Suspension advice - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 04:25 PM
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Hi
Lovely GTV!

I wrote up some suspension stuff on my thread on sorting a 73 GTV.

I had IAP springs and they were "crashy" in the front and the rear was stiff and squirmy. New Koni Reds helped. But I decided to go with the classic Alfa fast road kit with upgraded front sway bar.

The philosophy is increase ARB and soften springs. This isn't what people did 10 yrs ago, then it was all spring.

Front crashyness doesn't sound like balljoints to me. That's usually a clunk. In the front it can come from the dash. I found the glove box ratled and I fixed it with some thin closed cell foam strips.

Chances are your shocks are past it.
And springs too stiff. And rubber bits crumbly.

It's a bit of a rabbit hole, but I'm delighted with my results.

I fretted over getting Koni yellows, but glad I stuck with the reds.

If you can get underneath and clean up a bit and take some pics. I'm sure you will get lots of help.
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FS



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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
The philosophy is increase ARB and soften springs. This isn't what people did 10 yrs ago, then it was all spring.
Take a look at a Shankle catalog from the 90"s.

Ed Prytherch
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85 GTV6 3L
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 05:25 PM
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There are several good threads on this topic on this forum. They go into superb detail on everything you need to know on how to set-up the suspension of a GTV. Reading through them you will realize that there is more than one way to possibly get the ride dynamics you desire.

I have found that the factory original spring rates, dampeners, and tires are hard to beat for a comfortable ride. It can also be the least expensive set-up to install. Replacing everything that can wear in the suspension system in one go with OEM spec parts is also the fastest way of getting a baseline. The last time I did this, buying all parts from Classic Alfa in the Summer of 2016 cost me circa $600 (original style dampeners, standard springs, rubber bushings, etc.) for the parts.

Nothing is more confusing than trying to figure out, for instance, a dampener's contribution to ride quality when the bushings have perished. I found that I need a part's performance specifications and me doing actual road testing of a set-up to make any sense of each set-up. Paying a shop to measure spring rates and dampener rebound rates is for me, money well spent.

You are right to think that these cars should both look good and be fun to drive.

I find that renewing the rubber bushings in my GTVs every 30 to 40 thousand miles always restores that "new car ride".

It took me a few years of fitting different rate springs, bushings, dampeners, and tires then driving each over under different conditions before I decided what my preferred set-up in a road-only GTV with none or one adult passenger. But that is probably just me, who likes to understand what my options are. Plus, I'm indecisive.

PS: if you truly get into it, once you successfully complete the exercise of setting up your GTV's suspension this should make complete sense (if it doesn't already)

text from Koni's web page:

"Tuning Tips of your car suspension
If the car rolls on the rear outside suspension during corner exit, increase rebound damping force on the front inside. The front inside suspension affects the car mostly on corner exit. By adding rebound damping you will loosen the car up on corner exit.

If the car rolls on the front outside during corner entry, increase rebound damping on the rear inside suspension.

By adding rebound damping to the front on both sides equally, it will tighten the car some. By adding rebound damping to the rear on both sides equally, it will loosen the car up some.

Note that the shock absorbers do not change the amount of weight transfer, only the time it takes to transfer this weight.

Only adjust enough rebound into each shock absorber to eliminate the undesirable characteristic. Adjusting too much rebound may mask a handling problem of another sort and may even make things worse and dangerous."

Last edited by nunki; 03-12-2017 at 10:13 PM.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 05:38 PM
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Mouse, I just figured you had ordered the springs. No biggie!!
Deschodt, keep searching the bb. The above folks and many more can help you out big time.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Deschodt View Post
What would you recommend / particular brand ? heard about alfaholics but I'm going to try for more comfort / handling, not ultimate rock hard ride... I don't believe a stiff suspension is a good suspension (even for track days actually) - if you can recommend something that restores a normal ride, I'd appreciate it....
Installed on my 105 series Giulia Super, GT Junior and Unificato the Alfaholics fast road kit. And they are just perfect for the handling of the car for normal road use. Regarding ride hight I would recommend a B version, as you remain with a rather normal ground clearance. Regarding the damapers on the front Bilstein and rear you can choose Koni red or yellow. The Bilstein at the front in combination with the AH spings will give a comfortable set up, and the balance of the car during cornering is what you want from a 105.
The Eibach spring are develloped based and made with focus on the height ofthe car, and to my personal experience the AH set up is made as total package of springs front & rear in combination with the 105 handling set up.
In short, personally this is the best investment a 105 owner could do on this car to improve the enjoyment of driving with it.

Giulia with B kit.



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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 09:56 AM
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Installed on my 105 series Giulia Super, GT Junior and Unificato the Alfaholics fast road kit. And they are just perfect for the handling of the car for normal road use. Regarding ride height, I would recommend a B version, as you remain with a rather normal ground clearance.
I too will recommend the Alfaholics fast road kit version b. I think the equivalent in their newest catalog is the "Alfaholics Fast Road Suspension Rebuild Package – Stage 1" It is a complete package that is well engineered. And Max and his crew have done all the tuning for you to their liking.

But will it be to your liking? It will be if you want a well-behaved "canyon carver" that dances like oil on a hot skillet when it is driven on streets that are not perfectly smooth. We have way too many poorly maintained surface streets in and around our town for a GTV with a version b suspension kit to be an enjoyable daily driver. We slalom around the large potholes and have our filling loosened by the smaller ones.

