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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

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Old 09-10-2010, 11:30 AM   #26
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STELLAR write up SZMB! I will be taking on this job with confidence now, thanks to you.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:49 AM   #27
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Hi been reading about the lower ball joints .i got a 03 e320 thinking of do it myself, but a little nervous .thank u for the info. i will reading little more then we will see how it turn out
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:48 PM   #28
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sick DIY thanks man.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:29 PM   #29
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how do u know that the lower joint ball need to be replace??
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:45 PM   #30
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Great write up. Just did the job on my friends 2003 E500 and will share our experience. There were two of us ...big help . it took three hours to complete ( one side) and is not a difficult job. Neither of us had exxperience with pressing ball joints in/out..easy! We bought the tools on ebay as suggested by some. Approx $130 made job easy but don't have any other experience. Bought the ball joint seperator locally for $20, it was amazingly efficient, made by KD tools. Purched the press from ebay $100. I have an air compressor and impact wrenchs ..big help. We jacked up the car and took all safety precaution. Removed the tire ...THATS ALL!! Then proceeded to separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle and what I'm going to call the lower control arm. I used the impact wrench to separate the ball joint and it took less than 30 secounds..honest! Be prepared for a very loud noise when this happens..sounds like a gun going off, I 'm glad we where forewarned. Next we muscled the steering knuckle away from the lower control arm. At time we had to turn the steering wheel to make it work. Once the control arm was moved off of the ball joint there was enough room to put the removal tool on the steering knuckle in place for ball joint removal. No instuctions came with the tools so the pictures in this post were invaluable. After 10 minutes we had it figured and with the impact wrench we had the ball joint pressed out of the steering knucle in 30 secounds...Really. With the impact tools you don't need any additional bars to hold the knucle in place it was so easy we couldn't believe it. Alright , now to press the new ball joint in...this must be the difficult part! We place the new (heavy duty) Myele ball joint from AutohauzAZ ($45) in place, attached the appropriate attatchments to the tool and with my impact wrench had the new ball joint in place in the steering kuckle in 30 secounds or less ..Really! Ok ..this was all too good to be true. We didn't remove speed sensors,upper control arms ,dust shields, calipers ...nothin! So now we ran into difficulty getting the lower control arm back onto the ball joint and steering knuckle. We resolve this by using a small hydraulic jack to lift the lower control arm up and muscled the steering knucle in place then lowered the jack bringing down the control arm on the new ball joint and steering knuckle. You may have to turn the wheel a bit to make thios work. Torqued the bolt lowere the car and test drive...NO MORE SQUEAKING !! Two days later not a noise. Good idea to have a couple of hydraulic jacks or bottle jacks available.Hope this encourages you take this job on! We are going to do the other side and I anticipate 1.5 hours. Most of the time is spent in set up and clean up .
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:11 PM   #31
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how did you get the auto zone tool to work?

I borrowed the tool from autozone but none of the assortments fit for removing the ball joint, how did you do it?
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:23 PM   #32
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There should be three rings in the set. You will only use the small one (to press in) and the middle one (to press out). There should also be two small disks with different groves in them.

To remove the ball joint, fit the middle sized ring over the joint - it should not touch the joint lip. Put one of the disks (the one the fits obviously) on top of that ring. Then place the not moving side of the press onto the top and the moving/pressing part under the ball joint. Takes some strength to do this.

To press in the joint, use the small ring on top of the ball joint. It should fit perfectly on the lip of the joint. Then a disk on the bottom and one disk on the top. It should be obvious which disk goes where. Then begin to press with the same method of which side of the press goes where depending on which disk is on the top and bottom - but make sure it's secure and will not move out of place or else you can damage the ball joint. Again, sufficient force is required.

Last edited by MercFiveHundred; 07-05-2011 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:02 AM   #33
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Great DIY. I love it when people take the time to take pics and/or vids when they're working. Thank you.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:13 AM   #34
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the tool that i got from autozone, the middle ring was too big, it fit way over the whole thing! it was the only set they had, same at two different stores....
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #35
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Are you using the code OEM 27023? That's the press set to use. To remove, the middle size ring is supposed to go over the ball joint, not on top, not touching the ball joint.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:07 PM   #36
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Great write up, went to dealership today, and was told need to replace both front lower ball joints and 2-nuts, both front caster rods, bushing for rods and 4 nuts.
out of scale of 10, what did u think this DIY skill requires? I've never ball joint before.

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #37
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Great write up! Mods, could we please sticky this DIY?
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #38
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1 to 10? Maybe an 8

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Originally Posted by chen888min View Post
Great write up, went to dealership today, and was told need to replace both front lower ball joints and 2-nuts, both front caster rods, bushing for rods and 4 nuts.
out of scale of 10, what did u think this DIY skill requires? I've never ball joint before.

Thanks
If you haven't done this sort of thing before it can be pretty daunting. If all you have done is oil changes and tire rotations, it'll make you wonder what you were thinking when the front end of your car is in pieces on the floor. Plan for at least one thing going wrong or taking longer than you had planned. It helps if you have another car available if you have to quit or go get something else.

