Author Topic: Bushings for front end question  (Read 5015 times)

arman

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Bushings for front end question
« on: 07 September 2011, 05:22 AM »
Hello guys,

I have some wear issues on the front wheels: the tires are totally worn out on the inside. Many years ago when I just had bought this car I bought new tires and did a front wheel alignment. I don't think they knew how to align the front wheels, it wasn't even a MB shop. The car still pulls slightly to the right side as it always has. I have driven about 30.000km with the tires. The rear ones are still OK (yeah, I know I'm not a typical hoon :)

I am almost sure that all the bushings are worn out. I have found a site in Sweden - a lot like EBay - where I can buy new bushings: a set of four with number 116 333 4014 and a set of four with number 116 333 6314 (a lot more expensive!).

Are these generally what is needed to repair the front end? Or are there more things which likely have to be done. I'm trying to make a budget on this repair. After replacing these bushings I will take the car to a MB shop for realignment. Oh, and I won't do this job myself, but all suggestions on what to do and what not, are very welcome.

Thanx Arman
1974 W116 450 SEL 340.000km
Black exterior (040), olive green velours interior (966)
http://gallery.w116.org/v/show_room/Armans450sel/

chrismsullivan

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #1 on: 07 September 2011, 02:43 PM »
Hi Arman,

I'd be getting a proper alignment first. This might fix your issues.
While they are at it, have them inspect the front end for any issues, this might save you the expense of buying anything that's not needed.
1976 W116 280SE - Project car
1969 W108 280SE - So sad I sold it in a fit of stupid youthiness.
1970 W108 280S - Project car - GONE!
MY08 Subaru Liberty - Daily faithful
2007 B6 TDi VW Passat Wagon

goldacre

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #2 on: 08 September 2011, 01:44 AM »
G'Day arman, i was looking into this myself and contacted Woody and Tom Hanson at the MB Classic Centre in California and after talking to their Alignment guru Tom compiled the following list...

Hi J,

I haven't exchanged emails with you for a long time! I hope all is well.
Below is a list of parts that will make the front suspension as tight as new:
(retail price / wholesale price)

126-460-08-19 idler arm kit                                $44.50 / $37.82      =$ 37.83
116-333-56-15 subframe bushing (updated) x 2          $26.00 / $22.10 each   =$ 44.20
123-330-46-07 left upper control arm with ball joint       $206.00 /$175.10           =$175.10
123-330-47-07 right  " " "                                $206.00 /$175.10           =$175.10
116-333-40-14 upper arm outer swaybar bushing x 4       $1.40 /  $1.19 each           =$  5.00
116-333-09-27 lower ball joint x 2                             $39.50 / $33.57 each   =$ 67.20

126-330-05-03 left tie rod ass'y                             $70.00 / $59.50      =$ 59.50
126-330-06-03 right tie rod ass'y                             $89.00 / $75.65      =$ 75.65

116-330-00-18 lower arm eccentric kit x 2                  $47.50 / $40.37 each   =$ 80.80
123-460-15-05 center link                                $137.00 /$116.45           =$116.45
000-463-51-32 steering shock                        $58.00 / $49.30      =$ 49.30
116-330-01-75 lower control arm bushing kit x 2               $199.00 /$169.15 each   =$340.30

                                                                     TOTAL   =$1226.23 (Aussie dollars)

I went for the tie-end rods left and right for now and the rest will plod along as needed. This is for a 1979 450 SEL (4.5 ltr)

G
12/1979 450 SEL 136K on clock (museum piece)
12/1986 Lotus Esprit Turbo 87K on clock 'Darling, look what Q has brought for us, isn't it nice' :)

Casey

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #3 on: 08 September 2011, 01:27 PM »
G'Day arman, i was looking into this myself and contacted Woody and Tom Hanson at the MB Classic Centre in California and after talking to their Alignment guru Tom compiled the following list...

Thanks a lot for sharing this list.  I've also got inner tire wear on the front right tire, and bought new tie rods and steering shock but haven't installed yet.  I think I may well go ahead and order up the rest of this stuff when I can to do it up right.

goldacre

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #4 on: 08 September 2011, 06:15 PM »
No probs Raptelan  :)

The key bit to doing the tie rods is to have the right ball breaker so i have been told (wifes are not recommended for this application)  ;D

I searched the Org the other day and found 4 links of interest, the thing here is tie rods can go by other names, i searched these under tie rod..

http://forum.w116.org/mechanicals/tie-rods/msg71352/#msg71352

http://forum.w116.org/mechanicals/replacing-tie-rods/msg75948/#msg75948

http://forum.w116.org/mechanicals/new-drag-link-tie-rod-eliminate-the-need-for-steering-box-adjustment/msg55948/#msg55948

http://forum.w116.org/mechanicals/replacing-tie-rods-%28a-k-a-track-rods%29-and-center-link-drag/msg3224/#msg3224

They detail the types of ball breakers available and techniques to remove.

My front inner tyres also have huge wear and now i have my nice new feet and quality tyres i will be monitoring this very carefully post tie rod replacement.

G
12/1979 450 SEL 136K on clock (museum piece)
12/1986 Lotus Esprit Turbo 87K on clock 'Darling, look what Q has brought for us, isn't it nice' :)

jbrasile

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #5 on: 08 September 2011, 10:25 PM »
Arman,

I concur with the list sent by the Classic Center.

Excessive inner tire wear are usually caused by  incorrect toe setting and/or wrong camber.

