Upper wishbone joints made of cheese! - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Originally Posted by RS232 View Post
Remember that after the correct torque the washer/inner tube makes a solid unit with the arm support.
So, what you are saying is that the bolt holds the metal part of the bushings in compression therefor there should be no wear to the bolt.

That is all well and good if you assume that the suspension loadings are parallel to the bolts, but they aren't - they are perpendicular which means that with the best will in the world there is still going to be the opportunity for movement, especially as the bolt is compressing at either end of an open wishbone. If there were two bolts - one for each pivot - then I'd agree with you, but there isn't. Over tightening will just compress the wishbone and lead to even quicker wear as the tubes will then be at angles to the bolt.
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ok, so for the stock rubber bushes, we should remove the inner metal sleeve and use what - red rubber grease to preserve the rubber bushing & lube? and then for the bolts lube w/ lithium/moly ngli-2 grease or copaslip or similar?

what do ppl use? / best results?
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Originally Posted by r11co View Post
So, what you are saying is that the bolt holds the metal part of the bushings in compression therefor there should be no wear to the bolt.

That is all well and good if you assume that the suspension loadings are parallel to the bolts, but they aren't - they are perpendicular which means that with the best will in the world there is still going to be the opportunity for movement, especially as the bolt is compressing at either end of an open wishbone. If there were two bolts - one for each pivot - then I'd agree with you, but there isn't. Over tightening will just compress the wishbone and lead to even quicker wear as the tubes will then be at angles to the bolt.
You aren't compressing the wishbone, you're only compressing the ends of the inner sleeves inside the bushes which can move relative to the wishbone (as the bushes can compress longitudinally to an extent). Once correctly torqued the inner sleeves are rigidly held by friction to the carrier so there shouldn't be any relative movement of the sleeves, bolt and carrier. The sleeves can't end up at an angle to the bolt because the faces on the end of the sleeve and carrier have to end up flush when the bolt is tightened.

Don't think using rubber as a bearing surface is ever going to win any design awards. I guess the problem with such short wishbones is the rotational movement is high so bonded bushings that take up the movement through elastic torsion of the bush wouldn't work. I'd have thought it possibly better to use solid metallic bearings for the rotation and isolate the carrier from the chassis with a rubber mounting to keep the NVH down. But who knows, maybe they tried this and it wasn't up to much either ... or cost too much ?
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To R11CO

"especially as the bolt is compressing at either end of an open wishbone."

Just 3 things.
If you ever seen the complete assembly you well know that the support/carrier of the arm (big cast alloy thing) that holds the arm and suspension shock/coil leaves no gaps after you put the arm in place (the support/carrier fills the gap between the bushes/inner sleeves).
If you have side play after that (correct torque) there is something wrong with the upper suspension assembly.
And last if you remove the rubber bush from the arm you will see that the contact surface is not smooth but has profile/contour and there isn't 100% contact between the bush and alloy cast of the arm.
Only when they wear off is when the problems start, so if you grease it you have less friction and longer live.

Ric

Last edited by RS232; 12-11-11 at 17:05.
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I'm not disputing these points - that basically the tubes are supposed to form part of what is effectively a rigid pivot for the rubber bushes to 'rub around' once the bolt is torqued up. In theory yes, but there are better ways of doing that than flat contact points that are simply compressed together. A toothed face, splines or even a fixing bolt with conical mating surfaces (like wheel bolts) would have been an engineering solution that would comply with this idea.

With the best will in the world the amount of torque on the bolts is not going to give enough compression to avoid road bumps putting longitudinal strain on these contact points so even if the bolt is a very tight fit in the arm sleeves and chassis mounting point it is still going to be subject to an amount of 'up and down' movement which will instantly get worse the moment the bolt isn't compressing enough to keep all the pieces rigidly together, which will happen as a result of natural wear and tear and stretch on the bolt.

As I said - a splined bolt or one with conical ends would go a long way to avoid the premature wear issue. It still stands to reason that a new bolt should be fitted each time (for the same reason that brake caliper mounting bolts should be regarded as single-use items even if they appear to be fine and holding everything in place).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r11co View Post
With the best will in the world the amount of torque on the bolts is not going to give enough compression to avoid road bumps putting longitudinal strain on these contact points so even if the bolt is a very tight fit in the arm sleeves and chassis mounting point it is still going to be subject to an amount of 'up and down' movement which will instantly get worse the moment the bolt isn't compressing enough to keep all the pieces rigidly together, which will happen as a result of natural wear and tear and stretch on the bolt.
Well perhaps you'd better get back to Alfa with your calculations that show that the bolt torque is insufficient to prevent movement of the inner bush sleeves relative to the carrier and that the bolts will stretch over time reducing the clamping force. I'm sure they never considered any of this when selecting the bolt and tightening torque.
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Originally Posted by Alexie View Post
Well perhaps you'd better get back to Alfa with your calculations that show that the bolt torque is insufficient to prevent movement of the inner bush sleeves relative to the carrier and that the bolts will stretch over time reducing the clamping force. I'm sure they never considered any of this when selecting the bolt and tightening torque.
You're right, they probably didn't. Take a look at the totally different design on the 159 upper wishbone - with separate mountings bolted to the chassis and no through-bolt, they seem to have learned from their mistake.

