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Discussion Starter #1
and I'm not as happy as I think that I should be. Still to much cushy cushy. I installed the rears first, set them to a half-turn from full soft, and noticed right away that there wasn't much difference in rear bounce when pressing on the trunk. I drove, but didn't notice much difference from stock. I installed the fronts and adjusted them to one full turn from full soft, and took another drive.

Well, they do improve the ride- way better over the local crappy roads and light rail tracks- that's pretty cool. But it hasn't done enough to address my brake dive issues...I *think* the nose doesn't dive as much when I brake now, but it's still too much for my taste. And the rear squats when I get on the gas aggressively and front comes up a bit...I'm not used to this, and solved it in my BMW 320i when I installed Billsteins...

Would stiffer springs help? Do they make stiffer springs with stock ride height? This ride is low enough- I'm 6'1"...:001_rolleyes:
 

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A half-turn from full-soft isn't very much of a difference---as you've discovered. The nice thing about Konis is that they have quite a lot of adjustment range. I suggest that you keep tightening the front shocks until you can feel the kind of difference you're looking for. As for the rears, the received wisdom is that Alfas tend to handle better with softer shocks in the rear.

As you suspect, lowering your car presents it's own sets of problems. Late spiders, however, have softer suspensions with taller ride heights than the earlier cars so you've undoubtedly got some wiggle room. (Personally. I think the lower earlier cars look better.) Replacing springs will be your next step if you aren't happy with what you have. Keep in mind that the aftermarket springs are performance springs and therefore substantially harder (especially in the front) as well as lower than stock. If you want to add lower/harder springs, various vendors have well-tried kits that are reasonably priced.
 

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Konis and sport springs improved the nose dive of my Spider dramatically. There will be a definite increase in the stiffness of the ride. Mine would bottom out hitting the pavement with the engine guard regularly. After the shocks and Konis I have never "touched down" in the several years since I installed them. The stiffness has been very worthwhile for improvement in the ride in my case. I used the Centerline sport springs.
 

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I think you're headed in the wrong direction.

Shocks, by design, provide very little resistance in compression. The majority of their work is in rebound. Tightening a Koni can actually add to the delay in the front or rear rising back to static ride height.

Ride "stiffness", if that's what you want, comes from the springs, not the shocks. Sure, there is some resistance in compression from the shocks, but it's a tiny contribution compared to the springs.

Based upon your comments and what it sounds like you're seeking, I would install stiffer springs and return the Konis to full soft.
 

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The majority of their work is in rebound. Tightening a Koni can actually add to the delay in the front or rear rising back to static ride height.
Really? I thought adjusting Konis tightened jounce and not rebound?
 

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Koni Classics' adjustment is for rebound only.
 

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Many years ago I did a fair amount of work with Koni to improve the volume of sales through our company. This included tours and training at the factory in northern Virginia. Fascinating stuff.

Anyway, the adjustment feature of the standard Konis is to restore function due to wear. The standard valving has some damping force during compression, but much more during rebound. Tightening the adjustment will stiffen both compression and rebound, but much, much more on the rebound side than compression.

Shock absorbers are not intended to absorb shock. They function as dampers against spring oscillation. A new shock will not significantly resist bouncing down down on a fender. It will, however, slow the rebound and eliminate oscillation after the bounce.



Really? I thought adjusting Konis tightened jounce and not rebound?
 

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I thought adjusting Konis tightened jounce and not rebound?
The simple function of the shocks is to control un-sprung weight. This includes jounce and rebound. We sometimes forget that all cars have a suspension system. Just replacing one component of the system may or may not lead to the desired results.
 

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and I'm not as happy as I think that I should be. Still to much cushy cushy. I installed the rears first, set them to a half-turn from full soft, and noticed right away that there wasn't much difference in rear bounce when pressing on the trunk. I drove, but didn't notice much difference from stock. I installed the fronts and adjusted them to one full turn from full soft, and took another drive.

Well, they do improve the ride- way better over the local crappy roads and light rail tracks- that's pretty cool. But it hasn't done enough to address my brake dive issues...I *think* the nose doesn't dive as much when I brake now, but it's still too much for my taste. And the rear squats when I get on the gas aggressively and front comes up a bit...I'm not used to this, and solved it in my BMW 320i when I installed Billsteins...

