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GT Poor Ride Quality Fixed

Today Ian from my local suspension tuning shop, Howard Revell, fitted the Koni FSD shock absorber kit which I ordered from EB Spares in the UK.

(The GT runs 18 wheels. The ride quality was the worst of any production car that I had experienced over the past 40+ years. What was Alfa on about??).

When I arrived to pick up the Alfa, it just rolled in from its test drive. Ian summonsed me over to join him for a run. I thought he was going to tell me something had gone wrong with the Koni fitment - he wanted to show me how much the GT's ride had improved. He was astounded. As soon as we drove off, the ride smoothness was readily evident, the Koni FSD's had acheived what I was after, a more compliant and significantly improved ride at all speeds.

Ian who has many years experience in preparing rally and road cars was astonoished at the poor ride quality of Alfa GTs. He said another car he expereinced with a similar "crashy" ride was an early model Subaru WRX.

We retained the original springs and Ian did a four wheel alignment. This removed some of the tourque steer noticeable under rapid acceleration.

The ride level and height are fine. The ride quality on a mix of roads which I took on the way home revealed a very comfortable ride whilst retaining the Alfa's sporting capability. NO more fiddling is required.

Next step is to fit an Alpine double din head unit with reverse camera, and alloy undertray, and that will be it.

Cheers .. Nick
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Interesting. I am thinking each day how **** and hard the ride is in my GT.
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Which engine do you have in your GT? Was there a reason you decided not to fit the Eibach coils that everyone on here seems to fit when they fit the Koni FSDs? (I'm interested because I'm thinking of changing the suspension on my 3.2 GT).
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Which engine do you have in your GT? Was there a reason you decided not to fit the Eibach coils that everyone on here seems to fit when they fit the Koni FSDs? (I'm interested because I'm thinking of changing the suspension on my 3.2 GT).
I would not go anywhere near Eibach with Koni fsd. Fsd with standard height springs are great but with lowering springs a big NO.... They might be ok with the lighter engines like the Ts but anything heavier and it just bottoms out. Eibachs also lower more than the specified height of 30mm when they have settled in.
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replacing worn suspension will always have effect on ride quality ......remember dampers control spring in compression and rebound
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I'm glad you're pleased with it Nick. I tend to agree with Alid on the Eibach springs front, I just don't think the dampers get a chance to do their full job, I have no technical know how on this though, it's just from driving and assuming the dampers don't utilise their full travel. If it wasn't for the lowered suspension looking so good and handling so well, i'd probably put stock springs back purely for a bit more comfort.

I'd really like to try some Bilstein B6 and B8 with the Eibach springs.
Having said the above, I went out with my Brother in his almost new C4 Grand Picasso with pneumatic suspension and on certain roads it felt as tough as my ride leading me to think that some roads are just way too knackered.
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Interesting post. I want to sort out the ride on my GT but have been put off by the word 'lowered' which seems to accompany most threads on the subject.

Do I assume from this that the Koni dampers are softer than the originals and the Eibach springs are stiffer?

Other posts have also recommended the Eibachs anti roll kit, so surely this suggests that only changing the dampers would make the ride too soft?
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The eibach ARB kit transforms the GT, make sure you set the rear ARB to its stiffest setting. Just fitting koni fsd/eibach springs equals sloppy reactions and loose a certain amount of alertness in the magical GT steering..... you need the ARB's to stiffen the car up a bit.
I found koni fsd's and eibach a great combination..... in fact awesome. But would never fit it without stiffer ARB's.

Damien.
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It's unlikely the FSD's are softer than standard dampers. Just that once the std ones are 5 or 6 or so years old they've probably stopped working as well as they should. An old 164 I had years ago the ride got worse and worse over the space of a year or so - eventaully getting very crashy to the point of being uncomfortable. Then I found that one of the front struts was virtually siezed. Replaced front dampers (with second hand std ones - cheap) and all was well again. Once dampers get a bit of friction in them so they can't move up and down really fast to respond to bumps, the ride turns to rubbish.
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Can I ask how much this cost? I love my GT but of course, its a little 'interesting' on UK suburban roads. On the lanes, fine, motorway fine but... well we all know!
I spend more time looking at the road surface for potholes and uneven surfaces than I do looking at what the traffics doing (and I've definitley missed a few nice ladies on the pavement too)..
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It's unlikely the FSD's are softer than standard dampers. Just that once the std ones are 5 or 6 or so years old they've probably stopped working as well as they should. An old 164 I had years ago the ride got worse and worse over the space of a year or so - eventaully getting very crashy to the point of being uncomfortable. Then I found that one of the front struts was virtually siezed. Replaced front dampers (with second hand std ones - cheap) and all was well again. Once dampers get a bit of friction in them so they can't move up and down really fast to respond to bumps, the ride turns to rubbish.
What real evidence do you have for this quote? The standard Gt damper and spring setup is one of the worst standard setups i have ever experienced!!
FSD's and eibachs, plus eibach ARB's transform the car! The design of the FSD shock is to be more forgiving over the rough stuff, and it really works! I personally found just FSD's and eibach a bit to soft. The ARB kit gave the whole setup perfect balance! If you pootle around town etc.... well i understand the standard setup might be acceptable to you. I really like to drive my cars, and am fortunate to live round some great roads, and drive my cars on the continent. Chassis dynamics are very important to me.
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Last edited by ALFADOIT; 18-02-12 at 22:21.
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Sorry Damien - all I was suggesting was that the koni dampers are unlikely to be softer than the standard fitment, and note that a fair comparison can only be made with new parts. I certainly wasn't suggesting the standard items were good or bad or indifferent, though if they're one of the worst you've experienced I invite you to drive my wife's 1997 Hyundai Accent, fortunately now replaced by something less inclined to kill all who sail in her.

