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VROOM
post 20th March 2020 20:59
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Oh well after 2 passes in a row it failed with worn lower suspension bushes both sides. Quoted £400 by the garage (I don't think they were really interested in doing it) so I've ordered a pair of wishbones from Alfaworkshop for under £70 + 2 drops links. Picked up a ball joint splitter from EuroCP and will have a go. The previous owner had the front subframe replaced about 4 years ago so hopefully the bolts won't be seized. Nothing in the history about the wishbones having been replaced before (and I have every receipt over it's life so far) so guess it's done well to get to 99k on the originals.
Hope I don't regret this DIY job.
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dante giacosa
post 22nd March 2020 01:05
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Let's go, Vroom!

We can do it!

I did this job last year on a FIAT Coupé (same front end) and our own JeremyG did the same on a recent Cloverleaf project on here- he got some great footage of it too.

Try and look it up, for a start off

My local specialist, regards the wishbones, as effectively a consumeable
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waynedear
post 22nd March 2020 10:02
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Cheap up all the nuts and bolts with a wire brush first and soak a few times in penetrating fluid, obviously axle stands and not jacks.
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sanitary
post 22nd March 2020 12:49
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 20th March 2020 20:59) *
Oh well after 2 passes in a row it failed with worn lower suspension bushes both sides. Quoted £400 by the garage (I don't think they were really interested in doing it) so I've ordered a pair of wishbones from Alfaworkshop for under £70 + 2 drops links. Picked up a ball joint splitter from EuroCP and will have a go. The previous owner had the front subframe replaced about 4 years ago so hopefully the bolts won't be seized. Nothing in the history about the wishbones having been replaced before (and I have every receipt over it's life so far) so guess it's done well to get to 99k on the originals.
Hope I don't regret this DIY job.



If the subframe has been replaced you would think that the wishbones would have been replaced at the same time...

anyway its not a difficult job, good idea to have a big breaker bar for the stubborn bolts and a source of heat as well
I don't remember needing a balljoint splitter but you can never have enough tools whistle.gif

should take you about a day including lots of tea breaks laugh.gif



san
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VROOM
post 22nd March 2020 19:16
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Cheers folks. Starting soaking all the bolts in WD40 yesterday and tried to loosen them on the offside today. I haven't got a deep 17mm socket so struggled using a standard depth one on the hub clamp nut due to end of the bolt protruding. Managed to loosen it somehow with the socket only partially on. Got all the way around to the final bolt in the subframe when my 15mm hexagonal socket cracked! I had a spare ring type, but whoever tightened this bolt last, rounded the edges slightly so this was no good as it kept slipping and I didn't want to ruin the bolt head. Basically scuppered the day rant.gif
Will have to go and buy another 15mm socket (noticed the user guide on here which is very good says to use a 17mm socket on the subframe bolts, but mine are definitely 15mm).

Yeah its a shame the wishbones weren't changed with the subframe. The droplinks were. but they must have been poor quality ones as the steel ring is sliding off the rubber bush on both sides so I'll be replacing those as well.

This post has been edited by VROOM: 22nd March 2020 19:20
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dante giacosa
post 22nd March 2020 22:26
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 22nd March 2020 19:16) *
Cheers folks. Starting soaking all the bolts in WD40 yesterday and tried to loosen them on the offside today. I haven't got a deep 17mm socket so struggled using a standard depth one on the hub clamp nut due to end of the bolt protruding. Managed to loosen it somehow with the socket only partially on. Got all the way around to the final bolt in the subframe when my 15mm hexagonal socket cracked! I had a spare ring type, but whoever tightened this bolt last, rounded the edges slightly so this was no good as it kept slipping and I didn't want to ruin the bolt head. Basically scuppered the day rant.gif
Will have to go and buy another 15mm socket (noticed the user guide on here which is very good says to use a 17mm socket on the subframe bolts, but mine are definitely 15mm).

