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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Wishbone Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$230

Talent:

**

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, 22mm, 19mm, 17mm socket and wrenches, Mercedes-Benz Spring Compressor BM-924-0231

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

New wishbones

Hot Tip:

Loosen your wheels before lifting the car

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

New struts

There are several components on the front wishbone that will wear out over time. These include the ball joint and the two bushings that attach the wishbone to the chassis. While there is a chance that one will go before the others, we have found that if you need to replace one of the front wishbone components it is easier to just replace the entire wishbone itself. The new wishbone comes with both new bushings and ball joints. This may seem like overkill. If you just want to replace the one part, by the time you remove the wishbone and either purchase the special tools needed or send it out to have the work done, it is easier and cheaper in the long run to just replace the whole unit.

You are going to have to remove the spring to remove the wishbone. Removing the springs requires the use of a special Mercedes-Benz tool, a heavy-duty internal spring compressor. I highly recommend that you use the spring compressor tool as the springs are under a tremendous amount of pressure and can cause serious damage to both you and the car if not compressed correctly. I have yet to be able to find a spring compressor tool at a local parts store that can properly and safely compress the springs on a Mercedes-Benz to my satisfaction.

The first step is to raise the vehicle and secure it properly on jack stands. Please refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Jacking up Your W124 for more information.

With the car safely supported off the ground, place a floor jack under the control arm.
Figure 1

With the car safely supported off the ground, place a floor jack under the control arm.

Undo the two nuts holding the sway/torsion bar to the front of the wishbone and remove the bracket.
Figure 2

Undo the two nuts holding the sway/torsion bar to the front of the wishbone and remove the bracket.

This is aPicture of the special Mercedes-Benz Spring compressor tool.
Figure 3

This is aPicture of the special Mercedes-Benz Spring compressor tool. Use extreme care when compressing and removing the springs.

Place the Mercedes-Benz spring compressor plate as high up as possible into the springs (red arrow).
Figure 4

Place the Mercedes-Benz spring compressor plate as high up as possible into the springs (red arrow). Place the lower plate as far down on the spring as possible (red arrow). There should be a minimum of 7 ' coils between the plates. Feed the compressor strut through the access hole on the bottom of the control arm; rotate it to lock into the upper plate.

Once secured, use a'mm socket and turn the tool (red arrow).
Figure 5

Once secured, use a'mm socket and turn the tool (red arrow). It will compress the springs as it turns. With the springs safely compressed, slightly lower the front control arm on the jack and remove the front spring along with the rubber mount in a forward direction.

There are two eccentric bolts and nuts (red arrows) that you need to remove connecting the wishbone to the chassis.
Figure 6

There are two eccentric bolts and nuts (red arrows) that you need to remove connecting the wishbone to the chassis. Scribe the eccentric first so you can get the alignment close when reinstalling

With the eccentrics scribed or marked (green arrow) use two 22mm sockets to loosen and remove the hardware.
Figure 7

With the eccentrics scribed or marked (green arrow) use two 22mm sockets to loosen and remove the hardware.

With the eccentrics removed the wishbone will swing down and out of the chassis.
Figure 8

With the eccentrics removed the wishbone will swing down and out of the chassis.

Remove the'mm nut and bolt on the clamping sleeve to the ball joint (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the'mm nut and bolt on the clamping sleeve to the ball joint (red arrow). You need to slide the bolt out of the sleeve as there is a groove cut in the spindle of the ball joint that the bolt sits in. You may need a pickle fork or ball joint separator to remove it from the steering knuckle.

This photo illustrates the groove cut in the spindle on the ball joint (red arrow).
Figure 10

This photo illustrates the groove cut in the spindle on the ball joint (red arrow). You must make sure this is lined up when installing the ball joint or the bolt will not go through the clamping sleeve.

Here is a new wishbone.
Figure 11

Here is a new wishbone. It comes with new bushings where it mounts to the chassis (green arrows), clean threads on the sway/torsion bar mount (red arrow), and a new ball joint (yellow arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. Remember the car must be back on its wheels on the ground before torquing the bushings to their final specs.


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