159 TI Suspension Upgrade Advice - Page 8 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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You and the tiles on the passenger seat will have put some load on the rears because both are behind the front axle. But probably a minor load. Say that those two at 120kg were at the halfway point will have put 60kg on the back.
The 180kg at the back would have lifted the front because it's mostly behind the rear axle. But I suppose we can add the 180kg to the 60Kg for 240kg or 120kg per spring. So a fag packet spring rate of 2.0Kg per mm (about 120 lbs/in). I've slightly reduced it because the springs don't act on the axle centre line. This is way low.
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I received my rear springs from Coilsprings 1989 Ltd the other day. As I said in an earlier post, I sent them my TI springs and asked them to copy them, but make them ride 10-15mm higher so they'd match the Eibachs on the front.
I figured I was taking a big gamble, but I'm chuffed to say they're fitted and have turned out perfectly. Ride height unloaded is about 5-7mm higher than the front which is exactly what I wanted. Ride wise, there's no dropping like with the Eibachs and in fact there's nothing bad about the back end, it's so good, you forget about it. Downside is, it's highlighted that the front Eibachs could be way better, so I may end up having some springs made for the front!

I had to take a load of tiles back today, exactly the same load as was in the other day, these new springs only dropped 20mm.

Peter Cambridge got back to me yesterday, asked if I'd send my TI springs off to Eibach, I've included their springs in the package too. Not sure where it's going to lead, as I can't see me fitting any Eibachs again unless they want to pay for it, but at least they might sort out the specs for future buyers. I told Peter I'd had some springs made in Sheffield as the car was stopping us doing family stuff at weekends. He asked if Neil at Coilsprings 1989 had made them and that if he did, they'd be a great product. Quite chuffed overall, 20 day service as promised and 140 delivered for the pair. I assume he's kept the specs, so if anyone is having trouble, give Neil a bell and get some made.
Here's a pic with same load as earlier post, but with new springs.
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I meant to put this pic up of the new springs against the Eibachs. Both sit at pretty much the same level, but as you see, quite a difference in length.
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Eibach have now tested their springs against the TI springs and whilst I only saw figures scribbled on paper (hoping to get the graphs from them), there is basically no differnce between the springs, apart from the Eibachs have a slightly higher nm. Furthermore, Peter got the spring rates for my current springs from Coilsprings in Sheffield and they're a tad lower than the TI's rate! They work bloody well tho. I don't pretend to understand all rates and stuff, but it was plain to see that the Eibachs should be fine, therefore Eibach don't feel they've a problem.

Proof is in the usage for me though and they clearly didn't work on the car, but hey ho, it's not like I was going to demand a refund or compensation for fitting, they were only 120 and I'm still using the fronts. I mainly just wanted them to acknowledge that they weren't right, so they'd sort them for future users.

A possible explanation, I was told, is that Coilsprings may use different testing rigs, methods etc, so just for my own sanity, I might send the Eibachs to them and see how they compare to the ones they produced for me. This is all costing me postage, but curiosity keeps getting the better of me.
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Anything else worth doing when swapping the springs over?
Luckily I got a set of the Eibach (but never fitted) when I first saw the price (was expecting them to go up after a couple of weeks). One of my OEM rears has now snapped, so need them replaced. However, thinking that as the springs are off there might well be some advisable other jobs, I'm thinking preventative maintenance really (although the Bilstein B4's from Alfisti are very tempting with the current exchange rate at around 200 delivered for all four)

I've got the lower rear powerflex on the front already.

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Depending on your mileage, you may want to consider bushes, top mounts and dust covers for the shocks. But definitely, do the shocks as well! just think how old the factory ones are and how many miles you have done on them, then the cost of replacing them now vs labour cost to do it all again in a year or two when they start to leak.

