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Rear Forward Upper Link Removal and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Forward Upper Link Removal and Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

19mm wrenches or socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Rear forward upper link replacement

Hot Tip:

A ratcheting wrench really helps with this repair

Performance Gain:

Prevent uneven tire wear from a worn rear forward upper link

Complementary Modification:

Replace ties if tread is uneven

Mercedes Benz uses a multiple link suspension in the rear of their W129 chassis. A multiple link suspension offers some unique advantages to the cheaper to produce MacPherson strut design. Picture the spindle as a flat plane. If you want the tire to remain perfectly perpendicular to the ground, you want the spindle to stay at the same angle to the road as the suspension moves through its travel. You do not want the suspension to change the toe as it moves through its suspension travel. This will change the direction the tire is going in and therefore where the rear end goes. This is known as bump steer. You also may want to increase the camber as the outside suspension compresses in a turn. This will help keep the tire perpendicular to the road surface increasing your tire's contact patch. A multiple link suspension allows the length and arc of the links to control the angle of the spindle to the road. The upper forward link controls the upper forward direction of the spindle. Over time the bushings in these links can wear out and allow the spindle to move around in corners. This can cause uneven tire wear and unusual handling characteristics. In this tech article I will go over the steps on how to replace the rear forward upper link.

Lift and support the rear axle of the vehicle after you place those smart safety glasses on your face. 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 front tires.

The procedure to replace the rear forward upper link is the same for both the left and right side. In these pictures we are 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 left side rear wheel well.
Figure 1

ThisPicture illustrates the left side rear wheel well. Locate the rear forward upper link (green arrow). You do not have to remove the rear brake caliper or brake rotor to perform this job. I have done so for your viewing pleasure.

Using two 9mm wrenches (green arrows) remove the fasteners that hold the link to the sub-frame.
Figure 2

Using two 9mm wrenches (green arrows) remove the fasteners that hold the link to the sub-frame.

Remove the fastener from the link (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the fastener from the link (yellow arrow). Use a magnet to pull out the nut (green arrow) between the sub-frame and the body.

ThisPicture illustrates the spindle side of the rear forward upper link.
Figure 4

ThisPicture illustrates the spindle side of the rear forward upper link. Use a 19mm wrench (green arrow) and a 17mm wrench (yellow arrow) to hold both sides of the fastener while you loosen them.

Slide the bolt (green arrow) out of the rear forward upper link and out of the spindle mount.
Figure 5

Slide the bolt (green arrow) out of the rear forward upper link and out of the spindle mount.

Remove the rear forward upper link from the car.
Figure 6

Remove the rear forward upper link from the car. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Fit the rear forward upper link into the sub-frame mount and position the spindle mount close to its mounting point on the spindle. Install the fasteners on both sides using a pry bar to position both sides if necessary. Install the fasteners on both sides of the link and tighten them.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:28:28 AM