That said, having a great DIY write-up like this can get you through it. I tried disconnecting the upper joint and found there was too much play to press the lower joint out. It just flopped all over the place. Instead I disconnected the tie rod end and removed the lower control arm. That gives you enough clearance to get the ball joint out of the knuckle and worked better for me. You'll need an external torx socket or a 9/16 12-point socket to remove the upper bolt on the control arm.

I had no luck with the rented press from Advanced Auto (twice) and bought the press specific to the W211 from ebay. (Mechanicstopia?) It cost about $150 with shipping, but after trying like crazy with the rented one it was worth it. Only 80,000 miles to go on the new ball joints and I can use it again.

It is a pretty involved job with the right tools and darn near impossible without them. (*High quality* ball joint separator, torque wrench, 1/2in breaker bar or impact wrench, etc.) Spend some of the money you are saving on tools and you won't be sorry.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:30 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by royflip View Post
If you haven't done this sort of thing before it can be pretty daunting. If all you have done is oil changes and tire rotations, it'll make you wonder what you were thinking when the front end of your car is in pieces on the floor. Plan for at least one thing going wrong or taking longer than you had planned. It helps if you have another car available if you have to quit or go get something else.

That said, having a great DIY write-up like this can get you through it. I tried disconnecting the upper joint and found there was too much play to press the lower joint out. It just flopped all over the place. Instead I disconnected the tie rod end and removed the lower control arm. That gives you enough clearance to get the ball joint out of the knuckle and worked better for me. You'll need an external torx socket or a 9/16 12-point socket to remove the upper bolt on the control arm.

I had no luck with the rented press from Advanced Auto (twice) and bought the press specific to the W211 from ebay. (Mechanicstopia?) It cost about $150 with shipping, but after trying like crazy with the rented one it was worth it. Only 80,000 miles to go on the new ball joints and I can use it again.

It is a pretty involved job with the right tools and darn near impossible without them. (*High quality* ball joint separator, torque wrench, 1/2in breaker bar or impact wrench, etc.) Spend some of the money you are saving on tools and you won't be sorry.
Thanks for your input

I was debating whether I should get this lower control arm with lower ball joint and bushing included or get them separately from www.autohausaz.com ? Please advice.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Merce...Q5fAccessories

Thanks again!!

Last edited by chen888min; 07-13-2011 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:07 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chen888min View Post
Thanks for your input

I was debating whether I should get this lower control arm with lower ball joint and bushing included or get them separately from www.autohausaz.com ? Please advice.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Merce...Q5fAccessories

Thanks again!!
I would figure if there's nothing wrong with the control arm, why replace the entire thing? Also that doesn't look like an OEM part, it just says "OEM fit" whatever that means.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #41
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Two ways to look at it

As long as you have it apart already and if there are a lot of miles on it, you might consider replacing it just to save yourself a lot of work and worry. Although, as mentioned above, if it is OK, why bother? If you can detect wear/looseness, replace it.
When I am the one doing the work, I prefer replacing one part at a time with something like this and see if that takes care of the problem. My problem was a worn, squealing ball joint and resultant feathered tire wear. I replaced the ball joints and that seems to be the answer. As far as replacing parts that are not obviously a problem, I have a bias toward original parts that were installed at the factory over parts that I bought somewhere and installed in my garage.
Something else to consider if you have taken it in to a shop: A professional, having seen it many times before, might know that one part wears out at the same time as another and suggest doing them both as long as you have it in the shop.
I will admit to being an amateur mechanic, so I don't presume to have the last word here but absent any obvious problems, leave it alone.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #42
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As long as you have it apart already and if there are a lot of miles on it, you might consider replacing it just to save yourself a lot of work and worry. Although, as mentioned above, if it is OK, why bother? If you can detect wear/looseness, replace it.
When I am the one doing the work, I prefer replacing one part at a time with something like this and see if that takes care of the problem. My problem was a worn, squealing ball joint and resultant feathered tire wear. I replaced the ball joints and that seems to be the answer. As far as replacing parts that are not obviously a problem, I have a bias toward original parts that were installed at the factory over parts that I bought somewhere and installed in my garage.
Something else to consider if you have taken it in to a shop: A professional, having seen it many times before, might know that one part wears out at the same time as another and suggest doing them both as long as you have it in the shop.
I will admit to being an amateur mechanic, so I don't presume to have the last word here but absent any obvious problems, leave it alone.


Thanks again for you kindly input.

I have nearly 67k miles on it, so it's about the time to change the lower control arm as dealer mechanic suggested. Now, where is the best place to all the parts I needed? I'm planning installing with my buddy, he has all the tools except ball joint separator that I can get one off ebay easily and rent the ball joint remover from autozone for free.

The one ebay is selling is not OEM, I would not consider it anymore.
I have the part list attached, I couldn't find all the parts I needed on autohausaz. or maybe I wasn't sure which one is the right one. Can you advise?

