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Old 04-08-2012   #1
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02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Hi, I am new to fiat and new to this forum. I really hope someone can help me because I am stuck bad!

(I am by no means a mechanic and I don't know all of the correct terms but will do my best here)

My 02 reg Fiat Punto failed the MOT on "front suspension lower arm ball joint dust covers" excessively deteriorated...

I decided to replace the dust covers on their own (as the ball joint itself is fine and has no play in it) and rather than go to a lot of expense at a garage I am doing the job myself. But I have hit trouble and need help!

I removed the wheel and managed to get the old dust cover off the ball joint and have put a new one on there. But I can't get the whole thing back together again.

I cannot get the lower arm ball joint (the sticky up pin part) to go back into the slot it needs to go into on the bit that the wheel attaches to - because the wheel part is hanging too low, and if I try to jack it up higher it doesn't go straight up, it goes up and out away from the ball joint sticky up bit.

How can I get the sticky up bit to line up with the hole that i cam out of?
I have tried to illustrate my question with attached photographs.

Please help!

Many thanks in advance.

Green arrow needs to slot into where red arrow is pointing to. First image shows how I am stuck, second image shows how it should look.



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Old 04-08-2012   #2
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

put a bar through wishbone and get some one to stand on the end.
what size are the rubbers? i need one of them soon

welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-08-2012   #3
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Quote Quote:
Just done this, ordered a new lower arm and it arrived with a damaged dust cover. Ordered a new cover on ebay from eemotorspares, small dia 15mm, large dia 30mm, height 26mm, fits perfectly! 3 inc pp
someone posted this up the other month and its correct
factors keep them now

yes you need a helper to pull the arm down as you said too

they are nigh impossible on your own to do

you could consider disconnecting the shocker of course
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Old 04-08-2012   #4
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Thanks for the quick replies guys. I am not sure of the rubber size, just took the old ones in for a swap.

I have unscrewed the roll bar so I can manoeuvre the wishbone - I can get it almost there...

Are you serious about forcing it?
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Old 04-08-2012   #5
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

yes bloke on end of a bar, no need to remove roll bar
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Old 04-08-2012   #6
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

use a long handled pliers to guide the eye in not your fingers safety first.
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Old 04-08-2012   #7
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

If you use spring compressors on the spring, you can raise the hub carrier high enough to slot the balljoint in easily. Almost impossible to do without!
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Old 04-08-2012   #8
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

6ft crowbar or long bit of tubed metal not exhaust,and use the force,the longer it is the less effort needed to press down.
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Old 04-08-2012   #9
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

if that even fails using levrage ( doing this yourself makes it really hard lining the ball join and hub up!)
remove the two bolts that hole the shock to the hub then you can fit the ball joint easily and then alighn the shock back up obviously the shock will depress forther but you can use the iron bar to lever the wishbone and hub together
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Old 04-08-2012   #10
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

I don't get why you need two men for this job. if you have the roll bar off, just use a large
lever or crowbar.push the wishbone down, so that the pin is underneath the hole. Then jiggle the hub until the pin goes in. adjust the pin angle first to approximately the right angle, this helps.a little bit of silicone grease on the pin helps it slide home. A few taps underneath the wishbone with a rubber hammer helps. You'll be sweating once you are done, it's quite a brutal job. this is how I re
placed both wishbones recently.
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Old 05-08-2012   #11
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Quote Originally Posted by atom0007 View Post
I don't get why you need two men for this job. if you have the roll bar off, just use a large
lever or crowbar.push the wishbone down, so that the pin is underneath the hole. Then jiggle the hub until the pin goes in. adjust the pin angle first to approximately the right angle, this helps.a little bit of silicone grease on the pin helps it slide home. A few taps underneath the wishbone with a rubber hammer helps. You'll be sweating once you are done, it's quite a brutal job. this is how I re
placed both wishbones recently.
As we said on your own its not easy,yes its achievable but if you are working on the floor levering the arm down jiggling the balljoint into the hole its quite easy for it to go t*ts and lose your front teeth in the process.
I was banging a wishbone bolt in the other day without the benefit of safety glasses on, (it wasnt a punto but a ford) anyway a sliver of metal came of the bolt head or hammer and hit me in the eye,fortunately it did no damage and i got it out at my eyestation just at the side of me,3 weeks ago i flicked some body filler in my other eye, now never ever has this happened before but once again fortunately i got it out straight away before it blinded me by dropping everything and going staraight to my eye station.
The point im trying to make is this job is easier and safer with 2 people, yes ive done it on my own, but i wont if i dont have to and i never disconnect the roll bar because 50% of the time the chocolate bolts in the wishbone snap so you then have to drill these out etc
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Old 05-08-2012   #12
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

i did this completly differently

I Remvoed the 2 Suspension bolts to swivel hub
that allows the ball joint to move anyway it wants - then simple undone the ball joint
But not pulling it out the diff cup on the diff

Enough room when suspended to remove old one - clean - regrease - refit

put the Hub back on - then leaver the whole lot while wiggling the suspension bolts back in

Its a bugger of a job tho
spent 3 hours doing both sides on mine

Cost about 4 for 3 covers - i think my local factors classes them as Large or X-Large

They are a stretch-ish fit, so dont worry about 2 to 3mm difference
retain spring clips or Elastic clips if you can tho

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Old 06-08-2012   #13
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Appreciate all the helpful comments and points raised as I have to do the other side yet once I finish this.

For the record, after unbolting the roll bar in the middle I was able to move the wishbone into position with the use of a crow bar. I tilted the upward pointing ball joint to the correct angle and got it in the hole. Job done - I thought.

I can't get the roll bar back in place. Should it be easier than this? I am doing a lot of pulling and pushing and forcing but can't get it to line up. Now I am at the point where I have disconnected the roll bar from three of four points, the only part still bolted to the car is the passenger side wheel (I never took this bit off) - I can't get any of the other lined up!
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Old 06-08-2012   #14
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

Update:

I have the bolts to the roll bar attached to each wheel end. My Dad managed to get them on somehow. So, just the middle now where they attach to the body...
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Old 06-08-2012   #15
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Re: 02 reg Front Suspension arm dust cover - can't get ball joint back in!

you know when you doing this?
is 1 wheel still on the ground?

If thats the case that'll explain why your struggling
You need both sides of the car jacked up so the ARB sags

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