Today I took a break from my own cars to help a friend rebuild the front end of his 1993 300D 2.5 turbo. Its a very nice car with only 140k miles, and less than half that on a Mercedes Benz crate motor. Since he plans on keeping the car and continuing to make his daily commute it in, we decided it makes sense to replace all the front suspension components at once. The shocks were known to be weak, and the inner control arm bushings looked like this:
So, he ordered up:
- Front struts (Bilstein comfort from http://www.buyeuroparts.com/)
- Control arms (A 124 330 30 07 & A 124 330 31 07)
- Upper shock mounts (A 124 320 14 44)
- Sway bar bushings (A 124 323 49 85 & A 124 323 56 85)
- Wheel bearing kits (A 201 330 02 51)
- Tie rods (A 124 330 08 03 & A 124 330 09 03)
- Center link (A 124 460 12 05)
- Steering shock (A 124 463 04 32)
- Idler arm bushing kit (A 124 460 01 19)
- New hardware
This is pretty much everything in the front end that can be replaced. While it is possible to replace the bushings and ball joints in the original control arms, its loads easier to just buy new arms with these parts installed. Everything except the shocks came from the dealer. The dealer is the only place you should be buying suspension components, aftermarket “OEM” stuff simply doesn’t last.
Having some special tools make this job fairly easy and straight forward. This includes the original Mercedes Benz Klann spring compressor, and a joint popper.
I’ve tried the knock-off versions of the Klann compressor and have been very disappointed. Its larger than the original tool, difficult to fit on the spring, and is generally poor quality. Removing a spring with this Klann tool is simple and safe.
Everything came a part pretty easily except for one tie rod. A sawsall was used to cut off the joint so I could grab it with some large locking pliers and remove the nut.
The final result was very satisfying. The car still needs an alignment, we simply marked everything on disassembly and installed everything the same way. But the car drives very differently. With an alignment and new tires, it will be like new!