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Old 25-04-12, 12:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 16
Default 806 Wishbone Replacement

Rubbers on and the lower ball-joints are now an MOT issue (Jan 2012). If it's just the rubber covers, you can buy and replace those, but it seems you still need to get the WBs out, unless you know a few tricks of the trade. Here's how to remove/replace wishbones:

1. Jack up car securely and place on 2 axle stands either side of wishbone mounting nuts. 2. Remove road wheel. 3. WD40 the 5x 19mm nuts which secure the wishbones to the sub-frame, and leave for a while. WD 40 the stabilizer bar fixing in the middle of the wishbone (19mm nut) and also the pinch-bolt/nut which ties the ball joint stud to the underside of the hub (15mm & 16mm). 4. Slacken off but do not remove all 5 wishbone/sub-frame mounting bolts. 5. Slacken and remove the pinch bolt on the hub. 6. Place a strong piece of wire (e.g. metal coat hanger) through the hole vacated by the pinch bolt, and thread this round any stout member which is able to take the weight of the hub when the ball-joint stub is removed: tie up securely (this is to prevent the half-shaft from falling out of the gearbox when the WB stub is dropped out, which will result in loss of GB oil. (If this happens you need to top up GB oil at end of operation - use the correct oil). 7. Undo and remove the 5 wishbone/sub-frame securing bolts, and the stabilizer bar nut ( - remove circular plate and rubber bush to safe storage for re-fitting on assembly): the wishbone will 'ping' out of place as the tension is released. 8. Gently hammer the WB stud free of the hub (use a stout bit of wood, and hammer the end of that): for this to come out the hub must be in quasi alignment - you may have to push it 'up' and 'in' at the bottom using a scissor jack or equivalent against the brake disk or brake disk hub, to push it far enough back into position for the stub to drop out: when it is aligned the stub drops out with minimum of banging. 9. The mounting blocks on the inner part of the wishbone can then be wiggled free of the sub-frame. Take care to avoid damaging delicate stuff like wires, brake pipes and CV boots when removing the old wishbone. When the wishbone is removed ensure that the bottom of the hub is adequately tied in (the wire you put in at stage 6) to prevent the half-shaft spline coming out of the GB).
Fitting new wishbone.
1. Make sure you buy a quality replacement (e.g. Prime motor factors). It comes with a plastic protective cover on the rubber ball joint cover: cut away the 'tongues' which hold this cover on the stub, and pop the cover back on - keep the cover ON when you fit the new WB - otherwise you will almost certainly end up rupturing the rubber cover as you fit it! Once you've fitted, you can carefully cut away the plastic cover with strong scissors or snippers, taking care not to damage the rubber cover below. 2. Slip the new WB into place the best you can, feeding the front mounting bracket in first. 3. Manoeuvre the stabilizer stud into its hole (make sure the upper plate and rubber bush are in place). 4. The next thing is to get the outer ball-joint stud into its hole on the underside of the hub. With the hub pushed 'up' and 'in' this should be fairly easy to do (you may need to do the jacking up trick to help with this). Once in, looking through the bolt hole, gently knock the stud up with light hammer blows until the cut-out on the stud is EXACTLY in line with the bolt hole. If you push it in too far it will snare with the tacho disk on the hub, and will be difficult to manoeuvre back down. Once aligned, replace the 15/16mm bolt and do up tight. Make sure the nut & bolt are in good condition, and replace with a high-tensile equivalent/part threaded bolt if necessary. 5. Now itís time to align and bolt up the WB/sub-frame brackets. It's a bit tricky as you are working against the tension of the strut and suspension rubbers - but do it in stages and you will succeed. The mounting blocks have two long and one short bolt (front) and one long (but shorter) and one short bolt (back mount). Do the front short bolt first: hold the mounting in one hand and feed the short bolt in from below with the other - wiggle the mounting and "feel" when the hole in the mounting is in line with the bolt - then screw the bolt in by hand - don't force it with a spanner - it should go in relatively easily. If you can't get enough force using your hands, give the mounting gentle blows with a hammer until the bolt can be felt to "key" into the hole. Once in, screw the bolt up to a loose fit. DO NOT tighten all the way as this could lead to damage later. 6. Now do the same with the short bolt on the rear mount - again only partially tighten. 7. The next thing is to retrieve the U-bracket and rubber mount which secures the front mounting: this will have got displaced while removing the old WB. Itís a tight squeeze, but get both hands above the U-bolt and wiggle it outwards and back to its correct position on the stabilizer bar - a bit of WD might help. With this in place itís time to replace the 2 long bolts on the front mounting. Again, ease these into the holes on the mounting with, if necessary, gentle hammer blows on the mounting to help alignment. When through, and with downward pressure on the U-bolt, tighten the bolts into the U-bolt, a little of one then a little of the other, until both are almost home: do NOT fully tighten at this stage. 8. Next replace the intermediate-length bolt on the back mounting, using gentle hammer blows to assist alignment. 9. Replace the lower rubber bush and backplate on the stabilizer bar stub and do up the bolt (make sure the upper rubber and plate are in place before you do this). 10. The bolts should be fully tightened with the front wheel in its riding position. This can either be simulated by jacking up the wheel hub until at road level, or the road wheel can be replaced and the car taken off axle stands, and jacked back down onto its suspension. Either way, tighten all bolts to the required torque. Finally carefully remove the protective cover from the rubber ball-joint cover. Job Done! As you have changed a component which potentially alters wheel alignment, it's a good idea to take the car in and have wheel alignment checked.
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