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Rear Rearward Lower Link Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Rearward Lower Link Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

10mm Allen head socket, T50 internal Torx socket, T55 Torx socket, 18mm wrench and/or socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Rear rearward lower link

Hot Tip:

Spray the fasteners with penetrating oil before removing

Performance Gain:

Improve handling and uneven tire wear

Complementary Modification:

Replace the tires if you have uneven tire wear

On the W211 chassis Mercedes Benz uses a multiple link design on the rear suspension system. This means that there are individual links the spindle is attached to and they control the angle of the spindle to the road as the suspension moves through its travel. This is important because you want to keep the tire as flat as possible relative to the road to maintain the same contact patch and therefore maximum traction regardless of suspension travel. Mercedes Benz uses four links and a lower control arm to control the position of the spindle as the suspension moves up and down. The job of the rear rearward link is two-fold. Number one, it controls the position of the lower rear of the spindle and it also is responsible for the toe adjustment to the rear wheels. The toe adjustment is made on the sub frame mount of the rear rearward lower link. Front suspension systems need to use ball joints to add flexibility for steering inputs and suspension movement. The rear only has to deal with suspension movement so Mercedes Benz uses rubber bushings instead of ball joints in their rear suspensions. Like any rubber part, over time the rubber dries out and cracks from exposure and road salts used to clear roads. If the rubber bushings wear out they allow the spindle to move around as the car corners. This can cause some unusual handling and uneven tire wear. In this tech article we will go over the steps to replace your rear rearward lower link.

Lift and support the rear axle of the vehicle. Make sure that you wear safety glasses whenever you're working on your car but especially when you're working under your car. 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 rearward lower link is the same for both the left and right side. In these pictures we are working on the right 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 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

ThisPicture illustrates the rear of the right side rear wheel well.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the rear of the right side rear wheel well. Remove the rear rearward lower link to spindle mount fastener using a 10mm Allen head socket on one side of the fastener and an 18mm wrench on the other side of the fastener to hold it still. You do not have to remove the brake caliper and rotor to do this job. We have done so for photographic purposes.

Remove the rear rearward lower link outer mount fastener from the spindle by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 2

Remove the rear rearward lower link outer mount fastener from the spindle by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.

This picture Illustrates under the right side lower control arm mount to the sub frame.
Figure 3

This picture Illustrates under the right side lower control arm mount to the sub frame. Remove the T55 internal Torx fastener (green arrow). If you want you can try to remove the 18mm fastener (red arrow) but there is no room to put a wrench behind it and the washer that holds it will probably bend out of the way.

Using a T55 Torx socket to remove the toe adjustment fastener.
Figure 4

Using a T55 Torx socket to remove the toe adjustment fastener.

Pull the arm down and away from the car.
Figure 5

Pull the arm down and away from the car. Be careful not to lose or damage the toe adjustment shim of the rear rearward lower link sub frame mounting bracket (green arrow).

As you can see here the locking washer (red arrow) used to hold the fastener still has bent out of the way when I attempted to remove the 18mm fastener earlier.
Figure 6

As you can see here the locking washer (red arrow) used to hold the fastener still has bent out of the way when I attempted to remove the 18mm fastener earlier. To remove the bracket from the rear rearward lower link hold the fastener with the open end of the 19mm wrench while loosening the 18mm fastener on the other side. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Install the bracket to the inner mount of the rear rearward lower link and tighten. Install the rear rearward lower link to the sub frame, not forgetting the washer, and tighten the two fasteners. Fit the rear rearward lower link to the outer spindle mount and tighten the fastener. Install the wheel and take the car for a four wheel alignment.

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