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Discussion Starter #1
Hi group,

I'm hearing a sharp clank sound coming from the front somewhere when I apply the brake while the car is moving forward. Sharper the stab of the brake pedal the louder the clank. I haven't jacked it up to start wiggling and pulling stuff, but thought maybe someone has had this before. I can't tell what side its coming from, almost sounds like center. Certainly front end. Does not clank when rolling backwards. I don't notice any looseness or driving issues like before front end rebuild.

Car is an 84 spider with Konis, IAP sport springs, new ball joints, bushings and tierod and swaybar links done within last 1500 miles, but more than 5 yrs ago. Upper control arms, bushes replaced with lower style. I am running larger/heavier 16" wheels.

I would appreciate any advice on where to look first or what to check. Thanks!
 

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Lower A arm bushings and/or caster bushings perhaps?
 

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Lower A arm bushings and/or caster bushings perhaps?
Yes, those are the most probable causes. It wasn't clear whether those bushings were replaced in the work done 5 years ago. I suppose a loose caliper, or something else (the ball joint in the upper arm, for example) could also be the culprit. But start with what goats suggests.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks goats and Jay, will check those first. Both were replaced as I recall, but its been a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys,
So the video shows the source of the clank and looks like goats was right. Excessive movement in the upper A arm caster bushing (is that the right name for what's shown?) Passenger is worse than driver. Does that much movement mean other bushes are shot also?

Checked and I did replace the upper A arms but in 2010, and 9k miles ago.

Lower control arm bushes and ball joints were replaced at the same time. Sound about right as far as expected life? poly the way to go this time?

Thanks,
Caster arm bushing vid
 

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Thanks guys,
So the video shows the source of the clank and looks like goats was right. Excessive movement in the upper A arm caster bushing (is that the right name for what's shown?) Passenger is worse than driver. Does that much movement mean other bushes are shot also?

Checked and I did replace the upper A arms but in 2010, and 9k miles ago.

Lower control arm bushes and ball joints were replaced at the same time. Sound about right as far as expected life? poly the way to go this time?

Thanks,
Caster arm bushing vid
Never heard of those lasting only 9,000 miles. I dont use poly and have but many more miles than that without issue
 
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have someone make aluminum inserts, replace the rubber bushing with a solid aluminum bush ; problem solved.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Welp, those caster bushings are definitely shot. I guess that's why Classic Alfa specifically recommends replacing them with poly for durability.

R&R is an easy job with a press, but you need to pull the upper arm out of the car. If you're clever with a puller you might be able to press those out in the car without removing the upper arm...then you should be able to press in a poly replacement with a clamp.

If you do decide to remove the upper arm make sure you read up on how to do it safely, as the unsafe way involves potentially getting killed by a flying spring.
 

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Never heard of those lasting only 9,000 miles. I don't use poly and have but many more miles than that without issue
Wow, I agree. I wonder if those bushings weren't sitting on a shelf for a few decades before you installed them. Your's definitely failed early.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
have someone make aluminum inserts, replace the rubber bushing with a solid aluminum bush ; problem solved.
Thanks for the suggestion, I could look for a shop willing to make them, but don't have one in mind, anyone know of an off-the-shelf source? Is this a common swap?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Welp, those caster bushings are definitely shot. I guess that's why Classic Alfa specifically recommends replacing them with poly for durability.

R&R is an easy job with a press, but you need to pull the upper arm out of the car. If you're clever with a puller you might be able to press those out in the car without removing the upper arm...then you should be able to press in a poly replacement with a clamp.

If you do decide to remove the upper arm make sure you read up on how to do it safely, as the unsafe way involves potentially getting killed by a flying spring.
Yes, thanks for the note. I think I still have my threaded rod spring compressors somewhere and certainly the press I bought to do the front end back in 2010. I may give the in-car option a try before tearing it down, worth a shot.
 

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Wow, I agree. I wonder if those bushings weren't sitting on a shelf for a few decades before you installed them. Your's definitely failed early.
Could be, I recall choosing the non-adjustable option at the time, maybe not a popular choice. Those bushes would have been pre-installed in the replacement upper control arms I suppose. Oh well.

Aside from being old stock, anything else I can check as potential causes for the early failure?

Thanks for the reply,
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yes, thanks for the note. I think I still have my threaded rod spring compressors somewhere and certainly the press I bought to do the front end back in 2010. I may give the in-car option a try before tearing it down, worth a shot.
You don't need to remove the springs, just securely support the arm at the outer end with a jack stand. There are threads on how to do it safely.

I would recommend against aluminum: solid bushings in the suspension are generally a really bad idea for a street car. Poly will be stiffer than stock and give long life but still flex as needed.

Personally I bought the adjustable arms from Classic Alfa and replaced both the inner and outer bushings with poly before installing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You don't need to remove the springs, just securely support the arm at the outer end with a jack stand. There are threads on how to do it safely.

I would recommend against aluminum: solid bushings in the suspension are generally a really bad idea for a street car. Poly will be stiffer than stock and give long life but still flex as needed.

Personally I bought the adjustable arms from Classic Alfa and replaced both the inner and outer bushings with poly before installing.
Ok thanks, I'll definitely read up before starting. Yeah, May go with new adjustable and poly all around as you suggest if I end up needing to remove the arm.
 

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Caster bushings are easy to replace. But they are installed are certain orientation.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The stock rubber ones are, the poly ones are just solid.

Both upper arm bushings are really good candidates for poly bushings. You can nicely tighten up the handling by minimizing caster movement with little impact on NVH.
 
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