Front Drop Link Restoration

The original spec anti-roll bar needs to go back on the car. I have always felt that this 308 was too stiff at the front – it did not ride well on North-East US roads and had significant understeer. I attribute these faults to the (much) thicker Saner-brand anti-roll bar that a previous owner installed. Thankfully, that previous owner kept all of the original parts that he took off the car and when I bought the car these parts were miraculously still with the car.  In particular I am glad I have the original drop links as they are quite expensive and rare nowadays. However, they did need restoration. The drop links connect the end of the anti-roll bars to the lower suspension control arms and so limit the compression of the outside suspension when cornering.

The first task was to remove the old bushes which are beyond saving. My garage refurb included a new Jost vice so I decided to see how it would do pushing out the bushes. Remarkably well, as it happens, they came out easily without me having to put much force through the vice at all. I used a couple of sockets to do this: a 32 mm socket to support he drop link and a 17mm to drive out the old bush.

Pushing out Ferrari 308 bushing
Pushing out the drop link bush

 

Ferrari 308 drop link bushing
Extracting the drop link bush

 

Ferrari 308 bush removed
Bush removed showing the honed inner surface

The next task was to clean up the drop links. They seemed to be covered with a mixture of dirt plus some underbody anti-corrosion paint. Both were removed with a 12 hour soak in Simply Green citrus cleaner and a little scrubbing. After I clean cast aluminium components like this I prefer spray them with a polyurethane clearcoat to try to preserve them and make it a little harder for the dirt to adhere.

Ferrari 308 drop links before and after cleaning
Drop links before and after cleaning

 

Ferrari 308 front drop links
Drop links fully cleaned and clear-coated

All new bushes, sleeves and cup washers were ordered from Superformance in the UK and turned up 4 days later.

Superformance UK
Superformance goody bag

 

Ferrari 308 drop link parts
Drop link reassembly

The new silentbloc bushes were pushed in using the vice technique again.  Before insertion, I cleaned up the inner surface with emery cloth and gave everything a squirt of WD40 to help things along. With the drop links restored, the next job will be to restore the anti-roll bar itself.

New Ferrari 308 drop link bushes
New drop link bushes inserted

 

Restored Ferrari 308 drop link
Restored drop link

 

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