Front Suspension and A-Arm Replacement - Classic FIAT 124 Spider

Posted by Csaba Vandor on May 28th 2021

The technical tips listed below are intended to aid in the care of your Fiat 124 Spider and should be used accordingly. They are based on many years of experience but are in no way a replacement for factory recommendations. Seek the professional mechanical assistance for all issues beyond your abilities.

Auto Ricambi, LLC is in no way responsible from the consequences of applying these technical tips. By using (accessing) these technical tips you agree to these terms.

  • Jack up the front of the car and place on jack stands. Be certain that the vehicle is stable.
  • Remove the wheel, then the brake caliper and the swaybar bushing mount. Disconnect the outer tie-rod end. This is a good time to replace a worn tie-rod end or split boot (our part SU4-451).

  • Remove the shock absorber by undoing the upper nuts in the engine compartment, and then the lower bolt (17mm head). The shock drops out toward the bottom.

  • Loosen the balljoint nut (21mm). If they are too hard to get to, you may have to use a hammer and chisel to get them to turn.

  • Install an internal type spring compressor on the spring. Compress it slightly, about an inch. Be certain to adhere to the spring compressor manufacturer's safety guidelines.

  • Place a hydraulic floor jack under the lower balljoint. Jack up until the suspension just starts to compress. Remove the upper a-arm pivot bolt (21mm head). The upper a-arm and spindle will likely pivot outward on the lower balljoint. Slowly lower the jack and decompress the spring. Eventually the a-arm will be at a 45 degree angle or less, and the spring should be completely extended. Remove the jack, push the a-arm down by hand and remove the spring.

  • WARNING! Be sure the spring is fully extended! A compressed spring stores a huge amount of energy! If the spring comes out if its place before it is fully extended it can bound around and cause serious injury!

  • Remove the two 19mm nuts that hold the lower a-arm pivot bolt to the crossmember, and pull the a-arm off. Now you have the 2 a-arms and spindle assembly separated from the car.

  • To undo the balljoints you can use either a pickle fork, or hit the spindle with a large hammer where the balljoints go through. Once they have separated install your new a-arms onto the spindle.

  • Slide the lower a-arm pivot bolt onto the crossmember and tighten the nuts. Tighten the spring compressor. Install the upper end of the spring first (pay attention to the proper clocking), the slip the lower end into the lower a-arm. The a-arm will have to be almost vertical to do this. Raise the lower a-arm enough to slip a floor-jack under the lower balljoint. Raise the jack, compressing the spring, until you can line up the upper a-arm and install its pivot bolt. Once the pivot bolt is installed remove the spring compressor, and you can lower the jack. The rest is the reverse of removal.

  • Do not forget that the front end has to be loaded (on the ground) before the pivot bolt nuts can be tightened to the proper torque (72 ft-lb for the lowers, 65 ft-lb for the upper).

  • Do not forget all that is left is having the car aligned.

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