I regret not doing my top mounts at the same time.
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Cheers, it's on 90k at the moment


Any spelling/ grammatical errors are purely there to annoy!
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B4's arrived today, after coming home from hols, apparently they are not mono tube but twin tube with 'mono tube technolgy' (ie gas) very confusing
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159 TI Suspension Upgrade Advice

So a day (and 200miles) after getting the eibach pro kit with the bilstein b4 fiited by Paul at AforAlfa, first up, the front is definitely lower as I discovered when I crunched a speed hump I'd not had issue with before. Personally I always thought the front looked a little higher than the rears and now looks spot on, probably only about 1cm in it though.
Ride wise, not that huge noticeable difference that you might expect ( i was expecting it to be more noticeable),but they car feels tighter and more stable, especially under braking and in corners, but it retains the comfort that you expect, and rides the bumps more assuredly.
Overall a great experience, and if you enjoy the comfort of your ride, but want a little more confidence in the handling its a great combination.

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I'm really impressed with the B4's, I get a lovely ride at speed and in combo with the springs there's so little body roll. I've recently done a lot of miles on varying road surfaces with the car completely loaded to the brim and big roofbox loaded. Absolutely zero problems with bottoming out, in fact the back end doesn't even look particularly low, not like some of the cars you see heading down to Devon, practically doing wheelies. The power of this mapped 2.4 makes for such an easy drive too, never struggling for power.

One thing that continues to bug me after I've gotten used to a decent alignment is that at town speeds, I still get some janglyness to the front suspension/steering, kind of feels like it comes from the steering column. I can't work out if it's a trait of 159's on 19" or whether it's something that can be rectified. The only thing that wasn't replaced earlier in the year was lower wishbones, they are about 17 months old now, so perhaps they're goosed, we know what they can be like. I've had new spiders fitted not so long ago, inner tie rods weren't replaced but we're apparently fine. It's the same syndrome that made me get rid of my 156, I did a whole suspension overhaul, but it still felt jangly at low speeds. If I could get this sorted the car would be totally fantastic, just like my GT which is totally solid at low speed on crappy surfaces.
Anyone care to list possible culprits?
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Did you replace top mounts etc when you fitted the B4s?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gakfive View Post
Giblets/alcooker

Did you replace top mounts etc when you fitted the B4s?

Nope, as is, I just said to Paul to change anything that looks like it could be an issue, nothing was.
Think it's more likely to be an issue with harder shocks which put more forces through them.
As for jangly ness, not sure what that is, mines great, probably correct more aggressively after a knock than smaller tyres due to the grip/ inertia


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I replaced top mounts, just thought as everything was off, i might aswell.
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Just to answer the question...

OEM Springs are manufactured by Mubea (India) (formerly Sachs, but Mubea when they made the 159 springs)

OEM Dampers by Magnetti marelli

OEM Bushes by Paulstra (France)

159
http://www.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA34311117.PDF

Spider
http://europe.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA25864817.PDF

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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcooker View Post

One thing that continues to bug me after I've gotten used to a decent alignment is that at town speeds, I still get some janglyness to the front suspension/steering, kind of feels like it comes from the steering column. ?
Well I've found the source of the janglyness. I've been hunting high and low for an intermittent click from the front passenger side, this has been happening for as long as I remember. Only get it it around town and it's not too bad. So I thought I'd check things over yesterday, secured more parts of the wheel arch plastics, check for any rubbing signs, gave everything a good tug, check steering rack fixings, everything was solid apart from the track rod seemed to have a lot more play than the other side. On closer examination the track rod locking ring was about 3mm away from the track rod and obviously loose! So I torqed it up and turned ignition on to be able to move the steering, grabbing the track rod was fine side to side, but twisting it back and forth, there was a clunk from the ball joint on the T.R.E. YES! I've found my knock. I split the joint and sure enough the approx 4 months old TRE ball joint is goosed. Maybe this has gone due to the lock ring being loose, either way, glad I found it and that its a cheap fix.
Car is way more together at front now, but I still have the flaming clicking/knock!!! starting to wonder if it's dashboard related.

