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Hi all,

I have had the following advisories on my MOT (2005 GT)

Advisory notice item(s)
nearside lower Front suspension has slight play in a lower suspension ball joint (2.5.B.1a)
offside lower Front suspension has slight play in a lower suspension ball joint (2.5.B.1a)

Would this be a complete track arm assembly replacement or is it possible to just replace the ball joint?

On a scale of 1-10 how DIY would this job be and would really appreciate a ball park figure if I were to take it to a garage.

I know I should phone about first, get some prices but not wanting to go in completely blind.
 

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Complete arm .. do both .. other will follow soon.

It's a bit of a pita but I'd give it 7 as I've done several .. first time could be an 11! ;)
 

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I would leave it till the next MOT unless you are getting knocking noises, handling problems or weird tyre wear. I was advised about my bottom joints, left them alone and they didn't mention them on the next MOT....(or the one after that).
 

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Would this be a complete track arm assembly replacement or is it possible to just replace the ball joint?

On a scale of 1-10 how DIY would this job be and would really appreciate a ball park figure if I were to take it to a garage.
Nope, whole arm has to be replaced.

Scale of 1-10, hmmm, not easy that. Other than a decent balljoint splitter no special tools required, if you'd be confident replacing say, a shock absorber, you should be able to tackle the lower wishbone. Although, first time they don't look like they're ever going to fit.

For a garage you're looking at around an hour each side, any more and they're taking the p155.

Good luck

Pub
 
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I would leave it till the next MOT unless you are getting knocking noises, handling problems or weird tyre wear. I was advised about my bottom joints, left them alone and they didn't mention them on the next MOT....(or the one after that).

Same thing with me, I was advised of slight play in bottom joints but I have no knocking whatsoever, and the handling is fine. I'm gonna leave mine until it actually becomes an issue.
 

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As said before its the complete arm that needs replaced. Its not that bad a job to do but your biggest problem could be splitting that balljoint as they get tight as f##k!

i've given up using a splitter (broke a few), just loosen the nut and get two big hammers and bash either side of the ball joint housing till it pops, its strangely satisfying ;)

You may need to source some new (better) bolts that mount the arm onto the subframe as they can rust quite badly and i've had a few snap when taking them off.

If they are not causing any bother i'd leave them till the better weather comes in or until they get noisy.

Good luck,
Al
 

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Thank you all, very informative.

I'm going to get a splitter and a new hammer and give it a go. I shall report back :thumbup:

I appreciate the advice on not getting it done now, but it will play on my mind and handling has seemed twitchy lately, probably more likely to be the wet roads but at 55k and no evidence they have ever been done...
 

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My only concern with those would be getting the arm back in flat ... even using a jack isn't easy and if you don't get the mountings flat on the the subframe you stand a good chance of cross-threading the bolts .. been there, done that ..

It takes me longer but I take out the hub, upright, steering arm and driveshaft as one by splitting the upper arm ball-joint, steering arm ball-joint and the main ball-joint. On the TS the inner CV is held by six 6mm hex head bolts and 13mm nuts so once disconnected it comes out in one piece (take care of the CV boots!). Then drop the strut out (I can't get the forks off ... tried several times!) and leave myself a big open space to work in.

Then once the arm is in and nipped up, put the strut back, but pushing down on the balljoint end of the arm to flex it. Then hook the balljoint into the hub and pushing down on the arm again, swing the driveshaft under the strut fork. Once it's one the ground, torque up the lower arm bolts but DON'T OVERTIGHTEN THEM .. the mountings are alloy and a soft captive nut and strip very easily!

It tends to be the cv bolts that take the time as they aren't that easy to get to ..


You will probably need new a/r bar droplinks so buy them now ..
 

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My only concern with those would be getting the arm back in flat ... even using a jack isn't easy and if you don't get the mountings flat on the the subframe you stand a good chance of cross-threading the bolts .. been there, done that ..

