Front anti-roll bar & MOT - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 12-08-16 Thread Starter
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Front anti-roll bar & MOT

A couple of months back I bought a 156 'wagon from an Alfa specialist garage, who supposedly has a good reputation. The proprietor is a lovely guy to talk to. He had serviced the car for 10 years. I live many miles away from said garage, but sometimes stay some where about 100 miles from him....so it's not a case of popping back for a chat. I may well be going back to see him because the brake operation isn't as good as it should be, but I want to know about the title subject before I do.

I sometimes use another Alfa specialist that is closer to me....they mentioned the brake issue, & also that the front ant-roll bar bushes were very worn, - the bar can be moved by hand when the car's up on a ramp. BUT, they said it's not an MOT failure.

I've since been told by someone else that it is.

The way the car drives is acceptable....maybe I would get the bushes done in time....don't know. But if it's going to fail an MOT, then I'm going to be really peed-off, as I'm told it's a 4-hour job to replace them.

My question I'd like opinion on is will an MOT station spot it and are they likely to fail it?

If it's a sure-fire fail, the selling-garage hasn't maintained the car properly, & the Testing Station (same one for years) hasn't tested it properly.
In addition....the Seller repaired the floor using spot-welding, so bodged that, & the MOT tester didn't spot it either.

Potential can of worms.

Knowledgeable advice please.....
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Shouldn't fail the mot on roll bar bushes. Mine passed last year.

If you feel a knocking under the pedals the bushes are gone. It is annoying rather than dangerous. The reason it takes 4hours to change is because the sub-frame needs removing. This presents loads of challenges as it is likely that every nut and bolt is rusty and seized.

Spot welds are ok on the rear floor pan if the entire floor pan has been replaced. The section would never have been seem welded from the factory. If it's a patch then a seem weld is needed.

Your car sounds very much like every other 156, these are common issues. To be fair to the seller and the previous mot inspectors if you don't poke around too much all can look very good. On mine the underseal was intact until very recently and the car appears to be rotting from the inside out.

I'd guess 4 hours labour for the roll bar and another 4 hours for any welding. That's a lot of money on a car that realistically isn't worth more than 1000 with 12 months MOT. I might fix mine because I really like the car and have owned it for over 3 years doing nearly 60,000 miles and know the rest of the motor is mechanically good but common sense tells me it's time to move on.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Last edited by dgmayhead; 12-08-16 at 11:43.
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I am 99.9% certain that front anti-roll bar bushes are "advisory" only.

I am 99.9% certain that patch repair must be seam welded. A full repair with complete panel can be spot welded if the original welds at that location were spot welds. This standard is what i always apply to repairs I do myself (I do a few) and is what I would expect from anyone else.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 25 Old 12-08-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply chaps. MY Mot station is only a couple of doors away from me & I asked him about the welding. It should be seamed.
If a car fails & comes back into him with the repair done & sealed, & he is dubious of a proper job, he says he has the right to remove the sealant & inspect the job.

I am not asking for opinion on the welding aspect because I've been told the above, - I only mentioned it because it was an example of dodgy work on the car that I was surprised to find, - & the tidying of it cost me money at Alfa-garage 2.
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The rule book here (page 9)

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...7-vehicles.pdf

would suggest otherwise re the antil roll bar bushes.
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Thanks Rockhopper
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The anti roll bar on the diesel's been rattling like buggery for the 1.5 years and 2 mot's I've put it through. If you change the drop links beforehand, the stiffness in their ball joints will help locate the roll bar too.

It's at most a 3 hour job for a specialist by the way.

Guide here;

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ent-guide.html (Front Anti Roll ( Sway ) bar replacement guide)
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The MOT testers that would advise the anti roll bars are more than likely the correct ones to follow advise from.
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As above ARB is not an MOT failure. Mine has been knackered on my 156 for years, having it done soon as I've done uppers and lowers.

I'm pretty sure an MOT tester doesn't have the right to remove under sealant- they're not even allowed to remove under trays.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 25 Old 13-08-16 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shimmerydolmeo View Post
As above ARB is not an MOT failure. Mine has been knackered on my 156 for years, having it done soon as I've done uppers and lowers.

I'm pretty sure an MOT tester doesn't have the right to remove under sealant- they're not even allowed to remove under trays.
With regard to the sealant after a welding job,- the circumstances he quoted are specific. He also said if a repaired car had just been done by someone he knew he could trust, & was already sealed he wouldn't feel the need to remove & check it.
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Originally Posted by Ex-105 View Post
With regard to the sealant after a welding job,- the circumstances he quoted are specific. He also said if a repaired car had just been done by someone he knew he could trust, & was already sealed he wouldn't feel the need to remove & check it.
I'm fairly sure he doesn't have the RIGHT to sand/grind away sealant without your permission. Whether he will or not is another matter. He might refuse to MOT it unless he removes sealant but that will be your decision not his. Your car is your legal property and work cannot be carried out without your permission.

