Alfa 156 front suspension rebuild advice. - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 22-10-10 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Pernice's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 29

Member car:


Alfa 156 front suspension rebuild advice.

My 156 has clocked up a fair few miles - 157k now and the front suspension is knocking a bit so I thought I'd go the whole hog and replace everything.

This includes upper and lower wishbones and droplinks, and anti-roll bar bushes.

I'm thinking I can drop the subframe to do the ARB bushes quite easily with the wishbones and drop links disconnected.

Is there a thread on how to do this?

The kind of questions I have are:
how long to allow for the job?,
have I forgotten any parts?,
what are the best points to lift the car with assuming the subframe's coming off?
Does the engine support itself without the subframe?
If the ARB is rusted around the bushes is it better to renovate it with paint or just use a load of grease?
Any other hints or tips that would be useful.

Many thanks.
Pernice is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: Dirty hands but still smiling
AO Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Somerset
Posts: 27

Member car:

2001 156 2.4 10v

I replaced struts, springs, all wishbones, ARB and droplinks last year and read the following links in order to build up a picture of what to do. Personally I replaced the ARB with a new one to get around the potential problem of rusted ARB where the bushes sit. It took me a weekend to do my work, working alone on the driveway, but this was not rushing, if I wasn't sure I stopped an dthought about it (drank stuff as well!). I don't believe the engine will support itself without the subframe, I certainly used a trolley jack for the engine.
Hope this helps. (Suspension Fitting (Koni FSD) - 156 GTA) (DIY Shock Fitting)
How To... Change Upper Front Wishbone on an Alfa 147/156/GT
Fun starts @ 3000!
SomersetTaff is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 6 Old 23-10-10 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Pernice's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 29

Member car:


That has helped massively.
I'd already drawn blood and turned the air blue before seeing your post and was wondering what to do next.
The Sears mention of a scissor splitter persuaded me to get one and it is amazing, the top wishbone howto was really valuable, and the ARB bush replacement with subframe in place seems the way to go for me.
Now trying to make up for lost time and amazed to find little allen key slots in the balljoints so they don't just turn when you're trying to undo them.

Surprisingly the main wishbones seem to be OK. Drop links were falling apart, and a little play and some creaking in the upper wishbones.

Thanks again. I definitely owe you one.
Pernice is offline  
(Post Link) post #4 of 6 Old 24-10-10 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Pernice's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 29

Member car:


Is there a secret to getting the lower wishbones back on?

I can't undo the allen bolts that hold the tuning fork things on, but the springs are compressed.
I got the wishbones attached on the inside, but the outer lower balljoint won't go in.

Thinking about undoing the driveshaft from the inside but it shouldn't be this difficult?
Pernice is offline  
Status: Tin worm attack ... ARGHH!
AO Gold Member
gazza82's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: United Kingdom
County: Buckinghamshire
Posts: 8,285
Images: 12
You need to fit the ball joint end in first ... but then that makes it hard to fit the inner mounting bolts ... what is easy is to cross thread the blighters ...

My technique is to remove the suspension upright, hub and driveshaft as one (undo the six inner CV bolts) ... fit the arm ... then replace the assembly hooking it onto the balljoint end. You can leave the strut in place but you will need to split the upper wishbone and tie-rod balljoints. I take the caliper off as well and support it to reduce the weight .. don't let it hang on the hose .. and the brake disc for the same reason. I find it easier, possibly longer, to go for the six inner bolts than the hub nut as that needs a thin-walled socket and a lot of torque.

Getting the driveshaft back can involve three hands ... two to support the assembly and the other to force the arm down to fit the shaft back into the lower fork .. unless you can get that off ... and many, including me, can't. I have managed on my own a couple of times with one foot on the lower arm pushing it down as you man-handle the suspension upright and driveshaft.

It's fun, fun, fun .. rewarded in the end (or part way through) with a cold beer or three!

Loctite the CV bolts and nuts when you put them back.

Also don't overtighten the lower arm mounting bolts .. it's very, very easy to strip the threads.

cheers, Gary

HIS: 1998 156 2.0 TSpark with Sport Pack 2, sunroof and hi-level spoiler in Alfa Rosso. V6 intake mod, clear side repeaters and Zeatek undertray.

HERS: 2009 MiTo 1.4 95bhp Turismo arrived 21st November in Techno Grey with colour-coded headlight surrounds.

"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"
My Alfa156 Web Site - how-to's, piccies, links, useful stuff, etc.
gazza82 is offline  
(Post Link) post #6 of 6 Old 25-10-10 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Pernice's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 29

Member car:


Thanks very much for your help Gary
Your three hands suggestion was a good one- I got a friend to come round and help and it made quite a difference.
A couple of other things worked for me as well.
Using 2 G Clamps to force the wishbone mountings down into position on the subframe.
Disconnecting the steering arm as well as the upper wishbone from the hub assembly to give it freedom of movement.
Compressing the springs.
Positioning the hub assembly so that the top of upright bar is tipped back towards the car was what was needed to get the lower balljoint back in, even when the wishbone was attached to the tuning fork and the subframe.

Last edited by Pernice; 26-10-10 at 06:38.
Pernice is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

156 , advice , alfa , front , rebuild , suspension

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome