Wishing Well

With the rush on to get the car ready for the Anglesey trackday , I ordered two new wishbones from a retailer on ebay for the reasonable sum of £71 delivered. These came complete with all bushes and balljoints. I don’t usually buy non OEM wishbones and balljoint as the Peugeot ones seem to be made of sterner stuff, but they were asking ridulous money. I was hoping this would cure the knock I was getting coming on and off the throttle, as well as some tramlining on the motorway.

I knew I needed another balljoint on the car when I replaced the driveshaft a few months ago. I had to get the old one out of the hub before which took some persuasion, and even though I was careful removing it, it was clear the joint was old and tired and needed replacing. Since the balljoints are pressed in, I decided to replace the entire wishbone as it makes for a much easier job as well as renewing the wishbone bushes which wear frequently and would save me a job later on.

So I whipped off the wheel, and undid the pinch bolt (16mm). I levered the balljoint free of the hub, undid the wishbone bolts (16mm rear, 18mm front) and withdrew the complete wishbone. The rear bush was very worn and fell off the wishbone when I removed it! It had clearly never been replaced before as the foam covering the wishbone bolts in the cabin was intact. The near side wasn’t as bad and had clearly been replaced before.

The best technique I found for getting the new wishbone back in was to put the rear bush bolts back in first – ideally have a friend inside the cabin to put the nuts on the first few threads. Then line up the balljoint and fit that into the hub. Finally jack up the front bush and place the bolt through and tighten all the bolts.

Be careful not to pull the hub outward and toward you with the wishbone removed, or you may pull the driveshaft out of the diff (on the passenger side anyway). and pour transmission oil everywhere and that my friends is one of the foulest smelling oils there is!

With the car lowered back down on its wheels, I took the car for a drive, the difference is quite astounding. Everything feels tighter, no more clunking over bumps and no more wandering on the motorway for instance. The shunt coming on and off the throttle has disappeared and the handling is now sublime, roundabouts are so much fun!

The balljoints and bushes tend to suffer with abuse from trackday kerbs and potholes, so I’ll have to see how long these ones last and report back.

For £71 and some elbow grease this is definitely one of the best and cheapest ways to freshen up the car’s handling and performance.

Shake baby shake…

I noticed at , how much the engine moved on it’s mounts when the operator came on and off the throttle. This is usually a sign of worn engine mounts, so I placed an order at 106parts.com for 2 new mounts. Other symptoms of worn mounts include a ‘shunt’ when coming off and on the throttle, often accompanied by a clunk from the engine bay. You can also often feel shaking inside the cabin when the engine is idling.

I decided against choosing group N harder rubber mounts as I’m not a fan of the increased vibrations they transmit into the cabin. It was also slight overkill for a road and occasional track car. So armed with the new mounts to fit I set about swapping them over. This job is very often overlooked as part of maintenance, as garages don’t often recommend to owners to change the mounts and, if you’re not au fait with cars, are hard to identify as a problem. This is not as daunting job as it sounds and with a few simple tools is very easy to do yourself.

I’ve written a guide to changing the mounts .

The gearbox mount was visibly worn, having ovalled the rubber, however the lower mount looked in good condition when compared with the new one.

Having successfully swapped over the gearbox and lower mounts, I took the GTi for a spirited drive down one of my favourite roads, throwing it into corners coming on and off the throttle abruptly and braking hard. The difference was noticable but there was still some driveline shunt present as you came on and off the throttle. So next on the list is a wishbone and top engine mount change, hopefully one of which will cure the problem. I’m pleased to report however the in-car shaking seems much reduced, so at least there was some benefit from the change!