EDIT: This sounds like a guy who is trying to get the work done by his garage or his mate.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimmerydolmeo View Post
I'm fairly sure he doesn't have the RIGHT to sand/grind away sealant without your permission. Whether he will or not is another matter. He might refuse to MOT it unless he removes sealant but that will be your decision not his. Your car is your legal property and work cannot be carried out without your permission.

EDIT: This sounds like a guy who is trying to get the work done by his garage or his mate.
MOT testers cannot explore the cause of failure just report what they see, its a pass a fail or an advisory only.
If it failed on shocks and you had them replaced would he check every bolt was tightened to the correct torque, NO, he would carry out his standard check for leakage and deteriorated bushes.

For corrosion he would check for holing by striking with his rubber mallet or a pick, its either rusted or not.
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MOT testers cannot explore the cause of failure just report what they see, its a pass a fail or an advisory only.
If it failed on shocks and you had them replaced would he check every bolt was tightened to the correct torque, NO, he would carry out his standard check for leakage and deteriorated bushes.

For corrosion he would check for holing by striking with his rubber mallet or a pick, its either rusted or not.
Exactly.
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TO use your thread a bit, can worn ARB bushes cause a single knock below pedals usually on hard braking/acceleration ? I hear the same knock on when turning to lock.
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TO use your thread a bit, can worn ARB bushes cause a single knock below pedals usually on hard braking/acceleration ? I hear the same knock on when turning to lock.
Yes. Knocking under the pedals is classic ARB bush wear.
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If you do change your anti roll bar bushes I would definitely use polyurethane, not much dearer and worth it in the long run, I've done all 3 of mine with polyurethane and never had a clunk since.
Regarding the welding, he cannot fail it, only advise as unknown repair.
As a general rule regarding corrosion, they normally say if you can get your little finger in its classed as excessive, any less then pass & advise. That's going from personal past experience, every station has their own idea on testers discression.
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Quote:
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Yes. Knocking under the pedals is classic ARB bush wear.
Will not fixing it cause any additional damage? It's a real annoyance, but I have other stuff to fix first.
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No the roll bar bushes can knock away for years without harm, other than to your sanity.
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No the roll bar bushes can knock away for years without harm, other than to your sanity.
I have narrowed down the noise to either that or possibly a CV joint . I experience it only on very hard acceleration, for example, floring 2nd till 4000RPM. Concerning braking, think nearly emergency braking. Not sure which of those two are more likely to be the cause. Any thoughts? My mechanic, an Alfa specialist , said everything with my drivetrain and suspension is alright, but that knock has to come from somewhere.
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It is very easy to diagnose a roll bar knock. Jack up the front of the car, remove the front wheels, unbolt and remove the roll bar droplinks (both sides). Using cable ties or similar, tie the ends of the anti roll bar in place (from memory the forward part of the subframe is perfect to tie to) to stop it flapping around. Then go for a drive. If the noise is gone, the problem is your roll bar. If no change, look elsewhere.
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It is very easy to diagnose a roll bar knock. Jack up the front of the car, remove the front wheels, unbolt and remove the roll bar droplinks (both sides). Using cable ties or similar, tie the ends of the anti roll bar in place (from memory the forward part of the subframe is perfect to tie to) to stop it flapping around. Then go for a drive. If the noise is gone, the problem is your roll bar. If no change, look elsewhere.
Will do, sounds like an easy enough thing for a novice. Just speculation of course, but if not roll bar, what comes to your mind regarding such a knock?
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Your description of the knock does not sound like the roll bar to me. Have you checked all engine mounts?
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Your description of the knock does not sound like the roll bar to me. Have you checked all engine mounts?
FInally off work tomorrow, will check most things I can think off. An engine mount crossed my mind too, but why would it produce a sound when turning to lock? Perhaps two separate issues?
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No the roll bar bushes can knock away for years without harm, other than to your sanity.
When mine was knocking and I ignored it for 8 months I ended up with both front tyres knackered, worn down to nothing on the inner edges - it had new lower/upper arms all round and had been 4 wheel tracked...
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Mine knocked for 5 years before I got round to fixing it. Tyre wear was always perfectly even.

Inner edge tyre wear is usually caused by too much toe out.
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