[GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Please check here before posting to see if your question has been answered before.

[GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby AW3K on Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:50 am

This guide will prove useful if your car has failed the MOT due to a damaged or faulty bush in the lower wishbone.
As the dirt and grim can ingress into the bush and cause almost total failure it is recommended
that you change the wishbone as soon as possible for your own safety.

You can tell if you wishbone bushes have gone as when you turn a corner you will hear a loud
clunck and it may feel like the wheel is folding or kinking inwards, it actually isn't but it feels like it.
Another way to check the condition of the wishbone is to visually check them for peeling and splitting around the edge.

If this is the case then this guide will guide you through the replacement process step by step.

Tools Needed:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Socket set
Torx key bits
Torque Wrench
Chisels
Trolley Jack
Axle Stands
Wire brush


Parts Needed:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lower arms
Fitting nuts and bolts
Brake Cleaner
Rags

Right before you begin you will need to see if the bushes are actually gone, in my case below you can see they are splitting, so are an instant MOT failure.

Go out and buy your replacement lower arms, I recommend you replace both at the same time, so it has even wear.
DO NOT buy the cheap pattern parts as they will not fit properly and wont last five minutes.
A decent set of Febi(BMW) aftermarket arms will set you back around £30 each and they are good quality.

Image
Image

Now you will need to buy brand new nuts and bolts for the arm carrier and brand new pinch nuts and bolts set.
Only buy Ford parts for these as they are stretch bolts and can only be used once!
The set will cost you £9.05 but this covers both arms.


Description Finis Qty Required
Nut Special Hex M12 6797866 x4
Screw Special Head M12x72MM 6203229 x4
Screw Special M10x51MM 6080625 x2
Nut Special Hex Self Locking M10 1505594 x2

Image

With the parts collected you will need to remove the wheel trims if fitted then slacken the front wheel
nuts on both sides of the car then chock the rear wheels to stop it from rolling away whilst you jack it up. Place the trolley jack under the rear of the gearbox cradle and proceed to jack up the front of the car,
you may notice that the car will drift slightly, this is normal so don't worry too much,
but as always keep your hands and feet well clear just in case.

Image

With the front in the air you will need to support the weight of the car with the axle stands for safety.
Place these under the chassis legs just after the lower arm mounts.
Slowly lower the car down onto the stands, make sure they are secure and the car wont fall.
If that's fine, just make sure you pump the jack up so its just touching the gearbox cradle,
this is for added safety, if one of the axle stands gets knocked then the weight of the car would still be supported.

Image

Now that the front of the car is in the air you can completely undo the wheel nuts and remove the wheels.
To make life easier for this exercise you will need to remove the plastic arch liner,
this is held in with 5 Torx headed screws in various locations under the arch.
With these remove you will be able to manipulate the liner out from behind the shock absorber and out from the arch.
Be prepared for what may lurk behind it, mine was rusty and had a load of mud collecting in between the sill and the wing.

Identify the upright mounting nuts and bolts that pass through the lower arms and the arm to chassis carrier.
Give these a good soaking with WD40, as this will help later on.


Image
Image
Image

Look at the back of the brake disc and you will see a hex bolt and Torx headed pinch bolt,
give these a blast with WD40 and wait a few minutes. Use the Torx side as the solid side and slacken
the nut side with a long bar as it will be really stiff.
Once the nut is completely removed you will notice the pinch bolt will not budge,
so give it a gentle tap with a flat chisel and it should pop out.

Image
Image
Image

Now you will see one of the reasons why you need new nuts and bolts, they are rusty and corroded, therefore cannot be used again.

Image

Using a flat bladed chisel prise open the carrier around the ball joint,
then use the chisel to lever the arm down and hopefully pop out the pin from the carrier.

Image
Image

Now it is time to remove the vertical mounting points. As you soaked these earlier with WD40 they should be easier to remove.
The back mounting will require a 18MM spanner to fit into the gap, or in my case as I didn't have the spanner,
an adjustable spanner works just as well, as long as it can be held on the nut.
Use a long breaker bar or torque wrench with a 15mm socket on it to undo the bolt,
you will hear a few groans from the nut but that's normal and nothing to worry about.
Slacken this off and remove the nut from the upper section, u will also notice that the bolt doesn't drop out,
so you will need to give it a helping hand with a flat round chisel.