It reminds me of the way our 2006 Works Mini Cooper drove. And why we sold it.

Now, I am not saying that you should not buy the kit. If you want GTV with sharp handling then the kit is for you. I advocate for it because it will get you the handling you might think you want in one go, you'll not have to play with combinations of suspension components to "dial it in", Alfaholics has done it for you. I have a kit in one of our GTVs. Just not both of them. If you want a comfortable riding GT then it might not be for you.

Also, the b version of the kit installed on the U.S. version of the GTV (115.01) significantly lowers the ride height. To me, it looks to be just a little bit lower than the stock 105 version sold in Europe.

Last edited by nunki; 02-21-2017 at 10:35 AM.
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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 01:47 AM
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I have the Alfaholics Fast Road B kit on my 1750 GTV. I really like the way the car drives, it is not too low or too harsh but handles great (including on track). The UK roads are pretty poor and I do not find the ride harsh or crashy. My wife has been a passenger for a four hour drive and she commented on how comfortable the car was (and she isn't a "performance car" type of person). It is a vast improvement over the previous setup (Koni classic reds and Eibach springs) but to be fair, the car had suffered from the classic "bitsa" approach by the PO and the restorer. They had bolted on new suspension components without fixing underlying issues (like perished t-bar bushes and some improperly fitted bushes). I was also fortunate enough to be able to take my car to Alfaholics so they fixed all the previous issues, fitted the suspension kit and set the car up, so you would expect it to be pretty good.....and it is!
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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:20 AM
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Here's another fan of the Alfaholics Fast Road suspension kit. It's been on my '67 GTV for 15 years, matched with Koni reds (front set medium, rears full soft), poly bushings, 195x60 tires. The car sits low, which is how I want it, rides comfortably, and corners beautifully. The only problem is that some of my favorite corners, places where I could do reasonably safe four-wheel drifts, were lost to me because it took so much more speed to break the car loose, even with a modified 2L providing the push.

The difference in handling between stock -- as when I bought it from the original owner in 1983 -- and now is night and day. But ride comfort is a relative thing. You can probably only judge comfort by riding in cars with different setups. No one has yet figured out how to calibrate our various butts, so we can compare the comfort of our Alfas, with their widely varying setups.

When tuning an Alfa's suspension, though, it seems to me that step one should be a full inspection of the bits and pieces by a mechanic who knows where he/she is doing. (Surely, somewhere in our great land there's a woman Alfa mechanic ... though I've never met one.) Replace worn tie-rod ends, ball joints and bushings before spending on springs, sway bars, and shocks.

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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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I dropped my car off at alfaman... he initially looked at me like I was on drugs when I described my car's behavior.. Because it's really good on smooth roads... Then he test drove it on a crappy road and totally got it !! Car crashes on potholes and bumps like crazy.. Apparently, I still have racing springs and sports suspension...

That correlates with the roll bar cutouts in my rear seat bottom and the roll cage mounts on the sides ;-)

The rate on the springs I have is very high, crazy high. We're yanking it all out and putting stock Alfa springs, koni reds, resetting ride height and doing an alignment...
Stock... Stock is what I need ;-)

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74 GTV 2000, 73 BMW 2002, 72 911T
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 11:57 AM
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Please post the spring diameter, the wire diameter and the number of coils and we can calculate the spring rate. It will be good information for others who are planning to go to stiffer springs.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:38 PM
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Apparently, I still have racing springs and sports suspension...
It surprises me how high your car sits up with racing springs...

Ken
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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The springs were so stiff they would not register on his test equipment... Like 3x stiffer than stock. I agree with you about ride height, doesn't compute, but there you go...

So I got 4 new springs, new pads for those, 4 news shocks (koni reds) - mine were shot as well...
The car was lowered 12mm F, 5mm rear.
Rear trailing arms bushings were found shot and replaced. Tie-rods were also bad and replaced... Alignment (feels good but wheels is slightly off so I will pull it and rotate a bit)... Tightened some stuff around the dash so it no longer vibrates too much....

So how does it feel? Do I want to rationalize a $2000+ bill ? First of all it's lower now, with someone inside especially... I like the looks ! Honestly on smooth roads, it did not feel bad before, and if anything it feels a little stiffer now on good surfaces, as in less lean in the turns and sharper steering response, but stiffer in a controlled kinda of way... The big difference is on crappy roads it no longer crashes and bounces and goes all over the road. It's not exactly a magic carpet ride, you still feel it's a crappy road, but less, and the car is composed. If anything it feels sportier and stiffer than before ( I was expecting more comfy but I like this) but in a good way, solid... I'll take it to the city on Monday and that'll be the true test ;-) Scraped a bit on my driveway, yup it's lower...

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Last edited by Deschodt; 03-10-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 09:22 PM
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So........
Great to hear your good news. Sounds like it worked for you.
What/who's springs did finally you put on? Lowered at all? Etc, etc, etc.....
We all will probably agree that..... we need a new picture! From the side preferably.
Looking forward to the new news!!

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 03:46 AM
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...(feels good but wheels is slightly off so I will pull it and rotate a bit)...
If by this you mean the steering wheel is not centered, it is keyed to the column so it can not be rotated. The only way to center the wheel is via the tierods.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:26 PM
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I had a similar condition. When I hit bumps, the front end clunked and it started to drive oddly on the highway. Get your car on a lift and really check the lower ball joints.

'73 1600 Jr. Zagato, '73 GTV, '12 Fiat 500 Abarth
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