Hello folk,

I just changed the front wishbones on my sisters Grande punto. Before i did the job I had a look around this forum and the internet for a how to but i couldn't find one.

Sadly no images but this is a fairly comprehesive guide to the job including issues i had along the way. This is applicable to all cars that share the Grande's platform so therefore includes the following cars:

Grande Punto
Punto Evo
Abarth Punto
Alfa Mito
Vauxhall Corsa (2005+)

Tools required:

Jack and axle stands.
Good socket set with quality sockets (6 sided sockets recomended) ensure it includes a 16mm socket.
1ft breaker
2ft breaker (not essential).
Torx sockets and torx key sockets (key sockets for removing brake disks if desired)
Set of ring spanners (18mm, 13mm)
Hammer type balljoint splitter
Stiff wire brush
Can of your chosen disasembly fluid (WD40, Plusgas).
Copperslip for reassembly
Paper towels
Torque wrench.

Difficulty (haynes scale):
If you dissasemble the brakes: 2 spanners -approx 1 -2 hours per side
If you don't dissasemble the brakes: 3 spanners. approx 2 hours per side.

Raise and prep the car
Loosen the front wheel bolts 1/2 a turn. Jack up the front of the vehicle and secure with axle stands. Ensure the rear wheels are chocced and the handbrake is on. You don't need to leave it in gear. I used the flat lifting point at each front corner with a block of wood on a trolly jack to raise the car and I positioned the axle stands at the rear subframe mounting points to secure it. NEVER use just a trolly jack.

Remove the front road wheel (17mm socket).

Remove front caliper (2x 13mm bolts), Caliper Carrier (2x 19mm bolts), disk (Torx socket) and backing plate (3x 10mm bolts).

I would recomend doing the above as it makes lining up of the new wishbone so much easier and allows easier access to the ball joint. The added weight of the brakes makes lining up the bushes a pig.​

Remove balljoint Pinch bolt
Remove the front wishbone balljoint pinch bolt. This is likely to be the most troublesome bolt as it is exposed to all the road salt. If it is heavily corroded then you can save it. Here is what i did:

Coat the bolt in Plusgas on both sides. Strike each end with a hammer to allow the built up rust to flake off. Use a small concrete chisel or punch to strike the nut but don't use too much force or you will damage it. after a few hammer blows, attack the lot with a stiff wire brush. Keep repeating this untill the nuts origional shape can be seen and the thread of the bolt is visable. give it one final coat of plus gas.

The nut needs a 16mm socket. Hammer this gently onto the nut (not the bolt). Attach a long breaker bar (2ft recomended) and give it 1 swift determined movement anti-clockwise. It should move or shear. If it moves, change to a smaller breaker and undo the bolt 1 more full turn, then change to a ratchet spanner. It should come off easily now, if you cleaned up the thread nicely it won't seize.

The bolt should hammer through but use your 2ft breaker on the head first and get it to spin in the hole 10 turns first to break the rust bond. The bolt also requires a 16mm socket.

Wishbone mounting bolts
Now remove the 2x Torx headed bolts that go through the wishbone bushes. The rear requires an 18mm ring spanner to hold it in place.

Remove wishbone
With all bolts removed, insert a hammer type balljoint splitter into the balljoint and hammer it all the way in. Then pull the front bush out of its socket and manhandle it untill it is below the subframe. Finally, beat down on the wishbone with a hammer as close the balljoint as you can. Keep wiggleing the wishbone as you do it and the whole lot should just drop off.

Be carefull of the inner CV joints, they may pull free. this is not a problem if your CV boots are in good shape, just ensure they pop back in correctly.

Replace wishbone
Insert the new wishbone, rear bush first, followed by the balljoint. Followed by the front bush. It is awkward but much easier if you have removed the front brakes. To line up the front balljoint, pull the arm down and push the ball joint back untill it lines up with the hub, gently tap it with a hammer to slowly push home. look into the bolt hole and keep tapping untill the groove on the ball joint "pin" lines up with bolt hole.

Once all bushes are home, reinsert the bolts. You may need to wiggle the arm to get the holes to line up. make sure you clean up the pinch bolt first using a wire brush and a thread file. Coat each bolt their full length with copper slip (you will thank me when you next do this job).

I don't have accurate torque settings, however with a 1ft breaker I just nipped up all the bolts to reasonable tight (aka, putting some strenght on the bar but not so much as you are putting all your weight on it. I call this "comfortably tight"). Watch the pinch bolt, as it is smaller and probably a bit corroded it is easy to strip the thread. This doens't need to be as tight so I did it as tight as i can with a normal ratchet spanner.

Final re-assembly
Refit the brakes and any removed trim where required. Refit the wheels, lower the car to the ground and torque the wheel bolts to 105nm.

Job done, have a beer.

If i have forgotton anything, or if you have the torque settings for the 3x bolts, please add this to the thread.