Image
Image
Image

Repeat the above but for the front mount, the only difference with the front mount is
that you can use a socket over the nut instead of the adjustable spanner.
With both of the mountings removed, you should now be able to rotate the arm towards
the front of the car out of its bracket and free from the car and you will be left with an empty space!
Clean the carriers thoroughly to enable the new ones to fit correctly.

Image
Image

As you can see from the pictures below the old arms especially the rear bushes were quite badly damaged, also shown below is the new replacement arm.

Image
Image
Image

The hole in the spindle carrier now needs to be cleaned out of any rust or debris
to enable the new ball joint to fit correctly, simply use a wire brush.
Make sure you try not to touch the brake discs while you do this.
Push the new pin into the hole into the carrier; making sure that the rebate on
the pin is in line with the hole that the pinch bolt passes through.
Put the new pinch bolt through and finger tighten the nut as much as you can.
Using a Torx key to hold one side stationary, tighten the nut up to 50NM.

Image
Image

Rotate the new arm back into the carrier on the chassis but you will notice that you cannot get it in line correctly.
A simple solution is to place a jack under the ball joint with a rag or block of wood to protect it,
under the hub and slightly raise it enough so it becomes level and then you can push the arm into the
carrier with a block of wood, I used a small round chisel trough one of the mounting
holes to get it into the right position then the bolt was pushed through from the
underside and the nut tightened finger tight on the top.
Repeat this for the front mounting hole then lower the jack and pull it away from the hub.

From underneath of the car you will be left with what it looks like in this photo,
two very slack bolts going trough the carrier, you can if you want tighten these up a little more but DO NOT tighten them fully.

Image
Image

Now comes the strange part, with the bolts loose you need to refit the road wheels
and remove the axel stands then lower the car to the floor, tighten the wheel nuts fully
and then move back to the lower arms. These need to be tightened using a Torque To Yield method,
which means that all the weight of the car needs to put stress on the bolts.
You can just reach all the nuts and bolts from in the wheel arch if you lay down at the side of the car.

This procedure only needs to be carried out for the two vertical nuts and bolts holding the arm to the carrier.
Please follow the method below otherwise the nuts will fail!


Stage Value
Stage 1 50NM
Stage 2 Slacken completely
Stage 3 50NM
Stage 4 Tighten through a further 90°


Do not tighten any further as it will make the nuts and bolts useless and that's £9.05 worth wasted.

Image
Jack up the car again and re support it on the axel stands. It's up to you at this
point if you want to under seal the inner arch or not, I didn't as I dint really have time,
so put the nicely cleaned liner back under the arch and behind the shock absorber and screw back up securely.
Be sure to clean the brake discs after this, as they will more than likely be contaminated with grease or dirt from the liner. Refit the road wheel and lower again and tighten up the wheel nuts, replace the wheel trim if there and that's it done,

Repeat all of the above for the other side if you need to.


Image
Image

On a final note I want to thank my 2 helpers for the day for keeping me entertained with their rolling in the mud. Poppy and Sal, poppy is the white one

Image


Now you need to go and get the tracking done at a tyre place or a garage.

Go pass the MOT!





Hope this guide helps alot of you.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guide Written and © On 13 April 2006 by Andrew Whiteman (AW3K)
Last edited by AW3K on Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AW3K
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire Guide Master

Sponsored Links
(not a real person)

Postby andymac on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:31 am

Excellent guide there mate.
Nothing to see here...
andymac
Elite Pie Master
Elite Pie Master
 
Posts: 11056
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2001 1:00 am
Your car: Your car: Your car: Your car:

Postby chris-fiesta on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:43 am

nice one m8...

will be very handy as im gonna be fitting new lower arms this weekend or next :D
Image
chris-fiesta
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 3422
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:58 am
Location: croydon, london Drives: 2.0 16v mk3

Postby xiphon on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:52 am

Very good guide - shouldn't this be in Guides section?
xiphon
Post Master
Post Master
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:55 am
Location: Edgware, NW London

