Author Topic: Boo Hoo Hoo, My Meyle Lower Control Arm Bushings Won't Fit And Are Now Damaged  (Read 251 times)

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,042
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
I've been using genuine Mercedes bushings during the rebuild of my front end, except for the cross yoke bushings, because genuine Mercedes is no longer available, and the lower control arm bushings (116-330-01-75), because genuine Mercedes ones are $380 MSRP X2 ($760). Meyle was the only brand available, though I hear Karlyn makes the lower control arm bushings, but apparently the company has a bad reputation.

I tried fitting the lower control arm bushings. I was warned that the Meyle ones are too big and don't fit, while genuine ones go in without much trouble. The bushings are obviously too large, but I squished one down with a C-clamp and get it installed. Unfortunately, the exterior metal pieces ended up sliding under each other, the lips curled under, and the front of the bushing is distorted and torn.

What's everyone's experience with installing lower control arm bushings been? Maybe I need to buy another set and use a pipe that fits more snugly on the lip, or are these Meyle ones a lost cause? These Meyle bushings seem to be junk, but the price for genuine Mercedes ones is ridiculous.


« Last Edit: 05 July 2019, 01:15 AM by Squiggle Dog »
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 347,000+

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,042
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
You know what, the whole reason the rubber on the outside tore and the lips won't fit flush against the control arm is because of the outer sheet metal shells sliding under each other because they're too big. I'm wondering if I should trim away some of the exterior sheet metal pieces to keep them from sliding under each other. Look at the second picture in the post above, at how mashed up the rubber is around the pipe in the center. I realize that I'm not using the proper tools to install these, but something doesn't seem right. Even if I get the metal shells cut down to the correct sizes, there is too much rubber and it is going to be packed in there so tightly that it might impede the movement of the bushing or wear out early. Ugh.

I did get them from FCP Euro, so maybe they'll refund my money if I can prove that they don't fit, and then I can apply that toward genuine Mercedes ones... which I still couldn't afford...
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 347,000+

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,042
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Oh, and here's another thing--when the bushings are butted up back-to-back, they are longer than the control arm eye, so it's doubtful they will seat all the way. And to top it off, because there is too much rubber, the rubber squishes out and adds a few millimeters of material, which in effect prevents the metal inner pipes from touching and will push the bushings away from each other and make them even less likely to seat fully.


I pulled the sheet metal shells from the old bushings out of the trash. When comparing them next to the new Meyle ones, the original ones are clearly smaller. Not by much, but just enough that they will slide into the eyelet of the lower control arm without overlapping. I guess I'll have to cut down the shells on the Meyle ones and see if I can get them to work satisfactorily.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 347,000+

TJ 450

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,132
  • Location: Rockingham, Western Australia
    • Tim's Insulators Downunder
Yep they are a poor fit at best. You will need to modify them with a grinder to fit. Grind more of a taper to allow them to slide in and use plenty of lube. Grind a bit off the end so they sit flush.

I have those on my 6.9 and aside from the initial PITA factor, they’re still holding up after a good 5 years.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

TJ 450

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,132
  • Location: Rockingham, Western Australia
    • Tim's Insulators Downunder
The rubber will also compress when it goes in, it’s just getting them in that’s the hard part. You need to apply the force right on the inner edge of the sheet metal part.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,042
  • MBCA Member
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
I inspected the bushing that I had installed and found that there was an overlap of 4mm. So, I cut off 1mm off the ends of the metal shells, which was the thickness of the Dremel cut-off disc. 1mm on each end doesn't seem like much, but it adds up.


After cutting the shells, the bushing went back in much easier than the first time, and the shells butted up against each other without overlapping. So, clearly the Meyle shells are out of spec. The Meyle shells also don't have beveled edges where they enter the control arm eyelet, but they sink down on the side which has the raised lip. Odd. I might end up putting RTV sealant around the edges of the bushings to prevent water from getting in, especially where it tore during the previous installation.


Even though the metal shells fit fine after cutting, there seems to be too much rubber, as it just squishes out.


I modified all four bushing halves and they went in fine with the help of a C-clamp to compress them as they were being inserted. Then I focused my attention back onto the front bushings. I had already installed the bushings without trouble, but had not yet installed the caps that go on each side. I got both control arms finished, but as I was pulling out the through bolt of my homemade press, I noticed it was stuck in the last bushing. I finally got the bolt out, and one of the caps fell off. The bolt won't fit into the bushing anymore, and the cap fits on the center pipe loosely and falls off. It appears the ends of the center pipe curled into themselves, shrinking the pipe. Ugh. So now the bushing is junk because the mounting bolt will not fit into it, and the cap won't fit tightly on it.


I had to order another bushing kit from FCP Euro so I can do this one over again. Hopefully it will be covered under their Lifetime Replacement Guarantee. It really irks me when I can't buy quality parts for this car. I mean, genuine Mercedes ones are available, but who can afford $760 for lower control arm bushings?
« Last Edit: 05 July 2019, 01:16 AM by Squiggle Dog »
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 347,000+

s class

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 4,151
  • I'll keep the 116's, the rest can go
  • Location: Squeezing 3 W116's into a double garage
Hmmm.  A prick of a job at best.  I've fitted the meyle bushes to many cars.  It might seem impossible, but it can actually be achieved without the outer metal shells diving under one another.  We always get the arms media blasted so the bores for the bushings are free of rust, paint and old rubber.  This is really important.  I've had some very special tooling made up to install them, will post up some pics when time allows.

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL