Front sway bar drop links - how tight ? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Front sway bar drop links - how tight ?

.

I'm in the process of fitting a Classic Alfa handling kit (plus new brake calipers' discs, etc) to my '69 Spider & have a couple of questions:

- how tight (or not) should the drop link bush be on the attachment bolt on the lower wishbone ?

It appears that the fit on mine is very tight & will require quite q bit of force to get them seated.

I had to drill through the rubber in order to get the old ones off (& then heat the inner metal sleeves to get them off the w/bone mounts)

Secondly - what is the best order of assembly for the installation of the sway bar:

- connect the drop links to the sway bar, then lower w/bone & finally attach the bar to the front cross-member or vise versa ?

Is it better to attach the drop links to the wishbone mounts off the car before attaching those to the wishbone ?

.

Andy
'59 Giulietta Sprint & '69 1750 Spider Veloce
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 08:18 AM
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build the complete antisway bar with the 2 drop arms (dogbones?) on the bench making sure the angles are correct (drop arm to main bar). Install the drop arms to the suspension both sides. raise the front of the bar and attach to the crossmember under the radiator. I use a floor jack to help hold the front bar while I set the bolts into place since its a one man show for everything at my house.

PS the attachment of the bushings to the front lower A arms should not be hard to press on. If it is, clean off the pin with emery cloth or open up the bush with a reamer.

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

So how much effort should be needed to fit the bushes to the wishbone mount - eg pressed on using a vice ?

.

Andy
'59 Giulietta Sprint & '69 1750 Spider Veloce
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 06:57 AM
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I’m afraid I don’t understand your terminology. The sway bar assembly has two identical arms that hang down from the bar itself. These two short arms each have 2 bushings. To get the bushings into the arms, I use some heat, a vise to press them in, but have also used a real 20 ton press. To get the arms with bushings attached to main sway bar, I use a socket with a big hammer with the main bar end held really tight in a vise. One must make sure the attachment angle is correct. When the whole assembly is complete I install in the car.

The bushings must be tightly held as they are not to rotate when installed. Likewise the small arms can not rotate on the main arm.

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 10:27 AM
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" how tight (or not) should the drop link bush be on the attachment bolt on the lower wishbone ?"

Not tight at all, on the shoulder of the attachment bolt, otherwise you will introduce a LOT more roll stiffness into the front end, increasing understeer. The bushings should PIVOT freely on the shoulder of the bolts, even if you have to ream them out to fit. Lube them also, with chassis grease, on assembly. I had to do this recently with my son's GTV 6, thanks to some incorrect bushing ID dimensions. Locknuts will secure the links in place, with no need to torque them down and lock up the assembly!

Yes, the bushings must be pressed in and retained tightly within the drop link holes, but the entire front sway bar assembly has to be free to pivot and work as the chassis rolls from side to side. Sway bars are best removed/installed with the wheels on the ground, and the chassis loaded normally.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

So, just to clarify, the drop link bushes (blue arrows) should be a close (but not tight) fit on the sway bar & lower wishbone mount (red arrows) & should be able to swivel (aided by lubrication with grease) ?



Andy
'59 Giulietta Sprint & '69 1750 Spider Veloce
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightweight_911 View Post
Thanks.

So, just to clarify, the drop link bushes (blue arrows) should be a close (but not tight) fit on the sway bar & lower wishbone mount (red arrows) & should be able to swivel (aided by lubrication with grease) ?


Yes--- exactly.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 07:06 AM
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Nope. The top arrow where the bush is press fit onto the actual sway bar is not a loose rotating joint. That’s why the angle of the drop link to the bar is important when assembling. Plus, it’s a press fit and if it rotates it will fall off. The bottom red arrow, yes, this should be a snug fit but not a tight interference fit.

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 03:22 PM
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Woops--- Goats is right about the Spider upper bushing. There's no locknut at the top, unlike on our GTV 6, which has locknuts top and bottom. Different design and different action. The rubber bushes apparently have to take the flexure as the sway bar end moves through its arc.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:51 AM
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in all cases (750>161), for oem bars and bushings, the upper end link bush is a press fit onto the bar end and a "casual" slide onto the lower control arm.
if this page from manual is not big enough to read, let me know.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that - I couldn't quite make out the details in your picture but found the 75 shop manual page on-line easily enough.

My last question is about the positioning of the upper end of the drop link on the anti roll (sway) bar - since the parts are all new & hence haven't previously been fitted together, how do I ensure I get them in the correct position in relationship to each other ?

On my old set-up the links were at 90 deg to the bar - do I just copy that ?

Or, do I wait until the car is back on its wheels, attach the bar (without the drop links attached), connect the lower ends of the drop links to the wishbone mounts & the mark the relative positions of the upper ends of the drop links & the ends of the sway bar - then remove it all & assemble the links to the bar 'on the bench' ?

Andy
'59 Giulietta Sprint & '69 1750 Spider Veloce
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 08:39 AM
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well, is always a problem.... the best thing to do is mark them relative to the bar before you take apart - that also ensures that both ends go back on same position on the bar (ie. the links are parallel)... but sounds like that ship has sailed. w my poly end link bushings, not a problem because the links can rotate around the periphery of the bush. w the oem style everything is locked in place so becomes much more difficult proposition. i guess i would choose option 2... really want to eliminate any shear in static mode. these things have a short enough life span as it is.
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