Postby FezzR on Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:58 am

spot on,
deffinately the best/easiest way
Image
FezzR
God Damn Lazy
God Damn Lazy
 
Posts: 11755
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:27 pm
Location: Wanaka, NZ

Postby ianFRST on Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:21 am

:Q

never seems to work for me tho. the hex head in the hub bolt always rounds off :x :lol:

i find it easier to remove the whole cradle with the lower arm still in sometimes aswell :)
No longer a FRST owner, or even a Fiesta owner :(
ianFRST
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 12982
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 9:32 pm
Location: Burton on Trent

Postby Max M4X WW on Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:16 am

Good guide, The putting the wheel back on bits a bit wanky.

Can see me having fun trying to tighten bolts etc with the car lowered! :oooh:
Max M4X WW
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
User avatar
Posts: 18159
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:52 pm
Location: Hampshire
Your car: Merc CL500

Car: 2014 BMW M135i

Postby FezzR on Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:35 pm

ianFRST wrote::Q

never seems to work for me tho. the hex head in the hub bolt always rounds off :x :lol:

i find it easier to remove the whole cradle with the lower arm still in sometimes aswell :)

undo the nut side not the torx bolt side, then when the whole lot spins just hold the torx side and continue turning the nut.
These pinch bolts often snap too
Image
FezzR
God Damn Lazy
God Damn Lazy
 
Posts: 11755
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:27 pm
Location: Wanaka, NZ

Postby AW3K on Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:40 pm

FezzR wrote:
ianFRST wrote::Q

never seems to work for me tho. the hex head in the hub bolt always rounds off :x :lol:

i find it easier to remove the whole cradle with the lower arm still in sometimes aswell :)

undo the nut side not the torx bolt side, then when the whole lot spins just hold the torx side and continue turning the nut.
These pinch bolts often snap too


exactly what i was gunna say :p i bent my torx bit trying to undo that side, just use it to hold it and undo the nut as mentioned.

i didn't want to touch the cradle so did it this way.
drives like a dream now that i have had the tracking done.

Andy
AW3K
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire Guide Master

Postby rstel on Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:47 pm

Does anybody know where to buy the decent lower arms from?
I have seen some on this site
http://www.thompsons-car-essentials.co.uk
Anybody else used them before?
rstel
Newbie Poster
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:05 pm

Postby spanner on Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:52 pm

quick note -

if you undo the track rod end from the hub then you can move the strut to the side and put the arms in level. I find it saves mucking around with a jack
Image
spanner
Poster
Poster
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:33 am
Location: Camberley, Surrey

Postby lucasdemoley on Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:17 pm

I tried this but the bolts were totaly stuck and broke a few tools trying to get them out, ended up getting a mate to sort it out where he works after work. Drives like a dream now, huge change!
Image
Just because I keep talking about definetly doing it doesn't mean I'm actualy going to do it.
lucasdemoley
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 2276
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 8:05 pm
Location: Aberaeron

Postby richard_p88 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:27 pm

so far i've snapped the nut end off pinch bolt and it's still stuck! :x

Soaked it in WD40 nut nothing happening, Any Suggestions?
Image
richard_p88
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:49 pm
Location: Stockton-on-Tees

Postby filtra on Fri May 11, 2007 4:42 pm

Good guide.

Allthough on my FRST I reused all the bolts and just twated everything out with a breaker bar! :aaah: :lol:

Oh and i took the lower arm holder thing out too, made life a lot easier.
Ex Fiesta RS Turbo owner :(
filtra
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
User avatar
Posts: 2029
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:15 am
Location: Kingston, Surrey

Car: 1991 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo

Postby Mikee_RS on Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:41 pm

just did this and it was nice and easy. also polybushed it too :D
one of the threads on the pinch bolts had been chewed up. so i gotta wait til i get a new 1 until i can take it for a test drive

quite excited cos the old lower arms were fcuked
Image Image Image
Mikee_RS
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
User avatar
Posts: 4472
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Reading

Car: 1995 Ford Fiesta

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby Luke1990 on Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:23 pm

im sure this is a silly question but where can you order the bolts from?
Luke1990
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby AW3K on Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:42 pm

[quote="Luke1990"]im sure this is a silly question but where can you order the bolts from?[/quote]


ford main dealers only :(

Andy
AW3K
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2001 1:00 am
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire Guide Master

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby Tweek on Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:51 pm

I need to do mine when I get some cash. You make that sound so easy to do lol.
Tweek
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
User avatar
Posts: 9238
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:22 am
Location: Gloucester
Your car: Seat Leon TDi130

Car: 1996 Ford Fiesta Zetec Turbo

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby Xr2i-Fiesta on Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:31 am

Just what i was after!!!

