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Vin, I just got the Classic Alfa "stock" front springs today. They are about 12-1/4" free length.

Per CA these would be installed with a 7mm spacer to hit stock Europe ride height, though I've been learning ride height is more art than science so I'm expecting to have to do some iteration on the GTV :D

If your S4 is like mine and you put a deep pan on the right, 7mm spacer on the right and 14mm on the left makes it pretty dead level.
Gubi,

Thanks for getting back.

I think that my issue, mostly with the rear springs, is "Europe ride height" which I believe is lower than North America.

While the fronts are very close, the rear springs are 30mm (1 1/4" ) shorter from Classic Alfa. This is for S4 with hardtop.

I just have to decide what height I want in the rear.

Thanks again,

Vin
 

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My take is that Alfa made some interesting compensations for battery and fuel loads, plus the expected passenger loading.

For instance, the right, rear spring of a cast-iron 2000 roadster has a very thick spacer on top. It is common to see the right rear standing slightly higher than the left. However, the battery (originally a very large and heavy size) sits in that corner, along with the fuel tank. With a full tank, the car tends to sit level.

I wonder if the design loading for their cars, at least the convertibles and coupes, was a 170 lb man driving, and a 120 lb companion in the passenger seat?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Vin, I just got the Classic Alfa "stock" front springs today. They are about 12-1/4" free length.

Per CA these would be installed with a 7mm spacer to hit stock Europe ride height, though I've been learning ride height is more art than science so I'm expecting to have to do some iteration on the GTV :D
As an update, I installed these on the GTV today with 7mm spacers and it looks way high. It's like 26-1/2 to 27" at the front fender lip, and it's like 1/2" high in front at the jack points unloaded. I also refreshed the rubber which probably added a bit.

It was 25" with the original chopped sport springs + 10mm spacers, and that was a tad too low. I'm going to remove the 7mm shims and see how it goes.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Okay, pulled out the spacers and added a washer between the pan and arm on each bolt for good measure. It's now 26-1/4" left side, 25-3/4" right side and the lower arms are level. I'm gonna call it good.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I ordered the Eibachs from Classic Alfa.
I have ordered new Eibachs from Classic Alfa, with all spacers, rubber and metal seats front and rear. New Pirelli CN36 185 70X14 all around and a new steering box - the old one was leaking like crazy and Alfa Parts Exchange sent me a rebuilt unit. All the work gets done on Tuesday at John's Alfa Romance.

I am taking off the modern Michelin 195 70x14 the former owner had on the car. He thought that size "filled in the wheel wells better" even though they rubbed on the front left fender under compression. I'll address a few other little problems - I am hoping the car sits, rides and handles better than it did. I know the high front end is part of the design, I just want to flatten it out a bit. Thanks, everyone.
FOLLOW - UP
Bennie at John's Alfa Romance did the work and the car looks and rides much better. It is lower and I don't have a sump guard so I have to exercise some caution. One note: I did order the rear spacers with the new springs on Bennie's advice. They weren't cheap but they made all the difference. At a standstill, the car is level and looks better than the old "nose high" profile, handling is much more neutral and progressive, it corners flatter and it even rides better. All in: it was about $400 in parts (springs, rubber stops, metal tops and bottoms and spacers), $400 in labour and $650 for the tires from Lucas Classic Tires in Long Beach plus another $60 for mounting and balance. A wheel alignment ($100) and the project will be closed. It wasn't cheap, but it does look and drive better, at least I think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I ordered the Eibachs from Classic Alfa.


FOLLOW - UP
Bennie at John's Alfa Romance did the work and the car looks and rides much better. It is lower and I don't have a sump guard so I have to exercise some caution. One note: I did order the rear spacers with the new springs on Bennie's advice. They weren't cheap but they made all the difference. At a standstill, the car is level and looks better than the old "nose high" profile, handling is much more neutral and progressive, it corners flatter and it even rides better. All in: it was about $400 in parts (springs, rubber stops, metal tops and bottoms and spacers), $400 in labour and $650 for the tires from Lucas Classic Tires in Long Beach plus another $60 for mounting and balance. A wheel alignment ($100) and the project will be closed. It wasn't cheap, but it does look and drive better, at least I think so.
My dream of improving handling and balancing the ride height is now a nightmare! After $1,000s of parts and labor (new steering box (Alfa Parts Exchange), springs, tires, alignment, etc) I still have a problem. With the car stationary, there is a significant amount of "slack" or play in my steering. It is possible to turn the steering wheel an inch in either direction without feeling resistance and without the front wheels moving. It is difficult to have confidence in the car at speed and I am always sawing at the wheel to stay in a straight-ahead position. Is the steering box adjustable? Is it a bad box? Help me, please. I have owned this car for 5+ years and it has been rock solid, now every time I bring it in to fix one problem, two more pop-up!
 

