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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was installing my new to me BWA's on my 78 spider tonight. When I jacked up the FRONT drivers side I found this.


Then I went to jack up the FRONT passenger side and found this... scraped, gouged metal... What went wrong?

When I asked him "why" this was his reply...I had to cut off the top/protruding threaded rod as it was hitting there...
Glad I caught it before it went nuts there...after shock install there was ~
1/4" gap which turned out to be not enough so I cut off all of the exposed
threaded rod in case in addition to rubber bushings compressing & moving
around IF the body metal was flexing the rod would no longer hit there...Maybe your car is tweaked...I don't think so...A bit of creative work to get
the shocks to fit & I would not stress over this...you can red rattle can or
undercoat this area or I can put some wurth rust gard on there in silver or
black...up to you...
I don't know why both sides are different on your car...the old shocks I
removed I think had different lengths of threaded rod on them which I guess
is why I needed to do this to the koni...however I removed a different brand
then the koni's I put on...
 

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1966-2013
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Last two pix give every indication that he had to cut a bit off the stud to get clearance from the bodywork.

As long as there's enough threads to engage properly (the double nut definitely indicates that) then no harm, no foul. It's actually something that has to happen now and again and a common means of doing it.

Having the damper manufacturer put on the correct length stud to begin with would eliminate the issue, but the odds of a big company tweaking such things specific to such a narrow market that it might not even apply across even that spectrum isn't something that'll likely ever happen.

Easier and more cost effective to make them all the same length and expect that the excess will be cut off by the installer rather than having several versions of the same component with the only differences being each having a different length fixture.


Or the short answer:
It's nothing.
Touch up the scratches so rust doesn't start and move on to the next project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So he did it the way a shop would have?

Last two pix give every indication that he had to cut a bit off the stud to get clearance from the bodywork.

As long as there's enough threads to engage properly (the double nut definitely indicates that) then no harm, no foul. It's actually something that has to happen now and again and a common means of doing it.

Having the damper manufacturer put on the correct length stud to begin with would eliminate the issue, but the odds of a big company tweaking such things specific to such a narrow market that it might not even apply across even that spectrum isn't something that'll likely ever happen.

Easier and more cost effective to make them all the same length and expect that the excess will be cut off by the installer rather than having several versions of the same component with the only differences being each having a different length fixture.
I just want to make sure I understand why the metal is gouging/scraping on the front passenger side shock tower and not on the front drivers side shock tower...
 

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1966-2013
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Because the bodywork above the stud on the left front shock had plenty of clearance while the bodywork on the right front above the stud did not, so the stud scraped the paint up while this was being discovered (it looks like it'll fit 'til you get it almost tightened)

It is not gouging now, but got skinned up during the install.
 

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what part?
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the best way to instale koni's on that side. press the shock up into the mounting hole, drop a nut on to it, press it up a lillte more, tighin' the first nut a few turns, drop the jam nut on the threads run that nut down a bit.. press the shock all the way up now, tightin' the first nut down then the jam nut.. this way you don't have to cut anything..it's jsut a tight fit on that side.
 

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Didn't have enough clearance for the Bilstein's on my '74, so I drilled a 1/2" hole in each fender above the stud, and after install put in an appropriate rubber plug.
 

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I have always done it the same way as described by Bianchi above and it works perfectly with no sctratches or damage to the car at all and no need to cut/ruin the Koni. I am mystified why a qualified mechanic would consider cutting shockers to fit them when there is no need to!
 

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On my Bilstein's. the top stud is simply too long, even when using that method. It's not that I couldn't get the nuts on, but that the stud contacted the fender when the nuts were fully tightened down. I could have used a much thicker bushing (or washers), I suppose, but I surely didn't want to cut the shock stud, in case I ever had to make a warranty claim.
 

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kilgoretrout.. can't you just get the top of the shock just started, and insert a peice of hardwood and make the opening a bit more?
 

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kilgoretrout.. can't you just get the top of the shock just started, and insert a peice of hardwood and make the opening a bit more?
I guess I could have punched in the metal above the shock mount a bit, but the hole/rubber plug looks better and more original IMO. I did this install almost 10 years ago, and I still hate those shocks. Might try them on my '92, as it's a good bit heavier than the '74, so the shocks might not feel so stiff.
 

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I just want to make sure I understand why the metal is gouging/scraping on the front passenger side shock tower and not on the front drivers side shock tower...
Maybe he tried installing them on the passenger side first, munged up the paint there before deciding that the studs were too long, and then shortened both studs so the same damage didn't occur on the driver's side.

I hope he installed the rubber bumpers below the frame mount. Otherwise, I'm baffled why the stud would have extended up so far. From the photos, it's impossible to tell if both the upper and lower bumpers are present. Still, it would be incredible if a professional mechanic left out those parts.

Most likely the guy did an OK job. Keep in mind that 99.9% of customers just want the shocks to work - they don't even understand what quality work looks like, let alone are prepared to pay for it. So, the mechanic has an incentive to get it done quick, and to heck with scratched paint, mismatched parts on the two sides, etc.

If you want it done right, do it yourself. Otherwise, this is the quality you're likely to get.
 

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X2! "If you want it done right, do it yourself. Otherwise, this is the quality you're likely to get." No offence but this is an Alfa and somethings should be done by the owner otherwise no real relationship develops, insert some appropiate Italian phrase here:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok so this is what my mechanic had to say.... :-(

I must preface his reply with my car has never been hit, 100% original faded 1978 paint, I am the second owner, always garaged rust free Bay area California car living in my heated Massachusetts garage....

