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Discussion Starter #1
I have only had my sportwagon 3 weeks now and bought it knowing it had a problem with the front suspension.

Apparently it needed a new wishbone on one side as it was 'knocking'

After driving the car i thought that it would be best to get both sides re-newed to save future hassel - also the other side was squeaking when going over speedbumps etc.

Got it back from the garage yesterday after 2 new front wishbones (at the cost of £400) and the problem is still there?? (not quite as bad though i think)

It's had new bushes etc so i dont understand what it is?

Can anyone give me any ideas before i call back the garage?

Thanks,

Matt!
 

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Laptop_Matt said:
I have only had my sportwagon 3 weeks now and bought it knowing it had a problem with the front suspension.

Apparently it needed a new wishbone on one side as it was 'knocking'

After driving the car i thought that it would be best to get both sides re-newed to save future hassel - also the other side was squeaking when going over speedbumps etc.

Got it back from the garage yesterday after 2 new front wishbones (at the cost of £400) and the problem is still there?? (not quite as bad though i think)

It's had new bushes etc so i dont understand what it is?

Can anyone give me any ideas before i call back the garage?

Thanks,

Matt!
There are two wishbones either side.

there is also the anti-roll bar - they commonly fail.

Also rear suspension, especially the trailing arms.

Get to a specialist!
 

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Did they change the upper wishbones or lower arms. For £400 I'd expect BOTH!

What about the anti-roll bar droplinks ... ???

To test, disconnect one end of each drop link and tie them and the a/r bar up so it doesn't interfere with anything. Take the car for a short drive where the "knocking" happens.

If the knocking goes away, it's a/r bar related. First replace the two droplinks and try again (about £20 per pair). If knocking remains with new droplinks, it's the anti-roll bar mountings ... not cheap. The a/r mountings and bushes are NOT available as separate items so it's a complete bar and the sub-frame has to be dropped to replace it.

Otherwise, if it still knocks when the a/r bar is disconnected, it is could be the wishbones, lower arms (bushes/balljoint?) or even the strut/shocker.
 

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Strongly Recommend replacing the drop links before spending a penny more. As mentioned above they're so cheap to replace and you can do them yourself. Just a nut and bolt - Don't forget to jack both sides of the car to release tension from the ARB. If you can push the ARB accross ways to the car, the bushes are defo gone. A garage would normally use a wrench to apply the presure to the end of the bar to see if it moves.

I had the ARB, Steering rack, lower wishbones and drop links replaced to solve all my knocks. One of the droplinks replaced twice as one of the replacements I found to be duff. The garage almost did the top wishbones too.....before I replaced the droplink myself after yanking everything with my hands and feelinf for movement!

Car runs tight now!

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks Guys,

I have just had a chance to jack the car up and i'm just trying to work out how all the suspension works.

The garage only replaced lower wishbones as thats all i thought needed doing, the wishbones look alot better (safer) than they did before its just the annoying knock sound which has now got worse since driving on a rough road.

Just found a diagram of the front suspension. I take it the bar marked 4410C is the ARB, are the droplinks the small bars leading from the ARB towards the wheel? Ive attached a pic of them, does anything look unusual?

Going to jack both wheels up now and see if if there is any movement in the ARB.
 

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Laptop_Matt said:
Just found a diagram of the front suspension. I take it the bar marked 4410C is the ARB, are the droplinks the small bars leading from the ARB towards the wheel? Ive attached a pic of them, does anything look unusual?
4410C is the ARB.

The drop-links look as if they have been on for a while and that top boot looks a bit wonky ... the ball-joints may be dry ie no grease or when the lower arms were changed, they twisted it when refitting.

They might not show any wear as you yank them about. Mine didn't but the difference was obvious when I drove it with new ones fitted.

PS They can be a pig to remove as the mounting bolt is designed to be held with a torx bit/allen key. Invariably it is rusted badly so rounds off at the first attempt to remove the nut! So make sure you have a nice sharp hacksaw/nut-splitter/angle-grinder handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheers, yeah they look like they need replacing (even if its not the source of the problem). I only have one jack at the moment so can't test moving the ARB properly, ill just buy new drop links anyway and fit them as they are pretty cheap on ebay.

By the way...where is the best place to jack the front of these cars up?

Matt!
 

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If using the jack supplied, then obviously the proper lifting point. If using a trolley jack, just in from the sill and behind the front wheel arch is a round shaped reinforcing point - I use that. Then I put axle stands under the steel cross member (4410D in your picture). I wouldn't advise working on the suspension without axle-stands!
 

