Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone!
I need some advice on the removal of an Airmatic strut on my 2002 S500.
I was changing a failed driver side lower control arm and all went very well, with a special thanks BenzWorld Member Peterstar. The passenger side has not yet failed but I figured that I should change that side as well.

All was going very well until it came time to loosen the 5mm set screws on the passenger side that hold the Airmatic to the lower control arm. Both screws are frozen solid and will not move. I broke a 5mm hex wrench and bent two more into pretzels. I tried a bit of penetrating oil and some heat……nothing but another broken wrench. So unless someone has an idea or two, here are what I think are my options:

1)Leave it Alone: wait until the Airmatic fails (always a possibility) and then pull the strut and the control arm together, or wait until the control arm fails and then change the Airmatic and control arm together.

2)Go Find a Better Wrench: find a better grade of 5mm hex wrench and take another run at getting these set screws loosened.

3)Hope that one of you comes up with a better alternative.

Thanks in Advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I'm not sure what you are using, but the L-shaped hex wrenches are too soft of a metal. Buy a hex socket and use a wratchet-no problem. On the front side you may have to hammer it in to force the edge of the socket past the bracket that holds the solenoid (?). They are held on with a little lock tite and I found on the forum that tightening torque is 20Nm.

Why is every body replacing lower control arms?
 

·
Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure what you are using, but the L-shaped hex wrenches are too soft of a metal. Buy a hex socket and use a wratchet-no problem. On the front side you may have to hammer it in to force the edge of the socket past the bracket that holds the solenoid (?). They are held on with a little lock tite and I found on the forum that tightening torque is 20Nm.

Why is every body replacing lower control arms?
My reason for replacement: the rubber on inboard head of the driver side lower control arm had failed, and the head was free to move laterally within the bracket. This caused a vibration at highway speeds and an intermittent “crunch” when at lower speeds. The passenger side lower control arm is the same age, so with the changing of the driver side I was also going to change the passenger side.

I also changed the ball joint at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I had exactly the same problem with my car.

You need to buy a long reach impact grade hex key. They are available on ebay and have a 1/2 inch drive.

Most important is to apply some heat with a hot air gun. This is quite tricky as the problem front one has a solenoid in the way.

I heated mine as mush as I dared.

I fitted new set screws as the old ones had worn slightly.

Adam
 

·
Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
Joined
·
52,804 Posts
Use a hot hair dryer on each one for abut five mins each and they come out easy, the heat breaks down the lock-tight bond.
 

·
Registered
1999 S500 W220
Joined
·
156 Posts
As eric mentioned you need to melt the loctite. There are threads on this job which meantion this (not on WIS).
 

·
Registered
1997 E420 & E320
Joined
·
83 Posts
would an air compressor and an impact wrench(iar gun) get the job done? you can always buy them at sears and return them the next day if you do not wish to spend the money. it is about $200 USD or less.

good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Use a hot hair dryer on each one for abut five mins each and they come out easy, the heat breaks down the lock-tight bond.
Thanks Eric. It was reading one of your old posts that saved the day for me.

I thought I would never get the set screw out and was contemplating drilling it out:eek:

Cheers

Adam
 

·
Registered
2000 S430 156k (11/12)
Joined
·
507 Posts
Oceanliner: Hope you were able to get the hex set screw out.
I think you are suppose to replace both spring control arms at the same time, regardless of if other one is good.
Are you planning to get an alignment, is it necessary?
 

·
Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
Joined
·
52,804 Posts
Oceanliner: Hope you were able to get the hex set screw out.
I think you are suppose to replace both spring control arms at the same time, regardless of if other one is good.
Are you planning to get an alignment, is it necessary?
After strut replacement the correct procedure is to do a ride height adjustment using SDS and then four wheel alignment, failure to do so will result in bad tyre wear.
 

·
Premium Member
2002 S500, 1999 C230 Kompressor, 1997 C230
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Oceanliner: Hope you were able to get the hex set screw out.
I think you are suppose to replace both spring control arms at the same time, regardless of if other one is good.
Are you planning to get an alignment, is it necessary?
I think you are correct about changing both control arms, plus I think it would be best to take my time and get the airmatic set screws out at time of my choosing, rather than wait until something breaks.

I have a compressor and an impact wrench, and as of today I went to a REAL tool dealer and purchased an impact grade socket with a 5mm hex.

The plan is for a daily applications of penetrating oil until Sunday, then heat, then impact.......we shall see and I will let you know!
 

·
Registered
2000 S430 156k (11/12)
Joined
·
507 Posts
I think it is really easy to strip the fine threads on the strut, I think it is made of a lot softer material than the set screw itself.
I ran into stripped threads on one of the struts, took my time and was able to set the screw in.
 

·
Registered
2000 S430 156k (11/12)
Joined
·
507 Posts
After strut replacement the correct procedure is to do a ride height adjustment using SDS and then four wheel alignment, failure to do so will result in bad tyre wear.
How much should one expect to pay for the SDS height adjustment? Can Indy do it?
Thanks
 

·
Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
Joined
·
52,804 Posts
How much should one expect to pay for the SDS height adjustment? Can Indy do it?
Thanks
Price I do not know but yes an indy can do it.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top