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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody have an actual GTV6 service manual?

I'm trying to find the factory ride height specifications for the GTV6 and unfortunately the workshop manual I have is from the Milano, which is supposed to also cover the GTV6. But I can't find a GTV6 ride height spec.

My gtv6 has the typical rear end sag and front too high thanks to US regulations. But I'm not sure where it's supposed to be when new. I'm not planning on slamming it, I'm really enjoying being able to blast down windy roads without fear of banging the sump, unlike my Berlina.

I have the MIlano specs if anybody needs them.

Thanks,
Ian

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car
 

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I seriously don't get what the problem is with the "U.S. ride height". The front wheel arch still sits higher on the body regardless of how raked it is, and if you also notice from your picture, the car is pretty much perfectly level and looks fine.
 

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Page 58 of the factory manual (I have the CarDisc version) has detailed instructions on how to measure the front ride height, and because Alfa stipulates the "proper" method of measuring the difference between the inner and outer pivot points of the front lower control arms (which ensures that the intended suspension geometry is maintained), it is difficult to make an apples to apples comparison between different cars with different wheel and tire sizes, etc.

Also, the same section of the manual is dated 1975 and is meant for the Alfetta, so I am not sure if the intended "Euro" ride height is the same as the GTV6. In any case, I lowered the front end of my 1981 USA-spec GTV6 and ended up about 10mm lower than the spec in the manual, and the lower control arms are just about parallel with the ground.
 
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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know the front arch is higher by design, but in my opinion it's sitting too high. And if I have the correct specs the rear end is definitely sagging which doesn't help the look.

But part of my research is to figure out if there really was a documented difference in ride height between US and Euro cars, or if we are all just imagining it.
 

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Post #4 describes where you find how to check suspension is at correct spec.
If your measured suspension point height differences are as per the manual, then the lower A-arm is at the right angle, and the car is therefore sitting at the ‘right’ height.
Ride height may vary a little depending on what wheels and tyres you are wearing, but those suspension angles won‘t change Unless ride height has been interfered with.
I don’t think I have seen a measurement from (for example) fender lip to ground or hub centre in any manual, tho a few BBers have published their own numbers here.
Same goes for 105s - it’s all about the A-arm points (front) and axle-to-bump-stop measurements (rear). Spacers described by US owners in their 105s aren’t present in OZ cars, for example. They are marketed purely as a tool to correct ride height deficiencies.
It may be that manuals for US cars published different specs to the Euro/AUS/rest-of-world manuals because of headlight height or similar rules. Investigating/confirming THAT would inform the discussion.
 

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You know, it would be very, very interesting to see the original design drawings of the Alfetta, before the reality of production interfered. My bet is that the design called for a much more down-angled front. Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of the front wheel arch design, and feel that it had to come straight off the drawing board… so I don’t think that was messed with. Just my two cents… if anyone has any early drawings, I’m sure we’d all love to see them.
I sent “Arche” the CarDisc, so he now has the specs mentioned above. Like all of us using that procedure, he’s probably looking for neighbors to sit in the seats for pre-loading! Which Alfa exec thought that was a good idea, eh??
 

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1984 GTV6 (Maratona)
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When done revised stance pics would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If someone has a haynes manual maybe they could post a picture of how to measure/adjust the front ride height. I think mine is already in a packing box however the manual explains the ride height differential (post 4) and how to adjust. I think from memory each spline rotated at each end makes a 1.5 mm change in the ride height differential.

I don't mind the nose up look however it will under steer like a pig and also get light in the front end at high speed if the wind gets under there. That is if you drive that way.
 

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I know the front arch is higher by design, but in my opinion it's sitting too high. And if I have the correct specs the rear end is definitely sagging which doesn't help the look.

But part of my research is to figure out if there really was a documented difference in ride height between US and Euro cars, or if we are all just imagining it.
I always heard the US version was raised in front to meet safety regs (along with the extended bumper shocks) - the Euro was left stock. I've never seen a Euro GTV6 high in the front. As for actual specs - I've never seen that documented.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Post #4 describes where you find how to check suspension is at correct spec.
If your measured suspension point height differences are as per the manual, then the lower A-arm is at the right angle, and the car is therefore sitting at the ‘right’ height.
Ride height may vary a little depending on what wheels and tyres you are wearing, but those suspension angles won‘t change Unless ride height has been interfered with.
I don’t think I have seen a measurement from (for example) fender lip to ground or hub centre in any manual, tho a few BBers have published their own numbers here.
Same goes for 105s - it’s all about the A-arm points (front) and axle-to-bump-stop measurements (rear). Spacers described by US owners in their 105s aren’t present in OZ cars, for example. They are marketed purely as a tool to correct ride height deficiencies.
It may be that manuals for US cars published different specs to the Euro/AUS/rest-of-world manuals because of headlight height or similar rules. Investigating/confirming THAT would inform the discussion.
Sorry if I didn't mention it, but I am aware of the process for measuring the ride height and I agree it eliminates any funky wheel / tire combos.

So far I have found the 1981 GTV6 US Service manual spec which I have attached, and I have a spec from the later Milano/GTV6 service manual which I think covers the Milano more than the GTV6.

The rear of my GTV6 currently sits within spec for a fully loaded car, so it's definitely riding 1-2 cm low. A rubber or poly spacer will fix that.

