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Discussion Starter #1
The seats, and carpet have been removed, but drivetrain is installed. It sat this high even with all of the interior in place. This is a Euro car.
 

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Way too high...
There must be something wrong.
And it has nothing to do with Europe.

(Maybe you have a optically downgraded, too light GTA Body?)
 

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It's hard to put the suspension springs in wrong, so it looks like someone put the wrong height springs in your car. If it were mine the first step I'd take would be to cut 2 or 3 coils out of each spring, reinstall and see if the right height is OK. Starting with that too-high ride height, cutting coils will eventually get your to a height that you like. Alternatively you can order a suspension spring kit from one of the Alfa parts suppliers and install that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ride height issue

Thanks for the suggestions. The PO had some bodywork done in Canada. Nothing was mentioned about changing springs. If I cut the coils off, wouldn't that stiffen the ride or change the handling characteristics? Perhaps the best thing to do would be to install new stock springs.
 

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Be careful cutting springs. Many people do it, but it does increase the rate, ie stiffen the coil, which may not be what you want.
Also if you increase the rate, you would need better dampers to control the rate increase.
If you don't require a firmer ride, then a set of stock springs is your answer.
Steve
 

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Bruce:

Hmmm - it does look like it's set up to compete in a monster truck bash.

What size wheels and tires does it have? If they are smaller than stock diameter that can make the wheel wells look empty. I suspect that's not the case here because the whole body really looks high.

I'd also check to see that the springs aren't shimmed way up. The shims go below the springs in the spring pans in front. In the rear a thicker top spacer is used.

How high are the top of your wheel arches on the centerline with the wheels? Many of us shoot for about 25 inches there to optimize the trade off between ground clearance and handling.

Good luck with it! Let us know what you find.
Bob Stewart
73 GTV
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tire/wheel size

Bob,
The wheels are 14" and the tires are 195-70s which should actually fill the wheel well more than stock. --Bruce
 

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Has the suspension been rebuilt and if so was the car fully weighted when the affected parts of the suspension tightened down. For example: the front lower A arms have a nut on both the bushings hiding under caps. They should not be cranked down until the suspension is loaded. The same goes for the rear end like the trailing arms, the trunion bar and sway bar.
 

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Suggestion #2: Take your car to a real Alfa shop, let them look it over and make suggestions re: springs.
 

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My $0.02

Having spent some time sussing out Alfa springs and stance, my suggestion is take the springs out (front and rear on one side) and see what you're dealing with. They could be the wrong springs, wrong shims, or some combination. There are specs for different springs on the AlfaBB that Anfanuts posted.

I'd be very conservative cutting the springs - maybe a 1/4 coil at a time. It's a b#%ch making them a longer if you overshoot.:)

Once you've removed and reinstalled the springs a few times, it's not that big a job. Don't ever lose sight of the danger in compressed springs, though.
 

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Agree something else is wrong there but if rebushed the car will settle some after a hundred miles of driving, not enough to fix that ride height, but some.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I reinspected both front and rear springs. They appear to be untouched with 42 year old rust/dirt. Both front and rear have a rubber cup on the top, but not on the bottom.

Here are the suspension changes that have been made: new OEM type shocks, new trunnion bushings (the old ones were missing), new rear sway bar (the old one had a broken bushing), new ball joints, new 14" wheels with 195-70 tires.

Here is a photo of the car before I bought it.
 

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What sort of shocks?
Somebody in here mentioned KYB gas raised their spider horribly.

Also, were the bushes tightened with the car sitting on it's wheels or dangling on a hoist?
 

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Wrong gas shocks can definitly raise the car.
Remember that Alfa set these up with soft suspension and a lot of travel to handle cobblestones and rough euro roads. Also, some countries (USA) required a certain headlight or bumper height and the car was raised to meet it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I should have said that the four ball joints in the front suspension were replaced by the PO, not the bushings which look original. The shocks were Sach which are OEM replacement, I believe. I don't think it is the shocks, because it was that high with the worn out shocks.
 

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Bruce,

I had the opposite problem with my '72 GTV; the PO lowered the ride so much that the oil pan kissed speed bumps. Most disconcerting.

After playing with several combinations of shims (I'm now very good at removing and installing the springs) it took a new set of springs front and back to get both an acceptable ground clearance and a non bone-jarring ride. This height, by the way, is still almost 6 cm lower than 1972 U.S. specification for the car.

I suggest you start from scratch and refurbish the suspension on your car. New springs, bushing and dampeners from Classic Alfa are relatively inexpensive. This will also give you an opportunity to learn about this car's handling dynamics as you iterate through the combinations of bushing types, spring heights and rates, and dampener settings.

Bob
 

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I suggest you start from scratch and refurbish the suspension on your car. New springs, bushing and dampeners from Classic Alfa are relatively inexpensive. This will also give you an opportunity to learn about this car's handling dynamics as you iterate through the combinations of bushing types, spring heights and rates, and dampener settings.
I second that suggestion. My first GTV had the original springs with a light coat of rust. When I removed one of the front springs, it broke in half.

Centerline, IAP, Alfaholics, Perfomatek and others sell complete suspension replacement systems that will vastly improve the ride and handling over the original setup.
 
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