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1983 W123 200T
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a c clamp to install new lower ball joints. The supplied adapters aren't suitable due to the shape of the steering knuckle.

Without any adapters the c clamp fits as shown in the photo.
Is it OK to put the force on this part of the ball joint or should it only be on the other lip?
If not, I'll have to make some sort of adapter or cut one of the supplied ones.

2699914
 

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.................... ~'84 300D~~~~~~~~ ~~'85 300TD~~~~~~~ ~~~W123(s) Galore~~~
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Provided you can keep it square with the C-Clamp... Put the Ball Joint in the Freezer (I leave mine in over night). Once you are set-up. Heat the area of the control arm where the Ball Joint is to be inserted with propane/map gas a few hundred degrees (not red hot) let it cool for a minute and heat again. Do this 2 or 3 times so the the control arm area is heated through allowing expansion. It will stay expanded for some time. I use welding gloves... go get the Ball Joint and squeeze it in. A touch of Sil-Glyde on the Ball Joint may aid a little bit. A Vise would be much more stable than a C-Clamp
 

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I made two custom press adapters (for different ball joints) that fit to the lower lip. I didn't receive any press adapters from Lemforder so I made it up as I went along.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There's a post on peachparts showing it done as I'm planning. Will pop them in freezer overnight and see how it goes.
Can't heat the arm as it's painted now :( I'm using genuine Mercedes ball joints which I believe can be a better fit than aftermarket. We'll see...
 

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Godspeed and Good Luck!!!!
 
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It is called a C Press and the way you are using it without the Ball Joint Boot you can get a large thick washer and enlarge the center of the washer hole and that will better stabilize the ball joint.
 

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I have a c clamp to install new lower ball joints. The supplied adapters aren't suitable due to the shape of the steering knuckle.

Without any adapters the c clamp fits as shown in the photo.
Is it OK to put the force on this part of the ball joint or should it only be on the other lip?
If not, I'll have to make some sort of adapter or cut one of the supplied ones.

View attachment 2699914
used to do it in a 20 tons press , with knuckle out of car .very tight .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The ball joints I have drop into the hole up to knurling, so at least I know that they should go in ok.
 

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.................... ~'84 300D~~~~~~~~ ~~'85 300TD~~~~~~~ ~~~W123(s) Galore~~~
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It would be far, far more difficult with the lower control arm in the car. If it is removed and you do not want to damage the paint you may want to consider placing it in an oven for 30 minutes or so (as opposed to an open flame) and try to get it up to about 200 degrees. If there is paint inside of the control arm socket it's going to be a super tight fit. Alternatively, call around and see who has a 20+ ton press. Most of the shops around here have 80 ton presses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, so I managed to get one of the joints in this morning using the c clamp and impact gun.
The joint is now a lot tighter in movement now that it's in the knuckle. Is that usual?

It still moves around freely when temporarily attached to the lower control arm.

I'm wondering if it could have been distorted during insertion, bbut it doesn't bind or grate.

2699986


2699987
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The second one is now in too. The movement is tighter than it was before fitting, but I can just about move this one by hand. Can't do that with the other one :(
 

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Ok, so I managed to get one of the joints in this morning using the c clamp and impact gun.
The joint is now a lot tighter in movement now that it's in the knuckle. Is that usual?

It still moves around freely when temporarily attached to the lower control arm.

I'm wondering if it could have been distorted during insertion, bbut it doesn't bind or grate.

View attachment 2699986

View attachment 2699987
they are somewhat tight when in , that does not cause a issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Both joints are now installed, grease topped up and boots refitted. I'll need to do a little repainting and then they'll be ready for the front suspension reassembly.

It's worth noting that I was impatient and didn't freeze ball joints or heat the spindle. I think the tolerances with genuine Mercedes parts are possibly good enough to avoid that. They went in OK with the impact driver. The c clamp screw thread is knackered now though, which is not too much of a big deal as it was only £35.
Now having a beer and looking forward to the England football match! :)

2700066


2700067
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Put everything back in on one side today.

I was concerned that the new spring would be difficult to align with the lower spring plate, but it was OK with a bit of gentle prying.

The most time consuming part was removing the spring compressor shaft and plates. The plates end up not being parallel and the pry bar is needed to bend the spring straighter to be able to remove the compressor shaft.

You then need the bar again and a mallet to remove the plates as they can be tight between the spring coils.

2700912
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The manual talks of a neutral position for the eccentric LCA bolts when parts have been replaced.
Does anyone know which way the bolt lobe faces when in the neutral position? Up, down, inwards or outwards?
 

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I don't have access to the Manual. However, because your suspension pivots on the electivity of rubber parts when you torque them you don't want you suspension in either extreme of the movement of your suspension.

What that means for a Front Lower Control Arm is you want the Car sitting on the wheels with the normal weight of the car on the wheels on a fairly flat surface. That to me would be a neutral position for the LCA.

Torque it like that and that traps the Lower Control Arm Bushings in that position.

The other way of doing it as I did on the rear (you have to be under the car to torque) was to put equally high blocks under each of the wheels.

On the front as far as the cams on the bolt position I had marked those before I loosened them. In my case I had replaced the lower control arm bushings putting the cams back into their original position still had me doing an alignment afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, I tightened everything up after putting the car on the ground and a driving on and off the drive.
What I was looking for is the base setting of things prior to an alignment. Since all the parts are new, I don't think the positions I marked on the washer/bolt are relevant now.
For example, for genuine Mercedes guide rod mounts, the manual says to set the length of exposed threads to be 14mm as a base setting.
 

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Yeah, I tightened everything up after putting the car on the ground and a driving on and off the drive.
What I was looking for is the base setting of things prior to an alignment. Since all the parts are new, I don't think the positions I marked on the washer/bolt are relevant now.
For example, for genuine Mercedes guide rod mounts, the manual says to set the length of exposed threads to be 14mm as a base setting.
I remember the 14mm of exposed threads on the guide rod. I don't remember anything in the Manual about a neutral position for the LCA Cam Bolts.
What is your source of alignment specs? If I recall correctly the Manual on CD does not have those. It is in the printed manuals.

If you have alloy Bunt type wheels you can remove the hub caps and put one of these on the machined surfaces and if you get it straight up and down you will get the degrees of chamber and you could use that to get a tentative adjustment on the chamber. Out here at cheapie tool places they are about $4.

The bad news is that a Chamber adjustment changes the Caster and the Caster Adjustment changes the Chamber. I can't remember which one has the most effect on the other.


2703279
 
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