But this is really a quest to find actual factory data for Euro vs US cars to put this to rest. I heard from a GTV6 owner in Greece who has owned his since new and never modified the suspension that his looks just like mine.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is the 1981 tech spec page that shows the ride height specs. Funny that this is actually higher than later Milano / GTV6 specs. Or maybe the later ones are just for the Milano?



Rectangle Line Font Parallel Diagram
 

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Let's look at what appears to be a stone stock Euro market GTV 6:

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire


Ian, I would bet you have non-stock springs at the rear, based on looking at my son's car, which does have them and a slightly lowered front end also, to level out the car front to rear. I also think your front end is set at the North American ride height, to get the headlight centerline to DOT spec. I do not think this is an old wives tale at all, if you look at this Euro GTV 6, which appears to be stone cold original, and look at any photo of a new USA market GTV 6, you will see a slight difference in the front ride height.
I can't speak with numbers, which is what Ian is asking for, but I do believe the cars were set up a bit differently for the NA market. Just look at the daylight above the tire in the front wheel arch.
 
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Product Schematic Rectangle Font Floor plan

Enough speculation and whose car looks like what or what the European or American owners manuals say. Here is the factory blueprint for the datum lines on the GTV-6 as of 1987.
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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"But part of my research is to figure out if there really was a documented difference in ride height between US and Euro cars, or if we are all just imagining it"

It was true for the Alfettas. There was a difference in order to get the headlight height up to match US requirements, but I strongly suspect it was not for the GTV6 and Milano, having never had to lower the front suspension in any of ours as compared to our Alfettas, both sedans and GTV, which all sat unsightly high in the front when new.

And, certainly not for the later 164s. Don't know anything about the Spiders.
 

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Let's look at what appears to be a stone stock Euro market GTV 6:

View attachment 1701958

Ian, I would bet you have non-stock springs at the rear, based on looking at my son's car, which does have them and a slightly lowered front end also, to level out the car front to rear. I also think your front end is set at the North American ride height, to get the headlight centerline to DOT spec. I do not think this is an old wives tale at all, if you look at this Euro GTV 6, which appears to be stone cold original, and look at any photo of a new USA market GTV 6, you will see a slight difference in the front ride height.
I can't speak with numbers, which is what Ian is asking for, but I do believe the cars were set up a bit differently for the NA market. Just look at the daylight above the tire in the front wheel arch.
I thought it'd be helpful to see the lines compared. The optical illusion comes from the wheel arches themselves, which are not parallel to the ground. The beltline, however, is.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Land vehicle Car
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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As I remember, our two totally unmolested GTV6s, 81, 86, had a slight rake to the stance, so that the fender cutouts were basically even, as compared to what you show. This one does look different than what we had, almost like the Alfettas which were jacked up some in the front. Not quite that bad, but still...

We never had to change the GTV6 stance.

Usually, many cars have been manufactured with a slight raked stance in order to better optimize/reduce the aero drag when at speed. Since the greatest percentage of the body aero lift at speed occurs at the front of the car, the front rises a little, increasing aero drag. The rake hopefully negates that.

Anything to slightly improve the fuel mileage numbers. Thus, vehicles have been coming with front air dams of some sort and rear trunk/boot lips, both for improved aero effects and high speed stability. Slight changes, but significant enough. Wind tunnel testing, and also more modern computerized fluid flow analysis, confirms this.

I remember a very old tunnel test that Alfa did with the mid 60's Sprint GTs, where at ~100 mph, the diagram showed that the front of that model had ~250 lbs lift at the front and ~100 at the rear. Beautiful car of course, but not all that efficient for drag. They were able to improve the situation with front dam and rear spoiler. The 164 Owners Manual has an interesting diagram demonstrating a centerline pressure distribution, a similar but improved reduced front end lift.
 

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As I remember, our two totally unmolested GTV6s, 81, 86, had a slight rake to the stance, so that the fender cutouts were basically even, as compared to what you show. This one does look different than what we had, almost like the Alfettas which were jacked up some in the front. Not quite that bad, but still...

We never had to change the GTV6 stance.

Usually, many cars have been manufactured with a slight raked stance in order to better optimize/reduce the aero drag when at speed. Since the greatest percentage of the body aero lift at speed occurs at the front of the car, the front rises a little, increasing aero drag. The rake hopefully negates that.

Anything to slightly improve the fuel mileage numbers. Thus, vehicles have been coming with front air dams of some sort and rear trunk/boot lips, both for improved aero effects and high speed stability. Slight changes, but significant enough. Wind tunnel testing, and also more modern computerized fluid flow analysis, confirms this.

I remember a very old tunnel test that Alfa did with the mid 60's Sprint GTs, where at ~100 mph, the diagram showed that the front of that model had ~250 lbs lift at the front and ~100 at the rear. Beautiful car of course, but not all that efficient for drag. The 164 Owners Manual has an interesting diagram demonstrating a centerline pressure distribution, a similar but improved reduced front end lift.
For my personal aesthetic taste I think having the wheel arches the same distance from the ground is the best. It makes it look like it's moving, even when standing still, not falling backwards.
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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The mid 60s and on GTVs sure did look that way, falling backwards, when at speed. The trouble was, based on my own experience with my Sprint GT, it sure looked better when just sitting as it came from the factory, without the nose being dropped. The overall body design was wrong for a dropped nose, ie, rake. Dropping the nose however was better for reducing the drag in racing.
 
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