Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Just got back from my Alfa mechanic who gave my 87 Spider a complete checkup, jacked up the car and showed me this arm at the front of the car underneath that was really loose and wobbly that he said needed to be replaced. He called it the 'idler arm with bearing' and told me to find one online and he'll install it. He said it runs about $160.

I looked around and can't seem to find just the arm, I found this 'idler box' but no arms...

SU079 STEERING IDLER BOX - LEFT HAND DRIVE - REBUILT - Classic Alfa

any idea where I could find this or if there are alternate names I can search for?

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,002 Posts
You can buy bushings to overhaul the idler box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You can buy bushings to overhaul the idler box.
Thanks Alfaparticle, he told me to avoid rebuild kits with bushings because I'd have to go to a machine shop to make it work (?) and it would end up costing more money and time than buying a new arm.

Is that true?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,599 Posts
Centerline carries parts to replace or rebuild those boxes. Their p/n SR106 is the bushings & shaft, while SR110 is a new housing & bushings. With the SR106, you would need to separate the arm from your existing shaft, and re-weld it to the new shaft. I found these on their website under Suspension, Steering, "steering idler".



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,089 Posts
if the arm is gone completely that is expensive and not often found. This one on ebay germany is just one I have seen in absolute ages!..it says series 4, so I am not sure if there was a change from the series 3 in this arm......yes, the S4 had power steering...
Original Alfa Romeo Typ 105 Spider Serie 4 Hebel für Lenkgestänge NEU 60516912 | eBay

But I bet the arm is OK and as ED alfaparticle says the idler repair kit ought to get the job done just fine: (Might ask your mechanic to put a zerk joint on it, as some have done here on BB to help its length of life...)
I presume the shaft has to be cut out the old arm and welded on.....needs to be someone good so it is straight:)??
SU080 STEERING IDLER REPAIR KIT - Classic Alfa
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,015 Posts
Centerline lists the idler box but without the arm/shaft and advises the bushings may need to be reamed to fit your shaft. ~ $170.00

IAP lists a rebuild kit (new bushings & shaft it looks like). ~ $35.00

Before going further I'd find out if the shaft itself was loose in the bushings (indicating ecessive wear) or if the arm was loose on the shaft (& only needing to be tightened up...).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,002 Posts
When I did one, many years ago, I bought a shaft + bushings but I could have bought just the bushings. The shaft in mine was corroded so just replacing bushings was not an option. There was no reaming required as the bushings were matched to the shaft. I was told at the time that I might have to ream bushes if I did not replace the shaft.
Just replacing bushes is easy. Replacing the shaft requires grinding off weld, pressing the old shaft off the arm, pressing the new shaft onto the arm IN EXACTLY THE SAME POSITION, and welding it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
I replaced the bushings in my idler, it did not require reaming. The symptom however was a loud clunking noise when crossing railroad tracks or encountering potholes, I could not detect looseness and certainly couldn't wobble the arm by hand. I would suspect it is more likely that your track and tie rod end bearings are worn although I would assume a mechanic would be able to tell that. If it is the idler then such a symptom would indicate serious wear beyond the limits of the bronze bushings, which are not very thick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
yes Jillian70, it was Benny!

Thanks for all of the responses. I'm going to call him tomorrow and talk to him about what all of you have mentioned. My knowledge is really limited when it comes to steering and suspension, one step at a time...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Idler Arm Bushing

I just changed the bushings but they need reaming. As I don't have reamer, I used wheel brake cylinder honing tool. That do the job.

Sorry for the quality of my english, I speak french.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Phew!! sorry for the delay fellas. Lots of good information brewing here though, gonna have some quality research time tonight.

Called Benny and he said its not the arm - - its the box but the box needs to have the bearings in it already. He said if the tie rods are worn he can do those on the spot but I kindof want to investigate myself...

Would you say the Box is something I can do myself? I'm fairly handy, but limited on tools... I just have a single jack right now. ratchet set etc. I have fun with this stuff but don't want to risk messing up something safety related like the steering.

Thanks again!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Hello:
Currently rebuilding front suspension on our 1985 Graduate which my dad and I have had for 20 years (only 67K miles). Decided to remove and inspect idler since movement was a little tight with tie rods removed. Removed cap and there was plenty of grease but it looked like wax. Removed nut and slid shaft off housing and it was slightly rusty; grease internally was in poor condition and was brown with rust. Removed shaft rust with naval jelly and cleaned up everything and re-greased; bearings were still ok. Now movement much easier so advise everyone to consider inspecting idler if has never been done.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top