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'87 560 SEC, Pearl Grey/blue; 300,000+ mi; '07 CLS 550, Barolo/stone; 90,000+ mi
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720 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to you guys helping me realize where the top of the front struts are in the engine bay, I'm now considering changing them myself--no record of them being ever replaced. No wonder my front suspension bushings wore out prematurely after replacement. Is it ok to use the factory jack to initially jack the car up, as I have no where to store a hydraulic jack? Then, I'm sure at least one jack stand is recommended for safety from everything I've seen on the topic. I just can't find any examples on the web of anyone using the factory jack, so maybe it's relegated to roadside emergency use only.

Also, while I can stand in the engine bay, is it possible to replace the steering shock from above vs only under the car on a lift? I think this will solve the vexing problem of jarring steering vibrations above 60mph, even after balance, alignments, etc. Also original!
 

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90 420SEL, 00 BMW X5, 00 Lexus RX300, 01 Chrysler Town and Country
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418 Posts
I once had to use the factory jack because of placement issues for a hydraulic.And I have got to say I admired the design and how well it worked.

But never ever go under the car without jackstands. A generous use of jackstands, if you please. I tend to use cinder blocks also when needed. They cost only about $2.00 a piece at Home Depot. Don't know whether it is advisable. All I can say is I am anal about supporting the car before I get underneath it.
 

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1981 300SD W126
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148 Posts
I have always used jack stands and for the last 10 or 15 years I have used the ESCO stands and they are hands down excellent stands for something you will risk your body under. They began as a copy or replacement to the AC Hydraulic stands made in Denmark if I recall. Good quality welds and each stand is rated at 3000 lbs. There are several retailers online that sell them but here is one just so you can have a look.

Here is a link : Amazon.com: Esco 10498 Jack Stand, 3 Ton Capacity, Silver: Industrial & Scientific
 

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1989 300SE 232k miles
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1,703 Posts
Obviously the car is designed to be lifted via it’s jack. That said, I’ve had experiences with other MB models where the oem jack has slid out while I was lifting the car(s).

My advice: Be super careful. And get off the jack ASAP.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,926 Posts
It's fine to use it, but a jack using the rubber jacking points is better.

Never ever be under a car that isn't well supported by preferably more than one jack stand.
 

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1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,989 Posts
Hey Drew,

In addition to the great advice offered above, please remember the shock is ‘loaded’ when the front wheel is ‘hanging’ off the ground while the car is jacked up.

One will have difficulty removing the old shock, let alone being able to install a new replacement this way.

You’ll need to support the lower control arm and let the car down some, compressing the spring, before shock removal/re-installation.

Its a step some of us with experience may take for granted, but bears looking at today.

Best of luck going forward.


MBL
 

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Registered
'87 560 SEC, Pearl Grey/blue; 300,000+ mi; '07 CLS 550, Barolo/stone; 90,000+ mi
Joined
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720 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hey Drew,

In addition to the great advice offered above, please remember the shock is ‘loaded’ when the front wheel is ‘hanging’ off the ground while the car is jacked up.

One will have difficulty removing the old shock, let alone being able to install a new replacement this way.

You’ll need to support the lower control arm and let the car down some, compressing the spring, before shock removal/re-installation.

Its a step some of us with experience may take for granted, but bears looking at today.

Best of luck going forward.


MBL
Thanks Malcolm, so car still elevated but a 2nd jack stand under the control arm?
 

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1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,989 Posts
Thanks Malcolm, so car still elevated but a 2nd jack stand under the control arm?
Hey Drew,

I know you initially wanted to explore repairs using the factory jack and I respect that.

Having used the car jack myself on more than several occasions when I was younger, I now feel doing so can be a potential time and energy suck..

Years ago I had a steel 1.5/2 ton hydraulic floor jack. What a difference indeed!
As I brought the jack inside the house after the work, down a flight of stairs to the basement where all my tools were stashed.. then up & down the stairs the next time etc...
I went out & looked at the aluminum ones at a local tool place.
A 2.5-ton capacity one came home with me..[a full 22lbs lighter than the steel one].

After lubricating all the various joints, pivots, and wheels, using a floor jack was really a helpful step forward for me as it has proved itself most useful.

In your case for example, with the car up on stands, you could now easily/safely support each lower control arm as you swapped out the front shocks...

Its a thought anyways.

Good luck man. You have a worthy project going on there. Keep us posted.

M
 
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