<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">My car is a 3 litre 1999 car, standard apart from the fact that it is running on Alfa supplied/fitted 17" wheels rather than the normal 16". I am running the Alfa recommended Goodyear Eagle 225/45 ZR17 tyres, and the car has done 51,000 miles so far. My problem is with the rear suspension, and in particular, the fact that the springs do not seem strong enough for their job. When I have some weight in the boot, or when I am towing my race bike trailer, the rear wheels hit the inner wheel arches repeatedly. It is as if there are weak springs and no bump stops on the rear suspension. I have paid careful attention to payload and trailer nose weights, but still the rear suspension seems too soft.
The car has been checked by two Alfa dealers, and they cannot find any problems. Neither feel that the suspension should have worn out at this mileage either.
I am trying to establish if I can purchase something like harder springs, maybe a spring preload collar, maybe even some sort of aftermarket self-levelling device. I am loathe to replace the standard springs with new standard springs unless I can establish that the originals are at fault.
I have heard that some 156 owners are having similar problems. Any ideas, or anybody managed to solve this before?
Thanks in advance,
Martin. <hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">See previous posts on the problems with the 166 rear suspension. It is generally considered to be to soft especially on the 3.0L versions.
Note that Alfa made running changes to the rear shocks, bushes and springs, for the 3.0L 166's mid 2000.
There have been reports of shocks failing on pre 2000 cars. The springs were also changed to a more progressive load rate. Remember that the 166 rear suspension has lots of alloy components, and if the Alfa guys say it's ok wink and the lower alloy arms aren't slightly bent upwards, you may want to consider changing the shocks and springs as you do alot of towing. I have Bilstien shocks and Eibach springs on mine and they certainly transform the car.