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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My other half's 147 has a creak from the front suspension - when the car is parked if you push up and down above the front passenger side wheel it creaks quite badly when you take pressure off. The drivers side is fine.

I've replaced the upper front wishbone as this appears the be the common cause with TRW wishbones which seem to be good quality.

What else could the noise be from? Could it be the shock absorber? Any thoughts would be really helpful.

Thanks
 

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Nothing wrong with TRW arms, but they do creak when worn. If those have been changed then I would say ARB bushes, a bit of a pain because the subframe has to come down which is 3-4 hours labour. I would poly bush them if that is the case. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nothing wrong with TRW arms, but they do creak when worn. If those have been changed then I would say ARB bushes, a bit of a pain because the subframe has to come down which is 3-4 hours labour. I would poly bush them if that is the case. :thumbs:
Thanks - I try to do everything on her car myself so this will be another weekend of working on the car...

How do you diagnose the exact cause before taking on a job like this? I dont want to replace the ARB to find out it did nothing!

Thanks for the help
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I've done a bit more research and it appears there are only a few things it could be:

1 - Anti Roll Bar bushings - Parts ~ £100, labour time ~ 4-6 hours
2 - Lower arm ball joint/bushings - Parts ~ £60, labour 1-2 hours
3 - Shock absorber - Parts ~ £50, labour 1 hour

Is there a way to diagnose which of these the creak is coming from? I've purchased a mechanics stethoscope but can only recreate the creak when the car is on the ground, not with it jacked up, which restricts access to all of these parts.
 

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So I've done a bit more research and it appears there are only a few things it could be:

1 - Anti Roll Bar bushings - Parts ~ £100, labour time ~ 4-6 hours
2 - Lower arm ball joint/bushings - Parts ~ £60, labour 1-2 hours
3 - Shock absorber - Parts ~ £50, labour 1 hour

Is there a way to diagnose which of these the creak is coming from? I've purchased a mechanics stethoscope but can only recreate the creak when the car is on the ground, not with it jacked up, which restricts access to all of these parts.
My 156 had it's lower wishbones changed recently as one of the ball joints was knocking, which makes this noise -
- Right now I'm getting a similar noise but with no knock as the wishbones are new. Can you feel anything behind the pedals when the car is moving? :thumbs:
 

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Baxter, I can say with confidence that the noise is worn ball joint on the lower arms.
 

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If you can get it to creak when the car is stationary take the wheel off and put a trolley jack under the wheel hub.

Lift the car on the trolley jack and remove whatever was supporting the car previously, lower the trolley jack so the car is in a natural position.

Make sure everything is safe and see if you can reproduce the squeak. When I had this I could feel the squeak in the shock spring. I had replaced/greased all the usual suspects, turned out t be the doughnut on top of the shock. I replaced it and applied a smear of rubber grease on it's underside where it rests on the plate.

Good luck

Pub
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm getting a similar noise but with no knock as the wishbones are new. Can you feel anything behind the pedals when the car is moving? :thumbs:
The noise doesn't sound like that - it's a low pitched creaking like a squeaky door opening, and doesn't appear to effect the pedals or steering in any way while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you can get it to creak when the car is stationary take the wheel off and put a trolley jack under the wheel hub.

Lift the car on the trolley jack and remove whatever was supporting the car previously, lower the trolley jack so the car is in a natural position.

Make sure everything is safe and see if you can reproduce the squeak. When I had this I could feel the squeak in the shock spring. I had replaced/greased all the usual suspects, turned out t be the doughnut on top of the shock. I replaced it and applied a smear of rubber grease on it's underside where it rests on the plate.

Good luck

Pub
This is what I've been trying to do, when initially jacking the car up to take the wheel off i can hear the creak, then I put it on axle stands and jack up and down the suspension but can't recreate the noise! Very frustrating... Any thoughts on this?
 

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Remove the axle stands so the only thing holding the car up is the trolley jack under the hub.

Then get an assistant to push up and down on the wing. Make sure it's stable and not going to fall before looking to close. If it creaks while stationary it should still creak.

Pub
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Remove the axle stands so the only thing holding the car up is the trolley jack under the hub.

Then get an assistant to push up and down on the wing. Make sure it's stable and not going to fall before looking to close. If it creaks while stationary it should still creak.

