Not a good day

There are days when everything goes smoothly and one makes progress. There are days that are long and difficult but the achievement is worth it. There are days that are long and difficult when nothing is achieved but hopefully something learned. Then, there are the the days that are long and difficult and when one ends up going backwards: having more work to do at the end of the day than at the beginning. You know… the sort of day one should not get out of bed for.

Refitting my left side rear suspension was such a day.

The short version of this story is the rear hub carrier (red) is 65.5mm wide at the top so let’s say clearance requires 66mm. The gap between the new outer bushes (yellow) installed in the renovated wishbone (blue) is 63mm. So either the wishbone gap is too narrow or the bearings are too wide. Or a combination of the two.

Ferrari 308 rear wishbone, hub carrier and outer bush

3 days later and I’m still cursing. Not only is this too big a difference to force, the outer bearings are already a pain to fit since they comprise multiple parts held together only by the rubber seals. Trying to force the bearing where it does not fit, simply causes the bearing components to fall apart. I think you can guess the long version – same story with lots of swearing and yelling and frustration.

Ferrari 308 outer suspension bushes do not fit

Given that this wishbone was attached to this hub carrier and neither the wishbone nor the hub carrier had been changed, I first compared the old bushes to the new ones from Superformance. Maybe there was a difference…

Superformance bearing compared to OEM

The new ones were visibly thicker. ********! Then I compared the upper wishbone with the lower wishbone. The upper wishbone gap was indeed a couple of mm less than the lower gap. ******** again! Why didn’t I check this BEFORE I restored the wishbone and pressed in the bushings.

Finally, I checked the gap between the arms of the wishbone (so ignoring the bearings) of the left upper wishbone with the right upper wishbone. Left gap 87mm, right gap 90mm. There is the problem, the gap should be the same. ******** yet again!

So while the Superformance bearings are a little thicker than the stock bearings making any fitment more difficult, the real issue is that my left upper wishbone has been squeezed at some point and I did not realize it until now.

I guess I will need to stretch the wishbone 3mm or replace it. To be continued…

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