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1998 Fiesta Mk4 Front Wishbone Replacement


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Hi guys,

Just changed the front wishbones on a relatives Mk4 Fiesta, took 2.5Hrs from wheels off to wheels back on.

The pattern parts used were First Line at £28 each,

New Shank bolt and Nyloc nuts were installed on the rear 'Rose' type bush,

But only used new Nyloc nut on the front O/S Pivot bush bolts but I cleaned up the front bolts on the wire wheel.

New Pinch bolts and Nyloc nuts were used on the hub carrier ball joints.

Getting the old wishbones out was easy, took 30mins to do both sides as i had an air impact wrench.

Upon fitting the O/S wishbone gave me a little trouble so i moved to the N/S, The N/S slotted in perfectly, I inserted the rear Rose bush bolt first and tightened gingerly, then i swung round the pivot bush round to its mounting and inserted just the long bolt (Leaving the ball joint protector cup on) and this slotted in 1st time, Then inserted the ball joint pin.

I tightened the rear bush bolts first, then with the trolley jack, i applied upward force to the underside of the wishbones ball joint to push it into the hub further, then i inserted the pinch bolts and tightened this.

At this point, the rear wishbone bolts are done up (Not fully tight, just snug) and the pinch bolts tightened

With the front Pivot bush bolts loose I lowered the car (with road wheels fitted and lowered the wheels onto a single brick per side) and then I tightened the front Pivot bolts. I did this with the car's weight on so that i didn't stress and put the pivot bush into a bind causing premature failure. If i tightened the front pivot bolts without any load on the wishbone then when the car's weight is loaded onto the front wheels again then the pivot bush would twist and fail.

I'm a little concerned with some minor things however, The two front Pivot bolts I re-used, these are stretch bolts as I understand as they have a shank on them, but i used a new Nyloc nut on one side, but re-used and wire wheeled the nut and applied Loctite on the other side. But reffering to the Haynes manual, it just instructs to replace the Nyloc nuts.

I Tightened all bolts up with an impact wrench, i didn't set my impact wrench to kill, but i checked the tightness with a torque wrench after and it clicks immediately at 80Nm which suggest to me that they are in the region of 90Nm. I do the road wheel bolts up with the impact wrench and i have an idea of what torque it produces and in this case it seems a little bit over.

Any suggestions to the work I carried out is much appreciated.

Thank you for reading, Chris

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You should always replace all the bolts and not re-use them, on critical bolts do not use a impact wrench, I always nip them up by hand and then torque to the required setting.

Apart from that you fitted them correctly!

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Just an update for those of Interest,

Went back and undone all major bolts, re-fitted road wheels, lowered then tightened the bolts up to the required torque spec (80Nm), I also doused the Nyloc nuts in Loctite for added thread lock.

Took the car for a test drive and all is well. But I haven't dismissed the re-used bolts, I will go back and fit new ones. This stage is just to get the car through the MOT.


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