Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Since there is now a fairly loud rubbing sound coming from the right front wheel when I turn the wheel, I think it's time to overhaul the front suspension. There is also quite a lot of play in the steering, so perhaps the ball joints on the steering links are showing signs of wear?

I'm going to use vintre's excellent blow-by-blow account of replacing the front suspension components. Just purchased the suspension overhaul kit from centerline. I have one question. What kind of grease should be used in the caster bushings? Maybe more questions to come as I start on this.

Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,635 Posts
What kind of grease should be used in the caster bushings?
No grease - just assembly dry. The motion between the parts is taken up by flexing of the rubber in the bushing - not by metal-metal movement (which is what does require grease).

I'm worried about that wheel rubbing - worn ball joints & bushings would give sloppy steering, but they would have to be really bad before the wheel could move enough to touch something. I'd spend some time investigating the source of that rubbing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,066 Posts
There are adjustable steering stops. Might they be mis-adjusted & allowing the tire to rub?

And the Alfa steering box has an adjustment for play, too.

Certainly slop in the various joints should be addressed. If parts are worn/loose then a general refreshing/rebuilding will restore it to safe operation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
Since there is now a fairly loud rubbing sound coming from the right front wheel when I turn the wheel
It is most likely tire rub if the noise is only at the extremes of travel. Check the wheel bearings if it is throughout the range.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
Any opinions about greasing the A arm bushings, whether this is necessary, if so, what kind of Grease?
The lower A arm bushings? I don't think it is possible to get any grease into them and they could have benefited from some based on how bad my old ones were when I replaced them. They are not regular bushings - more like spherical bearings.
The inner bushing on the top A arm has a propensity to come apart in such a way that it is very difficult to get out. There is a good thread about it, originated I think by Andrew Watry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I came across that upper a arm discussion. Seems like the fix is to use one of the lower a arm bushings in the upper inner arm position. That's what I'm planning to do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
Seems like the fix is to use one of the lower a arm bushings in the upper inner arm position.
\Or polyurethane bushings.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,548 Posts
Yes, I came across that upper a arm discussion. Seems like the fix is to use one of the lower a arm bushings in the upper inner arm position. That's what I'm planning to do.
Alfa put lower a arm bushings in the upper arm until 67 or 68.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
If it's a Burman box there is no adjustment for play. The shims under the top oval plate do not affect "play".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Taking it slowly. Got the car up on jacks and took a look today. No interference between tire and wheel arch. Steering tie rod looks pretty shot on drivers side. Will try to get some pictures uploaded
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input gigem.
There is a small bit of steering play over most of the range, but a lot of play at the extreme of steering almost at full lock. Can't recollect if this is one side or both. I'm hoping that replacing all the tie rod ball joints will help but I don't think that this will fix the more marked play at the extreme of steering range.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
There is a small bit of steering play over most of the range, but a lot of play at the extreme of steering almost at full lock. Can't recollect if this is one side or both. I'm hoping that replacing all the tie rod ball joints will help but I don't think that this will fix the more marked play at the extreme of steering range.
My ZF steering box is the same. It may be a design feature!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,066 Posts
Steering tie rod looks pretty shot on drivers side. Will try to get some pictures uploaded
If the rubber boot is torn (and has been for an unknown length of time) the tie rod end likely needs replacing.

My ZF steering box is the same.
As is our Spider (forget which steering box it has).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
That's helpful to know, that the ZF exhibits this generically. Doesn't seem much of an issue if only at steering limits. Looking forward to overhauling the front suspension. Hoping to get going this weekend. Have the threaded rods and a ball joint tool.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
There is an easy way to remove the top ball joint. If you disconnect the sway bar and the shock then the suspension is at full droop. The upper arm is restrained by the bump stop and the spring is trying to separate the ball joint. So jack up the spring pan a little until the top arm is off the bump stop and unscrew the nut on the ball joint a few turns. Lower the jack then whack the knuckle (or upright) adjacent to the taper with a hammer and the taper will pop loose. Now jack up the pan again until the ball joint is unloaded and remove the nut. Now lower the pan slowly. The lower arm will swing down and the spring will fall out. You avoid using special tools on the ball joint and you don't have to mess with threaded rods or spring compressors until you are re-assembling it.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
The whack method works well but there is a sweet spot. If you don't get it on the first whack move up and down a tad on the side. A hefty ball peen hammer works well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,542 Posts
If it's a Burman box there is no adjustment for play. The shims under the top oval plate do not affect "play".
Well there are also shims under the lower plate (the one that the horn wire comes through) and those take up some slop when you remove them. However that slop is at the steering wheel, not the suspension...

P1090461.JPG
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,471 Posts
Technically speaking you are 100% correct. All the shims in a Burman box are used to "setup" the unit during assembly initially or after replacing the ball bearings etc. I used the thread you used the photo from to rebuild mine. A great thread btw. Tipically those shims as well as the ones on top will be put back just as they were after rebuilding. They do not address the areas prone to wear. Even on a worn box if you take out a any shim the box will be in a bind and any "play" resulting from wear will still be there.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top