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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All,

I am replacing the rear suspension bushings on my '91 Spider.

Almost done, but I have hit a wall and need the wisdom of this community.

IMG_7324.jpg

I need to attach the rear sway bar to the upper end link but I can't figure it out for the life of me.

It's a press fit bushing. I can not just push the end link on the end of the sway bar with my hands.

I have tried using a C clamp and also a ball joint press that I have at my disposal for a few days, but they keep slipping off.

I do not have a press, so I need a creative way of pressing these two together.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Vin
 

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I'm anxious to hear what the more experienced guys say because I just did mine and they look exactly like yours - loose. Meaning that it just slips right on and the only thing that keeps it in place is the sway bar being constrained laterally. If you can't get yours to go on then I think something is wrong.

I've checked mine a couple of times since driving the car and they are staying in place. I figure that is why the clamps on the straight portion up on the body of the car - to keep the bar from moving back and forth. It looks like you have some space up there on yours and your sway bar may move back and forth enough to let the drop link come off.

It seems like everyone just says "take it off you don't need it" (meaning the whole bar) but since I am keeping the springs and ride height stock I went ahead and put mine back in.
 

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ace haedware store, they have some of these slip on ' washers' they press on a shaft, and retain what ever is on that shaft.i will go to ace sat. morning, and find out the correct name for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm anxious to hear what the more experienced guys say because I just did mine and they look exactly like yours - loose.
Now that doesn't sound right :eek:!

Mine aren't loose. I can't figure a way to press them together because they are tight and I'm pretty sure that's the way they are supposed to be.

I say that because when I removed the old ones, they were a press fit too, not loose.

I think your bushings are not correct. I read on the BB somewhere about that problem.

I haven't made final alignment of the sway bar until I can get these pressed on and set up with the lower end link to axle. That is why you may see that there is play.

I also want to keep the sway bar in place.

Thanks for the replies.

Vin
 

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Just replaced these- got a shop to press the old ones off but they left me to drive the new ones on as they were not sure of the correct alignment.
new ones took some pounding with a big hammer and socket, so I dont think mine are going anywhere, but I am keeping an eye on them .
Alternative suggestions were weld a washer on the end , or drill and tap a hole in the bar end and bolt a washer on . Havnt needed to do either so far .
Was the bar end originally swaged over to retain the link?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
new ones took some pounding with a big hammer and socket
paleblue spider,

Thanks.

So I understand, did you do this on a bench or in situ on the car?

It looked to me that if I did it on the bench, I wouldn't be able to get the assembly back on the car, getting it around the Trunion arm and muffler pipe.

Can you explain a bit more please?

Thanks!

Vin
 

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Didn't mseirt go through something simular like last summer?

It seems I recall several people saying they had a tack welded washer on the ends of thier bars to prevent that, but don't quote me on that as its kind of a vague memory at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Didn't mseirt go through something simular like last summer?

It seems I recall several people saying they had a tack welded washer on the ends of thier bars to prevent that, but don't quote me on that as its kind of a vague memory at this point.
Yes, I recall msiert having the "loose" problem, where the bushing center was too big for the end of the sway bar and they tack welded a washer on.

My problem, is that the bushing is a press fit, not loose.

I can't think of way to press these two together in situ.

Thanks,

Vin
 

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Rear sway bar links

In our experience, there's no easy way to do this job. It's going to require removing the swaybar from the car. Aftermarket bushings vary in size, causing some of the issues that have been mentioned.
If they slip on loosely, we put a couple of tiny tack welds on the end to hold it in place. We usually do it off the car, but it could be done in the car, if you're aware that the gas tank is very close by.
Otherwise, complete removal and pressing are required. Don't waste a lot of time on hardware store solutions.
KG
Alfas Unlimited
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In our experience, there's no easy way to do this job. It's going to require removing the swaybar from the car.

Otherwise, complete removal and pressing are required.
KG
Alfas Unlimited
KG,

Thank you for the reply.

Somehow I am coming to that realization, that it can not be done in car position.

I think its going to be tricky to get the sway bar to end link angle right, or close and to even press fit the two together as there isn't much to hold onto with the round sway bar.

Adventures in Alfa ownership!

Thanks again.

Vin
 

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End link

You can get an approximate "angle" by holding the parts in place at normal ride height on the ground. Mark the pieces with chalk or a marker. Or, borrow a used swaybar from the local Alfa guy who hoards things in his attic and make yours look the same.
Instead of a press, I usually hold the swaybar in a vise and install the links with an air hammer with a large flat nosed bit. I agree that it's very difficult to do with a press.
KG
 

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With the parts in place and the lower end of the link connected, cut a cardboard angle guage. Then pull out.

