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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Upper Ball Joint Lube

I just traced a squeak in the front suspension of my '97 E 300 D, to the passenger side upper ball joint. There is no slop in the ball joint, nor is there any grease fitting on it. I hate lubed for life stuff. Upper ball joints do not appear to be sold, so I would guess they expect to sell the entire upper control arm. Does anyone know if this is the case?"

I used a grease needle and pumped the boot full of grease. It is now quiet. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just a follow up on my unconventional ball joint lubrication using a grease injection needle. The squeak from the ball joint after the lube job, would go away overnight, but would come back after a day of driving. The pattern repeated every day for about four days with the volume of the squeak dropping each day. At the end of the fifth day there was no more squeak, and it has not returned. I don't know why it took so long for the lube to get up into the ball area except that it is fighting gravity, as the boot on the upper ball joint is below the ball.

Once the ball joint was silent I could hear the one on the drivers side squeaking. I wondered if the air trapped in the boot on my first attempt, might have prevented my filling the boot up, as when I removed the needle some of the grease I had pumped in came back out. I decided to punch a hole high on the boot on this one, to let the air out while I injected the grease on the other side of the boot. I was able to get significantly more in before grease started to come out of the air hole. The same pattern of no squeak in the morning and some squeak after a day of driving, happened on this ball joint as well, but this time the squeak was gone by the third day. I am not sure if the second joint stopped squeaking sooner due to the change in my technique or because it's squeak was not as bad to start with.

So far I am pleased with this fix as it is much easier than replacing the entire upper control arm, since the ball joint is not removable. This would only be a good option, of course, if the ball joint is not obviously worn.
 

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nelbur, nice sharing about your experience, but do you might have some photo about the trouble area since I have unknown squelchy noise at front as my 98 e320 pulls up my drive way ramp, and I'd like look into it as my next to-do list.
thx
 

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Discussion Starter #5
KUO, I don't have pictures, but the upper ball joint is easy to find. If you look across the top of the front tire you will see the upper control arm and the ball joint is at the end of the control arm nearest the tire. If you can make the front end squeak by pressing down on the bumper, you can reach over the tire and place your hand on the end of the control arm. If the squeak is from the ball joint you will clearly feel the vibration. The lower ball joint can also squeak and I don't know if you would feel it in the upper control arm or not, so you might want to do as I did and buy a $2 mechanics stethoscope (on sale) from Harbor Freight, to isolate exactly what is squeaking.
 
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