Upper/Lower wishbone, droplink, and track rod end replacement - Alfa Romeo Forum
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propellorhead
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Upper/Lower wishbone, droplink, and track rod end replacement

I planned to do both sides of the car today, I was happy I got one side done by the end of it

I had to drop the strut to get the bolt for the top wishbone out, use a blowtorch on the upper wishbone balljoint, use an angle grinder to get the droplink off, I used two jacks, a big pry bar and a hammer on the lower wishbone. Oh, and one of the new droplinks had a buggered thread and is useless.

I started at 11am and was out for a test drive at 5.30pm after jamming my fingers grazing every knuckle and various spots on my arm. I've done this kind of work on other cars over the years and never had this much trouble! It may have been my hangover, the cheap parts I bought on ebay or just a general lack of talent, but It was an absolute pig of a job. And I'm doing the other side next weekend

Generally I enjoy car maintenance as a bit of a hobby and was planning on doin a bit of a 'how to' with pics. I took one picture and decided it would probably be a more of a 'could do better'!
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Fair play. Always though rear sway bar and drop links on rear of 156 was easy....
Anything on the front was horrible IMO.

Of course rust is never your friend too...
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The front end can be tricky alright. Seized bolts being the worst of it. There are good guides. For the anti roll bar links, the secret is to have the front balanced. So if you jack up one side of the car then it puts pressure onthe roll bar and wont allow the link to slide out. Takes some tinkering, but it is possible to take it out by hand. This saves the thread obviously when putting in the new ones.
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Well done, great to get the work done yourself.

Have a read of this before doing the other half, might save some time
Guide to changing Alfa 156 wishbone! - Octane.ie Forums

He's doing it with upper mount in place, although now that I think about it, that may only be possible on one side.
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Its a pig of a job alright. My mechanics heart was broken.
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propellorhead
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Originally Posted by Alfa_Daryl View Post
The front end can be tricky alright. Seized bolts being the worst of it. There are good guides. For the anti roll bar links, the secret is to have the front balanced. So if you jack up one side of the car then it puts pressure onthe roll bar and wont allow the link to slide out. Takes some tinkering, but it is possible to take it out by hand. This saves the thread obviously when putting in the new ones.
Hmm, I may try that on the other side next weekend. I had a look at one guide for the lower wishbone and it said to put in the ball joint first! after a bit of swearing I worked out it was impossible to get the two ends of the wishbone lin and lined up with the ball joint already in. Oh and the droplink was damaged out of the packet! was really ****ed about that one as I'd ruined the old one getting it out, and it was a Sunday. Luckily I had one for the other side aswell and they are the same

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Well done, great to get the work done yourself.

Have a read of this before doing the other half, might save some time
Guide to changing Alfa 156 wishbone! - Octane.ie Forums

He's doing it with upper mount in place, although now that I think about it, that may only be possible on one side.
Yea I read that one alright, thing is the upper wisbone is the handiest one to do imo, apart from it would appear some cars had the nut on the 'wing' side and some on the spring side. if its on the wing side it means the bolt hits the spring and then the inner wing before you realise its too long to remove without dropping the strut (while swearing!)

Seriuosly though today I realised how much I'd bashed my hands up, I'm a service engineer by trade and was in quite a bit of pain today while working. A customer asked if I'd been fighting because my knukles were opened up!
 
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If you are doing any work on the front suspension you need to take both wheels off of the road. If you don't you will be fighting the weight of the opposite side that is still on the ground on the side that is off of the ground. I've did my upper wishbones in May and it was about a 4 hour job on my own using ball joint splitter and a very big hammer.
 
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This might also be useful Gazza82's Alfa 156 2-litre Twinspark Have a look in the hints & tips section for a wishbone replacement guide




Quote:
Originally Posted by mo4 View Post
Have a read of this before doing the other half, might save some time
Guide to changing Alfa 156 wishbone! - Octane.ie Forums

He's doing it with upper mount in place, although now that I think about it, that may only be possible on one side.
I was going to post a link to another guide on AO but then I saw it's the same guide as yours from Octane


AFAIK it only worked as whoever previously replaced one of the wishbones put the bolt in the wrong way round I just check my 147 & the bolt head on both sides is nearest the spring.
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I was going to post a link to another guide on AO but then I saw it's the same guide as yours from Octane
Not actually my post - I'm 'Tarquini' over there


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AFAIK it only worked as whoever previously replaced one of the wishbones put the bolt in the wrong way round I just check my 147 & the bolt head on both sides is nearest the spring.
Yes I've removed the top mount on all the cars that I've done. I think the first one I had to take the top out because of the bolt direction, and then I just did the rest the same on auto pilot ever since - doh!

..... but I cant think of any reason not to put the bolt back the other way making it easier the next time.
I've to do the 166 this week so I'll have a look.........
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhett71 View Post
If you are doing any work on the front suspension you need to take both wheels off of the road. If you don't you will be fighting the weight of the opposite side that is still on the ground on the side that is off of the ground. I've did my upper wishbones in May and it was about a 4 hour job on my own using ball joint splitter and a very big hammer.
Ball joint splitter as in the thingy that looks like a giant's two pronged fork?
Only used mine used once and it split the rubber on it... It was the wife's Primera so no harm done!

Last edited by Mufasa; 27-07-11 at 12:40. Reason: Omission
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Quote:
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Not actually my post - I'm 'Tarquini' over there
I meant "yours" as in the link you supplied
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Ball joint splitter as in the thingy that looks like a giant's two pronged fork?
Only used mine used and it split the rubber on it... It was the wife's Primera so no harm done!
Thats what I've got and if you use one you will almost always damage the rubber covers. There is an alternative version that uses a jack bolt that is a little less brutal and swinging a big hammer about 1/2 an inch from your cars wings is a frightening thing if you miss!!!
 
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Ball joint splitter as in the thingy that looks like a giant's two pronged fork?
Only used mine used and it split the rubber on it... It was the wife's Primera so no harm done!
Yeah the one I have is only of use when replacing the ball joint as damage to the rubber is certain. But it was alot cheaper than the bolt type splitters!
 
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Yeah the one I have is only of use when replacing the ball joint as damage to the rubber is certain. But it was alot cheaper than the bolt type splitters!
The bolt one you basically tighten the screw till it pops?
I paid $7 I think, visiting a motor factors in NJ, USA - money burning a hole in my pocket....
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The bolt one you basically tighten the screw till it pops?
I paid $7 I think, visiting a motor factors in NJ, USA - money burning a hole in my pocket....
Last of the big spenders eh!
 
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Last of the big spenders eh!
Learnt that from watching you!!!
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