£110 quid the guy at the garage wanted even when i suplied the parts! lol

Thanks mate
Xr2i-Fiesta
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:34 am
Location: Dorset

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby rub73 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:00 pm

I know this is an old post but I am doing this job this week end and there's one question or doubt I would like to sort out.

Is it possible to change the lower arms with the front of the car on ramps? Like this I could feel safer to work under the vehicle and I could better see the correct angle tightening in the torque to yield procedure in the end. Another advantage for this is that we could avoid lifting and lowering the car and it will be always with the weight of the car on the wheels.

Is all this possible, or I really have to take the wheels off to the job.
THE only problem with doing that with the car up in the air with the wheels off is that, in the end, it will be really difficult to tighten the bolts with accuracy to the angle tightening specified in Haynes.

Could you help out here giving me an answer please?
rub73
 
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:11 pm

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby AW0L on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:11 pm

you have to take the wheels off, unless you have a 2 - 4 post car lift... as soon as you remove the arms all thats holding the wheels is the suspension, with the weight of the car on it you will probbaly get flattened as the weight pushes the car down and you will bend and probably snap the struts if it doesnt kill you in the process.

if you mount axle stand correcly you can safely work under a car for days/years, my car has been up on stands for 2 years and i do the work i need to with out having any problems
AW0L
Post Master
Post Master
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:01 am
Your car: ford fiesta 1.8 xr2i

Re:

Postby mikeymikeyp on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:52 pm

[quote="richard_p88"]so far i've snapped the nut end off pinch bolt and it's still stuck! :x

Soaked it in WD40 nut nothing happening, Any Suggestions?[/quote]
get a pin punch and tap the bolt out
mikeymikeyp
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: hamilton thats scotland

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby mikeymikeyp on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:53 pm

[quote="Xr2i-Fiesta"]Just what i was after!!!

£110 quid the guy at the garage wanted even when i suplied the parts! lol

Thanks mate[/quote]


a swift kick to the baws for him then
mikeymikeyp
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: hamilton thats scotland

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby mikeymikeyp on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:55 pm

Sorry didnt relise this was an old post
mikeymikeyp
Elite Post Master
Elite Post Master
 
Posts: 1796
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: hamilton thats scotland

Re: [GUIDE] Fitting Lower Arms

Postby rub73 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:13 am

[quote="AW0L"]you have to take the wheels off, unless you have a 2 - 4 post car lift... as soon as you remove the arms all thats holding the wheels is the suspension, with the weight of the car on it you will probbaly get flattened as the weight pushes the car down and you will bend and probably snap the struts if it doesnt kill you in the process.

if you mount axle stand correcly you can safely work under a car for days/years, my car has been up on stands for 2 years and i do the work i need to with out having any problems[/quote]

A million thanks, man!!!
rub73
 
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:11 pm


cron

Twitter

Happy to announce we now have Adrian Flux on board for the club insurance scheme. Details here: http://t.co/Yy8WcWdUvn

22:59, 25th September 2014 Twitter Web Client

RT @Speedhunters: A Ford Fiesta. A rear wheel drive, Volvo turbo powered Ford Fiesta. http://t.co/lFd9dfhhTF #featurecars #ford #fie... htt…

21:01, 2nd December 2013 Twitter Web Client

Follow fiestaturbo.com on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/fiestaturbo/

RSS Feeds

Subscribe to the RSS feed

What is RSS?

RSS is a technology that lets you use special applications or modern browsers to notify you you when a site is updated. You can then read the updated content in that application or your browser.

To subscribe to these RSS feeds you need to copy the links above. For instructions on how to add it to the feeds you keep track of, consult the documentation of your RSS reader.