Pub
Thanks, I've just taken the drop links off both side so will drive it for a few days and see if the creak has gone - if it is it's going to be subframe off time, woo :grumpy:

Hopefully the noise is still there, then I'll try your method

Thanks everyone for the help
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So the creak still there after disconnecting the ARB - woo! I'll be ordering lower control arms and fitting them next week - praying that's the cause.

Any recommended brands/retailers?

Thanks
 

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So the creak still there after disconnecting the ARB - woo! I'll be ordering lower control arms and fitting them next week - praying that's the cause.

Any recommended brands/retailers?

Thanks
TRW every time, and avoid cheap eBay kits. Mister Auto are selling them for £68 a side, you'll also get another 8% off if you use their code - https://www.mister-auto.co.uk/suspension-arm-track-control-arm/alfa-romeo-156-932-3-2-gta-250hp_v16610_g273.html

Hope you get it sorted.

:thumbs:
 
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My 147 started to 'creak' in the front end, which could be heard when getting into and out of the car, and if the steering wheel was moved (with the car stationary).

I had previously fitted grease nipples to the upper control arm ball joints, so I pumped some grease into them. One of the lower control arm ball joints was already fitted with a grease nipple, so grease into that too (the other lower ball joint has no grease nipple).

The creaking disappeared, but I don't know for sure if it had been coming from the upper or lower ball joint, but I think it was probably the lower ball joint (the one with the nipple, obviously). The joints seem OK, no play or knocking that I can detect, so must have greased it in time before any real damage was done.

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My 147 started to 'creak' in the front end, which could be heard when getting into and out of the car, and if the steering wheel was moved (with the car stationary).

I had previously fitted grease nipples to the upper control arm ball joints, so I pumped some grease into them. One of the lower control arm ball joints was already fitted with a grease nipple, so grease into that too (the other lower ball joint has no grease nipple).

The creaking disappeared, but I don't know for sure if it had been coming from the upper or lower ball joint, but I think it was probably the lower ball joint (the one with the nipple, obviously). The joints seem OK, no play or knocking that I can detect, so must have greased it in time before any real damage was done.

Regards,
John.
Thanks - none of the ball joints have the grease nipple so are supposedly unserviceable, I believe you can still get inside but it's a bit of a pain. I'll be putting on some TRW lower wishbones (the old ones are rusted to hell anyway) and hopefully this will sort it. I've already done the upper wishbone so that one's ruled out
 

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My old and new upper control arms are all TRW. One of the upper ball joints flogged out, so I replaced the control arm. The other upper ball joint on the other side was still good, so in an attempt to prolong its' usefullness I drilled a hole in the top, tapped it, fitted a grease nipple and pumped in some grease. I did the same to the new one, for later lubrication.

In the end I greased it sooner rather than later, due to the 'creaking' coming from one of the ball joints on the right hand side (at which time I just greased all the joints with nipples). I think this was probably from the lower 'benippled' ball joint, but don't know for sure.

I don't know what brand either of the lower control arms are, but they are different. One has a grease nipple already installed, the other not. Ideally I'd like to also fit a nipple to the lower ball joint not so fitted, but since this will require taking the arm out, I haven't gone there yet.

A close look (as far as is possible in situ) at the rubber bushes in the lower control arms gives the impression that the bushes themselves are not absolutely identical side to side.

This opens at least a possibility that there may be some significant difference in the hardness of the rubber in the lower control arm bushes, which might explain why the steering feels a tad heavier / stiffer / more responsive when turning right as opposed to turning left, and seems to require slightly more steering lock when turning left compared to turning to the right (for turns of apparently similar radius).

Regards,
John.
 

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Just to add to this, my upper arm bushes have been squeaking for some time now so I took them off and had a look at them. By removing the metal inner of the bush you can see that the crosshatching of the rubber has worn away on one side. Part of me thinks it'd be a shame to ditch the entire arm as the ball joint is still good and maybe by rotating the bush 180 and greasing it up you could get some more life out of it. The other part of me thinks don't be a cheap [email protected] and just replace the whole arm as the ball joint might go soon anyway! Checking the history the arms (TRW) were fitted in 2009 - some 60,000 miles ago so they haven't done too bad!!
 

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