I spoke to Alfashop and EB Spares - both say they don't have enough demand.
I spoke to Powerflex - they didn't seem too interested as they have feedback from the traders above who say there is not enough demand.
I spoke to Eddie at Alfaman Services (www.alfamanservices.co.uk
) - he was much more positive and thinks he could persuade Poweflex/Superflex to make bushes - all he needs is a donor car to be able to copy the bushes. I think he's a bit optimistic because the suppliers were talking of quite big quantities needed to go into production. He was estimating about £200 for a complete set for the rear of the car.
However, I have another plan:
Superflex (who were very helpful with technical details) will sell round bar raw material in various diameters and hardnesses. I have found a machine shop that is willing to machine the stuff. I'm going to strip my car down and measure the bushes and their housings. I will then make engineering drawings for the bushes and have them made. I plan to have the front upper and lower wishbone bushes, the rear lower wishbone bushes, the rear upright (hub carrier) bush and the rear upper link bushes made. Maybe I'll go for anti-roll bar bushes too but I may be limited to round bushes only.
If I make enough I may offer them for sale.
I hope someone from Alfa Romeo reads this as I think their spare parts policy is a complete rip-off.
My 166, that I have bought recently, has only done 40000 miles. I've had a 155 and two 156s, each for 3 years 75000miles (company cars) and I think I used up all Alfa UK's stock of suspension arms in that time.
I think that the relatively short life for all Alfa bushes is partly due to the poor dampers that they fit. The dampers seem to go off after about 15000 miles of enthusiastic driving. Once they go soft the suspension is allowed to move through its full range of travel much more. Thefefore the rubber bushes are stretched much more.
That's just one of my theories anyway. (I have another one about the Brontosaurus!).
In addition to the bushes I'll be fitting a full set of Koni Sport dampers to try and sort things out. Anyone out there used these on a 166?