Alfetta A level preferred? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Alfetta A level preferred?

I bought me a 1977 alfetta race car, last raced back in 1991. Great track performance in SCCA Sonoma and Laguna Seca, placing about 1 second behind Wes Ingrams GTV. I say all this to show it ran and handled well given the suspension mods. Car is very low in front and rear, stock alfetta sway bars too, but using AutoDelta race torsion bars. I cant even make the front bounce at all! Used one coil cut down of shankle lowering springs in rear. -2.5 degree camber front (I think), using shims. PO said it handled best with this setup. I've driven it on the street and don't get bump steer.

Unlike all the others on the alfa BB, I want to RAISE the height to something a bit more reasonable, and possibly use the car for both track SCCA TT and hill climb events, maybe autocross without having to trailer, and not smash the oil pan driving down the street. Currently, oil pan is about 2" off the ground

All of my other 116 cars, Milano, GTV6, sports sedan, seemed to work well with the lower A Arms parallel and level to the ground or close to it. I'd like to keep an aggressive front camber. Not worried about tire wear since I'm not planning on long distance driving.


I'd like to raise it up at least 1.0". I'm just looking for comments about whether a level A arm is optimal for all around performance and drivability. Not interested in US vs Euro ride height and measurements, thicker torsion bars, etc. Just looking for comments about level A arm being optimal for all around use.
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'76 Alfetta GT, 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth, '78 sports sedan (2 of them) - sold, '91 164L - sold, '83 GTV6 -sold, '87 Milano Verde - sold, '91 spider -sold, '69 MGB GT,
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 02:00 PM
Richard Jemison
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Suspension

Your front suspension is terrible.

Your roll center is a foot underground. To have a car that handles you have to raise the roll center. You can achieve a good setup, but to do so requires Spindles with more distance between the ball joint mount and spindle. Commonly refered to as "Dropped spindles". Then the lower A-arm can be raised to nearly level. Note you have no room for suspension re-bound!

Remember that track cars are not street cars.

Read the information on my website

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 02:36 PM
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It appears to be **** near sitting on its bump stops. Which means that it isn't functioning at all when it bottoms out. Perhaps that's the reason for the very stiff torsion bars. I think RJ has it right.

I'd certainly raise it.

I have to put a caveat, my opinion is that of a soft spring/big bar kind of guy. Other folks like things sprung like a go kart...which have no suspension.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. Yes it's currently very close to the bump stops but can't "bottom out" due to the very stiff AutoDelta torsion bars, koni shocks and yes right now, its a dedicated track car. Not much if any roll, even when doing a 14 mile, 2200ft hill climb and decent, outside of Reno to Virginia city using a different set of higher sidewall profile, street tires for a little extra clearance. Terrible suspension, but it seems to really work well.

My goal is to raise it up to make it a bit more of an all around drivable car for other street events besides track TT. I agree, drop spindles would be primo, and the proper way to lower this car.(Read the info on RJ's website with the quote "Optimally, the suspension would be designed so that with the lower arm level (key to suspension design)"

I'll start with a level A-arm, moderate camber, and re-do castor, toe, realignment. Thanks.

'76 Alfetta GT, 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth, '78 sports sedan (2 of them) - sold, '91 164L - sold, '83 GTV6 -sold, '87 Milano Verde - sold, '91 spider -sold, '69 MGB GT,
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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OK I was able to find an Alfetta Haynes manual and it gives the basic generic setting which looks close to level. I'll give this a go to return the track car back to a more all around driver.
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'76 Alfetta GT, 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth, '78 sports sedan (2 of them) - sold, '91 164L - sold, '83 GTV6 -sold, '87 Milano Verde - sold, '91 spider -sold, '69 MGB GT,
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:59 AM
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My ride height .
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 91spiderNV View Post
OK I was able to find an Alfetta Haynes manual and it gives the basic generic setting which looks close to level. I'll give this a go to return the track car back to a more all around driver.
Good find. The reason Alfa has you measure the difference between the inboard and outboard A-arm mounting points is to ensure that the suspension geometry is in the designed range, irrespective of wheel/tire height.

