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Rear Rearward Upper Link Removal and Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Rearward Upper Link Removal and Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm, 19mm wrenches and/or sockets with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Rear forward upper link

Hot Tip:

Spray the fasteners with penetrating oil before removing

Performance Gain:

Correct uneven tire wear from worn rear forward upper link bushings

Complementary Modification:

Replace the rear forward upper link at the same time.

On the W129 chassis, Mercedes Benz uses a multiple link suspension. The benefits of a multiple link suspension are the angle of the tire to the road can be consistent as the suspension moves through its travel. This is what gives Mercedes Benz precise handling and road feel in their sports cars and sedans. A MacPherson strut only has one lower control arm in a typical design and that changes the angle of the tire quite a bit as it moves through its suspension travel. The Mercedes Benz W129 has four independent links and a lower control arm to hold the spindle in proper alignment with the road. Since the rear wheels do not have to turn like the front wheels do, Mercedes Benz uses multiple links with bushings instead of ball joints. Bushings last longer than ball joints but like any rubber component they can crack and dry out from exposure and road salts used to clear the road. A worn rear forward upper link will allow the upper part of the spindle to move in and out changing the camber as the car is being driven. This can cause unusual handling characteristics and uneven tire wear. In this tech article I will go over the steps to replace your rear rearward upper link.

Lift and support rear axle of the vehicle while donning your favorite pair of 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 front tires.

The procedure to replace the rear rearward upper 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 left side rear wheel well.
Figure 1

ThisPicture illustrates the left side rear wheel well. Locate the rear rearward upper link (green arrow). You do not have to remove the brake caliper and rotor to do this job. I have done so to give you a great view of the work.

Figure 2

Remove the 19mm fastener bolt and nut (green arrows)

You can use two 19mm wrenches (green arrows) since there is little room for a socket with a ratchet.
Figure 3

You can use two 19mm wrenches (green arrows) since there is little room for a socket with a ratchet.

Once the nut is removed, slide the bolt out of the mount.
Figure 4

Once the nut is removed, slide the bolt out of the mount.

ThisPicture illustrates looking down at the spindle in the left rear wheel well.
Figure 5

ThisPicture illustrates looking down at the spindle in the left rear wheel well. Remove the 19mm nut (green arrow) while holding the 17mm bolt still (yellow arrow).

Tap with a hammer or lever the link out of the spindle mount.
Figure 6

Tap with a hammer or lever the link out of the spindle mount. There is a sleeve (red arrow) that is pressed into the rear rearward upper link. You will have to tap in with a hammer or lever in with a pry bar the new rear rearward upper link into the spindle on installation.

With both ends of the rear rearward upper link disconnected remove it from the car.
Figure 7

With both ends of the rear rearward upper link disconnected remove it from the car. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedures. Fit the rear rearward upper link into the sub frame and install the fasteners but do not tighten them down yet. Install the sleeve into the spindle mount and tighten the fasteners. You will have to use some force to compress the sleeve into the spindle mount.

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