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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Ball joints

Are the lower ball joints (the ones that press in) supposed to fail every 60k?

I had them replaced when i bought the car at 60K, and now im at 130K. I thought the new updated ball joints were supposed to last longer? Would a bad front lower control arm (aka 'strut' arm) be the cause for the ball joint wearing prematurely? The lower control arm being the one with the rubber bushing that goes to the front of the chassis and the other end is an inseparable ball joint that goes next to the lower ball joint.

I checked the lower ball joints and they are definitely bad, but im not sure how to check the lower control arm - there isn't any noticeable play in it. I want to add that i do get a repetitive clunking noise going over bumps.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:55 PM   #2
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I am at 80K and getting ready to replace both joints and the lower control arms. On mine only the left side is clunking, but as long as I am having the work done, I am getting them all changed. I am not sure how much longer I am keeping my car (though I love it to bits), so I bought the arms and joints on eBay for around $200.00 and my suspension/tires mechanic is charging me $150 to do the job (plus I get free alignments), so it is definitely worth it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MercFiveHundred View Post
Are the lower ball joints (the ones that press in) supposed to fail every 60k?

I had them replaced when i bought the car at 60K, and now im at 130K. I thought the new updated ball joints were supposed to last longer? Would a bad front lower control arm (aka 'strut' arm) be the cause for the ball joint wearing prematurely? The lower control arm being the one with the rubber bushing that goes to the front of the chassis and the other end is an inseparable ball joint that goes next to the lower ball joint.

I checked the lower ball joints and they are definitely bad, but im not sure how to check the lower control arm - there isn't any noticeable play in it. I want to add that i do get a repetitive clunking noise going over bumps.

Thanks for the help.
Suppose to fail NO. But do they fail YES.

If you don't change the design of the system it will always give the same result.

The ball joints you installed were the same as the ones that failed, therefore every 60,000 or so miles plan to install new ones.

Welcome to Mercedes home of the 6000 dealer visit or repair.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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I am at 80K and getting ready to replace both joints and the lower control arms. On mine only the left side is clunking, but as long as I am having the work done, I am getting them all changed. I am not sure how much longer I am keeping my car (though I love it to bits), so I bought the arms and joints on eBay for around $200.00 and my suspension/tires mechanic is charging me $150 to do the job (plus I get free alignments), so it is definitely worth it.
I bought from ebay too, but i'm returning them and just getting them from the dealer. The brand is HamburgTechnic. I read online that it's crap and it'll crap out in less than 5,000 miles. It says Germany - but really made in China. Some guy on a bmw forum said that it's actaully dangerous to drive on them when the Hamburg parts fail. Not trying to scare you, but it definitely made me just go the other way.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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Suppose to fail NO. But do they fail YES.

If you don't change the design of the system it will always give the same result.

The ball joints you installed were the same as the ones that failed, therefore every 60,000 or so miles plan to install new ones.

Welcome to Mercedes home of the 6000 dealer visit or repair.
The ball joints that were replaced at 60K are actaully an updated one - the original ones were the ones that made a squeaking because of the bad boot or something. That's why i'm asking - what was the update for? To stop the squeaking?

I dunno, i have a Honda Accord with 250,000 miles and the joints do need replacement...but that's at 190,000 miles more than my E500 needed.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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I replaced my 04 E500 also at 60k and paid about $250 with labor.
Hope my 06 E55 will last longer....
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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I replaced my 04 E500 also at 60k and paid about $250 with labor.
Hope my 06 E55 will last longer....
I would like to know if they last longer. I really dont' consider ball joints as a "normal" replacement item. I expect 100,000 miles MINIMUM on ball joints.

My diesel truck with origional joints are now at 156,000 my corvette at 85,000 and my lincoln I sold at 175,000 all had origional joints.

I consider 60,000 miles to be a premature failure due to design in materials or engineering.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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I would like to know if they last longer. I really dont' consider ball joints as a "normal" replacement item. I expect 100,000 miles MINIMUM on ball joints.

My diesel truck with origional joints are now at 156,000 my corvette at 85,000 and my lincoln I sold at 175,000 all had origional joints.

