1972 Fiat 124 Sedan Special Suspension Squeeks

The other day I drove the Fiat to work so Steph could drive the ‘luxury liner’ as she calls the BMW 325 wagon on some errands after work.  Every bump I hit caused a horrible knock/bump sound from the front suspension.  I crawled under the car and discovered that one of the sway bar mounting bolts had sheared and the silent bloc had made it’s way out of the mount so the bar was banging on the lower control arm.

Fiat 124 Sedan Special sway bar mount is not nearly as complicated as the drop link arrangement found on the Giuliettas I’m used to.  Here the silent block IS the mount.

While pulling the wheel off I noticed there was some play in the wheel bearing so I decided to repack them with grease and tighten the securing nut a little. 

2 Bolts and the caliper is off, axle shaft is nice and clean.  The old grease smelled like artichokes.

Bearings seals and associated hardware cleaned up nicely using a little gas followed by brake cleaner.  I used air to chase any solvent out then repacked them with wheel bearing grease.

The unexpected wheel bearing work took about an hour and when I crimped an edge of the nut in to the axle groove I found I had turned the nut about 30 degrees tighter than it was before.  I guess this is about a tenth of a millimeter. 

Returning to the problem of the broken sway bar mount, it turns out what was broken was a pressed in captive stud.  I was not excited to pull the lower control arm off the car to press in a new stud, and I wasn’t sure I could get a nut in the space between the control arm edge and spring so I decided to tap an M6 hole in what remained of the stud.  Once the threads were tapped in the hole I moved the silent block back into position and screwed it down.  Hopefully it will hold for a while.

The fixed sway bar mount.  I had to resist the temptation to go nuts cleaning and detailing the suspension components.

The next thing the Fiat needs is new control arm bushings.  I think I had better get the Berlina/Sprint swap done before I go tearing apart another car!


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