Yeah its a shame the wishbones weren't changed with the subframe. The droplinks were. but they must have been poor quality ones as the steel ring is sliding off the rubber bush on both sides so I'll be replacing those as well.


Keep spraying the penetrant
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sanitary
post 23rd March 2020 17:50
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 22nd March 2020 22:26) *
Keep spraying the penetrant




and get some heat on them wink.gif




san
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VROOM
post 23rd March 2020 19:16
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Well I ended up shearing off that stubborn bolt. Unfortunately the breaker bar suddenly went flying in the process into my forehead. After a short break to stem the blood I got back to it blush.gif and finally got one wishbone off! The bolt must have been cross threaded.
Now the question is are these bolts special in anyway or would a similar bolt and washer from my odds and ends box do?
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VROOM
post 24th March 2020 20:24
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Give me strength! Got the wishbone in and loosely bolted into the subframe. Came to torque the bolts up only for 3 out of the 4 captive nuts to shred their threads with ridiculous ease. Now need longer bolts and nuts to go on top of the captive ones as I'm not going to remove the wishbones again to send it back. I've emailed the supplier for advice.

This post has been edited by VROOM: 24th March 2020 20:27
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dante giacosa
post 24th March 2020 22:01
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good heavens, Vroom-

That's SO unlucky. Mind you: it does seem to be the time for straightforward tasks to become difficult, I think.

The problem I had, was getting the new wishbone to lay 'flat' on the subframe, to be able to accept the bolts from underneath. Because the car was jacked and the suspension unweighted; the hub ball-joint was much lower, that the subframe.

Initially I tried a spring-compressor, but it wound upwards to clash with the suspension tower; then I tried jacking the hub itself upwards, to reduce the angle; but that just lifted the car off the ground!

As for whether the bolts are different to standard bolts; the answer is essentially 'yes'.
Out of all the hardware you could afford to fail on a vehicle, subframe-to-wishbone bolts aren't one of them! They aren't a fortune; so it's worth trying to source them.

Which might unfortunately prove a bit difficult at the moment.



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post 25th March 2020 22:05
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 24th March 2020 22:01) *
good heavens, Vroom-

That's SO unlucky. Mind you: it does seem to be the time for straightforward tasks to become difficult, I think.

The problem I had, was getting the new wishbone to lay 'flat' on the subframe, to be able to accept the bolts from underneath. Because the car was jacked and the suspension unweighted; the hub ball-joint was much lower, that the subframe.

Initially I tried a spring-compressor, but it wound upwards to clash with the suspension tower; then I tried jacking the hub itself upwards, to reduce the angle; but that just lifted the car off the ground!

As for whether the bolts are different to standard bolts; the answer is essentially 'yes'.
Out of all the hardware you could afford to fail on a vehicle, subframe-to-wishbone bolts aren't one of them! They aren't a fortune; so it's worth trying to source them.

Which might unfortunately prove a bit difficult at the moment.


Incredibly I didn't have a problem feeding the inner bolts in after jacking up under the disk. They lined up pretty much straight away. Getting the drop link in was another matter! I had to cut the last 1cm unthreaded bit off the bottom to have any hope of levering it in . I see what you mean about wishbone bolts. I tried some standard ones that I had lying around and they just slipped out as they couldn't take the torque and wrecked their threads.

This post has been edited by VROOM: 25th March 2020 22:07
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waynedear
post 26th March 2020 08:01
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Whenever I have done Alfa suspension/steering work I have found a 4’ heavy crow bar indispensable, levers anything.
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VROOM
post 26th March 2020 20:12
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QUOTE(waynedear @ 26th March 2020 08:01) *
Whenever I have done Alfa suspension/steering work I have found a 4’ heavy crow bar indispensable, levers anything.


