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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

First technical post for me: thanks for having me and right off the batt I wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the useful and humours posts, its been fun lurking an learning for a while.
At the beginning of this year I bought my first Maserati, a 2004 CC and love it, it has various annoyances and funnies but in general its great. This weekend however the ball joint on the front left-hand lower wishbone (control arm?) failed catastrophically and left me stranded (literally as the AA couldn't or wouldn't recover me).
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Fool on me for not checking the ball joint condition. Now I have sourced a replacement wishbone from eurospares and am embarking on the replacement before I thoroughly check all the other ball joints, bushes and potential cracked arms. And here is where I'd like a little help.

The first issue I'm having is that it seems that one of the wishbone bolts is obstructed by my steering control arm, so I cant easily extract it:
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Is that normal? Is the bolt normally fed in from the other side? When you guys have swapped wishbones have you had to remove the control arm?

The second issue is that one of the 5mm Allen head bolts which hold on the suspension sensor seems to be obstructed by the hub, making me think I need to make a special short headed Allen key to get to it:
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When i compare my image to one in the spring install manual I wonder if my bracket has had a knock, as this image seems to show easy access:
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Any help gratefully received, and I'll keep you posted on progress.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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The first issue I'm having is that it seems that one of the wishbone bolts is obstructed by my steering control arm, so I cant easily extract it:
View attachment 143731
Is that normal? Is the bolt normally fed in from the other side? When you guys have swapped wishbones have you had to remove the control arm?
If the bolt were turned around it would interfere with steering gear.

The second issue is that one of the 5mm Allen head bolts which hold on the suspension sensor seems to be obstructed by the hub, making me think I need to make a special short headed Allen key to get to it:
View attachment 143732
Looks like pry bar and hammer time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so I popped off the steering rod gator (anyone know what the metal clip that holds these on is called?)
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And just managed to just fit a pipe wrench on to the inner rod joint
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So that came off nicely, then I ended up cutting a 5mm Allen Key to fit here:
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Which let me get the bracket out of the way. Then I got the lower ball off the hub with some penetrating fluid, hammer and tongs:
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Then just removed 3 bolts on the control arm and hey presto, off it came:
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Nice work, I wouldn't have thought removing the tie rod from the gear. I would have taken the steering gear loose and moved it out of the way. But I commend you for thinking outside the box!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, of course, when my suspension failed, I carried on moving for a few meters which brought the inside of the alloy into contact with something hard. I have never looked in to alloy wheels, does anyone have advice for assessing this kind of wheel damage:
Tire Automotive tire Plant Wheel Tread

Mostly it is paint deep but it does go down to bare metal in a few places. Also there is some corrosion as shown in the above picture.
 

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So, of course, when my suspension failed, I carried on moving for a few meters which brought the inside of the alloy into contact with something hard. I have never looked in to alloy wheels, does anyone have advice for assessing this kind of wheel damage:
View attachment 143764
Mostly it is paint deep but it does go down to bare metal in a few places. Also there is some corrosion as shown in the above picture.
the minimum effort would be to take it to a tyre shope and just get the wheel balanced and checked for leaks.

Rim repair companies are a pretty common thing over here, so I imagine it would be similar in the UK. They will typically strip all the paint, check for circular runout, concentricity, weld up surface flaws etc. Cheap places, often mobile repairs, will use body filler and just paint the rim.
 

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If I'm not mistaken alloy rims are more maleable in their outer portions (meaning "the hoop") versus the spokes, allowing them to bend rather than chunk-out/fracture if you hit a road hazard. If you find a mfr-certified repair shop, well then obviously they do their work properly... but it strikes me that the heat treating aspect of making a repair maleable is complicated. New is of course preferred but do look for quality and reputation in your repair place.
 

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Looks like you're doing a great job but just suggesting while you're at it. The upper control arm bushes are usually the one's that wear out before lower so better replacing them while you have it all apart. Also I found Scuderia to be a little cheaper than euro spares.
I have just had to rebuilt my GT's front left bushes including the shock.👌
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks @Mark E I suppose I was prioritising the ball joints due to the nature of the failure and all the faff involved with recovery but I’ll certainly look into changing the bushes too. Is the GT suspension pretty similar to the 4200?
 

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Thanks @Mark E I suppose I was prioritising the ball joints due to the nature of the failure and all the faff involved with recovery but I’ll certainly look into changing the bushes too. Is the GT suspension pretty similar to the 4200?
Yes very similar in design and reputation for bushes wearing but don't share the same part numbers. The GT shares the same parts as the Quattroporte in this area however. 👍
You should be able to order complete upper and lower control arms with bushes and ball joints fitted as a kit. It's more expensive than just replacing the bushes but will give you the straight mounting brackets for sensors?
Scuderia UK 👌
 

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Big ouch in this happening to Mike!

Out of curiosity (from anyone) - what are the warning signs before this type of failure? Would there be play in the wheels when you lift the car and push/pull them, like there is for a wheel bearing issue?
 

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Catastrophic failures of anything, by their very nature, don't tend to give warning ;)

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Big ouch in this happening to Mike!

Out of curiosity (from anyone) - what are the warning signs before this type of failure? Would there be play in the wheels when you lift the car and push/pull them, like there is for a wheel bearing issue?
In hindsight I should have taken a look at the ball joints before doing too many miles - the car had done less than 100 miles a year for the last few years before purchased it, whereas I had just covered 1000 miles in 6 months when the failure occurred - I think its true that cars don't like sitting. I wonder if the root cause was the loss of the heat shield round the ball joint, leading to heat damage of the rubber then loss of lubrication - I don't have any proof of this because I never checked if the heat shield was in place before the failure. I think there would have been a period where evidence of immanent failure was on show (loss of heat shield, perished rubber, noisy/loose ball joint), but I don't know how long between "all looks ok" to "ah, bugger!".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A little bit more progress over the last few days:
First just removing the loose rust and adding a bit of rust protection, trying to miss the bushing contact areas:
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Then offering up the new part and just putting the bolts in place:
Hood Automotive tire Blue Car Bumper

Then checking out the steering rod outer ball joint (all fine) and gaiter; small cracks forming on the gaiter :(
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Then starting to get the top ball joint off:
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I've not got it separated from the hub yet but hoping I can do it without damaging the threads - then if all is ok, I can re-grease and put it back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Having got this far, I wonder if anyone is able to advise on Torque settings? I have gleaned what I can from some pdf manuals but I'm not 100% convinced, and at a complete loss for the bolts which pass through the hub to the wheel bearing...
  • Control arm bolts to chassis (2 off) - 98Nm
  • Control arm bolt to suspension - 78Nm
  • Steering Control Rod outside nut- 24Nm
  • Steering Control Rod inside thing - ? (hand tight with Stilson?)
  • Upper ball joint to hub carrier - 63Nm
  • Lower ball joint to hub carrier - 63Nm
  • Suspension sensor bracket (5mm Allen key) - 4.4Nm
  • Assembly plate through hub to bearing (4 off, 8mm Allen key) - ?? (these were pretty hard to undo, so I'm imagining ~60+Nm)
Any help greatly appreciated.
 
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