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Rear Multi-Link Suspension Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Multi-Link Suspension Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$25 to $900

Talent:

***

Tools:

32mm 12 point socket, complete set of metric wrenches and sockets, 5mm Allen M12 12 point, 15mm socket, E14, E12 socket, large breaker bar or impact wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C250 (2012-14)
Mercedes-Benz C300 (2008-14)
Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-14)

Parts Required:

Suspension control arm kit

Hot Tip:

Check the bushing on the control arm

Performance Gain:

Tighter suspension and longer life for your tires

Complementary Modification:

Replace lower control arm bushings

If your Mercedes-Benz W204 is starting to wander all over the road, or the suspension is beginning to feel "sloppy," there is a good chance you have worn out suspension bushings. The W204 uses a 5 link suspension system that includes a series of control arms and a tie rod to keep the tires in proper geometry to the road. It is very unusual for one of the arms or "links" in the suspension to actually wear out, but the bushings on the ends of the arms do, and need to be replaced. While you may be able to find separate bushings for the arms it is wiser, and in the long run, cheaper to replace the whole arm that includes new bushings, while performing this job. The arms are sold individually or in a kit. If you can afford it, I would recommend installing all new links from the kit, and then get a good alignment done on the car. If one strut or bushing is gone the others are not far behind.

Remember when working on the suspension hardware that Mercedes considers all the hardware to be single use only so keep this in mind when ordering parts. You will need to get the alignment on the car rest after changing out the suspension components

Begin by safely raising and supporting your car off the ground. Please see our article on jacking up and supporting your Mercedes-Benz.

If you are just replacing one of the components to the multilink suspension you do not need to follow all of these steps, you can just remove the component and replace it with the exception of the swing control arm: but for some of them you will need to be able to move the dust shield, so you need to follow the instructions up to the point of freeing the dust shield.
Figure 1

If you are just replacing one of the components to the multilink suspension you do not need to follow all of these steps, you can just remove the component and replace it with the exception of the swing control arm: but for some of them you will need to be able to move the dust shield, so you need to follow the instructions up to the point of freeing the dust shield. If you are replacing all of the components in the kit you will want to remove the wheel carrier, it is the easiest way to do the job. This involves pulling the axle from the hub and carrier. When removing the axle you will need loosen the 32mm 12 point nut on the axle (yellow arrow), if you do not have an impact gun the best way to do this is pop off the center cap on the wheel and with the wheel on and the vehicle on the ground use a very large breaker bar and loosen the nut before raising the vehicle. If you already have the vehicle in the air and do not have an impact gun the pressure from the rear caliper (red arrow) will not be sufficient to hold the rotor in place when trying to break the nut loose.

The axle collar nut will have a section of it that is folded into a gap I the axle, use a punch and tap the metal out (red arrow).
Figure 2

The axle collar nut will have a section of it that is folded into a gap I the axle, use a punch and tap the metal out (red arrow). This will allow you to remove the 32mm 12 collar nut.

You will need to remove the brake caliper, pads, rotor, sensors and parking brake to get access to the two 5mm Allen bolts (yellow arrows) and the two 13mm bolts (blue arrows) that hold the dust shield on.
Figure 3

You will need to remove the brake caliper, pads, rotor, sensors and parking brake to get access to the two 5mm Allen bolts (yellow arrows) and the two 13mm bolts (blue arrows) that hold the dust shield on. Please see all of our articles on removing the brake and parking brake system for additional assistance and make sure to safely hang the caliper up out of the way (red arrow), never let it hang by the brake line.

Once you have removed the parking brake remove the 5mm Allen on the rear of the carrier and pull the parking cable backwards, this will allow you to unfold the spreader (red arrows) and remove the small pin holding it to the cable.
Figure 4

Once you have removed the parking brake remove the 5mm Allen on the rear of the carrier and pull the parking cable backwards, this will allow you to unfold the spreader (red arrows) and remove the small pin holding it to the cable. Remove this and pass the cable back and out of the carrier.

Support the swing arm with a floor jack and raise the arm until the axle is almost parallel to the ground then remove the dust shield two 5mm Allen bolts and two 13mm bolts so it is free to rotate around.
Figure 5

Support the swing arm with a floor jack and raise the arm until the axle is almost parallel to the ground then remove the dust shield two 5mm Allen bolts and two 13mm bolts so it is free to rotate around. Use a M12 socket and 18mm wrench and remove the camber strut to wheel carrier.

