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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody recently replaced their LCA ball joints? How long do they generally last and if they do wear or have high mileage, what are the symptoms?

Thx,
Mo
 

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2008 S550 designo
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396 Posts
Oops... Wrong forum. I replaced mine on the E430, not the S500...

trey
 

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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Anyone????

So far, I heard that while turning the wheel, squeaks occur if the ball joint are worn.

When ever I go over speed bumps slowly, I hear a low level squeaks.
 

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SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
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2,233 Posts
No.. lower ball joint is motion grabbing wheel top and bottom and rocking.. However on a W140 the joints are very big.. so you need a pry bar to see if it is worn..
 

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300SE & 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230
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257 Posts
My experience was squeeking when car goes over bumps for a W140 are the lower control arm bushings. Problem is that if you're going to change those, most other supsension parts should be changed as well as they wear about the same & labor to get that far justifies changing other parts (pretty costly labor charge) & will have to do an alignment job at the end.
 

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2009 SL65, 1998 CL600 (sold), 1989 560SEL (sold)
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403 Posts
what are the symptoms?
Lift the front of the car until the wheel is 1-2 inches off the ground. Put a large pry bar (48") under the wheel and lift it up. Watch the ball joint for looseness while lifting. Here's the gotcha, its difficult for one person to watch the ball joint while you're lifting with the pry bar. That's why I take my car to a quality alignment shop once a year. For $60 they do a complete inspection. They've got a machine that shakes the wheels so they can spot any worn ball joints or bushings.
 

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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
All good observations! So here's the history: 3 months ago, I went to the dealership for a $85 full 4 wheel alignment sincethen I replaced the front shocks, sway bar end links/bushings, steering damper, drag link, and idler arm bushing. Car drove nice before and after alignment (slightly improved).
The tech report stated my LCA bushings were torn, so I replaced them and the squeaking subsided so I thought. Now it's back.

With 145kmi. what I'm trying to address is the abnormal outside front tire wear, front squeak over bumps and very slight steering wheel vibration. Re-doing the idler arm made the biggest difference in vibration. When I had the drag link/damper disconnected, I could feel the slop on the idler arm.

What I have ordered is a pair of LCA ball joints and complete tie rods. The only component that I haven't replaced would be upper control arms. I am a DIYer and my approach has been to change one part at a time to see if improvements occur. This is a PITA but I guess worth it in the end...for the ultimate ride...

Do you think this is the right plan?

Thx,
Mo
 

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2009 SL65, 1998 CL600 (sold), 1989 560SEL (sold)
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I am a DIYer and my approach has been to change one part at a time to see if improvements occur. This is a PITA but I guess worth it in the end...for the ultimate ride...

Do you think this is the right plan?

Thx,
Mo
The problem with replacing one part at a time is you need to have the alignment redone after each part swap. Also, if you still have a bad balljoint or bushing it will cause the other parts to wear out more rapidly. Many of the parts require removing the spring. If you are going through that trouble you are better off doing a complete overhaul.

You can't safely replace the lower balljoint without removing the spring. It takes a strong puller to seperate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle.

Don't forget to check your wheel bearing play. That could contribute to a shimmy.

Make sure the wheels/tires are road force balanced (google Hunter GSP9700).
 

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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good point with the alignments but for now, I've been able to mark and scribe pre and post settings which would get me in the ballpark. ONce all is done, I'll get a final alignment. I've removed the spring with a free rental spring compressor which works well and popped off the top of the ball joint but noticed the lower portion would require a puller. The MB puller looks specially designed for the ball joints. Is that tool available on line or from the stealer? And how much if you don't mind me asking?

I've been using two different sized tie rod/pitman arm pullers from Autozone...

Has anybody replaced their upper control arms due to wear and if they did, were there any symptoms????????

Thx,
Mo
 
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