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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 1973 Berlina 2000, with a modified engine and very stock suspension. The car sat up at US regulation height and the shocks were toast. Last week-end I replaced the "still" original shocks and springs with new items. I used the yellow road springs from Centerline with Koni 'red' shocks. The shocks were set about in the middle of the range of adjustability. The rear springs from Centerline had the rear end a bit too low and these were changed to yellow spider springs which were about 1.5 coils taller. That did the trick.

The car is lower by about 2.5" in front and 2" in the rear. What is really amazing is the ride and handling are transformed. The car retains a suppleness close to the original, but more controlled, and the handling is terrific. Sorry I don't have any before pic's that are any good and haven't taken any after pic's yet. Truth is, I don't know how to upload them anyway. I'd like to hear about others experience with suspension mods.
 

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Some people disconnect the rear sway bar when stiff springs are fitted. It reduces the inevitable throttle oversteer.
 

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I haven't flogged it yet, so I'll see how performs when pushed. If it gets a little tail happy I'll try your suggestion. It' funny, I expected a firmer ride with the changes, but it feels fairly compliant. Not complaining about that as I didn't want it to feel too stiff. Thanks for the tip.
 

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My track Super came with the rear sway bar disconnected and was very tail-happy. I reconnected it, sorted out some other things, find it more neutral. Each car has to be judged on its own merits though, due to condition, springs, power, shocks, weight distribution, driving style.

For rough roads you might want the rear shocks softer. Sounds like the car is in the ballpark though.

Send me a PM and I'll describe how to upload pics; it's not hard.

Andrew
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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Good info, thanks for sharing. I'm just about ready to hang my dif and was exploring springs.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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did you end up using the early or later spider yellow springs? Is it the early springs that have more coils but are a little free length shorter than the later springs? Thanks
 

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The early Centerline springs are 14.25" free length and 144 lb/in - my measuremets and calculated spring rate. The later ones are reportedly 13.5" and 185 lb/in. When loaded they result in very similar lengths - within 1/4" for an early S2 Spider. Heavier cars will result in a bigger difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ed's right on here, I used the early springs and was told these were the same as the one's for the stepnose. The expertise for this job came from Santo and Anthony Rimicci and many thanks to them.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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The way I'm reading this is the ride height is higher with the early springs vs the later springs?

"The rear springs from Centerline had the rear end a bit too low and these were changed to yellow spider springs which were about 1.5 coils taller. That did the trick."

I think my best course of action is to first cut the stock springs I have and if that doesn't work ride height wise then try the early springs.
 

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The way I'm reading this is the ride height is higher with the early springs vs the later springs?
It depends upon the weight of the car. The longer springs will give a higher ride in a light car and the heavier springs will give a higher ride in a heavier car. The early springs made my Spider ride about 1/4" lower than the IAP red springs which are similar to the Centerline late springs.
 

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A rear sway bar should make the car more 'tail happy' not more neutral.
Exactly. More front swaybar increases understeer and more rear swaybar increases oversteer.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I like a little oversteer, just enough to let the throttle come into play especially since it has inherent understeer and is a rear wheel drive car. This is the Alfa forum, right? :)
he had them on the same car so that's where I was at on ride height, different springs, same car, same weight.
 

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I like a little oversteer, just enough to let the throttle come into play especially since it has inherent understeer and is a rear wheel drive car. This is the Alfa forum, right?
You definitely do not want oversteer on corner entry! The racers can explain this better than I can, I am sure. You set up with a little corner entry understeer because you cannot tolerate oversteer there. You probably want a little corner exit oversteer so that you don't push to the outside of the track when you are getting on the power but you don't want so much that the car wants to spin when you get on the gas. The important thing is that the car is balanced and to achieve that you need to understand the effect of more or less sway bar on either end of the car.

The LSD axle also influences the behavior of the rear end. A higher % lockup will reduce oversteer and a worn out LSD will increase it. This may be part of my problem as my Spider LSD has not been rebuilt in 35 years. I have a rebuilt one in my spare 4.1 axle and I may decide to install it now that I have a lot more power. My GTV6 has an RJ rebuilt LSD and it is working fine. I used to have a Verde swaybar on the front and the rear bar disconnected. I then installed the rebuilt transaxle and a 27mm front swaybar and I reconnected the rear bar. The car handles well but the rear still steps out if I give it moderate throttle coming out of corners and I am considering disconnecting the rear bar again.

For the record I have dropped spindle uprights on both cars.
 

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71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
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I wasn't aware I said that. I guess I'll respond like I didn't read that because it sounds like mine aren't. Every car is different but it's common knowledge Alfas have inherent understeer for the second time. We are dealing with tire pressures and a host of other variables so it is really impossible to make blanket comments on how one does or doesn't enter a corner. Is it off camber, how hard did you just brake? Bla , bla, bla, all that being said I personally prefer a slight tendency towards oversteer rather than scrubbing off speed into a corner unless of course the turn lends itself to scrubbing off speed, some do some don't. Again it's style, after all how can 911's be so fast through a turn, I rest my case, I'm done here. I'll figure out springs somewhere else.
 

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it's common knowledge Alfas have inherent understeer for the second time.
They like all other road cars have corner entry understeer and there is a good reason for that. But get on the power too soon coming out of a corner and you will have more oversteer than you can handle - at least with the kind of power that you and I have. If you want the rear to stick when you get on the gas you want a number of things to happen. One of them is weight transfer to the rear. Soft springs help with that, just like they will help with braking when you want weight transfer to the front. I rode around Sebring in RJ's Spider - he was driving and I was amazed at how well the rear stayed planted coming out of the hairpin. True he was running much stickier tires than my road tires but he also had a lot more torque. My Spider would have spun out if I had stepped on the gas like that. At that point I saw the light and since then I have been making changes to make my car handle more like his.
 
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