The original parts were a close fit, and the end of the bar was swaged (mushroomed) to hole it in place. Corrosion usually leads the bushing to freeze in place.

The normal press fit techniques are hard to use: Cool the inner part (bar here) with LNi or freezer, heat the outer (bushing) in an oven, press with a hydraulic press quickly. Problem is the bar is too big and the bushing is rubber, so both the hot and the cold steps are not doable.

My solution was to cheat. I have a Shankle rear sway bar that has steel plates (blades) instead of a bent rod. The outer bushes just bolt on with locknuts. They are even adjustable, with several holes in the blades to vary the torque transfer effect.

:)

Robert
 

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Hi Vince,

To get the old bushing out I cut the crumbling rubber out and took a hack saw to cut the metal bushing jacket enough to pry it out.

I went to poly bushings so I didn't have to worry about getting tha angle of the bar right but 60's racer idea sounds good. I think the lower link is supposed to be at 90 degrees.

I had a vise that help me get the new bushings in but it took some pounding with a big hammer to finish the job.

Make sure your sway bar is in right side up. The PO did the tack weld the washer trick then followed through with installing the bar upside down or was it the other way around.

The first pic shows the bar in upside down (see how it rested against the under body) the second picture shows the welded on washer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Got it!

Thanks to all for their quick replies and willing to help.

I have always said this is a great community to be a part of.

Msiert, I did the same to get them off. Drilled the rubber out but my center sleeve (on these sway bar, upper end link) stayed on the bar. Vice grips and a hammer made quick work to remove them.

What I finally did today was, since the sway bar was installed, was to somewhat attach (no nut, basically get the busing started so it wouldnt fall off when I removed the swaybar) the end links to the sway bar and the axle. This gave me a start as to the proper angle.

With the good advice I received here, I then removed the swaybar, set up on my bench vice, using a piece of flat stock and a good solid hammer, drove them home! :D:D:D and yes, msiert, the whole time, I was checking and re checking and re checking that the bar wasn't upside down or the end links weren't upside down. I can't tell you how many times I saw the picture of yours with the rubber bushings and the upside down, welded on washer, swaybar, endlinks.;)

IMG_7325.jpg

IMG_7326.jpg

Once I had one in, I put the assembly on the ground and was able to put the other side on at the same angle.

Im glad its done.

Will be making a thread on replacing the bushings soon.

Thanks again.

Vin
 

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That's really going make a big difference in your ride, that bar was useless with the bushings so far gone!

I tried it for a while with the bar was out I could really feel the back end sway, didn't feel I was loosing any traction but it just felt too loose to me.
 

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Loose rear end equals oversteer. If it's just the right amount, it will speed you thru and out of tight corners. If it's too much you go off track backward.

[Note that this happens only if you're going too fast to make the exit. Understeer lets you plow straight ahead off the track, oversteer flips you around so you go off backwards, both only if you are too fast. Sometimes you're at a good enough speed but you panic at the first sign of oversteer and get too twitchy on the wheel trying to save the car.]

It will also introduce you to new levels of adrenaline (and panic). But it is one of the keys to GoFast, especially on an AX course.

You might try disconnecting your rear bar in the next AX - do one run with and one without. Just two bolts and some duct tape....


Hit the apex, mash the throttle, hold the power drift 'till the car hooks up at the exit; you're doing 20 mph faster down the straight.

:D

Robert
 

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Stupid Question: why are the bushings designed such that they hold the bar and the link at a fixed angle? Granted, there is +/- twist either way, but what I'm asking is wouldn't an anti-roll bar work the same if, for example, there were sealed bearings, which could rotate, instead of those bushings? I'm not planning any such goofy modifications, I've just been contemplating this for a few months in anticipation of a rear-end freshen-up. I stare at it and can't figure it out....I hope the question makes sense. John
 

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Stupid Question: why are the bushings designed such that they hold the bar and the link at a fixed angle? Granted, there is +/- twist either way, but what I'm asking is wouldn't an anti-roll bar work the same if, for example, there were sealed bearings, which could rotate, instead of those bushings? I'm not planning any such goofy modifications, I've just been contemplating this for a few months in anticipation of a rear-end freshen-up. I stare at it and can't figure it out....I hope the question makes sense. John
The poly bushings unlike the stock rubber ones do allow the bottom link to rotate so you don't have to get the right angle before mounting, in my opinon are easier to install and will last forever but they cost 3 times as much.:eek:
 

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...got it..it's call a 'speed nut ' you just slip it on the metal shaft. and it will stay there.
 
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