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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Ron Simons' dampers locked solid?

Hi all,

More tech support needed! Just fitting my Ron Simons suspension kit, and I'm a bit worried. I may be a complete muppet here, but the suspension appears to be rock solid. I noticed this when it first arrived (could not compress it at all even with full weight leaning on it), but thought that the forces at work under a car would soon sort it out.
Well I've bolted one side on, and I can jack the car up on that wishbone 'till it's clear of the stands, and the stuff does not compress one millimeter. Likewise I can remove the jack and the stuff does not extend an iota.
Surely there is something amiss here?
There's no point in fitting solid fronts I reckon....
Any of you guys who've fitted this stuff find any different?

Baffled,

Ed.

I should point out that it is just the dampers that are solid. I have removed the springs so they're not in the equation. Are the dampers locked in some way for transport perhaps?
What a waste of a day :-(
 

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Hey Bud,

Sorry about your trouble! Yeah - tough one - first-off on your header; Ron is a stand-up guy! Rest assured that he will right any wrongs that are within his power to do so!

As far as the setup; it is an amazing transformation once you get it set up just right however, some more info would be good here!

1) What car is this on?
2) What torsion bars do you run now?
3) What other mods have you done/are you doing simultaneously to the car?
4) What RSR spring-rates did you select for the front and rear?
5) Which particular RSR shocks do you have (adjustable, non-adjustable...?)
6) Are you experiencing the same problem on all four corners!?

So, as far as I know there is not a "shipping lock-out" on the shocks - good thought though!

Keep in mind that the RSR setup is quite a bit stiffer than what Alfa guys are normally used to! Don't look for the "perpetual sinking effect" of a Koni or a Bilstein (this is what distinguishes the RSR shock - it holds load mid-cornering and doesn't sag and sag and sink on you (like the Konis do for example!)

Also, adding the RSR setup to the existing ride-height of your car, will raise the nose about a inch! (The torsion bars have to be reset as a part of this installation!) In any case, on most cars that I see, you WANT to lower the car any way for more optimal handling!)

As you lower the car to the ground (from the center), what you would want at the correct settings is for the red rattle-springs/tender springs/retainer springs to j-u-s-t start to compress as the front wheels start to hit the ground and then JUST as they reach full compression (the red ones) and the flat red rings seat together, the car reaches full rest!) Then it is perfect!

IOW; the main gray springs are set to start working as soon as there is any further compression/load from either end and yes, it will feel firm! So, the torsion bars carry the load of the car and the coil-overs are ready to handle suspension inputs (some of which the torsion-bars will handle as well...)

Also, the RSR setup has its own bump-stops! Remove any rubber stops from the front and rear of the car! (At the rear they are way up in there...)

Make sure that the coil-overs aren't caught on the edges inside of the upper-control arm! Set you castor to where the coils are pretty much centered within the UCA opening. At first, keep the little RSR foot-bracket at the base of the coil-over (where it mounts to the lower control-arm) loose - it gives you some adjustment in order to reach full castor set! Set as much castor while allowing the coils to still clear at the top (by moving the mounting at the base on the LCA before tightening it there...

If you have the time and the opportunity to do so, remove the UCAs and open up that hole a bit, smooth out the edges and paint/coat them! Re-assemble them with a poly inner-kit or with stock but new bushings up there!

What else? How's the rear!?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
first-off on your header; Ron is a stand-up guy! Rest assured that he will right any wrongs that are within his power to do so!
Jeepers! Yeah absolutely! By my header I meant "Should the RS suspension seem solid" Apologies of course to Ron if it was interpreted in any other way. I see now how it could be, so my mistake.

some more info would be good here!
1) What car is this on?
European 75 2.0TS LE
2) What torsion bars do you run now?
Standard...
3) What other mods have you done/are you doing simultaneously to the car?
Full RS suspension front and rear. Already have Ron's anti-roll bar up front. At the same time I got his brake-pad set which I'm dying to try, so I also have new discs to go on all round. I'm lookin to do the lower arm bushes (I have already poly-ed the upper ones), and, just to cap it all I'm also fitting a re-built transaxle!:eek:
4) What RSR spring-rates did you select for the front and rear?
Ron's own recommendation of 100 (front) & 50 (rear)
5) Which particular RSR shocks do you have (adjustable, non-adjustable...?)
Non-adjustable. I honestly didn't know he also did adjustable dampers.
6) Are you experiencing the same problem on all four corners!?
This is what has me worried that I'm missing something _very_ basic. All four dampers seem to me to be locked solid! As I said, I can jack the car off it's axle stands using the wishbone and see _no_ compression of the damper, and no extension when I release the jack.
The dampers (all four) just seem to be locked solid, so obviously I'm thinking that I have missed something obvious, like perhaps they can be locked in position for transport or something....

