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Discussion Starter #1
Re: 86 gtv6 suspension question

Hello all,

I have a set of new Koni yellows (adjustable) for my 86 gtv6... would like to step up the suspension on my car a level or two to let it corner a little flatter but really need to keep the costs down.

Could anyone please advise what they consider the best way to do this while being frugal?

I understand that lowered and higher rate rear springs coupled with upgraded torsion bars would be ideal, but I'm not prepared for the expense/justification.

From my perspective, it seemed logical to:

1. Install the Koni's
2. Replace any worn/tired bushings accessible in the process
3. Lower the front end SLIGHTLY by means of the torsion bars (the rear is plenty low as is)
4. Repace the front and rear swaybars with upgrades from performatek

That should not come out to be too brutal of a shop ticket, considering I already have the shocks.

Any and all input/experience would be appreciated.

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Richard,
Your input and wealth of Alfa racing knowledge is always appreciated.

Yes, often modifications bring compromises...I'm not entirely sure lowering the car dramatically is a priority with this project, more so just want to decrease the body roll.

Out of curiosity, do you have a complete set of drop spindles available for sale? If so, how much?

I wish I lived in your neck of the woods, would be fun to drop by and chat.

What do you think of my proposed plan? Does that sound like a reasonable direction considering my cost sensitivity?

Any other input much appreciated by any and all.....

Thanks.
 

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Haven't been thru Richard's web site yet, but have seen mention of drop spindles for Alfettas/V6s on numerous threads. Don't see why they would be needed for a street car. As delivered, my Alfetta front was HARD against the rubber upper bump stop and the nose was pointed at the sky. I adjusted the torsion bars to make the car sit level and look like what I imagined a Euro version would be. No camber issues; the lower A arm is approx level with the ground.
Now if you are going to race the car and get it LOW, I can certainly see the need for drop spindles.
Am I missing something?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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If you just want to reduce body roll, replace the front sway bar. Start with this and the Koni yellows and I'll bet you'll be happy.

Did this on my Milano: went from the stock 22mm bar to a Verde 24mm bar with poly bushings. It was bolt-in without needing welding and stiffened the front roll by about 30%. If you've got a 20mm bar on the GTV6 (I can't remember when they switched...) a 24mm will be 70% stiffer.
 

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Adam,

you may want to take a look at this page from Greg, it has useful info: Performance

Yo may want to source good used parts to have a nice combo, front Milano verde bar with new poly bushes (as Gubi mentioned), some 25.4mm torsion bars, poly bushes on the caster arms, Watts bars, and where you can...

I have installed poly in the caster arms, watts bars, de Dion, and I feel the car much tighter (probably due to old worn bushes) and better through the turns. I still need to install my milano verde bar, the front and rear poly bushes for the sway bars, my 25.4mm torsies and matching springs and a set of shocks (koni or bilstein). My car now rides on 205-55-15 tyres:)
 

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Don't go too low. If you are keeping stock torsies, shoot for euro ride-height. The v6 cars bottom out really easily with the stock spring rate and roll even more when you lower them a lot due to the a-arm angle.

I lowered my gtv6 lower than euro height, installed a verde/platinum sway bar with shankle SS rear springs and the car still rolled like a pig. I think if it was higher it wouldn't have been as bad.

Have fun! Look at the thread, "Milano Gold in SLO"
Slyalfa used my idea to use mountain bike springs and made an effective kit for little bucks. I had an RSR setup to compare it to and it wasn't that far off the mark...
 

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Richard Jemison
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Drop spindles

The purpose of using spindle mods, isn`t only for lowering. Read the page. Alfa did it with the SC90 and with knuckle risers obn the GTAs.
Using large sway bars only increases understeer. Lowering with T Bar adjustments ruins the suspension geometry and reduces wheel travel.

I have two finished sets of lengthened (dropped) spindles.
One set .75 inch for stock wheels and one set 1 inch for 16 inch wheels or larger, either set $550.00 & shipping.
Below is pics of 1 inch dropped spindles in my GTV6. Note the amount of spindle below the stock rotors an indication of amount "dropped" or the amount spindle is raised above the ball joint.
 

