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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8 Responses

  1. adam says:

    Hi David

    Out of interest, the polyurethane clearcoat your sprayed them with, i take it was matt rather than gloss?

    In regards to the silentbloc bushes you ordered, which sets did you use http://www.superformance.co.uk/308/suspension_308.html

    thanks
    Adam

  2. adam says:

    Thanks David… in the post you mentioned new bushes, sleeves and cup washers were ordered from Superformance. i was wondering which ones there were.

  3. adam says:

    Am I correct in thinking the Front Torsion Bar Rubber x4 (100984), Front Anti Roll Bar Spacer Tubes x2 (108998) and Drop Link Silent Block Bush Washer x4 (108913) were the other parts?

    • David says:

      Indeed, those were the numbers. Here is the full parts list for that order to superformance for the front:

      2 Front Torsion Bar ‘D’ Rubber 108746 9.95 19.90
      2 Bracket D rubber front stainless steel 106577 9.23 18.46
      4 Front Torsion Bar Rubber 100984 4.45 17.80
      2 Front anti roll bar spacer tubes 108998 7.70 15.40
      4 Drop-Link Silent Block Bush Washer 108913 2.95 11.80
      2 Lower Front Ball Joint/Lower Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bolt 107886
      3 Lower Front Suspension Fork 134929 69.95 209.85
      2 Drop-Link Silent Block Bush 100773 9.20 18.40

      However, the bush washers were not needed. Subsequent research showed that the washers should be flat M12 32mm x 3.5mm fender washers rather than cup washers. I found the correct original washers in the box of parts I got with the car. I think cup washers will be required for the rear drop links though since the bolts there do not have the raised shoulder. I’ll know in a couple of weeks when I put that back together. There are details and photos of how the front link eventually went back together at the end of this post: http://308restoration.com/2017/02/more-anti-roll-bar-antics/

      I hope that helps
      David

  4. adam says:

    Hi David, thats amazing, thanks for putting the list together… starting this restoration is quite daunting and your posts are incredibly helpful and inspiring. Thanks again Adam

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