was a lengthy post but if it helps someone. great.....
I have a 1998 R129 but with the aid of your pictures an process, I feel confident that I can at least give my own work a good attempt, Thanks man !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
do not take this lightly.....you will be tip toeing on your first one...

I really don't recommend this if you can get the proper tool. If you must do it this way. Don't rush through this one, as it can kill you a bunch of different ways. RESPECT the power in this coil....i think i remember reading every inch compressed is 500lbs .....not sure on that number but it is powerful, ecspecially on these cars.....I have read where some have tied chains, and other things from chasis to lca, incase something goes wrong...

Its not that bad. I'm not trying to scare anyone out of doing it. I just don't want someone to take it lightly. once you get through the first side you got it. glad it helped.....
 

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I totally agree with you Tommyguns, respect the spring.




Since the strut is ruined I usually lock a pair of serious vise-grips on the shaft, then turn the nut off. Also I use nylon rope to lace between the spring and chassis before I lower the LCA, that way the spring dont suddely pop and take your head off.
 

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lol. Tommy lost his pictures. But there were pictures, and good ones.
 

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91 500SL, 93 600SL, 95 S600 coupe, 97 S320, 99 ML430, 2003 CL600, 94 SL600, 97 Kawasaki 1100 STX
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Replaced LCA bushings on w140 S500 and w202 C280. Followed same procedure but did it in the shop on the lift with screw jacks. One of my buddies helped me with it. I have to say, it is very scary to see those springs under high pressure when LCA bolts are out and you lower screw jacks. It's totally doable, just has to be super careful. My buddy is a bit crazy, he just rushes to do everything like kept screwing jacks up without noting if they start to loose grip on LCA. I was very critical and changed position of screw jacks couple of times where it was supporting LCA best and couldn't slip. LCA will be twisting and bushings will need to be guided with large pry bar. There is gets scary as you change geometry and spring moves a little being supported only by screw jacks. When one LCA bushing bolt is in then it's a huge relief and reassembly is easy.
Just be careful and always note positions of all components. If anything starts moving or slipping wrong way then stop and start again after better support is reestablished. I also put some steel line around spring coils and tied it to frame in case springs shoots out so steel line could stop it from traveling far.

Thanks for write up. :thumbsup:
 

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SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
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respect the spring indeed, I have witnessed a falied comprssor, and caused the spring to launch side ways, and GO THROUGH a brick wall...

Granted, bricks in the country where this happended are hollow, but they are still bricks! and any brick is more solid than a human face...
 
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