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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

I recently heard a rumor that if you want to improve the handling of a GTV6 or a Milano, one of the recommended options was to swap out the 'bearing/bushing' on the deDion triangle from the SZ model. The rather ugly, limited edition (300, or so), model that replaced the GTV6 for a couple of years.

I have a feeling I may not have all my details correct, in the above. So, for now I'm thinking that may be at the pivot point at the forward-most point of the deDion triangle, at the center of the car.

If I haven't made myself too unclear... can anyone tell me if those might still be available, and where I might find one? And don't be afraid to set me straight if I got some details wrong.

No particular rush on my part. Could be a couple of years before I get my 24v 3.0 conversion ready to install. But if I'm going thru all the details in rebuilding my project GTV6... that upgrade sounds within my budget.

Thanks in advance,
Peter in Vermont
 

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You got it all pretty much right. Except of course for the SZ being ugly :) . I rather like the SZ.

Anyway, there are two different types of uniball bearings for the front of the SZ tube. As far as I know, no vendor sells both types. The higher priced units are the actual SZ parts made in Switzerland. I have used both, and they are both great.

Installation is the tricky part. You will need a press, and it takes a lot of careful work by hand with emory cloth to get the clearances just right. If it's too hard to press in the bearing will squeak and creak all it's life. Too loose it will clunk. Just right, it will perform perfectly all it's life and you will never know it's back there in normal driving.

Greg,
Silicone Hose Kits
OKINJECTORS.COM
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You got it all pretty much right. Except of course for the SZ being ugly :) . I rather like the SZ.

Anyway, there are two different types of uniball bearings for the front of the SZ tube. As far as I know, no vendor sells both types. The higher priced units are the actual SZ parts made in Switzerland. I have used both, and they are both great.

Installation is the tricky part. You will need a press, and it takes a lot of careful work by hand with emory cloth to get the clearances just right. If it's too hard to press in the bearing will squeak and creak all it's life. Too loose it will clunk. Just right, it will perform perfectly all it's life and you will never know it's back there in normal driving.

Greg,
Silicone Hose Kits
OKINJECTORS.COM
Thanks Greg,

Sorry if I touched a nerve on the SZs styling. We all have different tastes. A very good friend of mine, from design school, was the head of design at FIAT/ALFA around that time. He and I were discussing the SZ over coffee one day. There were two designers involved in the styling. The one who got the major credit on the exterior styling, was famous for dragging everyone in sight to come admire his creation. The other designers on staff would usually walk away, smiling and shaking their heads.

Anyway, it sounds like I might be over my head in accomplishing the bearing upgrade. There are two ALFA mechanics where I live... I'll ask if either has ever had an experience with that task. One used to race a GTV6, so I might start there. Otherwise, I guess I can live with the stock setup.

In case I feel comfortable in trying that, can you recommend a source to find those? What kind of $$ are we talking on the higher priced ones?

There are things you want to hear, and things you need to hear. Your reply falls under the second, I guess. :- )

Thanks again, Peter
 

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Nope, it didn't touch a nerve at all, I am just saying I like the styling. Everyone has differences of opinion on appearances. It's why we don't all go after the same women, and why I sell seven different colors of vacuum line.

I haven't bought one in a while, but the lower cost source, last I checked was Group2 inc. I don't remember the exact price, but you can call them. The official swiss made part from the bigger vendors is quite a bit more. There are various parts, it's not just the bearing, there is an adapter, retaining ring and a couple spacers.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Point well taken on not all of us pursuing the same woman! In the design class I teach, I hit the students with a bunch of product images projected on the wall (flash card style). Those are a mix of shapes that are sexy, boring, over-styled, and down right ugly. They are instructed to express their reactions to each, with a thumbs-up/ thumbs down/ or a waggle of the hand meaning 'Ih'. If they really hate it, they can go 'Pffft!'. If they really like it, they can go 'Yeehaw!'. Then I asked them if they noticed that there was very little agreement in their individual responses. The lesson being that it's hard to get two people to agree on what's beautiful.

The only images that consistently get a standing ovation are the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, and the Ducati Monster. From my experience in the industry, a design that gets high marks here in the US, may not fly in Europe. Thanks for taking my remark in the spirit it was intended.

And thank you for the extra input on the bearing and conversion difficulties. I now know much better about how I should approach this detail when I get to that point of my rebuild.

