Took it up to the garage today, went down the road and managed to replicate the sound. Got it up on the ramp and discovered the passenger side bottom arm was knackered and had loads of play.
Picking it up tomorrow evening and praying that's it for a while otherwise the car will be going.
Matt, these cars do go through front suspension at a rate, lowers have to be replaced anywhere between 30k (if you drive like a loon and live in a speed bump hot zone) or 75k (if you live on a golf course and drive like a grandad!) 60k is a good average though and most cars with a 100k plus will be on the 2nd set.
you can help by polybushing the uppers next time if you have OEM in there but aftermarket parts will not accommodate the powerflex bushes.
if you are running out of patience after a couple of wishbones then maybe Alfa ownership is not for you! its pretty much like painting a bridge with these as by the time you have done everything its time to start again.
droplinks will likely need doing at some point as well (I am on my second set in the cars life) and my next bit of work having replaced both upper and lower wishbones,ARB drop links and scrapped the whole OEM suspension set up shocks and springs for bilstiens and ARB's for eibachs ,will be rear transverse arms and subframe bushes.
this is addition to clutch and flywheel,EGR delete,swirl flap removal,(don't worry your cf3 04 does not have flaps) a new radiator, silicone turbo boost hoses ,vac hoses,MAF,MAP VNT actuator solenoid, one WCU unit, a door handle,Bonnet and boot badges,handbrake cables, 3 x full services including a new fuel filter, a reconditioned steering rack (as mine was one of the ones that left the factory with the wrong fluid) and track rod ends, performance front pads and racing fluid.
several bulbs and a full body undersealing.
now you may think I bought a dud...BUT
this was one with 70k on the clock with a FSH from a reputable dealer who did a full service and cambelt on purchase and I paid £5500 just over a year ago...car is and was cosmetically immaculate. the mechanical's are now as good as the body work, at the time of purchase after a thorough inspection and thorough test drive where I tried my best to ''uncover any faults'' it was all good as gold...problems did not surface until around 10k into owneship, which on my mileage is about 3-4 months..
its worth mentioning I have covered 35,000 miles in the time I have owned it so if you think of my yearly maintenance as being akin to what most would do in 3 it begins to make sense...and the roads in my area and on my commute are pony.
the car has also been re-mapped twice now, once with the egr delete to around 180 BHP which killed the clutch, replaced with a stage one dimpled jobbie and recently re-mapped again again when the hyrbrid turbo was fitted, now pushing around 220 BHP..
possible because my work mileage is now 10k a year..happy days
don't want to scare you but I think front suspension, a clutch and flywheel and the odd unexpected is to be expected from a 12 year old Italian car, I run two fiat coupes as well and its just par for the course with the way these cars are engineered.
in fact i can't think of many 12 year old cars that won't require a bit of fettling in the first few months of ownership.
good luck with it..