I consider 60,000 miles to be a premature failure due to design in materials or engineering.
I totaly understand you.... the design and the material are just too bad...
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
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The ball joints that were replaced at 60K are actaully an updated one - the original ones were the ones that made a squeaking because of the bad boot or something. That's why i'm asking - what was the update for? To stop the squeaking?

I dunno, i have a Honda Accord with 250,000 miles and the joints do need replacement...but that's at 190,000 miles more than my E500 needed.
If they were updated they would have a different part number than origional. That way inventory would not be mixed. So I would agree with you and ask "what was the update"? I hope so,, mine were replaced around 80,000 or so. Don't remember w/o looking in my records exact mileage. I would hope they were updated but my guess is they are identical.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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Well, I changed the lower ball joints and definately much better, but i think i need an alignment. I'll get one next week and report back. Been having a clunking noise and the joints did help quiet it down a small bit. I dunno. I love this car. I hate this car.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #11
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I totaly understand you.... the design and the material are just too bad...
So that means the joints is a 60k miles maintenance schedule tune-up. Are all MBs design like that or just the W211? I wonder if the new generations of MB are the same or changed?
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:25 AM   #12
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So that means the joints is a 60k miles maintenance schedule tune-up. Are all MBs design like that or just the W211? I wonder if the new generations of MB are the same or changed?
Excellent question.

Answer,, just check part numbers from w211 to w212 and if they are the same number you will most likely have the same results.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #13
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FWIW part # was replaced 3 times current 211 # is 2113300435, 212 is not the same.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:39 PM   #14
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FWIW part # was replaced 3 times current 211 # is 2113300435, 212 is not the same.
That's great news, hopefully the joints will hold up better.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:27 AM   #15
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what about thrust links. i heard that is a common problem on the suspention too
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:20 PM   #16
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My thrust arm links seemed fine. Haven't got an alignment yet, but will try this week.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:27 PM   #17
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Suspension

E class has soft suspension compare to Honda or BMW or VW or some other vehicles. What I say is that the springs are not stiff (for comfortable ride) and shocks give up early (mine where going down at 47K). If your shocks are not good, then there is nothing to support your suspension and bumps will affect all other components. Last summer mine ball joints start knocking when car goes over small bumps like intersections uneven pavement at low speed, and shocks where having like dead spot - press down on the fender and release and they go up to some point and after little bit they will extend all the way. Took the car to MB service and they begun replacing parts, because ball joints are not very loose. Car gets new shocks and strut mounts (still clicks), new upper control arms w/ball joints (no good), on third service visit got new lower control arm on right side w/ball joint and stops clicking. Forth visit was for replacing left ball joint, but they did not change the control arm. Two weeks ago, I got both torsion struts replaced because the ball joint boots had small cracks (also under warranty), so for now mine front end is almost new (except driver side control arm bushing) and should be good for 3 or 4 years, after this I will put Bilstein shocks and maybe stiffer springs for better driving experience.
Therefore, people look at the suspension like whole unit, your shocks maybe are failing but replacing only them will probably lead to premature failure from the new ones. There are not many ways to design a ball join, however, there are materials used for ball surrounding which will last longer compare to other, but they also will fail under constant pressure
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:46 PM   #18
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Isstay,
I have Airmatic suspension, so i don't think it's my shocks. I have the exact clunking you described. I'm not spending the money to change all the suspension parts. I'm just going to look at the sway bar links and bushings. I got an alignment and it didnt fix the clunking.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:49 AM   #19
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Airmatic can also be worn out. I have seen cars lifted on regular lift, using the jack points and tires drop down and stay down when the car is lowered to the ground. It looks like SUV whit small tires. Look at tire rod ends they also have small ball joints at the tire end and they may be producing some clicking sound. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:50 AM   #20
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Try to test the ball joints this way, it worked for me: go to flat parking lot, put the car in Park and turn the steering wheel to the left or right, keep the engine running. Go outside and step on the tire and roll it backwards, or push it if you want. My where making a slight popping sound coming from ball joint, like they are coming out of the socket. When you let the tire to roll back and do it, again it will keep doing it (pops).I wish that I could help you.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:50 AM
 
 
 
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2003, arm, bad, ball, boot, bushing, car, e320, e55, joint, joints, long, repair, suppose, thrust, w211



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