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Hi all, after sadly discovering that the source of my front suspension knocking was worn arb bushes, I have recently changed the bar. I gained much of the information from Chris's excellent how to on 156.net, but as his car is a GTA and mine is a standard 1.6, there are obviously some differences. On the basis that you can't gather too much information or ever look at enough pictures, I've enclosed the following which someone might find helpful.

First job is obviously to jack and support the car - I had axle stands under the front underbody jacking points. (unless you count drowning all the fasteners with penetrating fluid the day before as the first job)

Exhaust front section has to come off. 10mm for the manifold heatshield under the bonnet, 12mm on the downpipe (3 from above, 2 from underneath) and 21mm for the lambdas.
Split the pipe at the first underbody joint (13mm nuts and bolts), remove from the hanger and the exhaust is off. These last fasteners were badly corroded and I had to grind the nuts off in order to remove them.

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I did contact Alfa to try and source replacement nuts and bolts. Just shy of £10 with a 2 day wait! Nothing short of scandalous really. Picked up some 55mm M8 off the shelf at Halfords for just over a quid.

Now I disconnected the arb drop links - 17mm. They can be a bit fiddly if the centre portion is spinning. If you're renewing them (and I think you'd be bonkers not to while you're in there), you only need to disconnect the top one - you can leave the bottom link attached and throw it away still fitted to the old bar.

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Remove the long 19mm nuts and bolts that run through the front suspension fork brackets.

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Remove the 4 arb mounting bolts - 13mm and hidden up inside recesses within the subframe. They're easier to find looking from the side as you can see the tips of the bolts protruding through the arb bushes.

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Remove the fasteners from the exhaust heatshield to enable it to tilt down at it's forward edge. These are a mixture of 13 and 15mm. I loosened off the 10mm fasteners at the rear but left them attached.

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Now the rear engine mount has to come off. Obviously, prior to touching this, the engine must be supported. I used a bottle jack and a piece of wood under the sump. The engine mount to gearbox fasteners are 19mm, the lower one is a nut (easy) and the upper one is a bolt (awkward). Above the mount is a bracing bar with a 19mm on either end - difficult to see from under the car. As you can see from the photos, I only disconnected the one end of it. There is a 15mm bolt into the sump and then there is the long, vertical 19mm through bolt up into the mount itself. I removed this bolt in order to remove the mount, but couldn't refit it as the top nut was spinning (a fairly common fault from looking around the forum). I would concur with the advice that it's easier to remove the little half moon shield (2 x 10mm) and then the 2 13mms that actually bolt the mount to the subframe. I had to do this eventually in order to get to the top nut.

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Remove the 2 21mm bolts towards the rear of the subframe that locate the steering rack. I used a 4 foot scaffolding pole on the end of my breaker bar and still had to pull funny faces to get these off - they really were that tight!

Remove the two 18mm and one 15mm bolts on each side at the rear of the subframe.

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Only 2 bolts holding the subframe on now, so time to support it. I had a trolley jack under each side. The final bolts are the forwardmost 18mms, mounted vertically into the chassis near the suspension strut. Once these are removed, you can lower the subframe and release the arb.

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The new bushes certainly make a noticeable difference, as you would hope. I fitted a standard bar from EB spares in Westbury along with new droplinks. They were helpful and knowledgeable and had the bits on the shelf. The job was nowhere near as difficult as I was expecting. It took me a full day but I was plodding and the job was unfamiliar to me. As always, if I had to do it again, I reckon I'd shave 2 or 3 hours off that. If you're thinking of tackling this job, here are my tips for what they're worth:

Fundamentally, at one point you're going to end up with lots of heavy bits of metal (including the car itself) to support / lift / lower / jiggle about, so you're going to need enough jacks and stands.

The 2 pas mounting bolts in particular were astonishingly tight. Big bar / windy gun needed.

There is every chance that you'll have to destroy fasteners on the exhaust in order to release them.

As always on here, this is friendly advice. Please feel free to agree / disagree with any of the above or to point out anything that you think might be seriously amiss. Hope that someone finds it helpful or informative.
 

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well done, the job is a PITA, and must have been more so to stop and take photos at every stage.

The only bits I would add are that you took out the lambda sensors, they do detach at the connectors, one toward the thermostat and the other by the aircon compressor, and that it is useful to leave one bolt on the sub-frame to help support the weight when putting it all back on, a bit unwieldy otherwise.

HTH
 

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Great write up thanks. I have had trouble with the exhaust studs too, mine snapped although I used plus gas and heat, did not have to grind the nuts off. Does anyone know if the studs should knock out, or screw out? cant see on mine as they are rusted up. May have to drill them out but would rather not. Its the ones that join the down pipe to the centre section, sort of level with the back of the front wheels if you see what I mean.

Ignore this as I am going to start a new thread so others can find the answer easily. I can't be the only ham fisted B----- to do this.
 

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As far as I could make out the knocking on mine was caused by the ARB sliding side to side in the loose bushes. I can only assume it's the collars banging into the sides of the bushes that knocks ... although I still struggle to see how this could make so much noise. :confused:. Anyway if the movement is the cause of the knocking it doesn't seem sensible to encourage movement by lubricating the bushes. There should be minimal rotational movement at the bushes so why lubricate ?
 

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I am not an mechanic, but when i sow Powerflex how they sold their bushes with cooper grease, i asked myself ...
 
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