Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 04-03-08 Thread Starter
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Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP!

Okay folk it's another plea for help following that MOT last week I need to replace the bottom wishbones.

The scene so far having studied threads on here I felt confident to attempt this myself I also checked a few other suggested links.

Starting with front offside I removed the various bolts around the wheel side of the Wishbone and found that with a little extra height that the bottom ball joint would drop out of the wheel hub so I proceeded to undo the 4 inner bolts on the chassis side only to have the back inner one under the roll bar sheer in half.

So a week later !!!!!!

I have managed to drop and seperate ball joint and the wheel hub today then burnt the rubber union on the back of the wishbone and with a bit of leverage and jiggery pokery seperated the two and also levering out the bracket and remaining bit of the bolt so removing the wishbone aswell.

I have now spent the last 4 hours wiggling and tooing and frowing with the new arm but just cannot for love or money get the bugger in.

Is there a thread with a full run through of this bit of service work - I have checked a few but they talk about seperating the wheel hub and ball joint which is gonna be another £70.00 plus on the cost as I have the other side to do aswell yet.

Also where can I get the replacement bolts from or are these Alfa specific?

Pretty photo's or diagrams would help or is there a service manual on line that I can refer to.

Or if you are local to Manchester and can spare half an hour in exchange for your petrol and lashings of tea and coffee to point me in the right direction?

Any help

Much appreciated

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Re: Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP!

I dont mean to be pessimistic but the same son of a ***** cost me a bi-lateral knee operation, so good luck and fingers crossed.

If will recap what I did, if I can well recall:
Anti-roll bar droplink removed
Cross bolt for suspension fork removed and fork separated from lower wishbone
Track rod ball joint seperated - gives infinitely more maneouverability and you will definitely need it!
Upper Wishbone balljoint cracked and removed.
Lower Wishbone balljoint obviously cracked to allow you to replace the arm

Inverse replacement:
Lower wishbone balljoint into hub - dont attach a nut, but be very careful
Swing the rear part of the wishbone into place(rear = towards back of car, front = towards front of car). From memory this took some very significant maneouvering of the arm, more than I ever expected including pulling the thing up and toward me and taking the hub weight.
Swing the front into place again I cant quite remember but this took significant maneouvering. You have to be strong and scrape all your knuckles im afraid.

You then should be able to fasten things up from there. Was in Manchester before I moved to France, sorry cant help now.
Good luck.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 5 Old 04-03-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP!

Oh Gauld !

Looks like I am gonna have to split them trackrods and buy new as will I also have to the droplinks as they are siezed solid and the allen screw taper is goosed buy a previous owners toying.

As for the knuckles well they've been scraped all day

Thank you for the help at least it can be done................somehow!
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Re: Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP!

You can separate the track rod end from the hub using a ball joint separator without damaging it, I would get the type that basically is shaped like a sort of cup with a slot in, and a screw facing the slot allowing you to force the taper out of the joint without damaging it (but use a piece of wood or something to avoid damaging the thread).

Also, with regards to the droplinks, they are a pain to get loosened but if you use some penetrating oil and leave the tension of the ARB on it whilst trying to loosen the nut it should come off. I managed mine by using a rubber hammer to hit the spanner hard which eventually loosened the nut and allowed it to be removed.

I also found it easiest to wiggle the wishbone into place at the back before locating the ball joint in the hub, then angling the ball joint as far outwards as possible and tapping it into place gently with a hammer, and BTW I managed without removing the track rod ends as well, main trouble I had was getting the bolts in afterwards as they are a pig to locate.

Good luck.

< Rob >

Spider 2.0 TS 1997
156 2.0 TS Selespeed 1999 (now sold)
147 2.0 TS Lusso 2002
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Re: Bottom Wishbone HELP! HELP!

Lower arms were the most soul destroying job on the car, took ruddy ages to change.

From memory I did this:
Remove Wheel
Remove TR End from Hub
Remove Upper wishbone from hub
Remove ARB droplinks both sides and lift the ARB out of the way
Remove fork to wishbone bolt
Remove 4 bolts holding wishbone to car
Remove nut from lower wishbone to hub
Pull the lower wishbone off the car.

I spent 2 hours trying to get the lower wishbone back on until I finally gave up and split the driveshaft. So the refit procedure is:

Split the driveshaft (This takes 20 minutes as long as you have an allen key head for your ratchet otherwise don't even attempt it!)
Support the hub well!
Bang and crash the lower wishbone back into place and put the 4 bolts back in to the wishbone/subframe.
With the driveshaft removed you can pretty much move the hub where you want, which means you can angle it quite severely to get the lower wishbone balljoint in. So put that on and do it up.
Rejoin the upper wishbone.
Reconnect the fork to the lower wishbone
Reconnect the driveshafts
Do up droplinks
Put the track rod end back on
Replace the wheel.

The 4 wishbone to subframe bolts are standard fiat/alfa suspension bolts, I sheared a few and got off the shelf replacements from my local specialist.

Edit: Its also much easier with spring compressors.

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