Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've read with interest many threads on the 105 front suspension. Unlike earlier systems, ball joints withstanding, the diagnostics are not very straight forward. Most of the threads are covering changing out the multiple bushings and link connections procedures in what appears to be rehab exercises since the cars are undergoing extensive restorations and renewing these parts is just a practice to shelve old parts on the principle that they are over 40 years old. The whole car is being done, so why stop here so let's renew all the bushings... This is obviously the right thing to do but there is no mention of diagnostics and what will be corrected by doing this other than the usual improvements in steering, tracking, and maybe ride... however perceptible. In fact, none of the good workshop manuals like Intereurope even cover diagnostics very well.

My question is this.. so spin back the clock to 1985.. you take your car to an authorized AR service shop for routine overall service and they check for the usual points of service and wear and test drive the car. One would expect, a point by point list of checks they conducted and a diagnosis of what needs corrected. An answer like .. "it's 20 years old and we need to change out all the bushings on the front end"... would not be received without challenges. Are there loose or wobbly parts ( I can understand tie rod link language)? noises? creaks? etc.

Can anyone give me their professional point by point checks and failure modes for the 105 design?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,012 Posts
Many of the joints are hard to test unless you disconnect them because the springs load them in one direction. If you disconnect the caster arm from the upper control arm you can test the caster ball joint. If you disconnect the upper ball joint you can test the inner bushing. I replaced the inner bushings of the lower A arm last year and they were completely shot. I could not detect that by pushing/pulling/prying on the suspension but the car had a lot of bump steer. Loose caster ball joints can often be detected when you get hard on the brakes.

(do you still want those wing nuts? I am going on vacation on Wednesday and I will be at Watkins Glen next weekend)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Many of the joints are hard to test unless you disconnect them because the springs load them in one direction. If you disconnect the caster arm from the upper control arm you can test the caster ball joint. If you disconnect the upper ball joint you can test the inner bushing. I replaced the inner bushings of the lower A arm last year and they were completely shot. I could not detect that by pushing/pulling/prying on the suspension but the car had a lot of bump steer. Loose caster ball joints can often be detected when you get hard on the brakes.

(do you still want those wing nuts? I am going on vacation on Wednesday and I will be at Watkins Glen next weekend)
yeah, the nuts are on the list ... but set them aside for after vaca if that suits your plans...nothing imminent. Have a great trip to WG. Wish I could join the fray. It's worth the trip! I don't have issues with the bump steer or braking.. car has 35000 miles under it and is a '69... just a creakiness on the right side when you turn in a parking lot or push on the top of he fender.. shock has a torn boot on that side..original.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,210 Posts
That 'creakiness' is likely to be lower wishbone bushes (inboard), worn out spring seat rubbers or some problem with the front anti-roll bar attachment points. I suggest spraying some kind of rubber lubricant on these places (in reverse order), allow to penetrate, then do your fender test. Keeping the spring pans relatively free of road debris is one occasional task that nearly everyone forgets to do.

Lower wishbone bushes were made by Lemforder but now NLA from them. Classic Alfa in the UK has sourced some better quality aftermarket bushes from a manufacturer in Italy, as the early Chinese copies were .... well .... Chinese copies. Opinions vary about rubber vs polyurethane bushes, but I use them at the front anti-roll bar mounting point (and rear caster bush) and don't have any complaints, although my car has no structural integrity problems i.e. don't beef up the front bar or its bushes if you suspect rust. But you knew that already.

Replacing the spring seat rubbers will be a PITA if you don't have the factory tool, or can borrow one from a friend. M10 threaded bar and a handful of nuts is the only alternative, and it is a tedious task.

Alex.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,252 Posts
That 'creakiness' is likely to be lower wishbone bushes (inboard), worn out spring seat rubbers or some problem with the front anti-roll bar attachment points.
With the understanding that we're all just speculating, I have a different guess from Alex. Since the car creaks "when you turn in a parking lot or push on the top of he fender" then I'm going to guess that it is either an upper or lower ball joint. Those are the only joints that work in two dimensions; that is, move during steering and vertical wheel travel.

I would start by jacking up the front end and support the car on its spring pans so it is free to steer with weight on the suspension but the wheels off the ground. Have an assistant work the steering while listening at either side - that should at least narrow down which side is creaking. As Alex recommends, you can try spraying some WD-40 or PBlaster on one joint at a time, and see if the noise goes away.

When my Sprint GT had these symptoms, it was the upper ball joint, part of the assembly pictured below. But a bad lower joint would exhibit the same symptoms.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks to you both,, Yes, the first thing I went for was the sway bar fix..always looking to eliminate the easiest and simplest. My car is so original and low miles we are basically talking about a time capsule. Was repainted ten years ago, topside and just brought over in Nov with Roderick's help. The underside and metal features underside are as it left the factory +some road film. We just won 3rd in class at AROC with it, and it is really not restored except for paint so we are not talking a rusted contaminated mess...please stay in the loop..Oh, how much simpler the issues were in Giuliettas! Oh, the creaking is only on the right side for sure as described.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alex wins the prize!!! I took it out for a vigorous ride and returned. Ran true as a new car. Still a problem.. after that but even worse. My 110 lb 5 foot tall helper who sleeps with me (imagine that!) became my diagnostician. I marked the obvious places the noise would come from with blue painters tape and asked her to take the LONG screw driver to the metal parts I marked to her ear as you would check an engine malady. We picked the obvious 5 locactions and the only place she got the noise was from the SPRING. The seat must be deteriorated or whatever and the noise was coming from there...EUREKA!.

I had read threads where folks had rebuilt EVERYTHING and still had the creak. It must be in the spring perch isolators. Any ideas or just flood the ****ed thing with used oil? Thanks to you all. The other side is silky smooth. Uncle
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,252 Posts
Are you saying that your spring creaks when you turn the wheels left-right (like "when you turn in a parking lot")? If so, are you sure your assistant isn't hearing noise transmitted from something at actually moves when you steer the car?

Or are you saying that the car doesn't creak when you turn the wheels left-right; it only creaks when going over bumps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you saying that your spring creaks when you turn the wheels left-right (like "when you turn in a parking lot")? If so, are you sure your assistant isn't hearing noise transmitted from something at actually moves when you steer the car?

Or are you saying that the car doesn't creak when you turn the wheels left-right; it only creaks when going over bumps?
It creaks for sure in the garage pumping up and down on the fender.. That I know for sure .. the other side doesn't no matter how much I jump on it.. If I had the noise in a parking lot .. well there, too but in a static state I can identify where it is coming from. I'm listening.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,252 Posts
Let me ask my question one more time: Do you hear the creak when the car is steered left-right, or only when the suspension goes up-down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Jay, by no means do I think I have the answer yet. We've been around long enough to know there are always "other contributing factors" to any diagnosis in Alfas. The removal of the spring pan is pretty simple and I'll get to it someday but not until the weather gets ugly.. we only have seasons with our cars. Thanks for staying tuned and contributing. If that doesn't cure it.. on to the next step. I guess I could flood it with water and see if things change,,, now that would be too simple wouldn't it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I finally surrender to wiser voices...including the contributors....seems after quizzing the experts I know in shops, they are 99.9% certain it is lower A-arm bushings. Seems this was a weak point even with a car even two years old. I was told it will improve the ride which indeed is harsher than my '72 Super (same system).. so I'll bite the bullet and have both sides done very thoroughly by pros. Thanks for all your comments. PS The false reading on the spring might be telegraphing the rear bushing which we didn't check with the screwdriver stethoscope method. Wisdom prevails over hardheadedness.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top