Well worth checking your lock rings are tight before you think bout upgrading suspensions.
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Quote:
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Well I've found the source of the janglyness. I've been hunting high and low for an intermittent click from the front passenger side, this has been happening for as long as I remember. Only get it it around town and it's not too bad. So I thought I'd check things over yesterday, secured more parts of the wheel arch plastics, check for any rubbing signs, gave everything a good tug, check steering rack fixings, everything was solid apart from the track rod seemed to have a lot more play than the other side. On closer examination the track rod locking ring was about 3mm away from the track rod and obviously loose! So I torqed it up and turned ignition on to be able to move the steering, grabbing the track rod was fine side to side, but twisting it back and forth, there was a clunk from the ball joint on the T.R.E. YES! I've found my knock. I split the joint and sure enough the approx 4 months old TRE ball joint is goosed. Maybe this has gone due to the lock ring being loose, either way, glad I found it and that its a cheap fix.
Car is way more together at front now, but I still have the flaming clicking/knock!!! starting to wonder if it's dashboard related.

Well worth checking your lock rings are tight before you think bout upgrading suspensions.
Interesting. My ball joints are perfect but the "Click/Knock" is much reduced. Loose Media Sticks in the glove box have been removed. But I did find the N/S wheel arch liner loose. It now has some foam forced in. Perhaps this helped.
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Mine would clang / click on aggressive gear changes and I was sure it was a gearbox failure but it turned out to be the loose track rod. Literally grabbed it and twisted it back and forth to recreate the clang then just rotated it half a turn and it's never done it since!
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Although I thought I'd cleared the source of the car's janglyness, I just kept bugging me that it wasn't feeling 'together'. You know I always compare it to the rock solid GT I have and knowing that the 159 is supposed to be built like a tank, this looseness had to be fixable. The only parts I hadn't changed on the front suspension were the inner track/tie rods, I'd left them because there wasn't any play. Considering the price of them, it was stupid not replace when everything was off.
So yesterday I bought a pair of the rods and was going to diy it on the drive, but then thought I'd let the guy that was fitting my winter tyres stick them on. Unfortunately I didn't wiggle the new rod ball joints around, so I've no idea how much resistance they have, but the old ones, whilst there doesn't appear to be any play, the ball joint does move around very easily.

Bizarrely, considering no excess play, the result was the most measurable difference any of this suspension renew has made, just brought the whole set of components together, so I actually feel the dampers and springs working around me, rather than feeling janglyness through the steering wheel. I wanted to get the alignment changed, so after winter tyres fitted I drove off to alignment centre smiling away. I'm afraid I've now moved away from the Peter Cambridge alignment specs as there were a few characteristics I'd dint like, mainly tramlining on tyre tracked A roads, a tad scary. I've gone back to standard, but with -0.02' toe on the front. Perhaps the looseness wasn't helping with the PC alignment, I don't know.

So Chaps, before you go and spend your hard earned cash on dampers, springs and fitting, get yourself droplinks, track rod ends and inner track rods. Have it aligned and then re evaluate, it might be what you think is shot dampers, is more the steering components.

My Bilstein B4's feel really nice now, really comfortable and warming, although I'm hankering after a bit less body roll, Christ Al, don't even start!! So what's best? B6, V2 or FSD'S haha
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Although I thought I'd cleared the source of the car's janglyness, I just kept bugging me that it wasn't feeling 'together'. You know I always compare it to the rock solid GT I have and knowing that the 159 is supposed to be built like a tank, this looseness had to be fixable. The only parts I hadn't changed on the front suspension were the inner track/tie rods, I'd left them because there wasn't any play. Considering the price of them, it was stupid not replace when everything was off.
So yesterday I bought a pair of the rods and was going to diy it on the drive, but then thought I'd let the guy that was fitting my winter tyres stick them on. Unfortunately I didn't wiggle the new rod ball joints around, so I've no idea how much resistance they have, but the old ones, whilst there doesn't appear to be any play, the ball joint does move around very easily.

