:: HOW TO...
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Brakes and wheels
Engine bay work
Some easy work
:: Replacing front wishbone
A bit of a weak point on the coupe, the wishbone ball joint wear with mileage and make themselves heard eventually with an annoying knocking noise. Fiat supply them for around £60 one side and £120 the other (why no-one knows as they're not much different). You can buy pattern parts from almost any independent parts supplier but the quality may not be the same...
1: View from inside with undertray fitted.
2: Wishbone balljoint and brake disc splash guard can be seen.
3: This is the drop link which attaches the end of the anti-roll bar to the wishbone. With the wheels on the ground remove the lower nut and take off the bush and washer (17mm).
4: Next, jack and support your car, I used this spot as it's steady and away from the wishbone mounting bolts. You can use the normal jacking points if you prefer. You'll need an axle stand as the jack is used later.
5: Just a shot of the track rod end, John, mark or count the number of exposed threads, then slacken the securing nut fully and take off the balljoint nut. Split the balljoint and just unscrew it from the steering arm. Put the new one on the same amount of threads and get the tracking checked when you're all done. Nut torque is 34NM.
6: A shot of the wishbone balljoint securing nut and bolts. I used new ones as the threads were damaged taking them out and the new nut is a nylock style self locking nut.
7: Drop link with securing nut and bushes removed.
8: Wishbone balljoint nut and bolt removed (both 17mm) you may need to tap out the bolt.
9: Wishbone balljoint split from stub axle. It may make it easier if you jack up the bottom of the brake disc and push down on the wishbone. Keep the car in gear to do this else the disc will just spin. Mine had a split rubber boot but these can be bought seperately if that's all that's wrong.
10: Next, slacken the 17mm nut holding the drop link to the end of the anti-roll bar and remove the 4 15mm bolts holding the wishbone to the subframe. Be carefull with these as there are 3 different lengths and the must go back in the same holes. Jack up the brake disc as high as possible and simple yank the wishbone out! This photo shows the old and new wishbones side by side.
11: Wiggle the new wishbone in place, it can be easier if you do this with the drop link completely removed. Don't worry about lining up the balljoint for now just concentrate on getting the 4 bolts into place, just nip them us loosly for now. When this is done refit the drop link and push down on the wishbone end until it's far enough down to locate the drop link in it's hole (don't forget the upper bush and washer).
12: You can now lower the jack.
13: Finally, push down on the wishbone end again and manouvre the balljoint into it's home on the stub axle (you need to push down quite hard on the wishbone but it is possible).
Fit the nut and bolt securing the wishbone balljoint ensuring that the balljoint waisted portion lines up through the hole. The bolt should slip easily into the hoel and should not need to be hammered into place.
Tighten the nut and bolt to 70NM.
Refit the wheel and lower the car to the ground, the drop link should now be far enough through the wishbone to allow you to fit the low bush, washer and nut. Tighten the nut to 31NM. Also tighten up the nut securing the drop link to the end of the anti-roll bar - it's not easy to get a torque wrench in there so just do it tight!
Finally, tighten all four wishbone to subframe securing bolts to 69NM - it is extemely important not to overtighten these bolts as the nuts they screw into will either strip or break away from their spot welds.
Job done, I removed the undertray as it gets in the way of one of the bolts but you might get away with just loosening one corner.
Lastly, while doing this job it's an ideal time to replace the brake disc splash guards if they are rubbing and also to replace the drop link and bushes as they cost pennies.