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Discussion Starter #1
Mark and I continue to install parts on our 102 here in Texas. Yesterday, we tried to install the rebuilt front suspensions and found that the upper and lower attachment points on the frame would not accept the bolts without having to use a drift to force the fulcrums into position. We re-bushed both R/L suspensions and paid careful attention to matching the various stamped parts on re-assembly. The vehicle has never been wrecked and drove perfectly before our rebuild, so we are mystified by this misalignment. We expected both suspensions to bolt back to the frame without having to force any alighment of bolt holes. We have the following questions for those that have been down this road.

1. Can we accept this 1/8 inch misalignment since the suspensions will continue to move up and down, with some resistance, even after forcing the fulcrums into position.
2. Have others found a way to shim this misalignment out?
3. Is there some data from Alfa showing how to reset/shim these front suspensions with respect to camber/caster/toe in/out?

We've searched the forums and haven't found specific guidance. Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Pete,

I'll go look at my notes, but recall that I did not have to strain anything to get it to fit.

Interestingly, I had a conversation this weekend with Larry jr at APE, who advised dialing in some caster to improve the self centering behavior. The suspension does not really provide for that adjustment. He suggested one could shim the lower and upper A-arms to shift the steering end to tilt slightly backward, getting some caster into the system.

I have doubts whether this is really necessary on my car, and wonder about the slight strain and friction on the kingpin bushings. However, this might let you dial in the attachment.

Having said that, I bet you have assembled your lower trunnions incorrectly. I think I did that, and had the same problem you did. Possibly swapped sides?
 

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There is a front and back for the lower trunnions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hello Don:

Could you take a look at CarDisc page 188 and give me the number of what you are referring to as a trunnion that I could have installed backwards. Are you talking about the upper or lower fulcrum? The hinge pins on the steering arm??
 

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Pete,

I'm referring to the lower fulcrum.

If you go to this thread... http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/1900-2000-2600-1950-1968/308545-new-alfa-bb-4.html

And review things starting at about post 54, you'll probably find your error. Now that I've reengaged my memory on this subject (I did mine about 5 years ago), I recall having assembled my lower fulcrums front to back and created the same offset you are describing. It's a PITA to assemble, dismantle, and reassemble a front suspension set, so there was a little Italian spoken when I discovered my error. I had to build up my front assemblies from the pieces of two different sets, as some were just too worn out and/or bent to use. Lots of fitting and shim swapping to get it all right. Fortunately, the reversing of the lower fulcrum didn't require re-adjusting any of that. As I recall, during disassembly, one of the unique bolts that the anti-sway bar attaches to stripped out, and I had to find another in my pile.

I'll be very surprised if it's not just wrong-way fulcrums.
 

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BTW - to clarify what I said about caster....

According to Larry jr, the 102 cars (and 101s) have little to no caster designed in. Thus, they don't have much built-in centering action. My only 101 was a race car, so light and twitchy steering wasn't much noticed in the midst of the rest of the terror going on.

The 102 is heavy, both literally and the steering forces. This can be made worse by the steering boxes becoming worn in the middle of the gears, leading us to tighten the slack-adjusting bolt to take up the vagueness in the middle. This can lead to the box becoming tighter than it should, making the steering seem even heavier than it normally is. Some of us have added air pressure to the front tires to counter this. Of course, tightening a worn box and adding air pressure is really ignoring several problems while creating others. It does, however, help with the tendency to wander when driving in a straight line due to no self-centering action.

Anyway, if your steering box is good and not binding, the car can be a little ambiguous when cruising down a road. It can require little correcting inputs to keep going straight. This can be improved by putting in a little rearward slant on the steering king pin (caster).

On our cars, it might be possible to simply shim the front of the upper fulcrum and the back of the lower fulcrum, placing the shims between the fulcrums and the car body where the hold-down bolts go. I personally don't like that approach, and there's not much effect from shimming the lower in any case. Plus, this will affect the camber, which we'd rather have on-spec.

Another approach would be to alter the shim stack in the upper and lower fulcrums, resulting in the upper A-Arms being moved slightly toward the rear and the lower A-Arms slightly toward the front. As our cars use kingpins rather than ball joints, this will put a little strain on the bushings and pins.

So, I don't intend to bother with this correction. I've got a freshly overhauled FNM steering box that isn't particularly vague in the middle, and 3 more 102 steering boxes with new/low time gear sets on the bench to assemble. So long as the steering box doesn't have slop in the middle, the lack of self-centering doesn't seem oppressive.

Plus, caster will make parallel parking just that much harder, and we don't need any of that, do we?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Don:

Just returned from the shop and found the lower fulcrums 180 degrees out. I completely disassembled, re-bushed and powder coated both wheels. Guess we didn't pay close enough attention to pictures when we put them back together. Thanks very much for helping us solve this problem.

