Frame Stiffener - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Frame Stiffener

Hey folks,

I managed to install a frame stiffener this weekend and ran into a couple of issues with it. I wonder if anyone else has installed one and found the same problems?

The stiffener is the one from IAP.

1. Holes for the trailing arms not lining up?
2. No torque specs at all.
3. Alignment off once the kit is installed

On the good side: WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Even with a mis-alignment you can tell the frame is stiffer!

Thanks,
Ed

Other cars include: 1976 Lancia Scorpion
2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, new question... Am I the only person on this site that has installed the frame stiffener?

Do you know what you are missing?

Ed

Other cars include: 1976 Lancia Scorpion
2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:18 PM
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If you use the "search" function, you will find lots of conversation regarding the frame stiffener. Personally, I'm waiting to install one on my '91 Spider, and am very happy to hear of your positive results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecohen2
Ok, new question... Am I the only person on this site that has installed the frame stiffener?

Do you know what you are missing?

Ed


George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:21 PM
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Ed:
You can call Don Ereminas, he & his son Mark Ereiminas designed & build the frame stiffeners & sell to Centerline & IAP, as well as selling them themselves. Don is in Conn. & advertises every month in the Alfa Owner. Mark makes them out here in Portland, Oregon.

They do make a very nice difference, very noticable to everyone I know who has installed them. Everyone who's installed them agrees it was a worthwhile addition in terms of money and time involved.

Torque specs. would be the same as the stock spec. for trailing arms and steering boxes, whatever your manual calls for, for your year.

The frames on most Alfas are probably off, some folks have installed with no issues whatever, I had to pry to get the trailing arm holes to line up. The stiffeners themselves do not vary, they are built on a very substantial jig with no chance of any variance.

Anytime you R & R any suspension or steering related components, you usually change the alignment a bit & should always get it checked. Hard to put things back together in the exact places they were removed.

Are you on the Yahoo Scorp. group? I've seen you post on Lancisti, can't remember if you are on Yahoo. I have a '76 Scorp as well, in the last third of an extensive resto-mod. It's been up on jackstands for over 2 years now, I'm itching to get it back on the road.

Bruce

Last edited by Jr. Z; 03-15-2006 at 05:23 PM.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:41 PM
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I'm with Jr.Z on the prying, jacking, influencing. I have installed a stiffner on a previous spider, very noticable difference. Don't tighten anything until a fasteners are threaded. I'd use the Alfa torque specs for all the factory fasteners.

current:
82 Spider Veloce
83 Spider Veloce
ex: http://rogerspeed.tripod.com/bmw_1600tialpina/
solve problems, learn something new!
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:50 PM
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Mine had no trouble with the holes lining up (which is the exception rather than the rule, according to my mechanic) but I did need an align after putting it in.

Tom

1991 Spider
1987 Milano Gold
1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Bruce,

I am the Scorp guy as well....

Thanks for the info... I still get the steering wheel shutter every so often, but the car does seem stiffer overall.

Working on a couple of other issues before I can tell what is wrong.

Ed

Other cars include: 1976 Lancia Scorpion
2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 06:35 AM
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Say, any chance of some photos of an installed stiffener? It's something I'd like to do in the (fairly far off) future.

1987 Spider Veloce metallic blue on tan
NEW VINTAGE CAR BLOG! ranwhenparked.blogspot.com
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan
Say, any chance of some photos of an installed stiffener? It's something I'd like to do in the (fairly far off) future.

Yeah sure! Ill take some today and post them for you....


Ed

Other cars include: 1976 Lancia Scorpion
2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 10:18 PM
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Thumbs up photos of Spider frame stiffener installed

I took these a week or so back right after I had the stiffener installed on my '84 spider...
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I've only had a couple of drives in her due to weather but the difference is remarkable. My girlfriend was laughing at me as she followed me home from the shop as I was weaving back and forth (industrial road, no traffic) reveling in how connected the chassis now feels. I feel like I can finally take advantage of the 205/50/16 tires . I guess I was also one of the lucky ones as my mechanic said that he was surpised at how easily this one bolted on compared to how difficult some have been in the past. Much respect to Mr. Ereminas and son for such a well designed and much appreciated improvement for our spiders.

Keep the revs up!
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 06:41 AM
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That looks great, Green Dragon. I'd also love to see how the 16" wheels look on your car. How is the steering with those?

That's an especially clean underbody... I'd like to get mine half that clean.

I really like the idea of the chassis stiffener... but how is the ride? Stiffer? I guess it's hard to compare given your upsized wheels...

1987 Spider Veloce metallic blue on tan
NEW VINTAGE CAR BLOG! ranwhenparked.blogspot.com
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 07:21 AM
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I've read that the reason not all stiffener holes lining up correctly is that the chassis has already been slightly tweaked from use and that where the vehicle is jacked up can make a difference (testiment I guess to the difference a stiffener can make to these 'flexible flyers' ).

Jim

Series 2 USA 1750 GTV (in Series 1 European clothing)
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I have a question... Did you cut your wheel well liner or is it tucked under the plate?

Other cars include: 1976 Lancia Scorpion
2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 07:13 PM
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ecohen,
I have an '84 spider veloce with no wheel well liner. Am I missing them or do you have a later model spider which may have liners?

Hooligan,
I actually consider the bottom of my spider to be pretty dirt right now as I haven't had a chance to steam clean it. In my youth I worked for Rolls Royce as a deatailer and learned to be maybe a bit too anal about cleanliness... to the point that we used to steam clean and detail the spare tire.

The 16" wheels can be seen on my car and others at the link below. My car is the 4th-6th photo down from the top as well as the last photo, the night shot.
http://www.serpentautosport.com/type...ry_spiders.htm

You are right that the tires already made for a stiffer ride as well as the suspension modifications. The chassis stiffener can still be felt as a substantial improvement. Going over bumps, dips, or railroad tracks, you can feel the car respond as a unit to the irregularity versus before it felt like the front would judder and then the rear a moment later. I would go so far as to say that it was the best modification so far. I went for a spirited drive today and surprised myself at how much I was now able to exploit the grip gained by the front tires. Before, with the grippy Toyo T1R's, I really felt like I was going to twist the frame if I fully exploited the grip.

I also noticed that when setting up into a corner, it holds the set and attitude right through the apex instead of requiring constant steering changes for each and every bump. I surprised myself by being able to hold onto the tail of a 300ZX twin turbo for several miles of windy mountain road. He could only open distance when there was a good straight and then I was all over him during the next corner.

Keep the revs up!
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 08:04 PM
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Talking nothing like.....

anoying a more powerfull car in the twisty, i live for that, chasing corvettes, 911, mustangs, occ. ferrari. easy to out run ricers, those kids dont know how to drive.
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