I recently had a mechanic give me the dire warning that my lower ball joints
in front were worn out, and that I should replace them at a cost of
approximately 350 dollars. the consequences he said were that the wheel
could fold itself under the car, causing catastrophic damage if I were
travelling at high speed. I got this same prediction from another mechanic,
but both shops were chain shops (midas and brake stop, respectively) that
were trying to sell me expensive brake jobs (which I eventually did myself.
howto with photos to be posted soon). how concerned should I be about this
problem, considering I'm looking to be out of the car within 6 months?
After I get a new car (probably an ES300) I'm going to hold on to my
mercedes and probably use it as a project car. Also, is this a repair I can
YES! I changed the lower ball joints on my 190E myself.
Material cost at MB here was about 15 $ per side.
Easy to do, when you have some mechanical experience.
taking of rotors, breaks, calipers, front bearings...and so on...making room
for accessing the joint
But, you will need good tools and some kind of press...or strong
vice...cause these joints have to be pressed in and out respectively
One of my joints did not come off...and I had to heat up the housing with a
blow torch...in order to have enough play to press the joint out of its
new ones went in fairly well.
be sure NOT to apply pressure directly onto the joint, but rather to its
housing, when installing
good luck...350 dollars for about 30 dollars parts is a lot of money.
not much you can do wrong here, except, when mounting the joints...be aware
of this little notch on the bottom...this indicates how the roint has to be
lined up with the lower arm...otherwise, if inserted wrong, the joint will
not be able to move freetly with movement of front suspension! just insert
new joint lined-up, like old one was
notch in direct lined-up with lower arm
if you dont feel this beeing a DIY for you, I would take everything apart by
myself, and take everything to a mechanic to just have them do the joints.
this saves money for work you can do yourselfs, like breaks and bearing
on mine, it was only the left side, that went bad...similar to wearing of
oh, I had wheel symmertry checked afterwards
Very straightforward. I just rebuilt the front end on one of our W124s. I
went a different route and removed the lower arms. Then took 'em to the
local machine shop to have old joints pressed out and new joints pressed in.
At the same time you can have the rubber pivot bushings replaced if they
need it too. You'll need a spring compressor.
Get it aligned when you are done.
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