thanks everyone for your advice and help. the rear a arms are back in the 308 and i'm ready for spring and on the road. I wished we had a alfa chat 30 years ago when i was working on a 65 giulia spider velocce; probably would have kept me from rebuilding the master cylinder twice in one winter (wrong brake fluid). anyway the a arms had some nasty surprises - one arm was cracked and repaired badly - looked like an in car tack weld. the polished outer bushings were frozen and scored - both arms had seized at some point. all is well now. John Terrell (an excellent ferrari mechanic and a nice guy in easton mass) oils them every year and i think i'll do the same. maybe bar chain oil. at any rate i wanted to point out that the weak link in the rear suspension appears to be the outer components. thanks again jon s. p.s. dr. tommy: i think i'll go for another haircut next week and see if any good looking women show up. if it worked down south, who knows what could happen in massachusetts.