Cheers,
Peter
 

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There was an article in one of Alfa related publications under " the son of SZ ". It had all the diagram and step by step procedure of doing this conversion. Somewhere in my pile and pile of paper i might have a copy of it. If i remember, the conversion also calls for some modifications to be done to the front suspension from parts coming from 105 series. In any case i got my SZ kit from Alfa parts way back and they still might have some. Good luck......Alfalfa53
 

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A few years back IAP stocked the SZ bushing and bits. I dont see it offered any longer but you might enquire of them and John Norman's Alfa Parts as mentioned. John had them back in the day. I've heard of a poly bushing there too. Might be a good compromise if the SZ proves too expensive or NLA.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks alfalfa and Renaldo,

Great tips! I'll certainly include those thoughts as I get closer to making that decision. Should you stumble across that article in the future, I'd be happy to pay you for a copy. Might make what would sound frightening, to someone green like me, and encourage me to pursue that.

Cheers,
Peter
 

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Howdy,

The rather ugly, limited edition (300, or so), model that replaced the GTV6 for a couple of years.

Thanks in advance,
Peter in Vermont
I have bought up the entire planets stock of these bearings... I will not be selling one to you Peter...

 

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I have bought up the entire planets stock of these bearings... I will not be selling one to you Peter...
LOL. Never call a man's wife or his car ugly.
 

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Before you make the plunge, you should also consider that the SZ bushing makes more noise than the stock one. For a track car, that might be fine, but for a street car you may not be happy.

I've used poly bushings and feel that they are a pretty good compromise. Just something for you to consider.

bs
 

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early style, late style

Peter,

You may find these images helpful. And FYI: the last new one that showed up on eBay went for around $250. Used one went for $220 or so (from memory). Not cheap. But, they last forever.

Earlier "kit" was 3 pieces: center pivot piece (w/ integral spacers), spacer/carrier, retaining ring.

Later "kit" was 5 pieces: center pivot bearing, spacer/carrier, x2 spacer collars, retaining ring.

Also - check your PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm not sure if I can actually make amends in full... but I will try.

My deepest apologies to anyone whose design sensibilities I may have offended with my insensitive remark on the lines of the SZ. That car was definitely an improved mechanical iteration of what the GTV6 would have been, had they continued it beyond 1986-'87. As there may have been only around 300 SZs produced in total, each remaining specimen should be valued and protected.

I've never walked around one in the flesh, so I might easily revise my assessment if I saw one in 3D. In fact, I'm not sure if any of those made it to this shore, or not. The pic of the example from England shows that someone has taken very good care of theirs... and thus, must love it!

I do regret my comment, and will be more careful in the future. I hope alfaSZ, in the UK, can forgive me over time and go back and add a smiley-face to his post.

As suscintly stated above... never 'dis' another man's car or his wife! Greg Gordon and alfaSZ quite like the styling. That's a 2:1 vote in favor of the SZ styling... so that in itself, hopefully, dismisses my insensitive comment to a state of historical irrelevance.
 

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If only you had said, as one journalist put it, 'beautifully ugly'...

There were actually just under 1000 SZ's produced and were loosely based on the 75 (IMSA) rather than the GTV6.

I have released my stock of bearings to the world....

Regards,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
If only you had said, as one journalist put it, 'beautifully ugly'...

There were actually just under 1000 SZ's produced and were loosely based on the 75 (IMSA) rather than the GTV6.

I have released my stock of bearings to the world....

Regards,
Steve
Hi Steve,

Hopefully, my sincere apology has been accepted. I've apologized to you and Greg, personally... Plus, to all of ALFAdom. Hope I am no longer on your s**t list!

Cheers,
Peter
 

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Before you make the plunge, you should also consider that the SZ bushing makes more noise than the stock one. For a track car, that might be fine, but for a street car you may not be happy.

I've used poly bushings and feel that they are a pretty good compromise. Just something for you to consider.

bs
The SZ bearing doesn't make one bit of noise unless it too loose and clunking or too tight and binding. In either case, it's an installation issue.

Greg
 

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The SZ bearing doesn't make one bit of noise unless it too loose and clunking or too tight and binding. In either case, it's an installation issue.

Greg
Perhaps I should rephrase. The SZ bearing transmits more noise from the suspension into the chassis. (The poly ones do too, although to a lesser degree).

It's a metal piece with no damping, right?

I've only ever driven one car with that piece installed, and it was a long time ago.

bs
 

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Hmm, I don't know, in normal driving I honestly can't tell which bearing is back there. Perhaps I am just insensitive to nvh. Then again, I do have a customer who notices everything, and his wife doesn't like noise. I have never heard negative comments from them about it.

I have used the poly bushing as well, but I think it's by far the worst of the three options. It just doesn't seem to work well in that locations.

Greg
 
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