Using the M12 and 18mm remove the nut and bolt for the torque strut.
Figure 6

Using the M12 and 18mm remove the nut and bolt for the torque strut.

Spin the dust shield and remove the hardware for the tie rod (red and yellow arrows).
Figure 7

Spin the dust shield and remove the hardware for the tie rod (red and yellow arrows).

Use a 15mm socket on the E-Torx bolt (red arrow) and a 21mm wrench (yellow arrow) and remove the nut and bolt for the swing control arm to wheel carrier from below.
Figure 8

Use a 15mm socket on the E-Torx bolt (red arrow) and a 21mm wrench (yellow arrow) and remove the nut and bolt for the swing control arm to wheel carrier from below.

Lower the jack and pull the wheel carrier forward.
Figure 9

Lower the jack and pull the wheel carrier forward. If your axle is stuck in the bearing in the wheel carrier you can use a three arm puller (red arrow) to gently walk the axle out the back of the bearing otherwise the wheel carrier should be pulled outward and down freeing the axle from the carrier. If you try just yanking on the carrier to get the axle out you will just end up pulling the axle from the differential so use a puller.

Use care as once the carrier comes off the axle it will be free and it is heavy but still attached to the thrust arm.
Figure 10

Use care as once the carrier comes off the axle it will be free and it is heavy but still attached to the thrust arm.

Swing the carrier down and remove the hardware connecting the thrust arm to the wheel carrier (red arrow).
Figure 11

Swing the carrier down and remove the hardware connecting the thrust arm to the wheel carrier (red arrow).

The camber strut, torque strut, tie rod and thrust arm can now be easily remove from the sub-frame and replaced.
Figure 12

The camber strut, torque strut, tie rod and thrust arm can now be easily remove from the sub-frame and replaced. Do NOT attempt to remove the spring control arm as it is still under force from the spring. If you attempt to remove the hardware connecting the swing arm to the sub-frame before de-tensioning the spring you could cause harm to yourself and the vehicle.

I highly recommend you use the spring compressor tool BM-924-0231 for Mercedes-Benz.
Figure 13

I highly recommend you use the spring compressor tool BM-924-0231 for Mercedes-Benz. Use of a different tool can cause damage to both you and the vehicle. Warning: Never use air impact tools on the Mercedes style spring compressor.

You need to disconnect the sway bar drop link (red arrow) from either the sway bar (yellow arrow) or the swing arm (blue arrow).
Figure 14

You need to disconnect the sway bar drop link (red arrow) from either the sway bar (yellow arrow) or the swing arm (blue arrow). To remove the drop link from the swing arm use an E12 Torx and 13mm wrench and remove the lower connecting bolt. The sway bar is not under tension so you are safe to remove this link. To disconnect the drop link from the sway bar use a 16mm wrench and remove the nut on the rear of the link to sway bar connection.

Next squeeze in the four plastic clips on the protective cover over the swing arm (red arrows and remove the cover.
Figure 15

Next squeeze in the four plastic clips on the protective cover over the swing arm (red arrows and remove the cover.

Insert the larger disk on the bottom and place the disks as far away from each other as possible (yellow arrows).
Figure 16

Insert the larger disk on the bottom and place the disks as far away from each other as possible (yellow arrows). Insert the compressor strut through the hole in the lower control arm and feed it through the plates. Rotate the strut so it locks into the tabs on the upper plate. Attach your 19mm socket and start tightening. The springs will compress while tightening.

Use an E14 socket and a 16mm wrench and remove the lower mounting bolt on the shock.
Figure 17

Use an E14 socket and a 16mm wrench and remove the lower mounting bolt on the shock.

Lower the front of the arm and remove the spring, use care it is heavy.
Figure 18

Lower the front of the arm and remove the spring, use care it is heavy.

You can now remove the nut and bolt connecting the swing arm to the sub-frame.
Figure 19

You can now remove the nut and bolt connecting the swing arm to the sub-frame. Installation of all of the components is the reverse of removal. You must get the vehicle re-aligned after performing this work.

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