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Rear Forward Lower Link Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Forward Lower Link Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

12mm twelve point socket bit, 18mm wrench and/or socket with breaker bar

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Rear forward lower link

Hot Tip:

Spray the fasteners with penetrating oil before removing

Performance Gain:

Improve handling and uneven tire wear

Complementary Modification:

Replace the rear rearward upper link if necessary

Mercedes Benz uses a multiple link rear suspension system on the W211 chassis. The multiple link suspension offers many benefits compared to a cheaper to produce MacPherson strut design. A multiple link suspension can do a much better job at keeping the spindle at a consistent angle compared to the road even as the suspension moves through its travel. This means the driver will have more consistent handling regardless of the compression of the suspension from hard cornering. The rear forward lower link controls the bottom of the spindle along with the lower control arm as the suspension moves up and down. In the front suspension ball joints must be used to allow flexibility for suspension and steering. In the rear suspension there is not steering input, only up and down suspension movement. Mercedes Benz multiple link suspension links use rubber bushings instead of ball joints. Bushings last longer and are cheaper to produce. Of course with any rubber part they can dry out and crack from exposure and road salts used to clear roads. If a bushing in a link does wear out it will allow the spindle to move around as the car goes through a corner. This will affect handling and cause uneven tire wear. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace your rear forward lower link.

Lift and support the rear 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 rear forward 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

This picture illustrates the front of the right side rear wheel well.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the front of the right side rear wheel well. Remove the 12mm inverted twelve point (sometimes referred to a triple square fastener) (green arrow). You do not have to remove the brake caliper and rotor as we have here. We have done so for photographic purposes.

Use a breaker bar with a 12mm triple square socket and an 18mm wrench to hold the other side of the fastener to loosen it.
Figure 2

Use a breaker bar with a 12mm triple square socket and an 18mm wrench to hold the other side of the fastener to loosen it.

Slide the bolt out of the mount by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 3

Slide the bolt out of the mount by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow. This bolt will come in contact with the sub frame mount washer but you can twist the link a little and the bolt will clear it.

This picture illustrates the bottom of the spindle in the right rear wheel well.
Figure 4

This picture illustrates the bottom of the spindle in the right rear wheel well. Use the 12mm triple square socket to loosen the fastener for the rear forward lower link to the spindle.

Slide the bolt out in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 5

Slide the bolt out in the direction of the blue arrow.

Remove the link from the sub frame mount.
Figure 6

Remove the link from the sub frame mount. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps.

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