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Putting stock springs back in my 91 Spider. Did the rears, now tackling the fronts.
These springs look almost interchangable to me, except for the dimple shown at the bottom of these. Can't figure out which way is up or if it matters.
Many thanks if you know!

Oriented North-South:
[
North is flat:

 

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Flatter end goes up. The spring pan in the lower A-arm has provision for the end of the spring. Take a look at how it's stamped.

Andrew
 

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If they're the same then it doesn't matter. There's a rubber spring base at the top, right? How about at the bottom? Either of those have an offset?
You know what, I'm thinking the rear spring pan, has a lower offset part to catch the tang of the spring.
 

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Doesn't matter. Pan and upper spring rubber both have "divots" for the spring ends.
 

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That's normal all around. Yours probably has the wrong passenger-side pan (I think all the S4s do) but that's a different issue....

Here's what should be in there - this is from the 1990 parts book but yours should be the same. Perhaps the p/n for the springs is different.

1620291
 

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Oh this is my own little theory.....

Fact: The car was designed to have a deeper spring pan on the passenger side so that it sits a little lower unoccupied and level with the driver in the seat. You can see that with the left and right part numbers in the parts book diagram.

Fact: my '90 came with the same spring pan (shallow) on both sides. Because of this, it sat low on the drivers side (there's obviously more to this than just the pan depths), noticeable especially from the rear.

Theory: Every late model I've been able to "survey" (ask people on this BB) has the same setup. It seems like at some point - maybe early to mid-80's? - for some reason (most likely cost savings) they started building them with shallow pans on both sides. Most seem to sit funny, but perhaps not all?

Classic Alfa has the proper deep pan available at a reasonable price ($40 last I looked).

Read more: Can you mix up the spring pans?
 

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I did the switch to the deeper spring pan on the passenger side last winter and it does make the car set more level (not dropped lower on the left rear looking from the rear) then before.
image.jpeg
 
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