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Discussion Starter #1
I have done a search on this but not sure I got the whole answer from it so...


Just had my control technique (Belgian MOT) and they say I have a problem with my offside front suspension, that there is movement in the top joint. They say the driver's side is a little wobbly too but the offside is the one that they're really worried about and failed me on.

This doesn't completely surprise me because I have heard that front suspension is a bit of a sickness with the 156 and bushings and that need to be changed every so often.

How do I know this? Because I had it done ... 25,000 km ago

I can't get to see my engineer till Monday so I'm asking for advice here first so I can go a bit forearmed, so to speak.

So to my question

1. How long should these bushings last? Am I looking at this every 25,000 km? What is the standard Alfa warranty on this work (is there one?)

2. It's *possible* that what they changed last time was only the roll bar (cost about 500 Euros at a main dealer iirc) but the invoice is with the accountants and I won't be able to get at it before Monday. Would that be possible / make sense? ie. that they changed the roll bar only but now I am in need of new arms.

I love my car, but it does seem to be costing me money on an all too consistent basis :(
 

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Obviously you are looking at the upper wishbones.

Mine lasted over 90000miles (144000km) and I still have the original lower wishbones on the front and all the original rear bushes at over 100000miles.

So they can last.
 

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If they did change the wishbones then IMO they used cheap aftermarket replacement and not genuine Alfa ones.

They should last a lot longer that 25,000 Km as David says.

I am afraid you will have to bite the bullet and get them replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Upper wishbones; yes, that is what they're on about now. tbh, I thought that the "fix" fr the alfa front sus was a kit that included the lot, I misunderstood that at the time, clearly so I'll need to check the original invoice to see what actual work they did (which is fair enough, I was just in a bit of a panic when I got in last night)

I'll be shocked if they didn't use genuine parts, the work was done at an alfa dealer who, while expensive and a pain in the neck (mon-fri 8-4 hours, never a replacement car available etc etc), have never done shoddy work on my car to date (none that has shown up, at least)

The car has 175k on it now so, if it was the roll bar that was done at 150, it would not be unreasonable for the upper wishbones to need doing at this stage. I have a new mechanic now (an independent) so I will talk to him about upgrading the bushings.

any idea on ballpark costs for that work? I recall from previous posts that it's a lot of labour to change out the bushings...

thanks for the advice!
 

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Remove your bushes and replace with Powerflex ... this will be settled once for all.
That will work for the bushes, but it sounds like the ball joint may also be worn. In which case you will need new arms, as it is virtually inpossible the remove the ball joint from the existing arms.


I think EB spares were selling new Arms with powerflex bushes ready fitted although they were not cheap.
 

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I'll be shocked if they didn't use genuine parts, the work was done at an Alfa dealer who, while expensive and a pain in the neck (mon-fri 8-4 hours, never a replacement car available etc etc), have never done shoddy work on my car to date (none that has shown up, at least)
There was a period a couple of years ago when the OEM Alfa upper wishbones were unavailable and even main dealers were using pattern parts because nothing else was available.

Unfortunately this period coincided with me needing new upper wishbones!!
 

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it is virtually inpossible the remove the ball joint from the existing arms.
Actually it IS impossible as they are NOT designed to come out. You destroy the alloy arm. The best option is to fit new arms with Poly bushes at the same time. You can always by the bushes direct from Polyflex. They are relatively simple to replace on the uppers. It's the lower arms that will be a pain.

If the arm is worn at the balljoint, it could be the balljoint rubber has split or perished and let in dirt and let out the grease. There were some OEM parts on the market where the balljoint rubbers seemed to fail very quickly ... and still are if you use ebay. How about 2 weeks for a Pug 206 droplink!!
 

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Cheers Gazza. I didn't want to say it was impossible to remove the ball joints, as a smart ass would probably have said that they had managed to do it. :D
 

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I managed ... would have been a bit p*$$ed off if I wasn't replacing it.

Was trying to split the top balljoint with one of those forked splitters you whack with a big hammer. Big bang as usual ... oops!

The arm was not a pretty site. Just split the alloy around the ball joint and it opened up. Removed the offending piece with a scissor type splitter in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Post-mortem. It was the upper wishbones. The work that was done in January were the lower ones. So now I have comlpetely new front suspension (except teh anti-roll bar, for sure that'll go next....:rolleyes: )

In the last 12 months;

EGC / MAF
Upper wishbones front
Lower wishbones front
New clutch
New starter motor
New gearbox (2nd H actually, so that was a LOT cheaper)
4 new tyres

Not sure how much more I can take of this.... :cry:
 
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