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just my 3 cents..it is a older steering box,, wear and tear on it might not allow you to get all the play out of it, on my 84 spider i had some play in it, so i took it out of the car to replace the lower seal i was going to, replace the steering box oil with the correct oil, but decided to pump in red litium grease into the box. i could take more of the play out of the box..for me this works better, and my steering is very smooth. i also replaced the end links with qa1 5/8 rod ends with full rubber boots, so now the steering it VERY sharp.. have you checked your end links? ' frap ' end links dont last very long perhapes they are loose causing the play that you felt?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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My dream of improving handling and balancing the ride height is now a nightmare! After $1,000s of parts and labor (new steering box (Alfa Parts Exchange), springs, tires, alignment, etc) I still have a problem. With the car stationary, there is a significant amount of "slack" or play in my steering. It is possible to turn the steering wheel an inch in either direction without feeling resistance and without the front wheels moving. It is difficult to have confidence in the car at speed and I am always sawing at the wheel to stay in a straight-ahead position. Is the steering box adjustable? Is it a bad box? Help me, please. I have owned this car for 5+ years and it has been rock solid, now every time I bring it in to fix one problem, two more pop-up!
Might be best to start a new thread focusing on your specific issue.

What box do you have: Burman or ZF? If you have play in the box both can be adjusted but very different procedures. There aren't any new boxes AFAIK: did APE sell you a rebuilt box, or just a used pull?

First step should be to determine whether the play is definitely in the box. This can be a bit tough with the box in the car, but you want to determine how much play there is between the wheel and the pitman arm. Play anywhere in the steering linkage will show up at the steering wheel, and you don't want to overtighten the steering box.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
just my 3 cents..it is a older steering box,, wear and tear on it might not allow you to get all the play out of it, on my 84 spider i had some play in it, so i took it out of the car to replace the lower seal i was going to, replace the steering box oil with the correct oil, but decided to pump in red litium grease into the box. i could take more of the play out of the box..for me this works better, and my steering is very smooth. i also replaced the end links with qa1 5/8 rod ends with full rubber boots, so now the steering it VERY sharp.. have you checked your end links? ' frap ' end links dont last very long perhapes they are loose causing the play that you felt?
Thanks for this. I very much appreciate the advice. I will check with the mechanic about the end links. I think the original ones might still be in there. Right now the steering is smooth and light (a little too light for me) it is just the play in the system that doesn't give you a chance for any small corrections and to really feel the car's progress and position. It is really sapping my confidence steering a great handling little car.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Might be best to start a new thread focusing on your specific issue.

What box do you have: Burman or ZF? If you have play in the box both can be adjusted but very different procedures. There aren't any new boxes AFAIK: did APE sell you a rebuilt box, or just a used pull?

First step should be to determine whether the play is definitely in the box. This can be a bit tough with the box in the car, but you want to determine how much play there is between the wheel and the pitman arm. Play anywhere in the steering linkage will show up at the steering wheel, and you don't want to overtighten the steering box.

Hey Gubi. I am going to call Larry and see what he sent. He didn't have any more 105 steering boxes so he sent me one from a Spider (with the shaft attached). Is that a Burman or a ZF? Apologies for my ignorance. My old, original box was cracked and beyond repair, so I couldn't send it to Larry Jr. so a rebuild. I just took what Larry Snr had in stock - compromising originality. I appreciate the advice and will keep everyone posted. Thanks again. And happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Burman has a football shaped plate on the top held on with two bolts. ZF has an adjusting screw on the top with locknut.

He likely sent you a ZF, they're more durable. Those are adjustable for play via the screw, buuuuuut you gotta be careful doing it in the car because if you tighten it up too much that can wear the box. I've done the Burman adjustment in the car (it is non-trivial) but never a ZF so if that's your problem can't really help you there.
 

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Your mechanic should be easily able to zero in on where the problem lies, tho
your alignment shop would/should probably have spotted shot ball joints already.
Have you got ramps? With an assistant moving the steering wheel left and right in the ‘slop zone’, you should be able to climb under the car and trace along the chain from the steering box arm to assess where the steering wheel movement ceases being transferred to the wheels. Feeling as well as looking helps. If the steering box arm doesn’t move with the steering wheel, the slop is in there. If the arm moves, look to the balljoints and maybe the idler box.
I use Penrite semi-fluid steering box lube too. No drips.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Thanks to everyone, been super slammed at work, but hope to get to the issue this week.
I'll keep the thread posted.
 
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