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The one problem in your original post no one has mentioned is that the performatek swaybars are much too big for the stock springs and torsion bars (at least imo). For now you could just do what you said along with good tires and I think you would be happy for a while at least. if you decide to go farther you will want springs and torsion bars first, then a big front swaybar and decide if you even really want the big rear one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow. The spindles look good...and I'm sure they function as stated. Perhaps a little extensive for what my goals are (and budget allows). I am always intrigued with Richards expertise. Its also good to see you working on your street gtv6 project again, I think the last time we spoke you were in poor health.

Not sure I understand how larger swaybars would increase understeer. Would that not be more of a matter of what size bar on what part of the car? (front vs rear). Excuse my ignorance but I thought I had a decent basic understanding of how such tweaks responded.

Maybe this is just another example of how my limited budget is limiting my goals. Perhaps I'll just install the shocks (and replace any trashed out bushings)and drive it for awhile...then go from there.


Thanks again,
Adam
 

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If the car is rolling a huge amount, sway bars can help overall grip by keeping the car more upright, which then keeps the tires more perpendicular with the ground.

On a car that doesn't have much trouble with keeping the wheels close to perpendicular, sway bars can reduce grip overall because they force the inside wheels up off the ground.
 

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you aren't going to make much of an improvement without going to stiffer torsion bars and springs. Standard front bar is 20mm - get a 22 or 24 from a Milano and that will help to stop it falling over in tight turns, but make it a bit less pointy in fast turns (no such thing as a free lunch)
 

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I think Richard has understated the advantages of drop spindles.

By lowering the car via drop spindles, the cars centre of gravity is brought closer to the front roll centre height. This reduces the effective roll couple length and so gives less body roll for the given torsion bar and antiroll bar combination.

The second advantage is the greater gain in negative camber during bump. As the car does body roll, the outer front suspension gains more negative camber as it compresses and this helps reduce the outer front wheels move towards positive camber and understeer.

So even without adding any additional spring rate (Thicker torsion bars. But they are still a huge benefit) and reducing the independence of the front suspension with a thicker antiroll bar, you get more front end grip.
 

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Could anyone please advise what they consider the best way to do this while being frugal?
Frugal? If you've never changed ball joints or pulled torsion bars you will have to have it done for you. Price of a couple shocks is nothin'

How much do you want to spend and how much (if anything) can you do? Based on your 1-4 list, I would say your looking at a couple grand in labor minimum.

The labor is where you'll spend the money (or the hospital if you don't know what you're doing).

Easiest thing for you to do and something that just about anyone should be able to handle, is install your Yellows and go find a Verde front sway-bar for 50 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again for the input....

Yeah, it looks like at this point installing the shocks, PERHAPS lowering the front end slightly, and replacing the swaybar(s) is the way to go. I'll post a thread to see if anyone has a front Verde bar for sale.

If my mechanic sees any bushings that are just totally shot, I'll replace them at the same time (assuming the cost is reasonable). I would like to keep the shop bill at about $500 or less.
 

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Shocks- good idea and super easy.
Bigger sway bar-good and pretty easy.
Lowering front to non-US height-doable for a competent mechanic UNLESS the rear ends of the torsion bars are frozen in the mounts. MAJOR nightmare if they are frozen.
 

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That's an extremely well kept example of a GTV6 - particularily since it hails from Chi-town. He probably won't have any issues with frozen bars. Greg Gordon has an excellent article on how to do it without counting splines (which is what the Shop Manual says [and seemingly impossible]).

Since you have to bust a couple of ball joints to get in there, you'll have opprtunity to check bushings, ball-joints, tie-rod ends etc... Opportune time to replace any. I wonder how many hours the book says for front torsion bars?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just a quick update for you all....
Decided on a a frugal upgrade as intended with my suspension.
I purchased a complete set of rubber (yes, not poly) swaybar bushings for my (new)front and rear swaybars. Also picked up a 24mm front verde bar from A.P.E. for a very reasonable price. Will install the new bushings on the bars and the new Koni yellows and see how she does.
Also, if any bushings look too tired or 'blown out' during the install, will replace them as well on a case by case basis.
Will see if lowering the front end slightly is easy in the process but I really only want about a 1" drop or less.

Will post on my 'owner updates' thread after its all said and done with impressions.

Thanks again to you all for the insight/feedback.
Adam
 

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There are a bunch that would jump in and argue, but I think original bushings are superior than poly for the inner "A" arms. Top and bottom. Front swaybar drop links too.

Poly for the caster rods and swaybar-to-body is ok.

Watts link and swaybar in the rear is a different story. Poly all around IYAM. esp. on the drop links.
 
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