Now for his reply....


Typical internet BS…!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The shock is installed correctly…when installed the 1st time their was ~1/8” gap at the top = not enough to put the black plastic cap on…I bounced the corner of the car & I herd a tapping & found the top was hitting the inner bottom of fender or what ever body part that is…so to be safe I cut off the top threaded rod as this side has less clearance vs the passenger…

Interesting how NONE of the internet “experts so they present themselves” offer up ANY of the suggestions or insight as to why I did what I did…hummmmmmmmmmmm…AND I DID NOT RUIN THE KONI…

OR WHY OR HOW THIS MAY HAVE BEEN = LESS CLEARANCE VS OTHER SIDE…or the body tweaked or the way the car was made or the shock removed also had to the best of my knowledge some of its threaded rod end removed…hummmmmmmmm



The internet is good, BUT, for those who don’t actually physically do the work = these internet self proclaimed armchair experts = they are zero’s in my book…a lot of “they say” = BS…talk to someone who actually performs the work = ME… EVERYTHING I get from the internet is just that someone elses trials & tribulations…who knows it could be a teenage kid that knows nothing other than other internet “they say …”…

Let me know what you think…I don’t have a single worry about the shock…if you want to persue it, try a body/frame alfa expert shop…

Oh, I also used ALL of the pcs that came w/ the shocks & I called where ever I got them & was told by the part selling “expert”, that what I received is all that I needed…

If you are uncomfortable with this or any future Alfa work to be done by me, I understand…it is your car…you do as you see best works for you…no offense on my part what so ever as I am 110%

confident in what I do on cars…this is also why it takes me longer than some to do the work as I thoroughly review a task before, during & after the task…

I am going to stop here…let me know if any q’s or such…
 

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... BUT, for those who don’t actually physically do the work = these internet self proclaimed armchair experts = they are zero’s in my book…a lot of “they say” = BS…talk to someone who actually performs the work = ME… …
My my, touchy !

As I wrote yesterday, I'm sure the shocks will perform OK. Cosmeticly, the job is a little rough, but if the mechanic had billed an additional hour to touch up the paint, most customers would have been irate.

Again, a pro will do a job like this in 30 minutes, and please 99.9% of his customers. An owner will take 2 hours, produce a thing a beauty that no one else will ever see, much less appreciate, but he'll please himself immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am still trying to make heads or tails of this...

I was just informed that if I ever had any warantee issues that Koni would not back the shock because of the way it was installed/cut...

UGH!
 

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the installer said:
Interesting how NONE of the internet “experts so they present themselves” offer up ANY of the suggestions or insight as to why I did what I did…
tifosi said:
Last two pix give every indication that he had to cut a bit off the stud to get clearance from the bodywork.
the installer said:
OR WHY OR HOW THIS MAY HAVE BEEN = LESS CLEARANCE VS OTHER SIDE…
tifosi said:
Because the bodywork above the stud on the left front shock had plenty of clearance while the bodywork on the right front above the stud did not
the installer said:
found the top was hitting the inner bottom of fender or what ever body part that is
Most car guys would recognize it as the engine bay side panel, or in parts book speak, the outer skirt panel. :shrug:

the installer said:
they are zero’s in my book
*whew* glad I didn't profess to be an expert or anything or I mighta been called out with the rest of you guys

reply is meant expressly in defense of myself, the rest of you know~nothing chairborne rangers can cover your own butts yourself :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Soooo....

Should I buy another Koni red in hopes I can have a different mechanic install it correctly? or do I leave this to irritate me for the rest of my ownership of this spider?

Maybe it is time for me to start drinking....

Thanks to all who shared their opinions.

Andrew
 

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....a pro will do a job like this in 30 minutes, and please 99.9% of his customers. An owner will take 2 hours, produce a thing a beauty that no one else will ever see, much less appreciate, but he'll please himself immensely.
Now THAT is the absolute dogma of the the Alfa True Believers! And the owner will also spend 5 hours online researching the 12 different ways to do the job, then invent a new one that is the best of everyone's input.

And we would ALWAYS touch up our boo-boo's!

:)
Robert
 

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A much more important question: What did he set the adjustable shocks at before installing them? They must be disconnected at least at one end and fully compressed to engage the adjusting mechanism. Generally, for our cars the fronts should be on middle to full firm, and the rears at full soft.

And if your mechanic thinks he knows better how to set them, he is either daft or his name is Santos.....

Robert
 

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Here is my take on this. IMHO, there is nothing "wrong" with how that shock was installed. I WISH the mechanic that had installed the Konis on my car had cut the top of the shaft off on that side. Instead, he used a hammer to clearance the body, making a mess. Even with that, it is royal PITA to get the cover off. Next time that I have it out I will probably cut the shaft myself, and fix the "damage" to the inner fender. This was done before I got the car, and now I do all the work on it. Heck, I would send you my uncut shock as a trade, but it is a couple of years old so you probably wouldn't want it.

Cutting the shaft is no big deal. It doesn't harm the function of the shock and will not cause it to fail or fall out. I sure wouldn't lose sleep over it. If push comes to shove, the only reason that Koni would have to not service the shock in the future is that if they rebuild it and give it to someone else, that customer may not like it. I can't see any reason they wouldn't rebuild it and return it to you. That is just MHO, as I have only had Koni service one set of shocks for me 15 years ago. Things may/probably have changed over the years.

Now it is off to the garage to pull my engine...

Steve
 
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