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Re: how do i replace a offside front lower suspension arm...
You need to get or rent a ball joint splitter, maybe $20? or so to buy. Some parts stores (autozone does this, one reason i recommend them, but other stores may also) will rent you some tools for "free" when you buy parts there .. they take a big deposit in case you bolt ... but give it all back for return of the tool in good condition.
It's easy ... if you know how to work on suspension .. if not, get a Haynes manual for your car from part store, amazon or haynes.com for around $20, the blood and busted knuckles you save due to reading it will be worth the money ;~).
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According to Autozone.com, you must replace the whole control arm. Here is their procedure: NOTE
do not begin the removal procedure unless a new strut-to-lower arm nut, a new ball joint pinch bolt/nut and a new lower arm-to-front subframe bolt/nut are available.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Do not use a hammer to separate the ball joint from the front wheel hub and spindle.
WheelsLower arm strut nut and dished washer. Discard them.
Place the steering wheel in the unlocked position.
Do not allow the halfshaft to move outward. Over-extension of the halfshaft joint could result in separation of internal parts, causing failure of the halfshaft joint.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Use extreme care to not damage the ball joint boot seal.
Lower arm ball joint nut and pinch bolt. Discard them.Lower arm from the front wheel knuckle
Remove and discard the lower arm-to-front subframe bolt and nutRemove the lower arm from the vehicleTo install:
Install or connect the following:
Lower arm strut into the lower arm rear strut bushingLower arm into the front sub-frame bracketNew lower arm-to-front subframe nut and bolt. While holding the lower arm horizontal, tighten to 85-97 ft. lbs. (115-132 Nm).Ball joint stud-to-wheel hub and spindle, making sure that the ball stud groove is properly positioned.New lower arm ball joint pinch bolt and nut. Tighten to 46-52 ft. lbs. 62-71 Nm).
Clean the lower arm strut threads to remove dirt and contamination.
Install the dished washer with the dished side away from the lower arm rear strut bushing.
Install the front suspension lower arm strut-to-strut nut and tighten to 85-97 ft. lbs. (115-142 Nm).
Remove the wheel and tire assembly. For additional information, refer to Section 204-04 .
Remove the suspension lower arm ball joint cotter pin.
Remove the suspension lower arm ball joint nut and separate it from the wheel knuckle.
May have to leave nut partially on and hit the nut hard with a hammer to knock the tapered stud down and out. May have to hit side of knuckle to help get it to drop. or rent a pickle fork to drive between the bal joint and knuckle.
Remove the suspension lower arm ball joint to suspension lower arm nuts and remove the ball joint.
Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Wheel and tire assembly
Brake disc shield
Use a jack to support the front suspension lower arm.
Mark the position of the front suspension upper arm adjustment cams.
Remove the upper ball joint retaining nut and pinch bolt.
Separate the ball joint from the front wheel spindle
Remove the front suspension upper control arm.
Installation is the reverse of removal. Align the marks made during removal on the front suspension upper arm adjustment cam. The forward front suspension upper arm nut must be tightened first while the arm is held at the curb position ride height.
To replace the lower control are you need to unbolt it from the subframe, airmatic strut, sway bar link and from the lower ball joint. The lower ball joint is separate from the lower control arm. The ball joint actually gets pressed into the steering knuckle. Then the lower control arm sits on top of the ball joint and gets bolted down. The lower control arms list price are about $330 each and the ball joints are around $78 each for oem mercedes parts. The total labor for both to be replaced is somewhere between 6-8 flag hours. The thrust arms are also part of the front suspension and those arms are one piece that have a ball joint as part of the arm. The lower control arm usually doesn't need to be replaced unless its damaged since the control arm bushings are available separately and are around $73 each side for the kit.
you can either buy bottom suspension arms with the ball koint atached or just replace the ball joints.
If the suspension arms are shot, then you should be able to feel this when driving over cats eyes in the road. when the wheels contact the cats eyes they wonder, the steering wil feel like its going both ways, not tight, kinda lose?
Ball joints dont squeek they knock! most times its just as cheap to get ball joints and suspension arms/control arms as one. some things dont translate that good from UK to Us the parts have different names here, but thats the same part I mean. When you remove ball joints and in most cases you have to when replacing the arms, they get damaged and rarely last long after being put back in place, you may aswell pay now for one lot of labour than pay twice.
Inspect lower ball joint boots and seals for damage and replace if required. Lower ball joint and seal is part of front suspension lower arm and must be replaced as an assembly.
NOTE: Do not tighten the front suspension lower arm bolts and nuts to the specified torque until the end of assembly. Install nuts and tighten until snug.
Position the front suspension lower arm in the front crossmember. Install the bolts. Install the nuts and tighten until snug.
Install torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar in this section.
Raise the front suspension lower arm to allow installation of front suspension lower arm ball joint into spindle bore.
Lower front suspension lower arm with a jack while making sure lower ball joint is seated in spindle bore. Install the lower ball joint attaching nut and tighten to 113-153 Nm (82-113 lb-ft). Install a new cotter pin.
Raise vehicle. Position the front shock absorber and install the nut/washer/bushing assembly. Tighten nut to 40-55 Nm (30-40 lb-ft).
Install the two nuts attaching the front shock absorber to the lower control arm and tighten to 21-29 Nm (15-21 lb-ft).
NOTE: Front suspension lower arms must be in the horizontal or curb position (vehicle on the ground) when tightening the front stabilizer bar link bolts. Use jackstands to raise the front suspension lower arms to the horizontal position or lower the vehicle to the ground (curb position).
Lower the vehicle to the ground.
Connect the stabilizer bar link bolt to the front suspension lower arm and tighten to 13-17 Nm (10-13 lb-ft).
Tighten nuts and front suspension lower arm bolts to the No. 1 crossmember to 150-200 Nm (111-148 lb-ft).
Check ride height and align as necessary. Refer to Section 04-00 .