Suspension #4: Drivers side front assembly part 1

It’s nice to have a couple of working examples hanging around the shop to supplement the parts book when it comes to finalizing assemblies. Even when taking care to label and organize parts as they come apart it’s possible to mix them up and if they have been apart before, which on a 47 year old car you have to assume they have, it’s possible they are not put together correctly in the first place. I started on the complete sinestro (left) front suspension assembly with the goal of having it completely ready to bolt on the car before I moved on to the destro assembly. All of the upper wishbone parts had been cleaned and painted before I started this blog so I will deal with the assembly now as a whole for simplicity and look at most of the individual parts later in the blog as I work on the destro unit.

The first two pictures below are of the destro assembly to give an idea of the condition of the sinestro parts before I started work.

Complete lower Destro Wishbone assembly ready for hours of attention. This should give an idea of how much work went into the Sinestro assembly.

Complete upper wishbone assembly also ready for hours of work.

Following the steps outlined in Suspension #1 for cleaning and preparing the parts for paint through to chasing threads and verifying the assembled orientation probably took 15 hours. This process could probably have been done in a third of that time but I’m not in a hurry and I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to do things to ensure a quality result. The next assembly will probably go a lot faster.

A problem I have yet to find an answer for is the wear on the lower wishbone mount pivots. An ‘X’ pattern can be seen in the picture of this part on the cylindrical steel bearing surface that is the negative of the pattern of the grooves in the bronze bushing that grease travels through to lubricate the joint. My idea is to trade the places of the two parts effectively rotating them 180 degrees. If I do this the weight of the car transfers through the bushings onto the fresh side of the worn pin, which should also take up any play in the joint since the worn parts will no longer be able to seat into each other. I still have time to rethink this and am open to suggestions. Maybe good used parts will find their way to me and this will no longer become a concern.

The worn part. The bronze thrust washer and small rubber dust covers at each end of the joint can be seen.

Exploded view. A few misc parts still need painting but I will wait until the Destro side is ready for paint and do them all together. Some of the fasteners still need to be Cadmium plated.

The official exploded view for comparison.

I layed out all the parts in an exploded view to help me take stock of all the fasteners and orientations and provide a nice picture for you. Most of these nuts and bolts are large and have fine threads which means they would be difficult to replace if lost or damaged. All these parts don’t look so intimidating once they get together. I am still missing the upper wishbone dust covers with grease fittings. This project would be so much easier with a 101 Giulietta parts car to pull these kind of little parts off of when I find they are missing.

The result. All these parts are ready for lubrication, preloading and mounting on the car. I wonder how thick the dust will be when I take them off the shelf to mount them!

Even with all the time and effort to get these parts this far I still have a long way to go before I can call this assembly done. The shock and spring set up for the car has yet to be decided upon, I need the front rebound straps and several rubber dust covers. I’m still on restriction from spending any money on this project so I think it makes sense to get the destro front suspension unit to this point and then move them both forward together.

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2 thoughts on “Suspension #4: Drivers side front assembly part 1

  1. Matt, your articles on suspension rebuild have been very helpful (and intimidating!). Did you ever find a source for things like grease cup gaskets, rubber washer, rubber cups, etc for the ball joints?
    Thanks again,
    Bob

    • Those parts (at least most of them) should be available from Alfastop in the UK. You have to call if you want service there.

      Sounds like you’ve really gotten in to the restoration!

      Matt

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