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Front Lower Control Arm Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Lower Control Arm Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

21mm, 22mm wrenches and sockets with breaker bars

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Lower control arm

Hot Tip:

These bolts will be very tight so use a breaker bar instead of a ratchet

Performance Gain:

Improve handling and even tire wear

Complementary Modification:

Change the lower ball joint if necessary

As you drive your car your suspension systems absorb the shock from bumps in the road. The shock absorbers control the up and down motion of the suspension system. The Mercedes Benz W211 chassis uses a double wishbone suspension with coil over shock absorbers. This means there is an upper control arm that attaches to the top of the spindle and guides the movement of the upper part of the spindle. There is also a lower control arm that attaches and guides the movement of the lower part of the spindle. Bushings are used at the pivot point of the upper and lower control arm to absorb some of the shock from bumps. Ball joints are used at the spindle for flexibility with steering and suspension movement. Over time these bushings can wear out, become dry and crack. When they wear out they allow the lower control arm to move around during suspension and steering movement. This causes handling problems and uneven tire wear. In this tech article we will show you how to remove you lower control arms for replacement.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle. 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 front lower control arm is the same for both the left and right side. In these pictures we are working on both the left and right sides. 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 parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

This picture illustrates the right side wheel well looking at the lower control arm from the rear.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the right side wheel well looking at the lower control arm from the rear. Remove the 21mm fastener. You will have to counter hold the 21mm fastener on the other side of the control arm with a socket or wrench. Pull both fasteners out completely. The lower control arm may drop a small amount, this is normal. You can use a jack on the lower control arm to lift it up when installing the new lower control arm. You do not need to remove the brake caliper and rotor to do this step but we have done so for photographic purposes.

This picture illustrates the front of the left side wheel well looking at the spindle.
Figure 2

This picture illustrates the front of the left side wheel well looking at the spindle. Remove the 21mm fastener that holds the lower ball joint to the spindle.

Using a ball joint removal tool, force the ball joint out of the spindle.
Figure 3

Using a ball joint removal tool, force the ball joint out of the spindle. If you do not have a ball joint removal tool use a forked splitter to separate the ball joint from the spindle.

Remove or lower the front sway bar.
Figure 4

Remove or lower the front sway bar. See our tech article on sway bar bushing replacing. This picture illustrates removing the front lower control arm fastener. Remove the 22mm fastenerPictured here.

You may have to hold the other side of the fasteners with a deep 21mm socket and breaker bar while loosening the 22mm fastener from step #4.
Figure 5

You may have to hold the other side of the fasteners with a deep 21mm socket and breaker bar while loosening the 22mm fastener from step #4.

Remove the rear lower control arm fastener using a 21mm deep socket and a 21mm wrench.
Figure 6

Remove the rear lower control arm fastener using a 21mm deep socket and a 21mm wrench.

Pull the lower control arm out of the body of the car and lift the outer end of it off the lower ball joint.
Figure 7

Pull the lower control arm out of the body of the car and lift the outer end of it off the lower ball joint. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Fit the lower control arm on the lower ball joint and position the other side of the lower control arm in the body mount. Install and tighten the fasteners for the two body mounts. You may need to use a jack to force up on the lower ball joint to prevent the ball socket from spinning when you tighten the lower ball joint fastener. Install the wheel and lower the car. YouÂ're done. Better handling will be the result of your work today. Good job!

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Comments and Suggestions:
chiyapokajata Comments: My e260 merecedes chassis 211 makes a clarking noise on humps even after changing shocks, bushes and upper control arms but left the lower control arms unchanged, what could cause the suspension noise?
November 19, 2016
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