Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have had my '91 spider for about a year and half now, and there's been an annoying issue since the day one - the ride height. I knew it's quite high at the rear, but never got to actually measure it until today. It's 5 cm (little less than 2 inches) higher at the rear when measured at front and rear edge of the side trim piece (cladding?). I always assumed that this is because of heavy duty rear springs to accept the weight of the stock hardtop (which I don't have) but now I really want to lower it down to the point the side sill bottom line is parallel to the ground... is it okay to cut the springs? BTW, I know that there's no extra rubber spring pad that I can remove.

Thank you,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Alfafalfa said:
Have you had anyone measure it with you sitting in the car? With a full tank of gas? and the spare tire?
It's still high even when I sit IN THE TRUNK (luggage compartment). The measurement I mentioned in the first post is taken when the I had full tank of gas and that infamously heavy phonedial spare in the trunk, along with some tool and stuff in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
How can you tell the car's height difference if you're sitting in the trunk? Add 150 lbs to the trunk and measure again. I'll bet it's at least an inch lower in back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Has any work been done on the rear end? ...like new shocks, bushings replaced, anything like that by you or a PO? It's possible that the rear trailing arm bushings were torqued while wheels were still up (unloaded). That could preload the rear suspension and cause the rear end to sit higher than it should. Not necessarily your problem, but...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
redalfalvr said:
Has any work been done on the rear end? ...like new shocks, bushings replaced, anything like that by you or a PO? It's possible that the rear trailing arm bushings were torqued while wheels were still up (unloaded). That could preload the rear suspension and cause the rear end to sit higher than it should. Not necessarily your problem, but...
I had the trailing arm bushings replaced and they were torqued with the tires on the ground. And as I stated in the first post, the rear has been higher ever since I purchased the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,789 Posts
I beg to differ regarding the prior post. Storing a car with the suspension hanging will not do anything to the springs! First of all the limit straps will maintain some tension on the spring. And even if the springs hung free, it would be no different than a set that had been stored on a shelf.

To answer your original question, you can cut the springs. On the rear, you will get about 1" of ride height change for each 3/4 inch of spring height change. But be aware, it will change the spring rate. Cutting the spring 3/4 inch will increase the rate.

Erik
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
genericwood said:
To answer your original question, you can cut the springs. On the rear, you will get about 1" of ride height change for each 3/4 inch of spring height change. But be aware, it will change the spring rate. Cutting the spring 3/4 inch will increase the rate.

Erik
Thanks Erik, but I want my rear to stay really soft... Should I get a set of lowering spring just for the rear? I know it does sound silly, but I really want to lower the rear of the car. Right now, it looks as if I need to have wide polished wheel (preferably Weld or Centerline:p ) with huge drag slick on it on the rear:( .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,789 Posts
Tiger, the only problem with buying another set of springs is that the ones available will all have a higher rate than stock. So you might be better off justing cutting yours down a little. You can do a Google search for an online "spring rate calculator" to calcuate the change in rate. You will need to input the number of active coils, the wire diameter, and the spring diameter to get the rate. When you cut the spring, you are simply decreasing the number of active coils. If the coils are currently 2 inches apart, you would be decreasing the number of coils by 1/2 when you cut them down an inch.

Erik
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,226 Posts
Just a thought. I had sports springs on my car but had the installer put spacers in to prevent the car getting too low. I have since had the original springs put back in (for comfort) and the fitter left the spacers in.
Result - car is too high, particularly at the back, probably by about 2 inches. I've left it for the time being but will get the spacers removed at some stage.

Could this have happened with your car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,195 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
First of all, thank you all for the input - I don't know which route I would take to lower the rear of my car yet, but I appreciate any opinion nonetheless.

Anglospider,
I assumed that the car is supposed to have those rubber spacers on the rear springs. Are you talking about the extra spacer, or the alfa-original one?

Thank you all again!!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top