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W124 front springs..now Dave's W124 project thread...

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37 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 10:50 AM

As the title really.

 

I need to get a wriggle on with shifting cars, and the W124 saloon has a broken front spring, giving it mega ganster lean yo!.

 

Need to get a pair of springs, and get it swapped out really, but I've heard horror stories about doing the front end on these.

 

I've seen that there are some internal spring compressors that apparently work and allow removal, they're usually around the £60 mark.

 

Do I need these?, I'll be working outside, on level flat ground, with a number of jacks and axle stands at my disposal.

 

 



#2 OFFLINE   2MB

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:49 AM

I’ve got a set that I used on my 190 which I think is the same front suspension setup (?) if you only need to use them once I could lend you mine?

#3 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

I've used the external threaded bar and pair of clamps type on a W124 before. It was very tight, but it did work.

Theoretically it is also possible to do these by unbolting the lower arm with a jack under it, and then releasing the tension by lowring that jack. You then install the new spring by jacking the arm back into place.

I've never done this myself, but I've heard of it being done.
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#4 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:11 PM

I’ve got a set that I used on my 190 which I think is the same front suspension setup (?) if you only need to use them once I could lend you mine?


That's kind of you. Same setup yeah. Where are you based?

#5 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:12 PM

I've used the external threaded bar and pair of clamps type on a W124 before. It was very tight, but it did work.

Theoretically it is also possible to do these by unbolting the lower arm with a jack under it, and then releasing the tension by lowring that jack. You then install the new spring by jacking the arm back into place.

I've never done this myself, but I've heard of it being done.


The springs are about a mile long though.. need a fair bit of lift under the car to do it that way I imagine.

#6 ONLINE   dome

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:23 PM

I've got a set somewhere I mean to sell, fucking frightening things to use. I only did one on my old 124, my bottle went before I did the second one. 



#7 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 01:23 PM

I've got a set somewhere I mean to sell, fucking frightening things to use. I only did one on my old 124, my bottle went before I did the second one. 

 

Feel a bit rickety did they?

 

b6200_1024x1024.jpg?v=1402671137

 

This is the type I've been looking at.



#8 OFFLINE   Jikovron

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:07 PM

This sort of task made me a tad anxious last time i had a jovial crack at doing such, I would certainly buy the correct equipment next time as although successfully completed there was a constant feeling of possible detrimental consequences.

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#9 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:58 PM

This sort of task made me a tad anxious last time i had a jovial crack at doing such, I would certainly buy the correct equipment next time as although successfully completed there was a constant feeling of possible detrimental consequences.

 

 

I've got a set of clamps like that.   Useful for coilover type suspension with the really small springs, frightening on anything else.

 

Braver than me having a go with them :D



#10 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 03:04 PM

Have a shonky picture...

 

28602727217_4a2ccd00e2_b.jpgFB_IMG_1531862155382 by davedorson, on Flickr



#11 OFFLINE   spike60

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 03:38 PM

Feel a bit rickety did they?

 

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0247/9...

 

This is the type I've been looking at.

I bought a set of these second hand,used once to do a front spring on a W126 a couple of years back, I wouldn't do one with threaded rod and hook type compressors, I've twice had those fly on much lesser springs. Mine were branded Bergen and I hoped they were a slightly better quality Chinese tat than some others, i've seen some shocking shit quality tools. They were available as 1250kg and 3750kg but I didn't see anything to say which springs need the heavy duty ones. 

The Merc springs I've done, 300SE and 320CLK, were very strong and needed a lot of compressing, these made it a little less intimidating.



#12 OFFLINE   2MB

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 06:28 PM

That's kind of you. Same setup yeah. Where are you based?


Near Leeds. The set I’ve got is very similar looking to the ones you posted in the red box, but in a blue box. As long as they are seated properly they aren’t too scary to use. The amount of compression merc springs need has to be seen to be believed.
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#13 OFFLINE   xkjagnz

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:03 AM

I've only once done a set on a Jaaaaaag used a mates homemade compressor, I could hear the threads giving way as I did it. Certainly tested the old pucker valve a bit. Never again
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#14 OFFLINE   fatharris

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:20 AM

Nope, fuck that.


Take the whole shock out, and take it to somewhere like HiQ or a friendly mechanic and ask them to fit the new spring to the shock. I paid £10 at HiQ and it saved me no end of fucking around. They even whizzed off a seized ARB link too.

Then, refit the shock. Guarantee this will be the quickest, safest and less frustrating option.
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#15 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:58 AM

Nope, fuck that.
Take the whole shock out


Not sure what you mean by 'the whole shock'


I've done 124 front springs with the Bergen tool, it's worth taking your time and care - you don't want stuff letting go. Second and third time round is easier and quicker.

I knew someone who would do them (and replace the balljoints) the shortcut way with a jack, having watched from a distance you've to be a highly accomplished mechanic or dim/lazy. Probably both or all three.

#16 OFFLINE   Talbot

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 12:30 PM

Nope, fuck that.
Take the whole shock out.


These don't use mc.fearsome struts. The damper and spring are seperate items, so the only way to remove the spring is to release it's tension.

I've used the threaded-rod-and-hooks type compressors on much bigger springs than this before (3.5tonne van) and no nuns or kittens died. That said, I did keep a respectable distance from it, and used a ratchet strap around the coils to ensure that if it *did* let go, there was only a small amount of movement available.
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#17 OFFLINE   fatharris

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 12:31 PM

Ah, I have no idea about old Mercs.

#18 OFFLINE   2MB

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:55 PM

These don't use mc.fearsome struts. The damper and spring are seperate items, so the only way to remove the spring is to release it's tension.

I've used the threaded-rod-and-hooks type compressors on much bigger springs than this before (3.5tonne van) and no nuns or kittens died. That said, I did keep a respectable distance from it, and used a ratchet strap around the coils to ensure that if it *did* let go, there was only a small amount of movement available.

It's the thickness and diameter, as well as the uncompressed length of merc springs that make using conventional spring compressors risky



#19 OFFLINE   mjrose78

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:09 PM

I tried to change a full set of springs on a w124. The amount of energy stored in the compressed spring was horrifying - enough to launch a kitten into orbit. I took the remaining three to a garage.... Springs that is, not kittens.

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#20 ONLINE   Captain Furious

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:42 PM

It’s a similar story with Mk3 Mondeos, you have to compress the fronts so much and they’re so stiff that by the time you’re down anywhere near enough to fit it to the shock you’re thinking christ, if this let’s go now it’s going to launch itself over the moon.

Hence paying a garage to replace the broken one it had on its MOT. I’m just not that adventurous anymore.
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#21 OFFLINE   djimbob

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:22 PM

I have nowt useful to add except I will never* bother doing springs myself again unless they are straight as a die with no mad curvature on the lengths like on my daughter's old Pug 207 - spent hours fighting with the front one's, using those crappy screw up compressors - scared the crap out of myself on several occasions - in marked contrast to how easy my old Transit was to do!

 

I love working on my motors myself, and might do again if I buy one of those professional bench presses type things, which is highly unlikely, best to let the fully equipped garage do it is the conclusion I have reluctantly come to, the potential for serious injury is too great :(

 

* I am a tight arse and I like to say "never say never" mind you :-P


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#22 ONLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 07:59 AM

I ended up taking mine to the main dealer for a new control arm with ball joint in May. My usual workshop couldn't find anywhere with the correct sized compressors and wasn't willing to risk it with their standard citroen sized ones. More importantly I wasn't willing for him to risk serious injury from working on my car.


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#23 ONLINE   artdjones

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 08:10 PM

I did a front spring on a 307 last year and couldn't get the top nut off the strut until the two pieces with the hooks on were actually touching.Just at that stage, when I was wondering if my face was about to be rearranged,one of my best customers rang and told me my work was about to be reduced by 50%.A great moment to tell me.

#24 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 10:20 AM

If it was a MacPherson strut I'd piss it to be fair, those clamp on tools make light work or them if you have good ones and take your time and compress and release evenly.

I've been messing about with cars since I was 14 (I'm 36 now) and do everything on all my cars myself unless time doesn't permit it. I've never done a Merc spring though. They look easy enough it's just really a question as to whether the internal Merc tools will make the job easier on the floor where it sits now. If it ran and drove and I could take it to a man I'd probably just throw the money at them but taking it to a man means finding a trailer, a tow car etc etc. Buying a £60 tool and spending a day on it is the easiest option for me however... If the tool is shonky and not worth it I'm not fussed and I'll move it with the broken spring and let future Dave deal with it.

#25 ONLINE   Hooli

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 12:49 PM

Change springs myself? sod that, I did it once & I'm not brave enough to try again.


Opinions expressed are those of this cunt, not any other cunt. They do not represent the views of those responsible for this forum.
Like any true Englishman I'm never unintentionally rude. If you're offended by this post, good as that is what was intended.

 


#26 ONLINE   The_Equalizer

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 01:11 PM

Feel a bit rickety did they?

 

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0247/9...

 

This is the type I've been looking at.

 

I used something very similar for the springs on my old W202. I just took my time and made sure I got the 'discs' the right way around. I also ensured, as best I could, that I was out of the 'firing line' at all times. In the end I replaced all four springs. They are notorious for the 'pig tails' to break which was the case in three out of four of mine. No problems to report and I still have my head where it should be.


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#27 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 09:32 PM

I used something very similar for the springs on my old W202. I just took my time and made sure I got the 'discs' the right way around. I also ensured, as best I could, that I was out of the 'firing line' at all times. In the end I replaced all four springs. They are notorious for the 'pig tails' to break which was the case in three out of four of mine. No problems to report and I still have my head where it should be.


Tools are ordered. Had a look under the car earlier. Some absolute weapon who's been on it before me has totally neglected to install the top spring bush, which is why it's sat low on one side.

I've also ordered a master fuel pressure kit as mine went missing at the weekend (I was at Bug Jam crewing for the minion one racecar). It might be with a mate but it might have got lost somewhere, but I don't have fittings for kjet and this kit does, and my guage was probably a bit low for it, this one is about 140psi

#28 OFFLINE   Junkman

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 10:06 PM

Which reminds me, I should probably check the shitty ball joints to avoid Lordsterlingage.

Then again, can I be arsed?


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#29 ONLINE   The_Equalizer

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 11:38 PM

 

Do like those AMG Aero 1 alloys, or at least I think that's the correct name. I've got 17" AMG Monoblocks on my CLK and noticed these style wheels (well they are quite similar) seem to be rather in 'fashion' if the number of Benzs supporting them at Bromley Pageant was anything to go by. Oh and good luck with the springs. 


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#30 OFFLINE   DaveDorson

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 08:50 AM

Do like those AMG Aero 1 alloys, or at least I think that's the correct name. I've got 17" AMG Monoblocks on my CLK and noticed these style wheels (well they are quite similar) seem to be rather in 'fashion' if the number of Benzs supporting them at Bromley Pageant was anything to go by. Oh and good luck with the springs. 

 

Thanks.

 

The offset on these is a bit wrong, they're way too sticky outy, I suspect they came from an S Class or something.

 

They're stamped as AMG, but I'm not sure they're genuine ones, as genuine ones are about £1000.00 a set.

 

I've got a set of 15 hole wheels to fit on it, with the correct profile tyres :).  I want to add gingercators too, as it all looks a bit too scene to me at the moment.







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