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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear alfa friends,

after having my old alfetta in a barn for over 15 years, i finally got to the point of getting her back into shape.

One of the tasks is to renew/upgrade the suspension. What type of springs, and dampers are you using? and how do they seem to ride?

I would really appreciate to get some suggestions on what have worked for you? Possibly i would lower the front also a couple of cm's as its a bit high in profile view.

Any suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance!
 

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For decent non track touring handling I like Koni shocks more than Bilstein purely for comfort reasons allied to Alfa Romeo heavy duty or GTV6 springs with one less coil or the eibach equivalent. However for more serious track work many people mention the Ron Simons Racing suspension kit which has coilovers, having been developed on the nurburgring although will be pricier I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks alfettapb! I'm definitely not (currently) looking for track day performance, more of a summer driver so comfort is still on my mind.
Do you have some specific models in mind of Koni and eibach?
 

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A 1.8 GT is quite light so no need to go extreme for road use. Something like a 23mm torsion bar in the front with say some GTV6 springs at the rear would be fine. Koni yellow is the most common Koni Shock used, least where I'm from. You also probably want to check your suspension bushes and the de dion front bush after that amount of time sitting around.
 
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Peter, as Aggie57 said GTV6 springs, as I also mentioned in my post, should work well but there are part numbers in "how to powertune the alfa twin cam" for heavy duty Alfetta springs from which you could choose also. I checked online at Eibach and they do not seem to make Alfetta specific springs any more, only Alfa 75/milano ones.
I agree that all rubber suspension bushes should be checked and rechecked and replaced if necessary.
Regarding shocks as mentioned by Aggie57 the most common and available are the Koni yellow. However the 1.8gt chassis is very soft and the period shocks used in the uk in 1974 for road and race were the Koni reds which in my opinion suit the standard setup better than the yellows or bilstein, unless you are going to upgrade the stock suspension with larger anti roll bar or thicker torsion bars or wider section tyres or general lowering in which case seek professional setup is my advice.
Just fitting the Koni reds and heavy duty Alfa rear springs (with one less coil than the original) and leaving the standard suspension setup our car did not roll noticeably anywhere while maintaining a very pleasing ride comfort no matter the road surface.
The alfetta always had a terrific rear suspension setup but the front wheels damping needed to be better
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
update after a long time

Thanks everyone for the assistance. So eventually i managed to do the things planned.
KONI dampers are on the little beast.

Now i had a bit of a hick-up with the rear suspension. I got some Eibach ones that i wanted to replace but without manual it seems like a hell of a task. any advice would be welcome.

btw. the difference in old and new are pretty visible :)
 

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everything you want to know about the 116 suspension is located on greg Gordon's website Silicone Hose Kits

Here is the excerpt about the rear spring removal/install. Sounds a lot like the Haynes manual.

Begin with the car on jack stands, the rear wheels off and the rear suspension hanging down in the fully extended position . Place a floor jack under the central Watts Linkage pivot point and raise the De Dion tube a few inches. Be careful not to raise it enough to lift the car off the jack stands, you want to lift it just enough to take stress off the bolts we will have to loosen.

Now disconnect the Watts linkage at the outer ends near the wheels. You will need two 17mm wrenches to do this. Do not disconnect the Watts Linkage at the center of the De Dion tube. Once the nuts are off and the bolts are out tap the linkage free from its mounting point on the chassis.

Next you must disconnect the Anti Sway bar from the De Dion tube. It connects in two places, one near each coil spring seat. Your car will have either one 17mm nut at each end or a 17/19mm double nut combination. If your car has the double nut arrangement use a 19mm wrench to hold the nut still while you remove the 17mm nut. Then remove the 19mm nut. Once you have removed the nuts from both sides of the Anti Sway bar you can raise the whole bar to free it from the De Dion tube. As you do this be sure to collect all of the bushings and metal bushing seats. They will tend to fall out and roll all over the place. Note that there are two totally different types of sway bar links. The earlier type is bullet proof, but the later type can be damaged if care is not takes when bolting or unbolting the link. When working with the later type use a wrench to brace the link while you turn the nut to prevent it from twisting and becoming damaged.

Now disconnect the rear shocks from the De Dion tube. They will be held on with either 17mm nuts or the 17/19mm double nut combination. Remove the nuts and compress the shock by hand to get it up and out of the way. Collect the rubber shock bushings and the metal bushing seats. If you car has gas shocks it will be necessary to remove the shocks from the car because they will extend and get in the way. If that’s the case remove the rear seat and unbolt the tops of the shocks. The shock’s top mounts are behind the upper rear corners of the rear seat’s backrest. The nuts there are a little difficult to remove and you have to be really careful not to drop them. If you do they may fall between the fuel tank and the rear seat. Fishing those out of there takes about an hour so don’t drop them.

Let the floor jack down to fully extend the suspension. It will go down a long way.

Now it’s time to remove the coil springs. It’s best to remove the passenger side spring first. It’s also best to install that side first. You could do the driver’s side first but you will probably need a coil spring compressor to do it. Just do what I say and start on the passenger side


To get the spring out simply push down on the wheel hub area and wrestle the spring out. Then go and do it on the driver’s side. Once the springs are out look up at the top of the spring seat area to make sure that the spring’s upper seats are out. They sometimes stay up there and the spring comes out by itself.

Installing springs is fairly easy. It’s a lot easier with shorter hi performance springs. If you are installing stock springs you may need a coil spring compressor, although it can be done without it. It’s very important to make sure the springs rest correctly in the spring seats. This is not too difficult at the bottom where they connect with the De Dion tube however it’s quite easy to install them incorrectly at the top. To make sure they seat correctly at the top I suggest using Duct Tape to secure the spring seats to the springs before you put the springs in the car. That will make sure they stay in the proper orientation when you wrestle them into position. Notice that the spring’s orientation to the spring seat is critical at the top and bottom, however the seat’s orientation to the car does not matter at the top. However at the bottom the spring seat can only rest correctly on the De Dion tube in one position.

Once the springs are in, raise the De Dion tube with the floor jack a few inches. Again, not enough to raise the car, just the De Dion tube. Now reattach the Shocks, Anti Sway bar end links and the Watts Linkage. DO NOT tighten the Watts linkage or anti sway bar bolts. They need to be loose until the suspension is in it's at rest position on the ground. (if you are using polyurethane bushings it’s OK to tighten them now). Put the wheels on and the car back on the ground. Bounce it a few times and then tighten the Watts Linkage bolts with the car on the ground.
 
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