I need something like that. Ended up using the trolley jack handle as a lever.
On another note, the supplier of the wishbones reckon the bolts should be at 55nm which could explain why I stripped the captive nut threads at 70nm (as recommended on the how to guide on this forum).
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dante giacosa
post 26th March 2020 20:28
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Vroom-

just to be clear about this problem;

did you have the bolts actually threading INTO the wishbone captive-nuts successfully?

and it was only on final-tightness that they stripped out?
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VROOM
post 27th March 2020 19:39
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 26th March 2020 20:28) *
Vroom-

just to be clear about this problem;

did you have the bolts actually threading INTO the wishbone captive-nuts successfully?

and it was only on final-tightness that they stripped out?


Yep, that's correct. Only the longest bolt tightened up to the 70nm without ruining the captive nut thread. I've pinched the longest bolts from the other side and cut the captive nuts off the old wishbone to get the following done just so I could get a wheel back on one side. After I took that photo, I welded the cut nut onto the ruined captive one beneath (not that it needed it, but just for completeness). Not a pretty sight, but does the job. This double decker combination of original bolt and nut did tighten to 70nm so OEM nuts and bolts can take it.
Attached Image


So the specialist who supplied the wishbones are saying 55nm whilst the post that I followed says 70nm. I suppose 55nm is ok if that's what an experienced garage is saying. What do you think? They also said that the bolts are standard 8.8 hardness.
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dante giacosa
post 27th March 2020 20:11
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I don't know.

It's hard to gauge that kind of tightness, by 'thought'!

I could compare it to the wheel-torque tightness that I use; but I can't remember what that is off the top of my head; it's set on the torch-wrench in the boot of the car- I haven't adjusted it for years.

I suspect over the four bolts; 55Nm would be fine

(nice work with those nuts, by the way!)

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post 27th March 2020 21:02
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55nm it is then! I've just been reminded that the bush brackets should be tightened with the wishbone in the natural position (horizontalish I guess) rather than the extended drop position. This is to reduce strain on the bush. Now I had to jack up the hub to get the rear bracket hole to move closer to the bolt hole in order to get the bolt to reach it so I'm probably not far off, but I did also screw in the outer bracket bolts for the inner ones before I did this. Of course maybe I'm just being over picky and it doesn't matter that much on a car that does 1k a year if that!
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dante giacosa
post 28th March 2020 13:12
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 27th March 2020 21:02) *
55nm it is then! I've just been reminded that the bush brackets should be tightened with the wishbone in the natural position (horizontalish I guess) rather than the extended drop position. This is to reduce strain on the bush. Now I had to jack up the hub to get the rear bracket hole to move closer to the bolt hole in order to get the bolt to reach it so I'm probably not far off, but I did also screw in the outer bracket bolts for the inner ones before I did this. Of course maybe I'm just being over picky and it doesn't matter that much on a car that does 1k a year if that!


Well, I wouldn't say; 'it doesn't matter', as there is always a right way to do things.

But I would say; with all four bolts securely in, and the car having been driven round the block, or over a speedbump, a couple of times; it might be worth re-torquing after that; but it will be 'set' then, without a doubt.
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post 28th March 2020 21:33
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 28th March 2020 13:12) *
Well, I wouldn't say; 'it doesn't matter', as there is always a right way to do things.

But I would say; with all four bolts securely in, and the car having been driven round the block, or over a speedbump, a couple of times; it might be worth re-torquing after that; but it will be 'set' then, without a doubt.


thumbsup.gif
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post Yesterday, 20:56
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Finally finished this at the weekend, but only after the captive nuts on the left hand side wishbone both popped right off when in perfect position resulting in lots of swearing and "how is this possible ?!" rants. After removing the wishbone for the 4th time after this, I managed to then catch the ball joint rubber boot on the brake shield thing and tear it. Then had to order another brand of wishbone for that side which held up better with no captive nut issues. I've never done any suspension work before and I've got to say I never want to again. I must have spent hours simply trying to line up the final inner most bolt hole. I've learnt that with all the forces involved, everything from ARB position to hub height can completely determine whether or not a bolt or even the wishbone will slot into position and tighten up properly.
Anyway just got to get it re-mot'd now, but as I'm hardly travelling anywhere I'm not sure when that'll be.

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