Suspension advice - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Suspension advice

I'm driving my 74 more since a recent general tuneup, everything now works, screams, and is tightened up... My one remaining beef is the ride is, well.... "crap" as soon as you hit a bump... Feels like I'm on the bump stops and crashing on imperfections I never noticed with my other oldies... the car is not lowered... Maybe dead shocks, maybe very sporty ones, can't tell... this not being a track car (but used to be at one point, I got roll cage notches in my back seat) it's probably one or the other...

Please school me on GTV suspension if possible. Is there something obvious I can do to check if the shocks or other parts are shot? 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....
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:17 AM
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First figure out what you have in springs and shocks. I have heard good things about Eibach springs(10%stiffer than OE) and of course Koni reds are a good shock.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deschodt View Post
... this not being a track car (but used to be at one point....
Without knowing what components the PO installed to make your GTV into a track car, it's pretty hard to tell you what's wrong. As brad fischer wrote, "First figure out what you have in springs and shocks." It could be as simple as having Konis adjusted all the way to firm. But the PO may have installed stiffer springs and/or stiff, non-adjustable shocks, which will require you to replace those parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brad fischer
I have heard good things about Eibach springs
I didn't know that Eibach made springs for 105 series Alfas, but a little Google searching turned up this link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2013942...&ul_noapp=true

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:54 AM
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Check your bushings and shocks. Based on your other post regarding the instrument cluster shaking around, it sounds like your suspension is very harsh. The bushings may be old or hard (poly?)... shocks may also be set too hard if they're adjustable.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 12:50 PM
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From the photo, your cars ride height isn't extremely low (which require shorter, stiffer springs) and your tires aren't extremely wide/low profiled (which are less compliant than higher profile tires)... so the leading suspect would be your shocks being too firm for the ride quality your desire.

Ken
'73 GTV
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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After prodding around, I don't think it's very harsh as opposed to very dead ;-) They are yellow Konis as far as I can tell. I can push the car down on all 4 corners without very much effort. The BMW 2002 next to it feels rock solid when pushing on a fender, yet is more comfortable and compliant... I think the shocks are toast - or wrong kind... The rear especially can give me an inch of deflection with me just pushing with one hand on the fender... Noticed some rubber straps nearby that look a little worse for wear as well - never seen this before, I'm used to torsion bars ;-)

Anyhow, what brand model would you recommend for a "comfortable + enthusiast driving" kind of ride (no track) ?

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:47 PM
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Yellow konis are adjustable. They are probably set on maximum firm. Try setting them to full soft, should help.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 12:52 PM
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If your car crashes over bumps your front lower outer ball joints need replacing. Very hard to check as the spring hides the play.

These cars when new would be considered very softly sprung compared to a modern car so you should have a good, comfortable ride.

I'd start by checking all suspension joints are in good condition before looking at springs and shocks. These cars are really old now
Pete
ps: Note often a race car that is sold does not have all the good stuff that it once raced with ... naturally all the good stuff is kept for the sellers next race car, if they intend to keep racing.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:37 PM
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Koni yellows only adjust for rebound, not bump, unless you have double adjustable ones. Unlikely and easily picked as they have external adjustment knobs.

And they're actually still reasonably soft, if the valving is standard you'll still be able to compress them as you describe without much effort. However they are also easily revalved so maybe yours have been. Any decent shock shop will be able to tell you if they have been and henever I've had that done the shop has engraved to new valving on the outside of the tube.

Either way, they're great shocks and rebuildable at relatively low cost.

Alister
1973 105 GTV (Alfa #6 of 19 owned)

Last edited by Aggie57; 02-11-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 11:16 PM
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You could measure the dia of the rod material used to make the springs, and the number of coils, so that you can compare them against a set which is known to be stock. Keep in mind that the Sprint GT/GTV rear springs are always quite soft compared to the fronts.

As mentioned by others, I would also check for poly bushings. They are usually quite stiff and harsh, with little compliance/deflection compared to the OEM rubber bushings. Many owners have really degraded the ride comfort of cars by installing poly suspension bushings.

Personally, just my experience, but the best "all around" street shocks I've found for all our Alfas has been the stock Alfa shocks, and they last a long time. Regardless of brand, most aftermarket shocks are generally a little too stiff, trading away stock comfort for that extra stiffness. Even adjustable Konis I've used. Not that suitable for your ordinary crummy streets. The Bilsteins I later put on the Milano ended up being just a little too stiff, alas, causing the Shankle suspension to crash more than it did with the stock shocks by quite a bit. Might change them back to new stock Milano shocks, selling the Bilsteins.

Play with the tire pressures. That can make a big difference in tire sidewall stiffness and ride.

Del

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 04:01 PM
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rebuildable at relatively low cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie57 View Post
Koni yellows only adjust for rebound, not bump, unless you have double adjustable ones. Unlikely and easily picked as they have external adjustment knobs.

And they're actually still reasonably soft, if the valving is standard you'll still be able to compress them as you describe without much effort. However they are also easily revalved so maybe yours have been. Any decent shock shop will be able to tell you if they have been and henever I've had that done the shop has engraved to new valving on the outside of the tube.

Either way, they're great shocks and rebuildable at relatively low cost.
When I looked into rebuilding my red Konis I found that I could buy new for less than the rebuild cost. Are yellows cheaper to rebuild?
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 05:59 PM
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When I looked into rebuilding my red Konis I found that I could buy new for less than the rebuild cost. Are yellows cheaper to rebuild?
I must admit it's been a good number if years since I last had some rebuilt and that was in Australia where new parts tend to be expensive. Could well be that the comparison here in the US is different.

Alister
1973 105 GTV (Alfa #6 of 19 owned)
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 08:44 PM
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I run the combo of koni yellows all around with eibach springs. The amount of drop is very reasonable and looks great. I couldn't be happier with the combo. I have great control with very little body roll and I don't find it too rough at all. I coupled these mods with new bushings too. Used a combo of the uprated rubber ones that classic alfa has and poly just for the thinner t-bar bushings. Great combo and no squeaks. Hope that helps!

Current cars--1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV--2002 Honda S2000--2001 BMW 540i
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 07:50 PM
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Mouse, how much drop do the Eibachs give you? In real inches. I ask because Eibach info seems to be either 1" or 1.5"s.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 11:08 PM
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Sorry I can't give specifics on drop distance but I didn't take measurements. Mine would seem to be closer to 1" but a lot of this depends if your car has spring spacers in it currently and if you decide to leave those in or not.

Current cars--1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV--2002 Honda S2000--2001 BMW 540i
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