In my experience when you fit new dampers to a car the ride improves, which could be read as softer, but it should also be more controlled. If the old dampers have deteriorated a lot then the improvement can be considerable. I think in the case of the newer Koni's you're getting the benefit of a new part with probably better technology and design, and getting a good result.

As an aside, we have 2 156's, both interior facelift late 2002 build, both on or about 112k km. One's a JTS sedan, the other a V6 wagon. The sedan has original veloce spec setup, untouched. The wagon has lowering springs of unknown origin and Bilstein dampers, fitted by a previous owner (quite possibly some time ago - we've only owned it for a year). Now I know the V6 donk is a heavy old lump, but the sedan on the std setup is so much better in all aspects of ride and handling that you'd not guess they were the same basic car. I can only put the difference down to the heavier engine (and q-system auto box).

Cheers
Damon
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My FSD set up with the standard springs work just fine. Why on earth would any one want to lower the GT any further makes no sense to me. Reducing suspension travel would serve to exacerbate the problem. Might be ok for autobahn travel but not so on crapy roads that you have over there and we have over here in Australia. My V6 handles more than adequately. I don't drive on the limit - and have no need to hoon around.

I like the seats, the sporty and timeless look, growl from the engine and exhaust. It handles very well. That's enough for me. No further money wasting modifications are required except for a new head unit with reverse camera.

The GT has completed 46,000 klms, just run in. It was owned by a mature person who did not thrash the crap out of the vehicle.

My suspension expert opined, that the original shocks were in good condition. The ride quality was akin to all other GT's he had driven irrespective of mileage. He did mention that those shod with 17 inch rims rode softer. He will be recommending Koni FSD's to Alfa owners as he was so impressed with the transformation of my GT. The existing springs with the FSD's work very well together.

The new Koni FSD's employ technology far superior to the OEM offering. And they should outlast the latter whilst providing a more comfortable ride for most of their lifespan.

Save yer bucks and just fit the Koni FSD's. Make sure the rest of the suspension is ok and ask the installer to do a four wheel alignment.

Cheers
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Hi – I only just found this thread amidst the other “crashy ride” threads and has won me over.

My question is… due to budget restraints (can’t justify £650 plus fitting in one hit) I think I can only afford front OR back Koni FSD dampers not altogether. So… if I save my pennies for a pair will I get a benefit from just doing one set now (the others maybe next year) and if so which would give me the best result.

I have a GT JTM 1.9 Cloverleaf with 19” wheels, 120K miles and I did replace the front shocks with standard ones about 2 years ago?
Thanks
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Personally I wouldn't just be changing two, especially if they have totally different characteristics to the ones already fitted.
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You can only buy them as a set of 4, thats the decision made for you then.
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You can only buy them as a set of 4, thats the decision made for you then.
I did exactly the same as the OP on my Clover 170 - had Koni FSD's fitted to original springs, just to give a less 'crashy' ride. Works for me - big improvement without need for lowering. I understand that some people have and will wish to 'stiffen' up the ride with Eibach springs/ARB kits, but this is not for me.

Just had fitted 4 new 225/40/R18 Goodyear F1 Eagle Assy 3's today to replace Pirelli P Zeros - wow, so much quieter and improved ride quality. Next steps: Down to Loz at Autolusso for Swirl flaps removal/cambelt change. Then, Hybrid turbo/stage 2 clutch as per Damien/Joey

Cheers,
Chris
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Thanks all - time to start saving!!
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You can only buy them as a set of 4, thats the decision made for you then.
I did get a quote recently for a single front Koni FSD as I had one leak on me, after about 100k miles of use. I didn't feel too comfortable about leaving the other front one as it could have only been a matter of time before that leaked also given the mileage, and at that point the cost of a pair of fronts was about 2/3rds the cost of the full kit so I just bought the lot. Man maths Worth noting that the rear shocks have a much higher list price than the front shocks too, so I reckon bought individually you could end up paying close to twice the cost of buying a full set, definitely not worth doing.

Also found a broken Eibach spring when I stripped them down, it had snapped off about 2 inches off the end of the spring inside the spring protection tube so I didn't even notice it until I stripped the strut down, ended up putting a full set of new Eibach springs on it as well. I'm glad I pulled the suspension out as I found a lot of rot in the turrets, good to have dealt with it before it got serious.

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