I always recommend that all the front suspension components be replaced together unless you are absolutely sure all the bushings are in top shape. Of course you should have a competent alignment shop re-align the car correctly and inspect everything before spending the money on new parts.

116 333 63 14 are the upper control arm inner bushings and they come together with thecnew arms themselves.

116 333 40 14 - are the sway bar outer bushings.

Tks,

Joe


arman

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #6 on: 08 September 2011, 11:52 PM »
Thanx Goldacre and Joe!

The problem with worn out bushings is that when you align the front wheels everything seems OK. But when you drive faster the toe-in will change (in worse case to a temporarely toe-out) caused by speed/friction, braking and steering. As I said the car tends to pull slightly to the right, but that can also be because the bushings are worn and that the road (left hand drive) tend to slope to the right (for the rain water).

The wear on both front wheels is very symmetrical. Only 1,5 - 2 inches of the inside of both wheels are worn excessively. That's why I suspect the toe-in changes while driving (because of faulty bushings), but when they measure at the wheel alignment shop toe-in and camber seems OK.

Your list, goldacre, is more than I expected. That will cost a bit I suppose?

Joe, do you suggest that I should buy new upper control arms as well? Is there a reason for that apart from the fact that the bushings probably are hard to get off and on again?

Thanx again for your help!

EDIT: I  maybe should add that I have no play in steering. Which maybe rules out some of the parts in the above list?
« Last Edit: 09 September 2011, 12:15 AM by arman »
1974 W116 450 SEL 340.000km
Black exterior (040), olive green velours interior (966)
http://gallery.w116.org/v/show_room/Armans450sel/

Japes

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #7 on: 09 September 2011, 12:36 AM »
If price is a concern check the listings on autohausaz. I did a fair few of the same bits last year and came in about half price on some of those parts I think.
1980 280SE

Casey

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #8 on: 09 September 2011, 07:05 AM »
I have a ball joint separator for these, but my question is why since I'm replacing the whole things, and if I have to separate something with such a tool, how do I get it back together again?

I haven't tried to locate full instructions yet...

jbrasile

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #9 on: 09 September 2011, 07:19 AM »
arman,

The bushings on the upper control arms are not that difficult to replace, however since the arm also comes with the upper ball joints you take care of a few things all at once and not at an outrageous price,so it is not a bad idea replacing the UCA's.

You have a point when you say toe changes while driving, in fact Mercedes recommends the use of a spreader bar (practically no one uses it and most alignment shops haven't ever heard of such a device...)  to pre-load the the front wheels and simulate a moving car while adjusting the toe.

It may sound like overkill, but to do the lower bushings you have to take so much apart that it just makes sense to do the whole front end and be done with it for another 30 years.

Casey, you use the ball joint separator to get the UCA ball joints out of the uprights. They have a conic shape and get pretty tight in there. When you put it back together you just insert the ball joint into the upright and the torque the nut, you use some grease on the conic portion of the ball joint so it eases itself into position  when you tighten the nut.

Tks,

Joe

s class

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #10 on: 09 September 2011, 10:35 AM »
The upper control arms and related bits are pretty easy to change.  The lower stuff is a different story.

The lower control arms must be lowered out still attached to the front cross yoke, and then the lot split up on the floor.  Installing the rear-ward bushes in the lower control arm is a terrible job unless you have a press and the special squeezer-installer tool.  I have a self-made substitute, but its still difficult. 

The supporting joints in the steering knuckles are also quite a difficult job to replace, and to do it properly without damaging anything requires special tools and would rate as a fairly advanced repair job.

The long and short of it is that the lower end requires hours of labour and skill/experience, so is therefore typically expensive. 

My best recommendation at this stage would be to read up on the various procedures in the handbook online here, so that you have an idea of the tasks involved, and the tools needed.  Even if this knowledge just helps you assess a mechanic's likely ability to carry out this work. 

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

s class

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #11 on: 09 September 2011, 10:49 AM »
I've written up a post here : http://forum.w116.org/mechanicals/steering-knuckle-rebuild/ explaining the process of replacing the supporting joints in steering knuckles. 

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

TJ 450

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #12 on: 09 September 2011, 11:05 AM »
Carrying on from s class's response, I would rate the lower front suspension as "don't try this at home", unless you like a hyper-cosmic-googolplex scale challenge. It is epic! 8)
 
You would need to have the car towed after reassembly to a shop for a quality alignment job. Take the knuckles to the dealer/MB indie shop.

OTOH, the upper control arms are easy, just replace and drive away.

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

arman

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #13 on: 09 September 2011, 01:43 PM »
Thanx guys for all your suggestions! Really appreciated.

S class that is a thoroughly detailed description on one of the more difficult moments of rebuilding the front end. Your thread is really an asset for everyone planning on doing some work to improve the front end.

But I have to ask you guys: are there some things I can skip when I say I don't have play in the steering wheel? I'm just trying to rule out some of the more expensive/difficult stages of the rebuild-the-front-end-process :)

Arman

« Last Edit: 09 September 2011, 11:01 PM by arman »
1974 W116 450 SEL 340.000km
Black exterior (040), olive green velours interior (966)
http://gallery.w116.org/v/show_room/Armans450sel/

Luke1

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Re: Bushings for front end question
« Reply #14 on: 09 September 2011, 05:00 PM »
Also check out Rock Auto, Parts Geek and Parts Bin.  I live in North Carolina, and I purchase a great deal of parts for my '77 280SE, '96 Infiniti I30, '91 Toyota Cressida.  Just thought I'd add that.