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So I got to thinking about my front right wheel issues which have occurred when braking. I got told by my tyre shop to look at the bushes before I bothered with the caliper. Sounds plausible. When I add to that the the last 2 times I have taken the car in for an alignment, it alway looked like the RH wheel was pointing outwards. I'm going to go through the paperwork and check, but maybe that points to the bushes as well. The only problem with that is that a bush would have to be absolutely shot to cause the alignment issues I could see with the naked eye. Or I would at least expect to hear or feel something amiss. Other than the intermittent thing I get when braking.

Anyway, so that I can remove the front wheel to safely leave the car supported for a period of time and to enable me to do whatever I need to to test the bushes, where is the best place to support the front end? I'll only muck about with one side at the moment and if I can prove that they are shot, then I'll get stuck into the other side as well.

Ta.

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I normally use 2 x low starting trolley jacks to lift the whole front, one either side of the front cross member - picking a corner on each side. It pays to have a rubber pad to spread the load and avoid any scratching.

As for the bushes, normally this requires a long flat headed screwdriver or crow bar to wedge the various joints and look for any excessive movement as they do in MOTs. It may pay to change the track rod ends if they look perished as it's a quick and relatively cheap job particularly if you have a splitting tool (or just a solid wack either side to release). Check the front springs and shocks for any damage or weeping.

There are plenty of posts about the choice of bushes to use on the front if needed.

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You can jemmy it all you like, you'll still probably miss wear on these - especially in the upper bushes.  My (extremely thorough) MoT guys have missed them on more than one occasion.

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Hmm. How to proceed then?

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Dismantle!  

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Fit new and isolate that area..   They will need doing eventually , so why not now... 

4 hours ago, Sparky said:

You can jemmy it all you like, you'll still probably miss wear on these - especially in the upper bushes.  My (extremely thorough) MoT guys have missed them on more than one occasion.

On most occasions to be fair..   These bushes can look OK even when they are shot..   Its not about how they look but how they work... 

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The upper bushes on the S4 were yellow poly. Looked ok and passed an mot absolutely fine. But - when taking off the other bits - the arms wobbled around terribly - once replaced with the factory items they were solid.

id imagine under loads - there’s an issue with polys up top

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Thanks everyone. Still after the best way to support the front adequately? I have had the car supported before, but I could have done it better, so was just after some ideas from the brains trust.

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Anyone able to let me know how much sideways movement should be expected from the top arms once they have been undone from the wheel assembly? Front arm seems to have a lot more than the rear arm.

Not sure how to check the lower arm other than completely removing it from the car?

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If it’s on the press in Lotus originals - very little movement.

the polys that were on my S4 flopped around all over the place 

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Not sure I understand what you wrote Barry. If it's on the press? The arms are loose from the wheel carrier but still attached at the chassis end. I can get about 10~15mm sideways movement out of the front arm with very little effort. Rear arm I can get about 10mm, but have to exert a fair bit more force.

Can't get the lower ball joint free of the carrier at the moment so I can't get into the lower arm yet. Look like the anti-roll bar has to come off as well? Have looked at the manual, but it is not very specific.

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Top arms - bushes are silver press in units. Once bolted up tight they should move side to side a small amount as the rubber will deflect. Not massive amounts though as there isn’t much rubber in the top arm bushes.

once the top ball joint is on - there’s almost none at all. 

I really didn’t like the polys that were on my S4 - they were absolutely dire and wobbled all over the shop

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Thanks. The search for a solution continues.

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Could be bushings... But even a tiny bit of too much toe out will cause  a pull to either side or even cause the steering wheel to wander to both sides under braking. I had this the first time I took my car on track (18 years ago) bushings were fine, checked before the event. But in the braking zones it took a lot of strength and fast hands to keep it straight. 

An alignment fixed that, replaced the bushings 12 years later.

 

I like a little toe-out in the front ~.1deg per side, most people don't. Start with zero toe in the front, and the factory spec for toe-in in the rear.

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Hi all,to jack up the front for a length of time I have a piece of wood 4.5cm wide x12cmx66cm.The 66 from memory as it’s currently holding up the S4.So far in from the near side I drilled a hole to accept a protruding bolt and its nut. I jack up the near side then slide under my trolley jack with the wood equally balanced on top and jack it up into the chassis front frame.This leaves plenty of room for working on both wheels etc.

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Hi all ,when my S4 was pulling to the left when braking it was down to partially seized calliper housings having very little lateral free movement  on their top slide pins. I had to hammer the housings off the pins.The chrome plated pins were unmarked so I suppose it was dried grease and resulting vacuum effect. I got new caps for the pin drillings from SJ,they came without holes in them or rubber toggles ,so I drilled them and made toggles to fit to prevent the vacuum effect. I grease the top and bottom calliper pins and bearings every 2years.The split pin I use to give a tight fit is 4mm wide.

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Well the LHS is completely apart. Bought a ball joint removing tool as every other method did not work. Bit of pressure and top and bottom let go. So over to the LHS to get the top arms off and to get the top ball joint off to replace the rubber boot as the one on the RHS is shot so pretty sure the LHS will be in similar condiotion.

Yeah right. The bottom ball joint came out quite quickly. The top ball joint has resisted everything I have tried. Tension after heating, a bit of WD40 while it has been hot to try and get it into the joint. Hammered the wheel carrier when it was cold and when it has been heated in an attempt to loosen the taper. Nothing has worked. Due to being unfamiliar with what the tool can handle with regard to pressure, I have not kept winding it up as I don't want to break it.

Only get one shot once heated as the heat soaks into the ball joint itself. I thought a few heating cycles may help it to let go as well. It just won't play ball. And no, it isn't corrosion.

I might put the tool on it again shortly and just leave it with some tension on it. Work tomorrow so maybe it will let go during the day and I'll have another look after work.

Anybody else got any clues?

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Have you tried both the tension of the tool and simultaneously hitting both sides of the hub carrier with hammers?

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Angle grinder and press job 👍

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9 hours ago, andydclements said:

Have you tried both the tension of the tool and simultaneously hitting both sides of the hub carrier with hammers?

Have looked at that Andy, but once the toll is on there is enough of it in the way that I wouldn't be able to hammer the sides of the wheel carrier adequately. Will have another look tonight.

9 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

Angle grinder and press job 👍

That sounds a bit dramatic at this juncture Barry. I'm not there yet. Don't have a press so the removing tool I have at this time is it.

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Thin disc and cut it down the threads - it’ll get it hot - then have a go with your splitter again 

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Barry, I've taken it that the nut is off, it's just the taper stuck in the hub carrier. What you describe sounds like the approach if the nut wasn't off.

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I had one stuck last time round on the S4. I chopped into it with the grinder and simply knocked it out. The heat alone was probably enough to free it off

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My backup separator, involving brute force and ignorance.  Never fails.

Image result for ball joint fork

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And if In doubt - crack out fire

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