Failed MOT due rear suspension issues
Alfa 156 `04 1.6 Failed the NCT ( Irish MOT ) due rear drop links and rear anti roll bar bushings. After scanning the forum and the internet, I decided on Meyle drop links p/n: Meyle ( stabilizer link ) 15-160600007/HD ( ref No. 60613575) 50 Euro for 2 incl P + P . and Power flex anti roll bar bushings. PFR1-819-14 ( 14mm ) 44 euro for 2 , collect at Dublin supplier.
The original links had the allen key recess in the shaft of the bolt and despite plenty of WD 40 they all seized 3/4 way through loosening , they get tight and then the allen key hole gets rounded. .....had to use the angle grinder on them all, careful not to damage the mounting.
The anti roll bar was held on with 4 x 10mm head bolts. The bushing brackets came apart with some persuasion ( looked like they were welded together ) but hammering a screwdriver between the parts separated them . This released the rubber bushings. The two parts of each bracket ( 2 off ) have a machined raised part, circular flange ( male and female ) They are a tight fit together and when refitting with the new bushings they need to be pulled together with a couple of bolts and nuts to get the male and female flange to fit together. It sounds complicated but is obvious when looking at the bracket. Not doing this caused some problems ....see below.
We fitted the drop links to the anti roll bar , made sure the bar is offered up in the correct way. it has a bend downwards to clear the fuel filler pipe. Fitted the top part of the links loosely into their brackets , nuts on to hold them in place . Offered up the anti roll brackets and tried to pull the brackets together with the 10 mm head ( 6mm shaft ) bolts while fitting ........they are too light for this and one sheared off ! I managed to get a hack saw cut into what was luckily just barely protruding and it came out easily .....phew !!
Took the roll bar and links off and pulled the brackets together using the method described above. The circular male / female flange is a tight fit together and stayed together ( against the pressure of the new poly bush ) when the bolts and nuts used to pull it together were removed. All refitted and tightened up with the weight on the suspension.
It`s not a difficult job once you are prepared to use a small angle grinder if required ( be careful ) and pull the brackets together first before refit.
One test drive later and the alfa was back to its taught well handling self. MOT ( NCT ) passed a few days later with a verbal caution about the airbag light which passed the original test but was back on for the retest.....but thats another story !