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Let me get this out of the way first: I know there are a ton of threads on poly bushings, etc. I've read them :smile2:


So, without saying what has already been said: my Alfetta is now 40 years old. I have owned it since 2003, and I would bet dollars to dimes that the bushings all around are probably original. Rod and rack ends are new (I had them done), but anything rubber looks like cardboard.

I just finished renewing the brakes (rebuilt calipers all around, new seals on the TA), and couldn't help but think that I'm leaving a lot of what makes the car great on the table here, since the bushings are likely a creaky mess. I'm afraid to even touch them, else they disintegrate.

Given that this car is NOT a track car (nor will it ever be), but has enough engine upgrades to make me want to drive it quickly, I'd like to get the 'Alfa Hive Mind' opinion on suspension bits.

What is already there: lowered stock torsion bars, cut rear springs, and Koni Red shocks front and rear.

What I'm currently thinking: Milano sway bar (maybe 22mm, maybe 24mm); new rubber bushings all the way around.

I am biased against poly bushings--I did them in my spider and hated it. Helped handling but transmitted every bump in the road to my butt. I regretted ever putting them in.

So---having said all that, what do you all think? Am I too negative on the poly bushings? Am I missing something important? Would the 22mm Milano sway bar be enough, or should I really gun for a 24mm 3L bar?
 

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Hi! First let me congratulate you on your choice of car, there is nothing like an Alfetta sedan! :)

I think you have the right idea with replacing the rubber bushings with new rubber bushings. In my experience there is not that big a difference between Poly and new rubber. The car will get firmer and better when you replace the old worn items. You could go for poly simply because they are easier to install. You may also want to consider replacing the castor rod bushing with the ball joint from a 105 series. It sharpens up the front end without changing the ride over all.

Only going for a thicker sway bar in the front may upset the balance of the car and induce unwanted understeer so if you decide to stiffen up the front end you may want to do something in the rear at the same time. My suggestion would be to leave the sway bar and get a set of torsion bars from a GTV6 paired with a tad bit stiffer rear springs. It won´t make the ride rough but a bit more controlled.

Good luck with your fantastic car!
 

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On my GTV6 I have a big 27 mm sway bar on the front and a stock rear sway bar and it handles well. I have an Alfetta rear bar in case the stock rear turns out to be too much when I get it on the track.
 

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I have all poly bushings in both my Spider and GTV6 and I will never go back to rubber. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I talked to Andy Kress about buying reinforcement brackets from him for my 27 mm bar. He said that they are necessary for racing and optional for the road so I welded them in. I think the Milano Verde bar should be Ok without them.
 

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When we had a Shankle suspension installed on our 89 Milano, they supplied front bar reinforcement brackets, saying they should be welded on, based on their experience. The local sheet metal is just too thin, cracking due to fatigue cycling.
 

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Let me get this out of the way first: I know there are a ton of threads on poly bushings, etc. I've read them :smile2:


So, without saying what has already been said: my Alfetta is now 40 years old. I have owned it since 2003, and I would bet dollars to dimes that the bushings all around are probably original. Rod and rack ends are new (I had them done), but anything rubber looks like cardboard.

I just finished renewing the brakes (rebuilt calipers all around, new seals on the TA), and couldn't help but think that I'm leaving a lot of what makes the car great on the table here, since the bushings are likely a creaky mess. I'm afraid to even touch them, else they disintegrate.

Given that this car is NOT a track car (nor will it ever be), but has enough engine upgrades to make me want to drive it quickly, I'd like to get the 'Alfa Hive Mind' opinion on suspension bits.

What is already there: lowered stock torsion bars, cut rear springs, and Koni Red shocks front and rear.

What I'm currently thinking: Milano sway bar (maybe 22mm, maybe 24mm); new rubber bushings all the way around.

I am biased against poly bushings--I did them in my spider and hated it. Helped handling but transmitted every bump in the road to my butt. I regretted ever putting them in.

So---having said all that, what do you all think? Am I too negative on the poly bushings? Am I missing something important? Would the 22mm Milano sway bar be enough, or should I really gun for a 24mm 3L bar?
No guesswork. Come on up to Prescott and drive my 78 Sport Sedan with poly caster, sway bar mount and link bushings, along with poly Dedion pivot bush. The only bad bushings were the caster bushings. They're kinda like wafer cookies to begin with. Koni Yellow shocks, lowered just like yours.

But....27mm front bar and 25mm rear bar. Lots of curvy roads to try the combo on. And, I have a spare 27mm front bar at the house with end links for sale. Larry at APES may have a 25mm rear from a Milano.

But, I trust what both Andy and Alfaparticle say about using just the big front bar to take the body roll out of the car. I was just gonna do that but bumbled upon the big rear bar.

Offer is always open to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Car ended up being sold as-is. But I did put a milano verde bar on my gtv6, and will be looking at the bushings soon. Before I sold it, I found a set of rubber bushings all around--not easy but they exist. As they fit the GTV6 as well, I'm just going to use those and see how it feels. The Verde sway bar certainly makes a big difference, especially with the added power of the 12v 3.5l.
 