The 156 upper wishbone mounting design appears to have been just a shortcut to avoid re-engineering the suspension turret, inherited from the conventional McPherson strut design used previously.

-Alex
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Take a look at the totally different design on the 159 upper wishbone - with separate mountings bolted to the chassis and no through-bolt, they seem to have learned from their mistake.
I wasn't aware of that!

I suggested three possible engineering solutions to the problem in previous posts and by pure coincidence Alfa have already adopted one of them!
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The 159/Brera is 10-years later than the 156/147/GT chassis, so you should expect it to be different...
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gents, please see my prior post - i am planning on doing my top arm and injecting grease into the lower (no issues, wanna keep it that way)...

what type of grease should i be injecting to the stock arms? red rubber grease or zeta 2 (i will use a NGLI-2 extreme pressure lithium based substitute here should be a match for zeta 2:
EXTREME PRESSURE GREASE - Penrite Oil )

or zeta 2 substitute for the bolts and inject red rubber grease for the stock rubber bushings?
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I use the red rubber grease and it works for me.
The only failure I had in 3 1/2 years was due to defective arm and not wear on the bushes or ball joint.
One last thing my bella is over 175T and passed the MOT 2 weeks ago without problems.

Ric
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If someone do this soon, please take some photos, and make one complete tutorial about upper wishbones (where to apply grease, what new bolts to use etc. )
My upper wishbones are squeaking, so will need to do this soon, and normally that i want to use the best that can be done to minimize the risk of happening same problem in a short notice.
Thanks.
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Mine creak too (usually first thing in the morning - I sympathise).

I'm taking the attitude though that although they have only done 31kmiles they are celebrating their 6th birthday soon, and age-hardening and weather (especially the last two winters) will have taken their toll.

If they need replacing then so be it and a proper maintenance regime can start then. I'm even considering poly bushes in the new arms, but the prices of those have risen drastically recently. There was a Polish company doing them cheaper than Powerflex but they seem to have raised their prices to a few pence below.
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my car is an 04 v6 w/ 100k kms and all original arms... i'm only doing the tops as i am swapping out the dampers + springs... i will do a rough guide if necessary.
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Quote:
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I'm taking the attitude though that although they have only done 31kmiles they are celebrating their 6th birthday soon, and age-hardening and weather (especially the last two winters) will have taken their toll.
When i change mine, and they last 32k km i will be
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RS232 View Post
Simple...
Before mounting the upper arms take some time to remove the rubber bushes from the arm (easy enough to do) remove washer/inner tube from bush.
Assemble everything back together with a nice amount of grease and only then put it on the car.
No noise/squeak and they last much longer
Remmember that after the correct torque the washer/inner tube makes a solid unit with the arm support.

Ric
I'm with you on that one. I removed the bushes on my chinese wishbone this weekend before I installed it (yeah I never learn), turns out the bushes are dry from the factory! Took them apart and put some silicone grease in there and reassembled... Lovely and smooth to rotate now, I reckon that just tripled its lifespan.

J
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Bushes easy enough to remove? - Will be changing mine soon...
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Bushes easy enough to remove? - Will be changing mine soon...
Yes they are
Just get a socket big enough to fit the inner sleeve/washer (32mm should be enough)
One 1/2 inch long extension (or similar) and a hammer
Just hit the inside part of the bush (with the socket under it) and it should come out with 2 or 3 hits.
Once out of the arm do it like this
1st remove the inner sleeve
2nd grease the outside of the bush
3rd fit the bush back into the arm
4rd grease the inner sleeve and fit it back into the bush
And that's it is ready to go into the car
About the long bolt and nut if not damaged you can reuse it but it's up to you

Hope it helps
Ric
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Nice one, I can do brute force - imagined there would be more finesse involved...
Still undecided about the bolts...
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Quote:
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Nice one, I can do brute force - imagined there would be more finesse involved...
Still undecided about the bolts...
You need a bit of brute force to remove them because they are dry.
Once you grease them you will see that they are very easy to refit and remove them if needed.
About the bolt as far I know it a dealer only item.

Ric
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EB spares do them, £12.50 each
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EB spares do them, £12.50 each
Why not just replace the nylock nut ?
I didn't replace mine and they are still fine.

Ric
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I think I will @ that price I'd expect gold plating
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Ive got the cheese variety from az spares on ebay takes 20-30 mins a side to fit at £21 a wishbone it lasts at least year or more why is this thread longer than a book about the second world war?
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EB spares do them, £12.50 each
Yes and with carriage and VAT total bill is £38.40!,I know I bought them.
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