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Discussion Starter #1
I'm attempting to replace the front dampers on my 166.

The initial dis-assembly was straightforward enough, but I'm stuck on removing the bolt that clamps the damper into the bottom fork. The nut comes off fine, but the bolt itself won't even turn (step 4 in the image below).

I've split the upper arm ball joint and removed the upper suspension mounting bracket - but it doesn't look like there's room to remove the complete spring/damper unit with the fork still attached - even if compressing the spring first. Can anyone confirm this?

If the damper and bottom fork need to be split in situ then unless I've missed a trick, I'm going to need to use heat and force to shift that bolt. For now I've sprayed with WD40 and will leave that to work for a few days...
 

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Hi. I've had the same problem a couple of times. The strut will usually come out with the fork attached if you give it enough clearance by removing the alloy bracket from the strut top & take out the rear half of the plastic wheel arch liner. If you push the strut fork down firmly against the driveshaft & tilt the strut towards the rear of the car it should lift out. Getting the bolt out usually needs a helper holding the strut so that the 19mm bolt head is sitting in a deep socket on the floor while you whack the threaded end with your biggest hammer. Oh. & buy new bolts. Good luck.
 

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Hi. I've had the same problem a couple of times. The strut will usually come out with the fork attached if you give it enough clearance by removing the alloy bracket from the strut top & take out the rear half of the plastic wheel arch liner. If you push the strut fork down firmly against the driveshaft & tilt the strut towards the rear of the car it should lift out. Getting the bolt out usually needs a helper holding the strut so that the 19mm bolt head is sitting in a deep socket on the floor while you whack the threaded end with your biggest hammer. Oh. & buy new bolts. Good luck.
Shock treatment via your hammer is definitely a good start.
The fact that the nut came off means the bolt might be reuseable?
Do you have any heat source? Blowtorch etc.
I've heated the bolt and then tapped it out.
All the better if you can remove the complete strut first.
Otherwise I would heatshield your brake and ABS lines....(anything rubber too)

PS I've re-read your post so heat and brute force are good options.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, you can remove the upper arm by opening the other two nuts at the top mount and whole assembly drops-this should give you the room to remove the complete strut
HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys - I didn't try removing the rear arch liner to see if that gives me more room to remove the strut in one piece, so will try that next. And hopefully the WD40 will have worked its magic...
 

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Thanks guys - I didn't try removing the rear arch liner to see if that gives me more room to remove the strut in one piece, so will try that next. And hopefully the WD40 will have worked its magic...
Not sure you need to if you remove the top wishbone assembly?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just to close off on this one - I just couldn't find a way to remove the entire strut plus the fork despite removing the upper mount and the inner wheelarch liners - as the driveshaft prevented the fork dropping low enough to remove it.

The reason this happened at all was because the pinch bolt had seized so comprehensively that I first sheared the head off it - then damaged the threads of the nut by overtightening it to pull it out the other way. I even drove around for a couple of months in the hope that would dislodge it... but no dice...

So - I could have unbolted the driveshaft and dropped the lower arm too but I decided instead (having sourced a replacement) to cut off one of the legs of the fork with an angle grinder - to allow the whole strut to drop past the driveshaft.

But then I noticed that the tag on the damper through which the pinch bolt passes is only welded to the damper at its top edge. I figured if I cut through the tag below the weld, then the damper would lift away... and so it turned out. 60 seconds with the grinder later and the damper was split from the fork.

With the fork off the car, I could heat it for longer and hit it much harder - and have now removed the remains of the pinch bolt. I have fitted the new fork with the new damper, so if anyone needs my old fork as a replacement then let me know...

Some pictures to illustrate:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Also, while I had the arch liners off the car I discovered a rust hole in the inner wing... pictures below.

I wire-brushed it and sprayed with rust killer until I can get a more permanent repair done. Glad I caught it...
 

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They all seem to rust there.. and also around the corner just in front of that. Have a look to see if yours needs attention there as well.

Good job on cutting that prt of the damper, might give that trick a go when I replace my front end later on.
 

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Also, while I had the arch liners off the car I discovered a rust hole in the inner wing... pictures below.

I wire-brushed it and sprayed with rust killer until I can get a more permanent repair done. Glad I caught it...
:biggrin: :big grin: goat it :D Furd time lucky.

That's not a hole. It's a speck of a hole.

What year's yer 166 J ?

That's what I fun on TIa (made 2004 Regd 2005) .A whole hole but.

Joab fur the better weather.

Pomeo

Jist re-cauld Mines is the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's not a hole. It's a speck of a hole.
What year's yer 166 J ?
Mine was built in Dec 2001 but wasn't registered until June 2003!
 
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