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Rear Forward Lower Link Removal and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Forward Lower Link Removal and Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm wrench and/or sockets with ratchet, pry bar

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Rear forward lower link

Hot Tip:

You can use a pry bar to remove and position the link when installing

Performance Gain:

Repair uneven tire wear caused by worn rear forward lower link

Complementary Modification:

Replace tires if tread wear is uneven

Mercedes Benz uses a multiple link suspension system in the rear of their W129 suspension. The benefits of a multiple link suspension are each corner of the spindle can be controlled independently. This helps reduce bump steer as the suspension system moves through its travel. Bump steering is the change in toe as the suspension moves through its travel. Also, as a suspension compresses in a turn additional camber can be beneficial, because it helps keep the tire parallel to the road through hard cornering. This is why Mercedes Benz vehicles handle as well as they do. Over time the rear forward lower link bushings can wear out. This allows the caster of the rear suspension to change as the suspension moves up and down and the car accelerates and decelerates. This will cause unusual handling characteristics and uneven tire wear. In this tech article I will go over the steps to replace the rear forward lower link.

Lift and support the rear axle of the vehicle while donning those important safety glasses. You have to remove the tires to perform this job and 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 rear tires.

The procedure to replace the rear forward lower link is the same for both the left and right side. In these pictures I am working on the left side. Keep in mind all the steps apply to both sides. It is recommended you replace both sides at the same time to keep your handling neutral.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts I give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches

ThisPicture illustrates the front of the left side wheel well.
Figure 1

ThisPicture illustrates the front of the left side wheel well. Locate the rear forward lower link (green arrow) and remove the two 17mm fasteners (yellow arrows). You do not need to remove the brake caliper or brake rotor to do this job. I have done so to better give you an idea of the work that you'll be doing.

This photo shows the back side of the link.
Figure 2

This photo shows the back side of the link. Counter hold the 17mm nuts (green arrows) while loosening.

These fasteners may be tight.
Figure 3

These fasteners may be tight. You may need a breaker bar and a wrench as shown here. Soaking the fasteners in penetrating oil beforehand also helps.

Slide the bolt out of the rear forward lower link lower mount.
Figure 4

Slide the bolt out of the rear forward lower link lower mount.

Use a pry bar (green arrow) to lever the rear forward lower link lower mount sleeve out of the spindle.
Figure 5

Use a pry bar (green arrow) to lever the rear forward lower link lower mount sleeve out of the spindle. When installing, you may need to use extra force (as it is a tight fit) to install the new rear forward lower link mount sleeve into the spindle. You can use a pry bar or hammer to tap it back in.

Slide the bolt out of the rear forward lower link upper mount.
Figure 6

Slide the bolt out of the rear forward lower link upper mount.

With both sides of the rear forward lower link removed, remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 7

With both sides of the rear forward lower link removed, remove it from the vehicle. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Fit the rear forward lower link into its body mount, install the fastener and tighten it. Line up the rear forward lower link lower mount and either lever or tap the sleeve into the mounting hole in the spindle and install the fastener. Tighten the fastener.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Scott Comments: Is this the thrust arm or the support arm in your catalog? Thanks, Scott.
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Both should be. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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