Thanks again.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Replacing lower ball joint in W211-p2.jpg   DIY: Replacing lower ball joint in W211-p1.jpg  

Last edited by chen888min; 07-13-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:20 PM   #43
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I'm pretty sure that Ebay piece is made from one of the OEM manufacturer's its the same item, ball-joint may be different.

I too have the squealing ball joints, is there any easy way to figure out which one is the culprit? Instead of guessing on any of the 3 per side?
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:53 AM   #44
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Wow... I truly admire this DIY... i shelled out some money to get mine changed because I was told the only way to get the joints out or in was with a machine press... didn't know you could just rent one from autozone... I changed my lower arm with the ball joint attached but that's as far as I could go.

Please sticky this, I probably won't have to change mine for another few ten thousand miles that is hoping California local roads don't get any worse.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:30 PM   #45
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The usual suspect....

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Originally Posted by Dexion View Post
I'm pretty sure that Ebay piece is made from one of the OEM manufacturer's its the same item, ball-joint may be different.

I too have the squealing ball joints, is there any easy way to figure out which one is the culprit? Instead of guessing on any of the 3 per side?
In a lot of different discussion threads, the lower ball joint seems to be the one that fails. It has all the stress. In fact, the STAR Service Manual refers to it as a "supporting joint."
I had a squeaker so I got a grease gun needle (It is just like a large hypodermic that fits in the end of the grease gun) and pumped grease into the boot. That stopped the squeak. It didn't "fix" it; the ball joint was still worn, but it identified the offending part and bought me some time. That said, poking holes in suspension boots may not be the best thing to be doing.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #46
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Parts and ball joint separator

Quote:
Originally Posted by chen888min View Post


Thanks again for you kindly input.

I have nearly 67k miles on it, so it's about the time to change the lower control arm as dealer mechanic suggested. Now, where is the best place to all the parts I needed? I'm planning installing with my buddy, he has all the tools except ball joint separator that I can get one off ebay easily and rent the ball joint remover from autozone for free.

The one ebay is selling is not OEM, I would not consider it anymore.
I have the part list attached, I couldn't find all the parts I needed on autohausaz. or maybe I wasn't sure which one is the right one. Can you advise?

Thanks again.
The control arm is #140, along with all the sleeves, fasteners and bushings that go with it. I know this may be blasphemy, but I get as many parts as I can from the Advance Auto near my work. Over time, they get to know you and it can help when you are in a pickle. I would guess any sponsors of this site are good sources too.
I got my ball joint separator from Sears, $24 including shipping. It is from K-D tools and I seem to remember them as a specialty tool maker from my gas station days in the late 60's. Works great, heavy duty.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royflip View Post
The control arm is #140, along with all the sleeves, fasteners and bushings that go with it. I know this may be blasphemy, but I get as many parts as I can from the Advance Auto near my work. Over time, they get to know you and it can help when you are in a pickle. I would guess any sponsors of this site are good sources too.
I got my ball joint separator from Sears, $24 including shipping. It is from K-D tools and I seem to remember them as a specialty tool maker from my gas station days in the late 60's. Works great, heavy duty.
I am sorry, I don't know which one is #140. So below are the parts I needed as dealer suggested

nuts for ball joints 000000003281 X2
lower ball joints 2113300435 X2
lower control arm left 21133304311
lower control arm right 2113304411
bushing 211 3332914 X2
nuts for lower control arm? 2113330697 X4

I'm looking at autohausaz.com

Last edited by chen888min; 07-14-2011 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:15 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royflip View Post
In a lot of different discussion threads, the lower ball joint seems to be the one that fails. It has all the stress. In fact, the STAR Service Manual refers to it as a "supporting joint."
I had a squeaker so I got a grease gun needle (It is just like a large hypodermic that fits in the end of the grease gun) and pumped grease into the boot. That stopped the squeak. It didn't "fix" it; the ball joint was still worn, but it identified the offending part and bought me some time. That said, poking holes in suspension boots may not be the best thing to be doing.
Ok, would this be the particular ball joint that is the only one facing upside down? aka connected to the Lower Control Arm, otherwise known as the Thrust Arm? It probably is that one since I need to replace the bushing on that arm.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:53 AM   #49
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Whats very strange is that everytime it rains, the joints will shutup for a quick 2 or 3 days but then the noise comes back.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #50
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Go back to the original post

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Originally Posted by Dexion View Post
Ok, would this be the particular ball joint that is the only one facing upside down? aka connected to the Lower Control Arm, otherwise known as the Thrust Arm? It probably is that one since I need to replace the bushing on that arm.
SZMB has great pictures and labels. Ball joint threaded stem points up; control arm threaded stem points down.
If you look at other sites and discussions, the lower ball joint is by far the most common culprit in the "I have a squeak when I go over bumps." problem.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:18 PM
 
 
 
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2004, arm, autohausaz, ball, benz, check, control, diy, drive, e500, joints, lower, mercedes, picture, rear, replacement, wheel



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