Took me four evenings, 12 hours totally
, but now my GTA has got the Harvey-Bailey Bilsteins installed and doing their work. So far my experiences are positive, but I have yet to do some real high speed corner brakings and standing starts on wet surface to see if the unwanted GTA phenomenoms have disappeared.
These are my (gut) feelings so far:
- ABS kicks in later in the tight and slow corners, which I attack while braking. Obviously the inside wheel has better contact to the surface?
- Surprisingly the car is MORE comfortable. It feels like the small roughness of the road is better filtered out... maybe the initial internal friction of the dampers is smaller, allowing the springs to do their work easier? Or something.
- The minor "nose heavy" feeling of the GTA has disappeared totally
However, I have to say that the changes are not huge. GTA was remarkably good already before and now it just feels a bit better. Note that these are the same dampers that EB sells for any 156, they do not supply GTA specific sets. I can imagine that if I had put these dampers on my previous car (a 156 2.5 V6 with std suspension), I would now be loudly shouting and crying about the greatness of Mr Harvey-Bailey
On a negative side (possibly, I don't know really), the rear dampers were supplied without the rubber bump stops, and the old ones couldn't be used (as the Bilsteins have at least double thick cylinders compared to the originals). So, now I do not have rear bump stops, and don't really know if that is ok or not
Any advice, guys?
I also took some pictures during the installation - I can post them later if someone is interested.