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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

When I bought my car back in 05 I had the steering idler done to cure the 80km/h steering shake.

Anyway my mechanic has mentioned that the front control arms are starting to get a bit sloppy.

Here is the question - do I buy two control arm bushing kits @ 71US from Autohaus then pay the labour to have them fitted or do I just spring for two new control arms with all the bushings already installed for $236 each?

What are the hours required for this job? Given that the bolts must be seized after how ever many years what do you think would be the best value? Even if it's slightly more for control arms as a whole the entire unit is new, that's got to have some positives - I hear they can bend overtime.

Cheers,

Nathan.
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
Replace the bushings, but it will need a large press to R/R them.
 

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1986 560SEL, 1986 560SEL, 1992 500SEL, 1999 S500
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473 Posts
Are you talking about the uppers or lowers? The ball joints on the uppers may be causing problems and need replacement.
 

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Jaguar STR-sold,mercedes s500L-sold,c36 amg-sold,s500 coupe-sold,cl420-sold,s320-sold,s280-sold
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Have the same problem - my case got to go for whole arms as they are a bit rusty.If yours holding ok change bushing.
Could you write some more about steering idler or you had it posted in other thread?
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, yes - lower arms the uppers are all one piece, already done those :)

My control arms should be fine - as in no rust. In fact I think I answered my own question last night. I can get the bushing kits here in NZ for less then the Autohaus ones from a good supplier and with no shipping so it makes replacing the bushes much more economical.

I'll most likely do the back control arms while I'm at it.

In terms of steering idler, from memory it's a bushing which connects to the passenger side wheels of the car for the steering linkage. Obviously if it's worn it shakes about and you get feedback. I used to constantly mention it as a cure for the 80km/h shake but everyone always wants to run off and replace tyres, balance wheels or claim it's un fixable. Mine was a quick and easy job which cost me about $150US including the parts and it fixed it right up.
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #6
Replace the bushings, but it will need a large press to R/R them.
I'm going to assume my mechanic has that - are they pretty common? I'll have to check because I don't want them to have the car in bits and then tell me they can do it... :rolleyes:
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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Actually, you really don't need a big hydraulic press.

This tool (or the mucho more) MB tool works quite easily, and even though it is Ex-Taiwan, these are of the "Good Taiwan Steel" type and are actually of good quality:

Mercedes Lower Control Arm Bushing Press Tool 140,124 - eBay (item 370460947379 end time Dec-27-10 22:38:51 PST)


You can save a few Pesos by getting the Bushing sets, plus the Tool, and you will still be ahead...

Here's the How-To:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w140-s-class/1549643-photo-diy-lower-control-arm-bushing.html

I "Suspect" you might be able to get away with NOT having to compress the springs, and just do one bushing at a time..... I didn't try it.

G
 

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nothing broken. finally!
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you need to compress the spring in the front

changing the bushings only makes sense if labor is dirt cheap or if you are diy and like to do it. frankly you need to remove the arm anyway so the bushings is just more labor and pain. people overseas where labor is 5$ an hour change the bushings, obviously because it doesnt matter if they spend another hour to do it vs swapping the control arm.
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #9
you need to compress the spring in the front

changing the bushings only makes sense if labor is dirt cheap or if you are diy and like to do it. frankly you need to remove the arm anyway so the bushings is just more labor and pain. people overseas where labor is 5$ an hour change the bushings, obviously because it doesnt matter if they spend another hour to do it vs swapping the control arm.
I'm just doing the sums in my head now - buy bushes locally = $280NZ Buy arms from USA = $635NZ + Shipping. I pay $69NZ/h in labour - how many hours will this be? I think I'm leaning towards replacement particularly when shipping is considered.
 

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92 W140 300SD 97 VW Jetta TDI 89 VW Fox diesel
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I went the bushing route to begin with and then after I got pissed off trying to press them in ordered the complete arms. It was enough of a pita to compress the springs on this big hog, I'm used to working on VW stuff, much less taxing.

At any rate that's what I have to offer...pick your poison!
 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #11
I went the bushing route to begin with and then after I got pissed off trying to press them in ordered the complete arms. It was enough of a pita to compress the springs on this big hog, I'm used to working on VW stuff, much less taxing.

At any rate that's what I have to offer...pick your poison!
I'm guessing you were DIY'ing? I don't work on my car because I live in a high rise building.

How many hours of work is it? I haven't had my car into the mechanics yet because I've been waiting on other parts I wanted to have installed at the same time (That whole saga is in another thread).
 

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W140 S600 1994
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43 Posts
See this youtube clip -> two mechanics from germany changed the bushings (not a w140 I know, but still interesting), they start work in the lower control arms 7 min into the clip.

 

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1993 300SEL (Sold) 2007 X5
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Discussion Starter #13
Amazing how much play it was creating in the front wheels.

Also if I send my girlfriend round to my mechanics with baking do you think they will work as efficiently as these two guys? :D
 

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1993 W140 500SEL Black/Black, 12014 Ford Fiesta ST Blk/Blk
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The aft front bushings can be done with just dropping the rear bolt and prying the arm down, smack old ones out with a hammer, align the new ones and with plenty of silicone pound the new ones in. Be sure to have marked caster alignment. Sounds weird but that's how the dealers did it. A press runs the risk of bursting the hydraulic bushings, the front lower bushings are solid. Dunno if you can do the front lowers with out compressing the spring even just a little to take initial pressure off..
 

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