Pete
 

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For humor,

After revisiting this question, I remembered what I did.

I had made careful notes about what went where. I put it all together, and found the offset that you described. Darn. Took it all apart, and reassembled with the fulcrums the other way around. Put them up to the car, and this time they fit. That's when I realized that I was attempting to put the suspension assemblies onto the wrong side of the car, so they had been correct the first time. Got to do it all over again, again.
 

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Hi,

I just discover this thread and I hope I understand everything (my english is not so good ...)

Take care Pete :

There is a side for the lower fulcrums but also for the upper fulcrums.

You must check also is you put the upper on the right position and turn it of 180 ° if it is not the case.

As for the lower, the smaller distance form holes to axes should be smaller towards the front. The difference compare to the lower fulcrum is mush smaller (few mm) and the mistake is much more possible.

If what I wrought is unclear I will explain it better ...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
102 Suspension

Before I disassembled both suspensions I etched all the pieces to insure that I reassembled in the proper order. During the powder coating process the etchings became almost invisible and I must confess that I didn't pay enough attention on matching the pieces as I reassembled. As I correct my mistake I now know that the large and small fulcrums must have the smaller end facing forward. The difference is very apparent now that several have brought it to my attention. I have even been able to ascertain, by careful inspection, my original markings on the pieces. Thanks to all in the forum for your help. I am back on track and now tackling the problem of getting the springs back in the suspensions without the aid of the Alfa special tool shown in the repair manual. Any suggestions on re-installing the springs would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A special thanks to Don Peterson and PS70 for taking time to help out in the suspension business. To PS70; your explanation was very good and easy to understand.
 

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Pete,

I install and remove springs by using 3 pieces of 3/8 threaded rod with a nut welded onto one end. I use my impact wrench to turn the welded nuts while running up nuts on the rod to pull up the spring pan.

I recently bought some higher grade rod from McMaster Carr as this process is rough on the threads and I've used them several times.
 

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I use my impact wrench to turn the welded nuts while running up nuts on the rod to pull up the spring pan.
This is a very good idea and you'll save time and energy ...

As you entionned, the quality of the threaded rod is very important.

Last time, I have used some stainless rod. VERY bad idea !!! Stainless steel tends to seize up with the nut.

Good luck to Pete and your are welcome, if we can help ...
 

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BTW...

Sometimes I have to use 4 rods to pull things tight, then clamp a corner before removing one rod to install a bolt. One of the inner holes has limited access for much rod length, so that's the one I try to bolt up first.

Don't forget the aluminum washer/spacers between the spring pan and lower A-arms.
 

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Have you checked for wear in the lower shock mounting tab? Mine had more slop than I like, so I reamed them to accept a flanged bushing. No rattles.
 

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Don't forget the aluminum washer/spacers between the spring pan and lower A-arms.
These washer were not on my car ...
Neither on some pictures of Touring 63 cars.
Questions:
1 - Are these spacers on all the 2600 Touring ?
2 - What are the dimension (Diam and thickness) I'll produce new one and install them afterward - not so hard to do ...)
 

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These washer were not on my car ...
Neither on some pictures of Touring 63 cars.
Questions:
1 - Are these spacers on all the 2600 Touring ?
2 - What are the dimension (Diam and thickness) I'll produce new one and install them afterward - not so hard to do ...)
Yes, I believe they were on all cars and are shown in the 102/106 parts catalogs with parts number 1356.45.065 (i.e. a standard part). I don't remember the dimensions.
 

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Thank you Ruedy.
I'll produce them.

Pete, if you have the spacers on hands, please note the dimensions for me ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We purchased some 3/8 inch rod and nuts, in Grade 8, and they worked to perfection. Easy to pull the front springs into position on our front suspensions. Thanks again for guidance from those that had been down this road before. We added one thing that might assist future folks using this method and that was that we greased the rods before starting the pull. No distortion of rods or nuts, so they remain in perfect condition.

We have the following two questions concerning the front 102 suspension.

1. Does someone know the torque values for the lower (larger/longer) fulcrum on the front suspension?
2. Does anyone have a pair of the top brackets that hold the shocks in place? We sent ours to the cad plater, but we are not certain they came back. We have searched thoroughly, but it appears that we need a set in order to install the shocks. We are willing to buy or trade; we have a few interesting items that might help others in their restoration efforts.

Pete
 

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Does someone know the torque values for the lower (larger/longer) fulcrum on the front suspension?
These values can be found on the lower half of page 8 of Pub. #912 - 2600 Technical Specifications, as shown below:
 

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