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Discussion Starter #1
I think I have read all the discussion on removing and replacing the lower ball joint on an E320. It should be easy according to the comments but I have to report a failuire here. I was trying to remove the ball joint from the passenger side ( planned to do the other side later). I have removed both of the nuts from the Lower ball joint but failed to budge the horozontal bolt even slightly. The vertical bolt seems to be moving freely and loose. I have soaked the joint with lubricating oil and have used a medium sized hammer to hit the bolt end on ( damaged the threads) without any success. I then hit the knuckle behind the bolt from the side for over an hour without making any difference. I got several joint pullers, but did not find any that fit well enough to help. I got a joint spreader fork that was about a foot long and tried to position the fork behind the knuckle and hit it upwards but this made no difference either. I think the pitch of this fork is not that good and its too long to be used when the car is just jacked up from the floor as it cannot be hits from teh end very well. I do not need to save the ball joints but I need to get them out and replaced with new ones. Are there other parts ( nuts ) that must be removed before the ball joints can be taken out ? Should I get the Mercedes ball joint puller ? If so where do I get it from please ? Is it available at Autohausaz ? I have not read about needing to remove anything other than the two nuts at the ball joint to complete this repair, but it looks like something else needs to be removed to provide the mechanical clearance ?
 

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Sometimes those tapered fits on ball joints, tie rods, etc. will fall apart on their own and sometimes they feel as though they are welded together. A puller would probably be your best bet and you may find a loaner at Autozone that will work for you. Aside from that I have sometimes had good luck with using a little heat.

Whenever I finally get the old one out I always thoroughly clean the receiving taper and then coat it and the new part with anti seize. My theory is that it will help keep it from corroding and should be easier to get apart later. So far, I have never kept a car long enough that I had to replace the joint again so this is just a theory. Good luck and happy hammering.
 

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I just did this project over the weekend. The lower bolts were a three step process.

1. Undo nut using big wrench or impact gun. I used my trusty impact guy.

2. Soak fittings with Liquid Wrench.

3. Beat on the end of the shaft with a nice heavy hammer until it pops out.

Repeat for other side.

And be sure when reassembling to secure the top first since it it much easier to tighten that nut with the brake shield out of the way. Ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Should I hit the knuckle as I have been trying before ? I went to Winchester Auto this morning and they told me to hit the "structure that the arm from the ball joint goes through ?" I would have thought that hitting the knuckle would provide a better way of shaking it loose ? I have not tried jacking up the ball joint and then hitting it at the knuckle yet.

Has anybody used this type of a tool ? If so what did you think of it ?

ball puller.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am still waiting for the tool, but I tried hitting the ball joint, structure the ball joint goes into and the end of the shaft with threads -- no luck.Can I drill out this piece as a last resort or is the right ball separator ( MBZ type) a pretty good bet ?
 

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I have both that type and the scissors type

I like the MB BMW one the best. you can get it up to a huge amount of force. just oil the threads before you start tightening it to make the bolt easier to turn under stress.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After much hammering and ball splitter wedges, damaging threads etc. my recommendation is to use the ball splitter tool as shown above. Its only about $35 on eBAY. Without it, I wasted about 3 days ( weekend days ! ). Once I got the tool I managed to get the other side done in less than 1 hour. I hope this helps someone. I must admit that being an EE hammering structures with large hammers is not second nature to me and I do not recommend it.

According to the posts, changing engine mounts ( my next project) should be easy, but I am not sure about the definitiuon of "easy" any more.
 

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did the engine mounts a few months back. are you doing it on your 320 or the 430?
the 320 is easier as you can undo the air compressor and move it forward to access the driver side motor mount. One tool I found invaluable was a ratcheting wrench (spanner) there is not a lot of room for a ratchet socket but the ratcheting wrench makes it easy and if you have the swivel head ratchets then its a doddle!
good luck
Barri
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Barri. I am working on the E320. I will buy the swivel head rachet as I do not plan to take a whole weekend. I notice that the Engine mounts are easy to reach from the bottom but the top nut is the problem. Do you know what size I will need for this job ?
 

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Folks,

I didn't pick up where you're sourcing your parts but the Meyle HD is highly recommended over any others on the front steering and suspension components. :thumbsup:

Just my $0.02.

Good luck.

Mike K.
 

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Hi dilsingh
mine on a 2001 e320 was a 16mm. I only had the fixed head ratcheting wrench which made it easier than a normal 16mm wrench but a flex head 16mm ratcheting wrench would have worked a treat. Just not enough room on the drivers side to get a socket on an be able to swing the handle.
good luck with it
cheers
Barri
 
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