I had the same issue on my Porsche 944 Turbo track car---I tried to run it at too low of a ride height and the lower control arms angled upward, which lowers the roll center as Alfar7 mentioned. When the roll center is too far below the vehicle's center of gravity, body roll actually increases (and it is worse on a MacPherson strut front end). I modified the factory 944 spindle in a similar manner that Alfar7 does to Alfa spindles, and the difference in turn in and front-end grip was amazing.

The other downside of running too severe of an A-arm angle is that it reduces the range of motion of the outer ball joint, which can be a safety issue in extreme cases.

I'm no expert on the 116 chassis but it looks like NMMilano's car could use drop spindles; while not nearly as severe of an angle as the first car pictured, it would still benefit from better geometry.

Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:51 AM
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I'm no expert on the 116 chassis but it looks like NMMilano's car could use drop spindles; while not nearly as severe of an angle as the first car pictured, it would still benefit from better geometry.
I knew I should have taken the picture from a different angle
Although my A-arms are not completely level the angle is not as severe as it looks in that photo because I do have drop spindles.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Ok I found a few quotes for relevance to ride height.

On the old gtv6 bb, the euro guys seem to measure height from the front jack points. Mine Arw currently 14cm, ron Simmons nubering Milano is 13cm, most others lowered are between 16.5cm and 15cm.

I’m thinking 16.5 works out to 1 inch higher than what I currently have.

Also on roll centers, I found Alfar7 quote of
Roll center should be well above ground. Optimally about 50% of the distance between the upper & lower "A" arm mount centers front, about wheel center on rear.

What that translate to actual road height measured from where under the car, I don’t have an idea. Can anyone translate for a non drop spindled alfetta?

'76 Alfetta GT, 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth, '78 sports sedan (2 of them) - sold, '91 164L - sold, '83 GTV6 -sold, '87 Milano Verde - sold, '91 spider -sold, '69 MGB GT,
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91spiderNV View Post
Ok I found a few quotes for relevance to ride height.

On the old gtv6 bb, the euro guys seem to measure height from the front jack points. Mine Arw currently 14cm, ron Simmons nubering Milano is 13cm, most others lowered are between 16.5cm and 15cm.

Iím thinking 16.5 works out to 1 inch higher than what I currently have.

Also on roll centers, I found Alfar7 quote of
Roll center should be well above ground. Optimally about 50% of the distance between the upper & lower "A" arm mount centers front, about wheel center on rear.

What that translate to actual road height measured from where under the car, I donít have an idea. Can anyone translate for a non drop spindled alfetta?
Your roll center won't be "optimal" unless you raise your front suspension until you meet the spec shown in the manual that you posted---which will basically be stock ride height. If you want to run 1-2" lower than stock, you'd need drop spindles.

You also can't really "measure" roll center on the car---you need to know the control arm angles and geometry and plot it as shown in this link:

Roll Centre and Roll Moment ? How To Adjust And Tune ? Suspension Secrets

So, the short answer would be to go back to near stock height, or consult with a shop like RJR that has experience setting up this chassis----will save you a lot of time and guesswork!

Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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After doing my google searches and Alfabb searches for alfetta gt front end height, I have not found definitive number for either the US or Euro spec. This question has been asked as far back as 2002 on the bb and most answers go like this “US spec is one inch above euro spec, and euro spec is one inch below US spec”. Pretty comical, eh?

A reference I found via bb’er Del for auto specs had a euro height of 4.7 inches road clearance, measured from where I don’t know.

'76 Alfetta GT, 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth, '78 sports sedan (2 of them) - sold, '91 164L - sold, '83 GTV6 -sold, '87 Milano Verde - sold, '91 spider -sold, '69 MGB GT,
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91spiderNV View Post
After doing my google searches and Alfabb searches for alfetta gt front end height, I have not found definitive number for either the US or Euro spec. This question has been asked as far back as 2002 on the bb and most answers go like this ďUS spec is one inch above euro spec, and euro spec is one inch below US specĒ. Pretty comical, eh?

A reference I found via bbíer Del for auto specs had a euro height of 4.7 inches road clearance, measured from where I donít know.
I have the factory manual and itís not clear there either with out the use of special tools.
It does say the difference between the the height measured from the A-arm pivot point to the ground and height to the bottom of the ball joint to the ground should be between 39mm and 49mm.
I guess go with what you like. Start with the A-arm level and if itís too high go down from there.

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