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1979 450slc 5.0 (#1094), 1989 560sl, 2002 E55 AMG
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458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished up a rebuild of the rear suspension on the 450 SLC 5.0, top to bottom. Prior to starting in on this, I found that there weren't many threads on this topic on the Forum, save for some fine information provided by Elrick some time ago. As I went through the process on my car, I took lots of pictures and wrote it up on the project webpage, in four parts:

https://slc4dirt.wordpress.com/about/building-the-beast-part-2/rear-suspension-part-1/

https://slc4dirt.wordpress.com/about/building-the-beast-part-2/rear-suspension-part-2/

https://slc4dirt.wordpress.com/about/building-the-beast-part-2/rear-suspension-part-3/

https://slc4dirt.wordpress.com/about/building-the-beast-part-2/rear-suspension-part-4/

Hopefully this is a good read and helpful to folks here contemplating doing this on their car. Thanks to all here you provided advice to me on prior threads, and especially to Rockcrusher for sending me the spring compressor, which is essential.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
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34,370 Posts
Very nice.

This will be a good resource for me ....whenever I get around to it. :)

Good job.
 

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1973 416 Doka, 1978 416 Doka, 1980 416 Doka..... Help me, I can't stop buying them!!!
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2,704 Posts
Thanks for the write up! I have to replace my trailing arm bushings and one wheel bearing, so this will help out.
 

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Outstanding Contributor, Vintage Moderator
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro 300sel5spd R+C107galore
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24,846 Posts
I've gotten through the first two pages. Wow! There's a lot of info in there!

One comment I have for SL owners, at least those with the steel trailing arms, I found that the rear suspension actually does balance really well on a floor jack that's put on the flat underside of the differential. I dragged the 1972 350sl 4.5 rear suspension around quite a bit on my floor/trolly Jack with a 4-5" base. I'm not saying that the ATV Jack isn't necessary, just that maybe some others might get by without one. I haven't ever re-installed a rear end though. So in that case, I bet it's really nice to have that ATV Jack.
 

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1979 450slc 5.0 (#1094), 1989 560sl, 2002 E55 AMG
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458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am sure that the ATV jack isn't strictly necessary, though for me it proved indispensable. I can imagine that many have completed this job without one, though without the car on a lift, I can't quite imagine how one can safely lift and balance the rear suspension assembly. Dropping it would not be too difficult with a standard trolley jack underneath the differential. Installing it with the same jack would be a different story. The front ends of the rear suspension, with the rubber bushings, are held to the body by long special bolts with pointed ends; these are inserted through the bushings from beneath, into tubes in the body. I found that the bushings really need to be level underneath the car in order for the mounting bolt to line up and thread into the body. I really had to use the ATV lift to stabilize the assembly while also using a floor jack to lift it level in order to insert the mounting bolt. This is one of those tools that pays for itself in terms of job safety, because when the assembly is all put together, it is really heavy. It would be really easy to have it fall and crush a hand if it is teetering on a jack pad. I did this job solo, but perhaps with a friend to balance the assembly while mounting it, it might be different. Still, for $100 this thing was like having many extra sets of hands
 

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1979 450slc 5.0 (#1094), 1989 560sl, 2002 E55 AMG
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458 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awsome story and picture documentation! I'm impressed of your skill level!
Thanks for the compliment - that's what makes this Forum great, all the encouragement everyone brings. I have been helped immeasurably by all of the detailed tutorials that many here have contributed. I had yet to see one on the rear suspension, so I felt I should do it. If there are any tips that should add to the webpage, even though I maybe didn't do it that way, I would like everyone here to chime in. I'll add it with attribution, so that future readers will have maximum advice at their disposal.

This was one of those jobs that was not particularly well-explained in the factory manual, and certainly not in a way that lends itself to the home mechanic lacking an array of special tools or an overhead lift.
 

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1979 450SL UK spec
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2,511 Posts
I've been trying to replicate this job but failed today.

I borrowed this 10 ton hydraulic puller from my local garage, its pretty sturdy and versatile.

http://www.racediagnostics.com/gallery/_data/i/upload/2018/07/18/20180718122919-0c26718a-me.jpg

Set it up like this.

http://www.racediagnostics.com/gallery/_data/i/upload/2018/07/18/20180718122937-310487d8-me.jpg

Then wound it up as far as I could, the legs held tight but there was absolutely no movement in the bearing carrier.

http://www.racediagnostics.com/gallery/_data/i/upload/2018/07/18/20180718122957-23735269-me.jpg

I will have to just clean up and paint as best as I can as is.

Any suggestions?
 

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