Thanks a million for all the help in that reply, and once again I must re-itterate that I am not in any way intending to impune Ron. I have at all times found him to be a pleasure to deal with, and tolerent of my occasional brain-fades. As a matter of fact he has already emailed me personally to help find my problem. I really suspect the fault lies rather with me, that's why I was posting here, as I know a load of you guys have used this stuff and might recognise the symptoms....

So to summarize, all four dampers appear to be solid. I cannot budge them in compression or extension, which just seems wrong. At present the fronts would require the suspension to be under compression before they could be fitted, and the torsion bar is not strong enough to extend them....

So apologies again to Ron, my thanks to you for your help, and am I misunderstanding something very basic about this whole setup?

Best regards,

Ed.
 

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It's all good bud - I see now what you meant - figured it was something like that...

What did Ron suggest?

I am headed to the shop now (just want to finish watching the last 6 laps of F1 - looks like it is finally some love for my boy Kimi!)

I'll go check what our other stock pieces are like... (Honestly never tried pushing down on one!)
 

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Ed,

Haven't installed an RSR suspension, so can't help you there... It's on the list for the Verde nonetheless. :D About the thread title, you can revise it, just as you can edit any post...

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Observations & _more_ questions

Hi all!

Turns out that I was just too cautious of my baby. The RS dampers are practically solid, and that's the way they're meant to be!

Here are my observations on the job.
Firstly, the front coil-overs are not in Alfa's original design intentions. Your car knows this and will try her damnest to make the job as arkward as possible :)
The most disconcerting aspect for me was the total loss of all droop from the suspension; the wishbone needs to be jacked right up just to make the coil-overs fit at all. Once you accept that then it's straight-forward.
You will need to adjust the castor, so why not take off the castor arms and renovate them while you're at it? I had NOS items so they went on anyway.
Helper springs on top give a little more space for fitting them. (photo 1)

Questions:
Why does Ron offset the damper mounting to the rear with the little mounting bracket? This in turn forces you to use more castor... Just wondering...
Should there be a left and a right mounting bracket? Both of mine were the same. This meant that the right front is well clear of the steering arm (which is good), but the left front is dangerously close on full lock (photos 2 & 3) probably explain better than words..
This also means that the coil-overs are working differently on either side. Is this as it should be?
How the heck do you get a torque-wrench at the rearward mounting bolt with the damper in place?

Thanks for all the help,

Ed
 

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They should mount symmetrically, i.e. a left and a right bracket - easiest is probably to call Ron.
Jes
 

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Hi all!Questions:
Why does Ron offset the damper mounting to the rear with the little mounting bracket? This in turn forces you to use more castor... Just wondering...

Ed
You're thinking backwards, the damper is offset because you want to have more caster. More caster is good for you. :)
 

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Can you guys give some more details about this suspension, looks trick as, and where does it come from?? :)
 

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Fabcrab check out: http://www.alfaromeo-performanceparts.com/shop/ or just do a BB search for RSR and you should get quite a few discussions on it.

It looks like the lower bracket in the 3rd picture should be turned around so the force from the spring/shock goes in a straight line to the mounting bolts. As opposed to trying to twist the bracket. But then it wouldn't clear in the UCA anymore so you probably need a diff. bracket.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They should mount symmetrically, i.e. a left and a right bracket - easiest is probably to call Ron.
Jes
Ah-ha! As I suspected (but I'm just getting used to being wrong so I thought I'd double-check).
Also found this photo on JJ's thread which proves you/me right.
You're thinking backwards, the damper is offset because you want to have more caster. More caster is good for you.
Thanks Mats, that's what I was wondering.
It looks like the lower bracket in the 3rd picture should be turned around so the force from the spring/shock goes in a straight line to the mounting bolts. As opposed to trying to twist the bracket. But then it wouldn't clear in the UCA anymore so you probably need a diff. bracket.
You got it in one Scott, If I reverse the bracket, no way will it fit.

Thanks all,

Ed.
 

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Ed, looks like you have two right-hand bottom brackets FOR SURE!

When they sit on the arm, the offset should be to the REAR on BOTH sides (IOW - the longer extended "foot" should be to the front of the bracket on BOTH sides AND the "tilt" should be INWARD on BOTH sides!)

You have two rights there...
 
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