It takes me longer but I take out the hub, upright, steering arm and driveshaft as one by splitting the upper arm ball-joint, steering arm ball-joint and the main ball-joint. On the TS the inner CV is held by six 6mm hex head bolts and 13mm nuts so once disconnected it comes out in one piece (take care of the CV boots!). Then drop the strut out (I can't get the forks off ... tried several times!) and leave myself a big open space to work in.

Then once the arm is in and nipped up, put the strut back, but pushing down on the balljoint end of the arm to flex it. Then hook the balljoint into the hub and pushing down on the arm again, swing the driveshaft under the strut fork. Once it's one the ground, torque up the lower arm bolts but DON'T OVERTIGHTEN THEM .. the mountings are alloy and a soft captive nut and strip very easily!

It tends to be the cv bolts that take the time as they aren't that easy to get to ..


You will probably need new a/r bar droplinks so buy them now ..
I'd strongly echo Gazza's advice. I tried to do one of mine following the alfa workshop guide and it was pretty much impossible. I've done rear shocks and upper arms, and various other bits and bobs, so it wasn't like it was the first time I'd done any spannering. I think there must be some variance from car to car given that some people say it's pretty simple, but with the hub and all the rest in place there wasn't any way I could get it flat on the mounting points. I had to get a mechanic round to sort it, but he couldn't get it on either (which was reassuring!) without taking the hub off first, so at the very least be aware that you may have to do that. Oh, and if you do need to get the hub off, you need a socket with very thin walls, a standard one won't fit.
 

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I'd strongly echo Gazza's advice. I tried to do one of mine following the alfa workshop guide and it was pretty much impossible.
I've done it twice now, first time took best part of a day to do both sides, as I mentioned above I didn't think they ever going to fit. Second time I did it I had success by getting the arm in place and having the balljoint in place in the hub. Then with a jack under the hub raise the hub and arm so that it's in a more natural position, this flattens out the mounts.

Good luck

Pub
 

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Maybe it depends on the quality of the parts. I can imagine it would be difficult to get the bolts in if the brackets aren't aligned on the wishbone properly to start off with so the bracket holes don't line up with the subframe holes.

With TRW arms it was just the front inner bolt that was awkward to get in mainly because the bracket wouldn't sit completely flat even when the hub was jacked up. The outer bolts are easy without the brackets completely flat on the subframe, there's enough slack there to fit at an angle (fit them both first). The large pliers and screwdriver in the Alfa Workshop guide are needed to get the inner front bracket bolt hole aligned well enough to get the bolt in, 30 mins of fiddling at most (do before the rear inner and fully tighten front bracket). The inner rear worked best with a large lever to push the bracket flat and nudge the end sideways until the bolt slipped in, pretty much first try as it happened.
 

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Maybe it depends on the quality of the parts. I can imagine it would be difficult to get the bolts in if the brackets aren't aligned on the wishbone properly to start off with so the bracket holes don't line up with the subframe holes.

With TRW arms it was just the front inner bolt that was awkward to get in mainly because the bracket wouldn't sit completely flat even when the hub was jacked up. The outer bolts are easy without the brackets completely flat on the subframe, there's enough slack there to fit at an angle (fit them both first). The large pliers and screwdriver in the Alfa Workshop guide are needed to get the inner front bracket bolt hole aligned well enough to get the bolt in, 30 mins of fiddling at most (do before the rear inner and fully tighten front bracket). The inner rear worked best with a large lever to push the bracket flat and nudge the end sideways until the bolt slipped in, pretty much first try as it happened.
I was using a TRW arm and still couldn't get it to sit flat - I suspect it may have been the absence of large pliers/levers which was my problem. Ultimately I suspect it's probably one of those jobs which is enormously easier if you've done it before, or got someone with you who has done it before and can advise. All I'd say is that if you haven't done it before and will need the car to get to work the next day then think about having a back up plan before you start, or at least be prepared to take more bits off than you think should be necessary, because I don't think you can guarantee it will be straightforward.
 
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