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Matt,
Can endorse everythng Gazza just said. The 147 we've had for over 2 years has had nauseating front suspension noises, along with everything else (variator, nasty heater smells etc etc etc ..)! I wanted isolate the probelm before randomly buying parts, so did just as suggested. I disconnected the ARB and tried it down the lane. God what a joy - utter smoothness. The ARB 'flopped' on it's bushes. I'm a bit of an old codger and in my yoof ARBs didn't do this 'cos they ran direct in rubber blocks which were compressed if they weren't sha**ed. I noted that changing them looked a bit nasty (I only just learned you can;t buy the bushes alone) and so elected to change the drop-links and try it again.
The probelm I had doing this was, just as mentioned, holding the shank still while I turned the nuts was difficult. No it was utterly impossible (car -02 reg) si I cut them through with the hacksaw. There's something wrong here because there wasn't that much rust on the things - its as though they'd been cross-threaded!
Anyhow, to get to the point, the suspension is 60-70% quieter but I was really a bit disappointed to have some noise back having reconnected the ARB - it was SOOO nice without. (even thought about leaving disonnected... tee heee!). Looks as though we've got to live with it a bit longer if the subframe really has to come out.
AND the blooming thing had only done 30k and was making a good deal of noise when we acquired it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info,

Ill get a hacksaw ready for when the new drop links arrive.

Good, thats the jackpoint ive been using but couldnt find anywhere to put the axel stands, cross member sounds like a plan though.

I thought about trying to disconnect the ARB like a few of you tried but i cant see where it would 'hang' once disconnected. Looks like it would bang on the wishbone resting down, or interfere with other things tied up.

I can't believe how close the drop links are to other parts of the suspension, it makes sense that there would be banging even if there was slight movement in the ARB.

was the handling aweful with the ARB disconnected Wrenched?
 

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If you are going to remove the drop links then you need to have the car level. When the suspension goes up or down it twists the ARB and all the force is transfered to the drop link - when its level there is no force on the drop link.
 

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Hi, well I wouldn't say the handling was nice, but I only tried it down a muddy lane. My wife drove it a few times untill the parts came and didn't complain. I'd better be clear I'm not advocating that everyone with suspension noises disconnects the thing! (Unless you do the same to the rear one Ha Ha (joke)!!
Seriously... I disconnected the links at the strut, so I tied the top joint of the link to a pipe/wiring loom bracket on the body. I did this so that the ARB was held up as far as it would go. Then when the wheels were back on I checked to see that, on lock, the tyres wouldn't interfere with anything. Also make sure the hoses and pad/ABS wiring going to the hubs are all free, particularly as when it's on stands the struts are at full travel. It was dark by this time so not very pleasant - grotty time of year for these activities!
I have little doubt that you'll find the same as me, but I wanted to be sure the noises weren't coming out of the dampers themselves, or the wishbones ( I could see nothing wrong with either upper or lower wishbones).
All the best.
 

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Anybody have an idea how long it would take to change all the droplinks, front and rear?
(if a garage was doing it, or for an unskilled Klutz :))

Cheers,
TB
 

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The book time from Autodata is 1.5 hours
But that relies on everything coming undone!
 

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Thanks David - Thats 1.5 for front and back?
When you say "everything" you mean taking wishbones off to get at the ARB?

Cheers,
TB
 

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TB - you only need to take the wheels off to get at the drop links (and maybe the undertray). The problem is that the end of the ball joint rusts and as its an allen key hole it rounds off very easily so that you can not take off the nut.

I did mine without any problem because we dont really get rust here but in the UK many guys have had to cut them off - this is what will add extra time
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hack saw time!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just had the new drop links fitted by a garage as i needed new brake disks\pads anyway.

The car is much better now, very smooth and silent over bumps in the road - well chuffed. It still sqeaks when going over speedbumps too fast which leads me to believe that noise is from a different source.

I bought some rear brake discs from Autodelta for the 156 and some brake pads from ebay.

It turns out that none of them fit???

Is the sportwagon rear brake system completely different from the saloon?

If so, where can i get some new rear brake disks (preferably drilled) and pads.

Has anyone had any experience in sending items back to Autodelta?

Thanks for your advise on changing the droplinks\link rods - much appreciated.

Matt!
 

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David C said:
The book time from Autodata is 1.5 hours
But that relies on everything coming undone!
From experience, about 30-40 mins per side if the droplinks are reasonable new including jacking up, etc

.... otherwise with a junior hacksaw, a couple of hours per side!
 
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