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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing the Center Link

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$53 to $87

Talent:

**

Tools:

17mm socket wrench, needle nose pliers, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1972-80)

Parts Required:

Center link Pelican Part #107-460-06-05-M69 (Lemforder) or Pelican Part #107-460-06-05-MBZ (Mercedes Benz)

Hot Tip:

Use plenty of penetrating oil

Performance Gain:

Better handing, less vibration, smoother ride, and increased tire life

Complementary Modification:

Replace shock absorbers, realign tires

As you turn your steering wheel, a steering column shaft rotates in the steering column. At the other end of the steering column is the power steering gearbox. This power steering gearbox changes the rotating motion of the steering column shaft into a side-to-side movement of the Pitman Arm. The Pitman Arm is connected to a center link. This center link connects the left side of the tie rod ends to the right side tie rod ends. This maintains the alignment of the left and right side wheels during turning maneuvers. The center link has ball joints on the end of it to flex with steering inputs. Over time the ball sockets can wear out. This allows the inner and outer tie rod ends to move around and allows small deviations in front wheel alignment. This can cause handling problems, steering wheel vibrations and uneven tire wear. In this tech article I will go over the steps to remove the center link.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle, after putting those stylish safety glasses on your face. You don't have to remove the front tires to perform this job but it does make access much easier since you may not have access to an automotive lift. See our tech article on jacking and supporting your vehicle and removing the front tires.

Before you do any work on your car it is important that you wear safety glasses and work gloves. If you have to jack up your car, make sure to use jack stands and chock your wheels as well as applying the parking brake. Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. Always disconnect the battery before working on your car.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle.
Figure 1

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle. Place a jack stand under the lower control arm. You have to remove the tires to perform this job, which makes access much easier since you may not have the use of an automotive lift. See our tech article on jacking and supporting your vehicle and removing the front tires. 

I placed a jack stand under the chassis as well.
Figure 2

I placed a jack stand under the chassis as well. These pictures are of the passenger side of the vehicle. Placing a jack stand under the chassis provides additional safety.

Here is the center link mechanism.
Figure 3

Here is the center link mechanism.

The center link is held on using a crown bolt and cotter pin arrangement.
Figure 4

The center link is held on using a crown bolt and cotter pin arrangement.

Using needle nose pliers, straighten and remove the cotter pin.
Figure 5

Using needle nose pliers, straighten and remove the cotter pin.

In order to remove the center link, the drag link has to be removed.
Figure 7

In order to remove the center link, the drag link has to be removed. The drag link has a crown bolt with a cotter pin attached. There may be a layer of grease or debris covering it. In order to get at the cotter pin you may have to wash off the grease or debris. Using needle nose pliers straighten the cotter pin and pull it through the crown bolt.

Using a 17mm socket, loosen and remove the crown bolt that holds the drag link.
Figure 8

Using a 17mm socket, loosen and remove the crown bolt that holds the drag link. The drag link and bushings are now free to be replaced. The center link is now free to be removed. Replacement is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Sun 2/19/2017 03:06:36 AM