Would stiffer springs help? Do they make stiffer springs with stock ride height? This ride is low enough- I'm 6'1"...:001_rolleyes:
I switched to IAP red springs and they do result in a stiffer ride with less body roll and nose dive than stock. As you read in my other thread, with gas kyb shocks, the handling was very good, but ride was harsh. I also posted my ride height, and I don't believe that it was lowered by the stiffer springs. Check them against yours, I'd be interested to know. I did leave the spacers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is all good stuff! My Alfa is def. responding differently to new shocks than my BMW's do. I've decided to live with it for a few weeks and see. I would like that body roll and brake dive to subside, though.

84FLVeloce, did you install the 'stock' replacement springs that IAP offers?
 

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I have a set of Konis classics (red) which I intend to install shortly. Please educate me in the adjustment proceedure. If you turn them colockwise (or counter clockwise) which way starts me off at full softness? Then which way adds stiffness? How many turns are there between full softness and full stiffness? What would be the best setting front and rear for adverage city driving? This is for an 88 Quad spider.

Thanks, in advance, Robert
 

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Mine are set full soft rear and fronts one turn from full soft.
 

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I generally recommend (as does Koni) to install them at the factory setting of full soft. Shocks have little to no effect on dive and roll.

Dive is a function of chassis geometry and spring rate. Roll is a function of these two items plus anti-roll bars.

The goal of shocks (dampers) is dampen the spring vibration.

Think about it this way.... If you driving a go-kart with no springs at all, and hit a bump, the wheel is bounced up off of the road, losing contact and causing the kart to do funny, unpredictable things. If you introduce the right spring, hitting the bump causes the tire to ride up and over the bump while staying in contact with the road, and the chassis of the kart is not much upset. However, the tire and suspension will oscillate up and down unless it is dampened by..... the shock absorber.

If you install a pair of shocks that are very stiff in compression, then roughness is transmitted instantaneously to the chassis, and things lose their composure. This is why good suspension design is all about achieving the right compromise for the intended driving conditions.

My Montreal had all sorts of irritating behaviors until I installed the Alfaholics springs and roll bar. No more dive and very little roll. However, I wish it wasn't so harsh on city streets. I will probably remove the Billsteins that came with the car and install good old Konis. This should transmit less road harshness to my butt while keeping the better manners and road holding of the stiffer springs and bar.
 

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This is all good stuff! My Alfa is def. responding differently to new shocks than my BMW's do. I've decided to live with it for a few weeks and see. I would like that body roll and brake dive to subside, though.

84FLVeloce, did you install the 'stock' replacement springs that IAP offers?
I used the performance springs...

61024 hiFront & Rear Performance Spring Set, for a 1983 Alfa Romeo Spider $229.00

Wow, I should never look at my order history from IAP again. .. there is an auto total at the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I used the performance springs...

61024 hiFront & Rear Performance Spring Set, for a 1983 Alfa Romeo Spider $229.00

Wow, I should never look at my order history from IAP again. .. there is an auto total at the bottom.
LOL yes there is! At least never look at it when the significant other walks into the room. "are you planning on spending much more on that car?" :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a set of Konis classics (red) which I intend to install shortly. Please educate me in the adjustment proceedure. If you turn them colockwise (or counter clockwise) which way starts me off at full softness? Then which way adds stiffness? How many turns are there between full softness and full stiffness? What would be the best setting front and rear for adverage city driving? This is for an 88 Quad spider.

Thanks, in advance, Robert
Rob, as I have just learned, the ride feeling is totally subjective. Too bad we have to take the shocks out to re-adjust them...I'm happy but for the body roll and see-saw motion of the car, which is probably just something I need to get used to. It's actually probably not that bad. I don't want to lower, as it's hard enough for me to get in and out of this go-cart as it is.

I will say this about the reds- the rears have a rubber bumper inside that you have to take out before you can adjust them. Extend all the way, and poke a small screw driver in one of the two holes on top, and you can smack the tube until the rubber bumper falls down; then remove it to adjust. Don't forget to put it back in! They come adjusted full soft, fully CCW. Turn clockwise to firm up. You should make a mark on the outside of the shock to aid in rotation; there's no detent. Have fun, you will be on the floor, so clean up the old muck first :thumbup:
 

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LOL yes there is! At least never look at it when the significant other walks into the room. "are you planning on spending much more on that car?" :oops:
Every time I order another part for my Alfa, my wife says "I thought you promised you were through spending money on that junk heap". Point of fact, one is NEVER through spending money on an Alfa!

Robert
 

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Love can cost. I checked my IAP account and , one thing for sure, I love my Alfa!:thumbup:
 
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