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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I have a 74 spider that pulls slightly left when I accelerate and then pulls a little harder to the right when I let off the gas. If I happen to be in a right turn at the time I let off the gas, the pull is more pronounced.

I took the car off the road in 2003 due to some emerging rust issues, stripped and disassembled it and put it on jacks. At that time it had never displayed these characteristics. I drove it around the neighborhood periodically just to keep things moving and did not notice this at all. After having all the body work done and reassembling the car it displayed this problem. All the wok mentioned below has been done to try to solve the issue.

I just had the entire, and I mean entire suspension done with new bushings, ends and arms. Brakes do not appear to be dragging. A chassis brace was installed with all the suspension work. Front and rear bearings are new as well. Car has stock boge shocks and IAP yellow springs. A replacement used steering box was installed as was a new idler arm.

The car was aligned with a little more castor for quicker steering. I did not request this, the shop instructed the alignment people to do this. I am having the alignment restored closer to stock settings, I don't know if this would have anything to do with the problem.

I am out of ideas and don't want to chase the problem with money. This sentimental reclamation project is already $16K down the road. The car is at Group 2 in seattle and they have asked to keep it a couple more days to try to figure it out. Just as perplexed as I am.

Anyone have any thoughts or experienced something similar?
 

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Your description lends itself more to the rear end as opposed to the front end.
Like whupped trailing arm bushings and/or trunion bushings letting the differential go walkies depending on whether +ive or -ive load is applied.
You might even notice a bit of wallowy feel when mid turn or when sawing the wheel back and forth at neutral throttle.

As you mention it seems to have started after the stiffener was installed, perhaps someone wasn't as careful as they shoulda been when installing the shims that go on the rear of the stiffener where it ties to the leading end of the trailing arms.
If not shimmed properly, like not enough in there, then tightening the throughbolt won't draw down on the bushing yoke the way it should and for all intents and purposes, this will allow the leading end of the arms to move laterally. That in turn will let the diff walk around and produce symptoms simular to your description.

AFAIK, all of the shims provided with the kit are supposed to be used with only thier specific location getting juggled to align the stiffener. If there were any shims left over, then chances are fair it's not right. (again, at least as far as I know anyway)
 

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My '77 Spyder does the same thing. I've replaced the rear bushings and changed the castor to no effect. However I have noticed something interesting:
Find a level road where the car tracks straight at moderate throttle w/o holding the steering wheel. Then bury the gas pedal w/o holding the steering wheel. I found that the steering wheel turns itself to the right about 3 to 5 degrees and the car tracks straight. Opposite effect evident when letting off the gas.
Seems like the steering box moves a fraction of an inch vs the steering linkage? Some kind of body twist going on here?

Bob
 

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I have had the issue with several non-Alfa's, and it was always something in the rear suspension. I would follow the advice given by Tifosi on this one.
 

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Russ
Did you have the Spider out this past weekend?
I wasn't around the Seattle area, but a friend contacted me and asked if I was, because he wondered if he saw Mia.

By-the-by - I would look to the rear as well. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nicola, no, not me this weekend. Must be a third greenie around.

Looked at the rear end already, new trailing arm bushings, new t-bar and bushings, new bearings. Problem pre-dates the chasis brace.


I did have some frame seem splitting at the steering box area. That has been rewelded and seem welded. The steering box is a used replacement unit, if it were worn in some way, could that account for it? I don't see how, but I am not super knowledgeable about this stuff.

Everyone seems to agree that it has to be in the rear end, that something is allowing the dif/axle to move on transition, but everything is new under there. I suppose I can suggest rechecking tightening and installation of those bushings, maybe something wasn't tightened properly.

One time I paid Rays British/Italian $900 to go through the front end to eliminate a rattle. Didn't work. Then put out $2000 to have Ralli-Round go through the whole bottom end to solve the rattle. Didn't work. While it was back up on the rack at Ralli-Round I was under the car and noticed the bolts that secure the steering box were loose. Borrowed a wrench and tightened them. Problem solved. So who knows, maybe a couple of bolts weren't tightened all the way at some point. I'll have group 2 go through and dbl check all the little stuff and see.
 

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Did the trunion get new shims at the body points when it got it's new bushes?
(there is a specific fit that has to be done with shims, otherise the trunion can shift side to side which in turn allows the axle to track funny)

Did the trunion at the body mount points actually get new bushes, or just the trunion to differential one?
(if the body end bushes are poop, the trunion can move in directions other than the up and down that it's supposed to be limited to)

As you mention stress fracturing, was/is there any indication of it around the yokes on the chassis that hold the leading end of the trailing arms?

How about the part of the arms that the bushings press into where they weld (braze?) to the arms proper?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Those are good questions tifosi. The end bearings on the t-bar were good but not new. As for shims, I don't know but I will ask. The trailing arms are good and bushes new. The frome in that area is solid, but I will dbl check.
 

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I had almost the exact same problem after I was rear ended and it came back from the body shop. I took it to several well known and respected alignment places in town and they told me there was nothing wrong with it. I replaced the springs with Centerline competition, had relatively new boge shocks, replaced the trailing arms, had all the bushings replaced earlier, and put on an adjustable front end a arms from the later spiders. I added the chassis stiffener. It helped, but there was still some of the pull. Finally, I took it to an Italian friend with a shop and he aligned it according to the original book with his computerized alignment set up, and did it properly with a 150 lb driver, 100 lb passenger, 1/2 tank of gas, and now it drives perfectly straight at 80 mph. Little or no pull on acceleration; what little remains is probably a caliper sticking a bit even though I had those redone as well. If everything else has been replaced, have it aligned properly and see if the problem goes away!
 
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