Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Indy tells me I need a new driver's side upper ball joint/control arm assembly (he's offering it at ~$500 a piece...me thinks I can do better). Mine as well do both, so I wanted to bounce my findings off of the community here (as I was/am having terrible difficulty in finding a DIY for a W208):

1) Autohaus AZ has the parts for $117 each. Seems a bit much provided a search produces a handful of cheaper options, but I'm not all that familiar with some of the brands for this part (though Lemfoerder seems to be the top OEM...and I'm assuming P/N 2103308707 is correct).

2) The only written DIY I could find was here, and rather poor at that. However I did come across two excellent videos, albeit for a 1997 W202
and
(passenger side and driver side, respectively). Layout looks similar to the W208, the part is listed for the W208 and W202 models...anyone have any experience to confirm this process being near identical as shown?

I'm sure the guy in the video has done this a few times and as such is able to knock each side out in <15 minutes each. But I'm fairly handy and even if it takes me an hour per side, I'm thinking <$250 and 2 hours of my time, is a lot better than $1k to the indy (let alone 1/2 hour each way to get/drop off the car). Just looking for some support here with anyone familiar with the process or knowledge enough to compare the video DIY to the W208! Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
2000 SL320, 2001 CLK320
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
DIY will always pay off - parts try FCPEuro, Autohauzsa and Pelican and yes Lemforder is good
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Don't buy the cheaper upper control arms. I bought some for my old CLK and they were garbage. I bought Lemforder for my 2000 CLK and they were worth every penny. In my opinion (while you are there) would also replace the lower ball joints. It really wasn't difficult to do either. You will on the driver side have to take out the windshield washer fluid tank to get to the other side of the bolt. On the passenger side the nut closest to the fire wall is a pain to get to. On the passenger side you will just have to loosen the Radiator expansion tank and move it out of your way.
Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the insight, brucesclk - as well as the confirmation on Lemforder rorypff. Just after posting I went ahead and purchased the Lemforders from AutohausAZ hoping that the differences in video/W208 aren't too great. Lower ball joints were replaced ~2.5 years ago (<15k miles) so I should be good on those...hopefully the UCA/ball joint assembly work goes well (I do like working on my MB, but I'm always amazed when the job goes quickly/smoothly!)! Parts to arrive later on today...hopefully up and good by the weekend.
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Will do! I'm still waiting on the car back from the aforementioned Indy shop (for some rear suspension work that I know isn't able to be done on my own), but I'm hoping (*praying*) the UCA/ball joint replacement is as simple/straightforward as described in the videos. If there are any significant/notable discrepancies, I'll follow up.
 

·
Registered
'99 CLK 430, '05 E500 4Matic
Joined
·
502 Posts
What type of issues where you have...just to be curious...wheel shaking at high speeds, steering wheel problems?? front end feels loose??
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
NITO, I was having some steering wheel vibration at highway speeds. Though I do have 19" wheels and low profile tires which I think often are the greater contributor over any mechanical problems, but nevertheless, the front wheels were slightly bent (now fixed) and the upper ball joint/control arms replaced, so it's considerably better/gone.
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
jimlam56 - the upper ball joint/control arm swap out is largely similar on the W208 as it is on the W202 as shown in the video. However, there are a few notable differences (I didn't take pictures as it's very clear when doing it and doesn't assist/help in preparing for the job really).

Passenger side:
The airbox cannot be removed so easily. There is a (copper colored?) mount which holds the box in place (2 bolts right in front of you, and a "U" bracket which attaches to the air box) - removing this (2 10mm bolts) helps give a bit more room to get a hand down the side nearest the firewall to hold a wrench in place when removing/replacing the nut on the pass through bolt. Other than that, the greatest surprise was that there is a screw on "safety link" (?) which attaches between the control arm and some part of the wheel arch/suspension. I really didn't see any purpose to this, but nevertheless removed/reattached as was found....it keeps you from sliding out the UCA immediately after removing the pass through bolt. It's held on by a single 10mm nut. Not a big deal, just an awkward position to get in there - and I can't imagine being able to access this with the wheel on as is shown in the video.

Driver's side:
Strangely, a bit easier than the passenger side. The washer fluid tank wasn't able to be removed, but I was able to undo a zip tie at one of the hoses and give enough room to lift it up and prop out of the way (an 8" ratchet arm extension made this possible - without this it probably would have been fine too - just maybe just a few more minutes of dorking around to get the position right with the tank in your way). Access to the nut-side of the pass through bolt is fairly easy and a straight down shot when looking at the engine from above.

Notes:
Both sides together took about 1 1/2 hours total. I should note, my UCA/ball joints were stuck on very well at the wheel connection (I bought the car used a few years ago and anything that seems to have been weather-related exposed, corroded, etc, seems to rear its head on my car - hopefully and seemingly not typical unless you're 150k miles+). I did need to pick up a Ball Joint Extractor tool from my auto parts store (I saw it online at Autozone for ~$10, and went to my local O'Riley's for proximity's sake. They have one for rent for ~$13, refunded upon return). It's the fork-meets-prybar looking tool. I will say, the angle with which you're able to get it in there is a bit difficult as the "collar" to the UCA forces the handle/strike end of the tool to the edge of the wheel well - be careful when hitting it as not to miss by an inch and nail your fender instead!

So in all fairness, about 30 minutes of the 1 1/2 hour job was fooling with the ball joint extractor as mine were pretty well ceased up, and another 15 minutes or so were spent just figuring out how to get at the bolts and get the attaching bolt off the passenger side UCA (again, fairly ceased up). The remaining 30-45 minutes were the actual job total, and being extremely cautious/inefficient (I'm in a tight condo building parking spot in a dark basement structure in a Chicago winter). I absolutely think this is an easy to moderate, straightforward job - you've got less than 10 bolts total including those to just help maneuver your hands in place. The parts are ~$120 each, and my indie came in at ~$475 each. So for 1 1/2 hours of my time and ~$240, I did what the shop was charging ~$1k for. That's a $500/hour charge out rate I'm billing at provided my savings!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top