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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today i replaced my original shocks and springs on my 1980 Spider with Centerline Sport springs and Koni Classic Shocks. My ride height in the rear before we started was 23 7/8 on both sides and in the front it was 25 3/8. After, the right side is lower front and rear by 7/8 inch, but the left side (driver) is an additional 1/2 lower, in the front and the rear. Not sure what might have gone one here, we used the original spring pans and the aluminum shims, which were the same and only replaced the rubber grommets. Any ideas of what could cause this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I’m reading about different spring pans for right and left, with a shallower one on the driver side, so if i switched them accidentally that could account for the difference. I did spend a lot of time cleaning out the pans with wire wheels And did not notice any difference between them, and I see a lot of posts from people that had the same pans right to left.
I’m also stumped as to what could have caused the difference in the rear. Final measurements are as follows:

Original Rideheight
LF - 25 ⅜
RF - 25 ⅜
LR - 23 ⅞
RR - 23 ⅞

New Rideheight
LF - 24 ½ - ⅞” lower
RF - 25 ⅛ - ¼” lower, 5/8” difference left to right
LR - 22 ⅛ - 1 ¾” lower
RR - 22 ⅞ - 1” lower 3/4” difference left to right.
 

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Left side on my car measures up about 3/4 inch higher in front, less so in back. Did you measure need spring heights before install, and make sure that they are correctly seated in spring pans and up top too? Yes, spring pans were different left and right on my spider. Also, rear springs must be seated correctly because they will throw off the front spring height it not absolutely correct
 

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The rear is so soft In comparison that it will ‘follow’ whichever way the front pushes it. If you park the car with one front wheel significantly higher or lower than the other (Say on a 4x2) the rear will sit funny, even if on level ground.
My driver side front is @20mm higher, coz although the passenger side has same pan, it has 10mm spacers Above the pan, effectively pushing it down, making it like a deep pan. On flat ground, the Driver side rear follows what the front does, and sits higher too, even though there is no difference in left-right pans or springs. When I sit in the car, the ride height drops @ 20mm each end, effectively to level with the passenger side.
 

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The rear is so soft In comparison that it will ‘follow’ whichever way the front pushes it. If you park the car with one front wheel significantly higher or lower than the other (Say on a 4x2) the rear will sit funny, even if on level ground.
My driver side front is @20mm higher, coz although the passenger side has same pan, it has 10mm spacers Above the pan, effectively pushing it down, making it like a deep pan. On flat ground, the Driver side rear follows what the front does, and sits higher too, even though there is no difference in left-right pans or springs. When I sit in the car, the ride height drops @ 20mm each end, effectively to level with the passenger side.
All 4 corners play a significant effect on height. Low left rear results in high front right and less so, but still measurable, in left front. Alfa designed unloaded ride height( no driver) to run about 1/2 to 3/4 inch higher on left side for LHD car. See my post on ride height and corner balancing
 

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Fair enough, goats, no argument. He should check everything is seated properly, as you say.
I suppose I was pointing out, tho...all else being equal...don’t be surprised that the rear sits higher too, ‘following’ the high front (whatever the technical cause) which is what bkMeyer says is stumping him.
I’m guessing that if he restores (or creates by adding/removing spacers) the deep pan effect to the passenger side front, his new measurements will be closer to the normal driver/passenger difference, with driver side front and rear being higher.
If pans are Indeed the same depth, taking out the 10mm passenger side alloy front spacer should do the same thing as washers/spacers above the pan (on the pan bolts).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys, I didn't really think about the rear "following" the front. One thing I noticed as I walked through my garage this morning is that there is much more play in the car on the driver side when I sit on the fender. I suspect I may have accidentally set the right front shock to the firmest setting, which could be a reason why that side of the car is not settling down. I'll take off that wheel and double check the adjustment when I get home from work. Just undoing the top of the shock is not really that much work, so I should be able to rule that out quickly if it doesn't make a difference. If there is no change after I look at that, I'll take a closer look at the spring pans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I can give a hearty doh! Turns out the depth of one spring pan is 48mm Anne the other is 36mm. I’m too inexperienced to somehow think things through without panicking and posting here. Now I’m going to have to undo it and reinstall properly, but I think it’s another lesson learned. Thank you for not yelling at me to search the forum.
 

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Happy ending!

While you have your oem springs handy, what is the diameter of the rod used to make the spring?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, maybe not quite so happy because while removing the bolts again I ended up with one nut that is spinning on the bolt with stripped threads. I’m going to either have to cut it off or drill it out. Probably drill because of the lack of clearance. I’m just going to replace all the bolts and the bearings in the sway bar drop link as long as I have everything off again.

front
1645240


rear
1645241
 

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Muchas gracias amigo and best wishes for the rest of the project!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The final evidence. Remember folks, the shallow spring pan goes on the driver side.

1645379


I think if I had been working alone doing one side at a time I wouldn’t have made the mistake, but I had a friend over and we were disassembling in parallel and I reconditioned both pans while he worked on the the other pieces. I had no idea they were different.
 

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Why didnt you paint em up nice before re-installing? I am glad you found the cause-- it changed the back heights too, didnt it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I initially just coated them with some rust converter but now that they are off again I’m going to paint them too. I haven’t reinstalled yet because I noticed the drop link bushings are worn and a few of the bolts are stripped so I’m waiting for parts to reinstall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Original Rideheight
LF - 25 ⅜
RF - 25 ⅜
LR - 23 ⅞
RR - 23 ⅞

New Rideheight
LF - 24 ½ - ⅞” lower
RF - 25 ⅛ - ¼” lower, 5/8” difference left to right
LR - 22 ⅛ - 1 ¾” lower
RR - 22 ⅞ - 1” lower 3/4” difference left to right.

Revised measurements:

LF - 24 7/8 - 1/2” lower than original
RF - 24 1/2 - 7/8” lower
LR - 22 5/8 - 1 1/4” lower
RR - 22 3/8 - 1 1/2” lower

The driver side is now 3/8” higher than passenger in the front and 1/4” higher in the rear after reversing the spring pans. The driver side definitely has more bounce to it. Is it possible that if I accidentally set the passenger side shock to the firmest setting that it might affect ride height?
 

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Not containing gas, the Konis shouldn’t affect ride height at all. Maybe by a fraction if their compression rate was significantly different to the previous shocks, but this effect would be the same both sides.
Adjusting them doesn’t increase compression damping, just rebound, so that shouldn’t affect ride height either. The Koni reds and yellows are rebound-adjustable only, or single-adjustable rather than double or triple-adjustable, which some shocks are.
If one side rebounds (bounces back) more slowly than the other, you may well have them set differently: best to check, if it’s noticeable.
Loops like you’ve got things pretty close... what are the heights now when you sit in the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
With a driver in the car it’s 24” both sides, so maybe it’s designed to be a little higher on the driver side empty?

in any event, the machine drives beautifully now, hardly any brake dive, far reduced body roll in fast corners and much reduced rattling when going over bumps. A very worthwhile upgrade. I guess I’m just making sure I’ve got it all installed correctly. I really appreciate the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That’s a wrap on the spring project. I adjusted the shock I accidentally set to the firmest setting and everything seems good. Should I get an alignment now?
 
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