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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #1
is it possible to replace these without a balljoint press? i dont have one and i might have some time to replace them tomorrow..
and i dont think i will find someone willing to hire them locally ..

i already read the DIY-123-maintenance page btw :) but if anyone else has any more tips they will be welcome!

Patrick
 

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You'll never get the new ones in without a press. Can't you borrow one from Autozone? That used loan-a-tool program is great as long as you have enough money to tie up in the deposit for the time it takes to perform repairs.
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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163 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Stevenpfaff - 3/6/2005 12:08 AM

You'll never get the new ones in without a press. Can't you borrow one from Autozone? That used loan-a-tool program is great as long as you have enough money to tie up in the deposit for the time it takes to perform repairs.
isnt autozone a Us-only company? :confuseD:
I am from Malta :) and not even my mechanic had a press for these ball joints. I went to him with the steering knuckle and ball joint and he made a big fuss of it! [:D]

so I had to make my own tool.. found a piece of flat-bar and hammered it until its end was a bit circular as in the picture. then i used a Very Big Hammer ([:D]) and hammered on the balljoint lip for about an hour! [:0] changing the position every couple of blows.

quite happy with the end result... but it was a very long process!
 

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2005 w203, 2013 Town & Country
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WOW - that s a lot of work...would have been a lot easier with a press...bummer you couldnt get one...

jake
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks Jake :)

btw do you remember I had asked you about the spring comrpessors?
While I was doing this I also replaced the shocks with HDs .. and I was thinking

If I remove the shock (with the lower arm supported on a jack), if i release/lower the jack slowly, the lower arm will start coming down.. and the spring should come out, right? or is there a risk here.. ?
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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163 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
haha looking back it was fun but it was a loot of work to do!
everything i did, every step, meant trouble!
even to get the steering knuckle out i was already lost! it literally gets STUCK ON!
i pounded on it with a hammer for like 20 mins constantly! really pounded hard like i was trying to break the car! [:D] finally it gave in and freed itself.

then while i was at it i found that i had to replace the left upper control arm because of a torn dustcap on the balljoint.. then i thought hey i should replace the swaybar bushings.. then while i'm here i should really repack those bearings... result, i have to take a day off tomorrow to put it all back together! [:D]
total cost about $105 in parts. and too many hours to think about [:D]
but i like working on my car :)

i will probably also spay my calipers in the same color i will be spraying my car this month (dark purple/plum) [:)]
 

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Yeah, once you take one part off something looks wrong and you have to replace those too! That's why I still am saving up for my ball joint/front suspension bushing repairs, I had to use up my savings. My mechanic will have to wait on this. He quoted me $300 for labor alone! Parts cost me roughly $180 w/shipping. [:0] The car still runs fine but I wouldn't want to let it run like that for long. Slight squeaks and noises but that's all there is for now.
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #9
yeah my car had developed a good amount of squeaks and noises! thats why i made up my mind to change everything! i even planned to replace the tie rods! but they seem fine, they do not make any noises and there is no play when you move them around by hand, so i will let them be.. i spend enough money as it is [:)]

the only thing i did not check out is the idler arm bushing.. i dont know if i should see it or not.. will probably leave it for now..
 

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If your car is wandering across the road even if you drive straight, or if it feels like it has no steering control/response, then it's time to change the idler arm bushing...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well it depeneds on what is meant by wandering.

at constant speeds and acceleration i do not feel any strange things, but at higher speeds, like 100km/hr with the steering straight, if i brake bit abrubtly, i feel that the front of the car like moves to the left or to the right, only a little bit, and i have to move the steering wheel in the opposite direction to correct it. maybe this will be better now after replacing the balljoints etc.

but i am also suspecting that i need to adjust my steering box because i have never adjusted it, and there is a little play in the steering.
 

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banflu - 3/7/2005 4:02 PM

well it depeneds on what is meant by wandering.

at constant speeds and acceleration i do not feel any strange things, but at higher speeds, like 100km/hr with the steering straight, if i brake bit abrubtly, i feel that the front of the car like moves to the left or to the right, only a little bit, and i have to move the steering wheel in the opposite direction to correct it. maybe this will be better now after replacing the balljoints etc.

but i am also suspecting that i need to adjust my steering box because i have never adjusted it, and there is a little play in the steering.
I think the symptoms only apply when you drive normally and the car wanders left/right and the steering response is vague/ambiguous and has no certain direction to it.

Once you start braking it's another matter. Maybe one side is sticking more than the other. Or like you said other suspension components may be at fault.
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #13
it shouldnt be the brakes becuase the pads are almost new, the discs dont have much wear in them, and the calipers have new seals ..
i also changed the tires and wheels recently.

i will see if it gets any better tomorrow when i assemble the rotors etc etc [;)]

btw how old are you? i will be 20 in about 2 weeks.. getting old [8)]
 

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You say you're getting old at 20? You're not even old enough to say you're old. I turn 30 on Sunday and I'm certainly not old.
 

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banflu - 3/7/2005 7:19 PM
....btw how old are you? i will be 20 in about 2 weeks.. getting old [8)]

Don't worry too much....Any 20 year old kid driving Mercedes is waaaaaay cooler than 17 year old driving brand new Accord. You should be proud ha.

But that's just my opinion....[:)]
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #16
LOL I was only kidding guys [;)]
but thanks for the support! i'm starting to like this forum [:)]

now off to install those wheel bearing and discs.. [8D] .. and swaybar bushings [|)]
 

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im one month older than my w123...

please do not try to remove the spring by lowering the control arm....

ill post picts on the home made spring compressor - there is a pict in my gallery here...

yes its a good idea or practice to change everything, because the thing you dont will go wrong quickly, and youll be back at it...

jake
 

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No the picture is not in my gallery - it is here in this thread...

http://www.mbnz.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1168796&posts=13&hl=

happy reading / better wrenching!
jake
 

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banflu - 3/7/2005 4:19 PM

btw how old are you? i will be 20 in about 2 weeks.. getting old [8)]
22, barely older than my car that just turned 22. [:)] Advance Happy Birthday! [:D]

By any chance, what brand of lower ball joints did you use? I got Lemforder ones.
 

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1981 200 (W123)
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Discussion Starter #20
BF_JC230 - 3/9/2005 10:05 PM

No the picture is not in my gallery - it is here in this thread...

http://www.mbnz.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1168796&posts=13&hl=

happy reading / better wrenching!
jake
ah ic. that is different to what i imagined. i was thinking about two pieces of fat and solid flatbars.. one on the top lap of the spring and one on the bottom. a hole in each of the flatbars centrs. a nut welded on the underside of the bottom one. a nut sitting on top of the top one. and you use a wrench/rutchet from the top hole to compress/decompress it.
what do you think?
 
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