156 steering rack tie rod replacement
Hi Alfa Fans/Experts,
I've just got my '98 156 2.0 TS through the MOT (failed on emmissions - new CAT - and front brake flexes - 2 afternoon's work earlier this week in the mild if damp weather) but got advisory on steering play (I knew there was an issue and was actually expecting a fail) and ARB bushes (sideways movement - not 'up and down'). Anyway the mechanic had a good look on the re-test and said both inner tie rods are shot and were very marginal.
So here's my dilemma - I've just got back into car maint in last couple of years (needs must and time available) so how easy a job are the tie rods? I can buy all the bits from Shop4parts for about £70 - inc Track rod ends to be on the safe side.
The other option is to get a good used rack fitted and have the ARB bushes done at the same time, but the ARB bushes don't seem to be a problem now (there was a pronounced knock/bang from drivers floor just after I had the wishbones done but it's gone away now a local (well respected) tyre place diagnosed the ARB bushes as that's all they could see with play and it looked like if it moved all the way across it would hit the lower TCA under compression. I think labour for rack and bushes is going to be around 4 hours (£180 + VAT at my nearest specialist), and the going rate for a decent used rack seems to be about £40.
Final thought - Does anyone know a way of changing ARB bushes easily (without dropping subframe)? Or do any of the traders/soecialist breakers on here have any tricks to offer - assuming not too far from Notts!
I'm trying to keep the spend down but don't want to be having work done twice. Any advice greatfully received.