After almost 20 years of being fitted, I thought it was time to replace the front strut top mount bushes on the Mercedes SL R129. This is part of the SL’s front end refurbishment that is taking place pretty much as I have time to tinker.
The top bush or rubber mount that is fitted between the chassis and the damper/shock absorber leg is a metalastic bonded rubber bushing and as such is susceptible to cracking over time and should be inspected regularly as it is possible for the mount to fail in such a manner that the damper rod can push up into the bonnet/hood with the full weight of the vehicle, if it were to give way completely. £££ !
The video below hopefully documents the simple procedure to replace these bushes, there is no need to remove the road wheel although careful and accurate use of a trolley jack to raise and lower the vehicle (keeping the tyre on the ground at all times to control height) to remove the strut top will be needed. Just make sure that the brake flexible hose to the caliper is not stretched or pulled during this process.
The only other tricky thing is to replace the protective bellows that are attached to the rubber lip on the lower part of the strut top bush, familiarise yourself in how this is fitted before removing the old bush. It will be a fiddle to re-install, and once you develop a technique you will find it quite simple to do. I have even read that some people when replacing the damper / shock absorbers too, fit the gaiter on the bench before installation. This may be worth considering if you are doing a complete suspension job. The best technique I found was to roll back the top lip of the gaiter all round the top (turn it inside out around) then offer up the gaiter. While pushing it up against the mounting lip, roll over the top lip of the gaiter onto the suspension mount – worked a treat!
A straight forward job that can be accomplished with the minimum of tools in a short time.