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Modified a 74 Spider with Chasis stiffener, Koni Reds and Centerline Springs. Significantly lowered and was wondering if anyone uses or has any insight regarding the use of 10 mm aluminum spacers or equivalent to slightly fine-tune ride height? 10 mm is approx .4 inches so they might do the trick. Wondering about safety as well!!!

Thanks in advance for any comments!

JAKE
 

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I haven't used spacers on the front of an Alfa, but remember that due to the motion ratio, a 10mm spacer will raise the car more like 25-30mm. You can also fine tune the ride height (toward a lower stance) by spacing under the spring pan mounts with washers.

Erik
 

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Stock US-market spring spacers

My US-market '74 GTV came stock with 10mm aluminum spring spacers fitted in the spring pans.

I assume these were installed by the factory to raise the nose for US headlight height requirements. The car worked fine with these for over 30 years... so no safety concerns.

Of course, I've removed them and fitted shorter springs to lower the car.

George

'74 GTV
 

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Alfa used both specific weight class springs and spring shims in order to trim vehicles in all markets. Front spring shims came in four thicknesses from 3.5 - 10.5mm and the rear shims, also in four thicknesses, from 6.5 - 21.5mm.
 

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Different height front spring pans?

This reminds me...
My '74 GTV has slightly different height front spring pans on the left and right side. One is about 1/4" deeper than the other.

At first I figured the car had been repaired at some point with parts from different years. Did the spring pans change in specification over the years of the 105 chassis?

But I noticed the shallower pan (more spring preload) was fitted on the driver's side of the car. Could this be some clever way to balance the corner weights of the car, compensating for the weight of the driver? Is this a stock feature?

When empty, the car does sit a bit higher on the driver's side... especially noticable at the rear.
 

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gattia, yes this is a stock feature. when i put my new springs in i reversed the pans, and got the car weird looking, after i read here that the pans are a wee bit diff. i redid them, and got them closer, i used some washers on the spring pan( pass. side i think) to even out the front stance..i.e. got the top of the wheel well(fender) within 2-3 mm of each other,, wanted to have a nice leavle look to my car...
 

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George:
Good/correct observation. The driver's side spring pan is 38mm deep, the passenger side 48mm, for the corner weight reasons you surmised. On a race car, we'll spend a lot of time & effort with scales to corner weight the car in it's race trim, including driver.
Wil Painter
 

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Silly question:
Was/is there a rubber gasket that goes in the spring pan under the spacer if using one or under the actual spring itself if not using spacers? Or is it just metal to metal?
 

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Modified a 74 Spider with Chasis stiffener, Koni Reds and Centerline Springs. Significantly lowered and was wondering if anyone uses or has any insight regarding the use of 10 mm aluminum spacers or equivalent to slightly fine-tune ride height? 10 mm is approx .4 inches so they might do the trick. Wondering about safety as well!!!

Thanks in advance for any comments!

JAKE
Hi Jake,

I also put Koni reds / centerline springs my 74 Spider and used the 10mm spacers to raise the ride height. Didn't take any before measurements but am guessing that ride height is now just a little lower than stock (1/2"?). There are a couple of photos here (camera-phone quality, but you can at least get an idea):

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/showpost.php?p=350260&postcount=14

I certainly wouldn't want the car any lower and haven't run into any safety issues so would recommend using the spacers.

Cheers,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the post Jim. Car looks great!!!!

I know you used 10 mm spacers in the front.....what did you use in the back? I called Centerline yesterday and they said they didn't have anything for the rear.

Thanbks in advance for your reply.

JAKE
 

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Thanks, Jake. I didn't use any spacers in the back. My main concern was bottoming out the oil pan / guard in the front. And, as you indicated, I don't think any of the usual suppliers carry spacers for the rear.

Initially, the tail of the car looked a little low vs. the front, but I got used to the appearance. And some say that this setup improves handling by reducing oversteer:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/showthread.php?t=18169

I'm certainly no expert and rarely push it very hard, but do drive my car a lot on a variety of roads and am satisfied with the setup overall.

Regards,
Jim
 

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An Alfa tech bulletin of 5/70 mentions the maximum thickness for front spacers is 10.5mm. For rear spacers it's 21.5mm. Bulletin applied to all models. It was interesting that for any given model, there were springs of five load ranges apparently interchanged and the final height often determined by shims. 1750 "Saloons" specifically had front springs that varied and came with different part #s.
 

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Tangent Alert.

I've got spacers on the passenger's side lower A-arm, between the arm and the seat pan (On the 4 bolts that attach the pan). They are approx. 10mm.

I have not measured the depth of the pans, but is it possible that someone used a shallow pan with the spacers on that side?
 

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Thanks, Jake. I didn't use any spacers in the back. My main concern was bottoming out the oil pan / guard in the front. And, as you indicated, I don't think any of the usual suppliers carry spacers for the rear.

Initially, the tail of the car looked a little low vs. the front, but I got used to the appearance.
I also think that the rear looks too low on my Alfa, perhaps I'll get used to it as well. But does anyone know where spacers for the rear can be bought?? I don't think I've ever seen one before, how are they different from the front spacers?
 

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In addition to those rubber seats there are metal seats for the rear.

http://www.international-auto.com/images/originals/33501300-2.jpg

The standard suppliers in the USA all supply the same ones which are fairly thin, but thicker ones were available. I bought a pair on eBay. I think there is a similar (but rusty) pair up right now: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alfa-Romeo-Spider-Coil-Spring-Rings_W0QQitemZ360217772628QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item53dea70254#ht_500wt_740

Unfortunately, it still didn't lift the rear enough for me; I have centerline springs and the car is riding far too low in the back (knocked my tailpipe loose again recently). Haven't figured out what to do about it but it's driving me nuts.
 

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spacers

Modified a 74 Spider with Chasis stiffener, Koni Reds and Centerline Springs. Significantly lowered and was wondering if anyone uses or has any insight regarding the use of 10 mm aluminum spacers or equivalent to slightly fine-tune ride height? 10 mm is approx .4 inches so they might do the trick. Wondering about safety as well!!!

Thanks in advance for any comments!

JAKE
Apparently spacer to ride height change is not one-to one. After reading through all the suspension posts, I found reference to a 2 to one and a 3 to one change--meaning that spacer thickness either doubles or triples ride height change. I am in the process of rebuilding my spider front end and have the same question. Guess I'll put it back together without spacers and see what happens---Safety shouldn't be an issue as they come from the factory with spacers.
 
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