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I like the quote "I'm going to use those and see how they feel". And that's what most Alfa owners do, which is great. There are lots of people who will tell you what you need, no matter what your car feels like to you, the owner. These are fun relatively "cheap" cars that have a great Italian racing background. Bigger bars, softish springs good for road performance, and you can mix and match from an alfetta, Milano, and gtv6!!
You can play with oversteer and understeer depending on how you want to drive it. Add in new performance tires and it performs very well.

We've resurrected an old thread with several of the remaining owners of alfetta sedans and gt's. I bought some matching 300lb rear springs via Andy Kress to match my 33mm torsion bars for my 76 alfetta gt. Andy was very helpful to find out how I wanted to drive the car according to what I wanted to do, and not some pre-described formula of sway bars, springs, shocks, bushings etc. His advice is like the original quote "try out this combination and see how they feel".
 

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Found my kunka-dunk sound in the right rear on rough surfaces 2 days ago.

The sound was like a loose shock or something bouncing in the trunk.

I found it by having a buddy push the rear of the car side to side while i put my hands on the DeDion bushing at the body end. I could FEEL it move.

New bushings for all, including the pivot, are on the way.
 

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Ordered new bushings on Thursday from Performatek and they arrived today.
I wasted no time removing the old ones and installing the new poly ones.

If you look at the attached photo, you'll see the bushing as viewed from the rear of the car. The bushings at the body were the worst.

The difference in ride and handling is noticeable. All in a good way. Smoother than before and having the rear end planted where it's supposed to stay changed the stability in a straight line and really improved the steadiness in the corners.

Pretty easy to do.
 

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Anybody gone from poly bushing caster rod to unibal caster rod?

Replacing the caster rod rubber bushings improves steering precision. However now I heard that poly bushing caster rod is just as good as unibal caster rod. For the unibal caster rod the hole in the body has to be widened, but if the poly bushing is really just as good, then why bother? My Guess is that the unibal solution is better however. Any expriences with this here?
 

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105 vs 116

Anybody gone from poly bushing caster rod to unibal caster rod?

Replacing the caster rod rubber bushings improves steering precision. However now I heard that poly bushing caster rod is just as good as unibal caster rod. For the unibal caster rod the hole in the body has to be widened, but if the poly bushing is really just as good, then why bother? My Guess is that the unibal solution is better however. Any expriences with this here?
I have not driven a 116 car with unibal caster rods so I don't know how they feel, I have a 75 with poly caster bushings and that car feels fine..
The 116 caster rod is connected without a bushing to the upper control arm and on a 105 chassis it is the opposite the caster rod is connected to upper control arm via a rubber bushing, so if you use the 105 part on a 116 you will have no bushing at all and all the flex will be in the body where the unibal is connected and in the upper control arm inner bushings...

I know that people do this and say that it works but I cannot help to wonder if it is not a bit harsh for a road car, and that the stress will be transferred to some other area.
 

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hi gabor, i do sell both (performatek.com). you are right, the OEM rubber bushings appear to be more air than rubber. they are VERY soft. they allow a TON of compliance in that joint. i am sure that is on purpose. alfa seems to have a deathly fear of hard mounting both ends of the castor rod to the car.
in the dedion cars they are air up front and hard bolted to the control arm. in the 105 cars, hard mounted on the forward end and mounted in air/rubber on the control arm. can't really blame them, they are in the business of selling everyday cars... taxis, family sedans, cop cars, whatever.
i joke (but not much) that with the oem bushing, you can align the front, roll the car off the rack, then roll it back on and get different numbers. not having to worry about a broad market needs and concentrating on performance, we can do better than that. in my opinion, the poly parts and the ball joint each have their place - and the choice is not necessarily black and white. both make dramatic improvements in the way the car drives. the poly part works great, and dramatically reduces unwanted compliance in that joint, and compared to the rubber joint, lasts forever. is an easy install. installing the balljont reduces unwanted compliance to ZERO. one might think that it reduces ride comfort to zero as well. in fact, it seems to have no noticeable effect on ride comfort, either feeling through the wheel or seat of pants. it is a concept stolen directly from the SZ30 - a road car. i am sure it helps these cars generate the praise they receive for their handling, grip and feedback to driver. when i started selling them, i was worried about the driver comfort thing and tended to recommend people only buy them for track oriented cars. after a little while it became apparent that most of my customers were putting them on street cars and there is no down side to making this install.
as you mention, the the ball portion of the ball joint is too big to sit inside the hole in chassis deeply enough to have the flanges sit flush with the unibody.
to make this work correctly there are 2 choices: A. make the hole bigger. B. use the spacer kit. costs a little more but do not have to do damage to the unibody.
so, i guess this is a long winded way of saying - they are both very effective, one is a little more extreme than the other. if i had to make a SWAG i'd say the poly gives about 80%? 85%? of the benefit of the ball joint. which is a vast improvement over the oem part. to me, pure street (w occasional track), poly part is great. if you are racing or want a greater track bias for your car, then the balljoint is the way to go. except for a dedicated track car (you are crazy if you do not put in the ball joints), i think there is no wrong choice. either is valid.
andy
 
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