Upper arm suspension bush - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 20-11-12
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Upper arm suspension bush

failed MOT on this, not sure exactly what bush it is... as tester never pointed it out.

is there a guide on what to change anywhere on the site?
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 20-11-12
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its on an 02 147 1.6 lusso
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Old 20-11-12
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How To... Change Upper Front Wishbone on an Alfa 147/156/GT

Try this!
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Old 20-11-12
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I've changed the uppers recently using the guide below. Fairly straightforward to do and I found the 'cup' type ball-joint separator (available from Halfrauds) the easiest to use in splitting the ball-joint
Also, you'll need to remember to torque-up the wishbone pivot bolt once it is back on the car with the suspension loaded up to ensure that the bush is tensioned in the correct start position, not whilst suspended on axle stands as the suspension will be on 'full droop' meaning that the bush will face excessive twisting forces if tightened back up in this start position. A rubber bush works to control movement and vibration by being twisted in both directions in its pressed-fit housing, as the suspension in compressed and unloaded.
You'll need to leave it relatively loose when locating it back over the strut mount so that there is some pivotal movement to assist you. Can be a bit fiddly getting it just right and you may find that a jack under one of the alloy bottom legs of the strut useful to help you push things back up into the mounting holes
Torqueing the nut and bolt up nice and tight is probably impossible to do with the wheels back on (unless someone has managed to find a way?), so I carefuly lowered the bottom wishbones onto car ramps, thus putting the suspension under load first. If it's left loose, then the bushes don't get to do their job properly.

Last edited by MarkMK; 20-11-12 at 13:38.
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Old 20-11-12
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Originally Posted by MarkMK View Post
Also, you'll need to remember to torque-up the wishbone pivot bolt once it is back on the car with the suspension loaded up to ensure that the bush is tensioned in the correct start position, not whilst suspended on axle stands as the suspension will be on 'full droop' meaning that the bush will face excessive twisting forces if tightened back up in this start position. A rubber bush works to control movement and vibration by being twisted in both directions in its pressed-fit housing, as the suspension in compressed and unloaded.
Not the case with the 147/156/GT upper arms. The bush is not bonded and is in fact designed to pivot round the 'top hat' sleeve. This is why they wear and squeak if not lubricated properly.
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Old 20-11-12
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Originally Posted by MarkMK View Post
Also, you'll need to remember to torque-up the wishbone pivot bolt once it is back on the car with the suspension loaded up to ensure that the bush is tensioned in the correct start position ...
Not correct. The upper wishbone bushes are not bonded to the wishbone or inner sleeves, they are free to rotate around them. Rotation of the wishbone is by relative movement of the wishbone around the bush there is no elastic torsion of the bush itself. What you say is true for the lower wishbone bushes but not the top wishbones.

The one bolt you do need to tighten with the suspension compressed is the long bolt that goes through the lower wishbone connecting the Y fork thing holding the shock. Easiest way to do this with the wheel removed is to simply jack up the bottom of the lower wishbone until the weight just comes off the axle stand. The suspension should then be in roughly the same position it is with the weight on the wheels.

Edit: beat me to it.
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Old 20-11-12
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I have changed one before. They are not too awkward to change but mechanics do not seem to like them at all (I guess it is the labour involved that they do not appreciate).


FWIW, I would not touch an 'ebay special' or any pattern top arm. My car (if the receipts are to be believed (the nuts seemed new as did the arm when I bought the car)) has failed the MOT today on a knackered arm which was only changed a year ago this month, and it has covered 18,000 miles in that time.

TBH I thought it was the arm that I changed (it was Vetech arm from GSF), although I am told that arm was fine. This time around I have gone for a Lemforder arm from ECP (who incidentally are doing a 30% discount for the winter on oils and suspension parts).

Yes they are cheap, but IME on previous suspension is one area where if you buy cheap, you buy twice (although it appears even I forget that lesson).

If they go again (although at least time I should have good quality balljoints (or at least on one side only this time)) I plan to fit the Superflex upper arm bush kit. Previously their bushes have really impressed me in many aspects (fit, longevity (even over Powerflex) and performance (I.E: your fillings do not get rattled out).

SuperFlex: Advanced polyurethane suspension bushes
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