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1972 350 SL
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124 Posts
Retaining pins?
i’m not trying to take the pads off. maybe these I’m going to be forced to but i e been to the parts store for my 3rd time, forgot my wallet and second time got 8mm hex when it turns out to be a 7mm. I guess I should have just slipped the pads out cause now that I think about it the rotor isn’t new so probably has a little lip from wear over the years and might scratch the pads. after this trip I at least have every tool needed to do any brake job... just one of those days where so feel like an idiot at every turn


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1972 350 SL
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124 Posts
ok so I finally got it all done and in my last post I was right, it was just that there was a ridge on the edge of the rotor making it not slide off cause I just changed the pads a month or two ago and haven’t driven much on them so there wasn’t much room to push the pistons back to allow it to go over the ridge. To set the record straight so nobody goes out buying a 7mm hex, that was too small so i’m not sure why the 8mm didn’t fix and it ended up not being how I needed to take it off, just the two large bolts is all you need and some space by pushing piston back. Just dumb mistake after dumb mistake as well as not having all the tools I needed but aside from that, be prepared and all this stuff should be easy.

Let me know how it goes for you Stu. Interested to see how you end up doing the sub frame bushings and how you end up getting the new shocks on. I took a note from panzer puff and used a ratchet strap. If you go that route just remember to get the smallest ratchet you can or it’ll be hard to get in in the control arm. you don’t even need one that ratchets actually, just like a tie down strap which also makes the locking part smaller and better for this job.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #64
Good work. I've definitely had projects get done the "hard way". I'm inclining to drop the entire sub frame. Clean up and powder coat. Needing to do the engine mount as well, and all the rubber under there. Inspected the steering shock today. Better than I thought it would be based on the vagueness in the steering. Presuming that means the bushes are likely worse than I anticipated. She's still fun to drive. Been taking her out daily.

I watched his video as well. Great tip. I definitely have more ratchet straps than spring compressors.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #65
Upon closer inspection, most of the bushings are tolerable until I put the car up for the winter to attack bigger stuff. Upper and lower ball joints are exposed, and the lowers will need to be replaced. The fire's under me as there was too much play to want to drive on these, and need new tires. I picked up some 'for now' wheels off Craigslist. Found refurbished chrome OEM 15 holes, mint for cheap.

Been digesting all the videos I can find. None that directly address the easiest procedure for lower ball joints. Gonna unpack the service manuals for an approach.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
Model 107 Maintenance Manual
Has anyone else found this to be incomplete? I was looking for suspension docs (32.200) and it seemed like section 32 was limited to on section (32.010). I'm totally open to the fact that im missing something. I'll be combing the internet for a torrent download of the CD rip. I have no issues with buying the CD aside from the fact that I haven't had a CD drive in my computer for years.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #67
Let me know how it goes for you Stu. Interested to see how you end up doing the sub frame bushings and how you end up getting the new shocks on. I took a note from panzer puff and used a ratchet strap.
Did you use the ratchet straps directly on the springs in lieu of a spring tensioning tool? I ordered an internal spring tensioner tool, but there's no way the drive is going to fit up the dime sized hole in the LCA. It's a bust. I saw where one could get a 14" threaded rod, and use the plates but the plates themselves are pretty thick and needed to be malleted in. I've been reaching out to the community to see if there was a more descriptive method written up for doing the lower ball joints and have yet to find one. I also ordered a 'universal' ball joint tool to press out/in the joints but am skeptical it will be hassle free. I'm kinda at a point where I am going to pass the point of no return as now I can put things back together and drive it to a shop. I don't really care so much about saving the money as I want to learn the car, and hone my skills.

I also read in the service manual that for above pit service on this part, you support the LCA with a jack. They really didn't say more about it.. just go on to:

1) Unscrew the knuckle arm
2) Remove the calipers and associated stuff
3) Basically remove the steering knuckle

There was no elaboration on lowering the jack or how the room is created to remove the lower ball joint. I'm not sure how high on the jack stands the car needs to be if I'll need to lower the LCA to make room to get to the joint. It also looks like there's no way the ball joint will clear the rotor cover, so I presume that needs to come off.

First, I don't want let the spring kill me like it wants to. Next, I'd hate to get Sadie stuck in the garage. From there my only recourse would be to try to source super expensive now nonexistent Mercedes tools.

If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
nm.. if I remember his video he used the straps on the shocks, not springs. I saw other youtube videos of people using ratchet straps to compress springs. Still love to hear your thoughts on the doing lower supporting (ball) joints if you have any.
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #69
I've started a thread, kind of a think out loud on this project, giving folks a chance to chime in. I think I have an approach, but am not moving forward without validation.

 

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1972 350 SL
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124 Posts
Hey Stu, sorry for not replying earlier, haven’t been online for a few days but I don’t have any experience changing the ball joints, just the tie rods which aren’t too bad. the ball joint tool on the tie rods was pretty straightforward, just keep cranking and pop. if it doesn’t a hammer will help it pop off. It seems a little violent but it does the job.

For the ratchet straps, yeah I used it on the shock itself and worked great but they need to be small straps, can’t have a big ratchet on it if that makes sense. Think about how you are going to get the strap out though before you get it on cause once you let it go, especially with HDs it’s tough to compress it at all to get the strap out. I didn’t replace the springs so I didn’t worry about that but if you end up doing that I’d also like to see how that goes for you.

I’ll keep up on your linked thread. Good luck!
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #71
All good. Left side is done. It's really not too bad. Couple of All-Stars here where huge help. We also seemed to uncover a mystery which no one had an answer to. Not my suspension guy, indie shop, moog suspension tech support, not the FSM etc.

Thought it through, and came up with as good an answer as any which was substantiated by the positioning of the original support joint in the LCA prior to removal. Check out the other thread if you're interested. If there's any vagueness or play in your steering, you should be interested. Also, if you determine that you do need to do your ball joints hit me up for sure. I'm really not that far away


Starting at post #11
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #72
Spoiler alert: no need to compress the spring at all
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #73
Sadie got a new pair of SHOES (and new feet, I suppose) today! After my set of tires spent 2 weeks in FedEx purgatory to travel one hour from Hayward CA, my tires arrived yesterday. Looking for a slightly stiffer sidewall, and a little bigger patch of rubber on the road, my options for a V rating were limited. When I say limited, I mean there was one to choose from. Went from the 18 year old tires that she had when I got her, to a set of Nankang SP9's in a 225/60/Vr15.

Got them installed this morning and took her for a spirited spin in the "back yard" and enjoyed the night and day difference. I knew the new tires and alignment would make a difference, but wasn't anywhere near prepared for the amazing result. I'm kinda floored. I'm quite happy to get the new interim rims off my garage floor and on the car. I've been shopping new Bilsteins all the way around, but how she's handling now with the new tires and ball joints, I think shocks fell down the list a bit.


2651230
 

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1986 560SL
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136 Posts
Discussion Starter #74
Un-newing the tires after the work day. Man, she's driving great. I'm now finally getting a sense of the 560's capabilities.

2651289
 
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