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Shock absorber bolts - how??

Started by SteveDuNord, 16 August 2022, 03:05 PM

SteveDuNord

I read that you can change the front struts with the wheel on the ground so decided to give it a go. This may have been the cause of my woes...

Problem: the inner 12pt lower stud is ridiculously inaccessible. Even with the wheel off, I think I'd struggle to get a socket drive in between the spring and the strut.



Ended up having to use a 10mm spanner. Which was as tedious a slog as you might imagine.



I'm regretting not changing the springs at the same time, would've made life a lot easier! In fact I still might...

New Sachs units vs the somehow still functional old shocks:



I used a floor jack to manipulate the height, but that inner stud was even harder to refit than remove. The new shocks came with 6 point studs but they were too low profile to be of any use.

So I went back to the taller old studs and, after many attempts, I got the inner one to bite. Of course the outer one has snapped off.  ::)



I'll have to use the new studs. But what's the trick to fitting a drive in there?



'77 280se

Alec300SD

Quote from: SteveDuNord on 16 August 2022, 03:05 PMBut what's the trick to fitting a drive in there?

Shorter 12 point socket, and a couple of wobble extensions.
78 W116 300SD 'Desert Rose' new as of 01/26/2014
79 W116 300SD 'Stormcloud' RIP 04/11/2022
91 W126 300SE 'Kjetteri' new as of 02/19/2022

SteveDuNord

#2
Thanks, Alec. I'll buy one today.

For refitting:

Just saw a video where someone advised manipulating the shock on its hinge to create more space. I wondered how he would achieve that, then realised that he had NOT fitted the top bolt first. Ah...

So I'm guessing that he fitted the lower outer bolt, then pulled the strut hard to make it pivot away from the spring, possibly all the way outside the wheel arch, thus creating space for the socket drive. Must have used some force because the hinge on my Sachs struts are rock solid. He then said that he compressed the strut with both hands and pushed it back into place in order to fit the top nuts.

Needless to say this would not be possible with the wheel in situ, so am not sure how people do this without going nuts.

I'm dreading having to tackle the snapped off bolt this morning.

 
'77 280se

SteveDuNord

#3
Wheel nuts would not come off. Had to put my boots on and do the boingy-boing with both feet on the breaker bar. Annoying.

The snapped bolt would need drilling out and there's no space to do it. I'm screwed.



The whole assembly is full of busted bushings:





Which leads me to consider buying a used assembly, fitting new bushes to it, and having a garage do the spanner work. Thoughts?

Also, are the front control arms etc the same for all w116's?

Edit: think I just read that you have to drop the front subframe to tackle the control arm assembly. Oh no.... what have I done.

'77 280se

rumb

#4
Looks like you need a complete front suspension rebuild! Coat all threads with penetrating fluid for several days, then if needed apply torch heat. You do need to drop the subframe to do this work. While it is all apart you can drill out that broken bolt.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

SteveDuNord

Cheers, rumb. I hope you're right, but I haven't found a DIY guide on removing the control arms without dropping the cross member support as of yet. I did read this comment on here, though:

Quote"the rear mounts of the lower control arm are on the upper side of the cross yoke.  Generally, the yoke must be lowered with the lower control arms still attached to it.  They can be separated once off the car".
:-\

Looks a pretty challenging job if you throw the steering knuckle bushes into the mix. And I may as well do them and the upper control arms at the same time.

Once I've removed the spring, if I could still use the cross member as a support point for a jackstand that would be great. As would being able to tackle on side at a time.

Any help on procedure and required tools would be most helpful!
'77 280se

rumb

33-510

https://handbook.w116.org/Chassis/33-FrontSuspension/

sorry does look like cross member is removed, but no harder work than everything else.

As far as where to put jack stands, I would think you can get by under the front subframe, but place some wood so as to not damage the box structure.
'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

ptashek

Quote from: SteveDuNord on 18 August 2022, 11:54 AMAny help on procedure and required tools would be most helpful!

If you're going to remove the springs, you need a special spring compressor (https://www.lasertools.co.uk/Product/4870/Coil-Spring-Compressor-for-Mercedes-Benz) that can safely handle the load.

DO NOT attempt this job with off-shelf spring compressors if you value your life. Once the springs are out it's a much easier, and safer job.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE

SteveDuNord

Quote from: ptashek on 18 August 2022, 02:25 PM
Quote from: SteveDuNord on 18 August 2022, 11:54 AMAny help on procedure and required tools would be most helpful!

If you're going  to remove the springs, you need a special spring compressor (https://www.lasertools.co.uk/Product/4870/Coil-Spring-Compressor-for-Mercedes-Benz) that can safely handle the load.

DO NOT attempt this job with off-shelf spring compressors if you value your life. Once the springs are out it's a much easier, and safer job.

How much??  :o

I do have a spring compressor set that looks like that but I'm assuming this one has some special feature.

Might as well talk to my local indie and see what they can do. That's assuming I can drive around the corner with a shock absorber barely hanging on.  ;D


'77 280se

gurrier

SteveDuNord,

I also have a spring compressor-not the type as shown by ptashek.  I can still remember the spring flying past me, the only casualty being a bruised thumb.  Spring travelled maybe twenty feet - luckily not through me.

Bill   
1973 350SE

SteveDuNord

Quote from: gurrier on 19 August 2022, 03:35 AMSteveDuNord,

I also have a spring compressor-not the type as shown by ptashek.  I can still remember the spring flying past me, the only casualty being a bruised thumb.  Spring travelled maybe twenty feet - luckily not through me.

Bill   

They terrify me. I hate messing with them.
I found a link for the same kit but much cheaper, and from what I can gather it's the same design as a much cheaper kit that I already own.
I'll dig it out later and take a pic.

Found a chap on eBay who's selling the whole assembly incl cross yoke. Am considering buying that to cut down on the length of time the car will be on jackstands. Re-bush, blast and paint at my leisure.
'77 280se

Jan S

I replaced the upper control arms and shocks a year ago, with springs in place. It was fairly straight forward. Bolts were easy to remove in my case, luckily. A job that requires safe/careful work procedures.

Looks like you have to do the whole thing ... upper control arms, lower control arm bushings, springs, +++. Be careful when removing the springs! I believe a safety measure is to put a metal chain around them and tie them to e.g. the lower control arm or similar to prevent the spring flying out if "shit happens". I haven't done this myself, but I have seen this on you tube.
1975-mod W116 450 SE with 6.9 engine