Bizarrely, considering no excess play, the result was the most measurable difference any of this suspension renew has made, just brought the whole set of components together, so I actually feel the dampers and springs working around me, rather than feeling janglyness through the steering wheel. I wanted to get the alignment changed, so after winter tyres fitted I drove off to alignment centre smiling away. I'm afraid I've now moved away from the Peter Cambridge alignment specs as there were a few characteristics I'd dint like, mainly tramlining on tyre tracked A roads, a tad scary. I've gone back to standard, but with -0.02' toe on the front. Perhaps the looseness wasn't helping with the PC alignment, I don't know.

So Chaps, before you go and spend your hard earned cash on dampers, springs and fitting, get yourself droplinks, track rod ends and inner track rods. Have it aligned and then re evaluate, it might be what you think is shot dampers, is more the steering components.

My Bilstein B4's feel really nice now, really comfortable and warming, although I'm hankering after a bit less body roll, Christ Al, don't even start!! So what's best? B6, V2 or FSD'S haha
Think I will be following up on these 'clues'
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I'm going to jump in on this thread, hopefully some of you guys can give me some advice.

Everything has been going well with the car, hence my lack of activity on this forum, but today I've had a bit of bad luck. I thought I'd treat the family to Sunday lunch today and on the way there we hit a bump in the road hard. I instantly knew there was something wrong, the car sagged to the nearside and felt all wrong with a bit of scrubbage in the arch. I pulled over a couple of hundred yards down the road in a safe location to inspect the damage thinking I had burst a tyre or smashed a wheel. The car was sitting right on top of the wheel. It later transpired the bottom spring holder has slid right down the body of the strut or shock absorber. It wasn't a pot hole but you have to experience my local roads to really get to know how poor they are. I suppose the question could be raised would this have happened if I hadn't fitted the polybushes?!

Anyway The car is recovered to my mechanic and I now need to make a decision. I've not really been satisfied with the eibach's since they went on the car. They look a bit too low for my liking at the front, especially this last year or so, and have felt a bit crashy. Tyre wear is extreme but not quite as bad since I have had the front lower wishbone power flex bushes fitted. As there is approaching 100k miles on the car I'm taking the opportunity now to revamp the suspension. I'm going to order Bilsteins B4 dampers all round. My conundrum is do I buy standard Lusso spec springs and take with it the extra comfort and ride height that I need to suit my local roads, do I purchase new Ti spec springs all round or do I leave the eibachs in place in the hope that the new dampers will have made the world of difference to the comfort and control of the springs?

I'm finding it hard to make my decision. What I'd really like is standard Ti springs but these are hard to get within a few days and uber expensive for a non quality part. Any advice, suggestions or where I can locate parts would be great. I don't want to go down the route of 2nd hand parts if at all possible.

thanks

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With an impact that hard i'd guess that the absorption effect of the bushes would be negligible, at least the poly bushes would have done a much better job letting the suspenion move the way it's meant to.
Aren't the eibach springs stiffer than standard ti springs?
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Jonny, clearly your main problem here is time, it limits your spring choice. If you could just replace your dampers on the front for now, you could speak to Neil at coilspringsuk in sheffield. He does stuff for rally cars, so I'm sure if you explained your needs, he'd sort you out. I still have my original TI springs which I'm not I interested in selling, but I can always send them to Neil to copy, but with your own tweeks. That's what I did on my rears, when the Eibachs wouldn't play ball. I think he has a 21 day turnaround, but if it's just your spring perch that has gone on your damper, then it's a quick job to put a new damper on and change the springs later. His prices are good and he's a really well respected guy.
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159 TI Suspension Upgrade Advice

Edit: re read that the damper has failed, not the spring.

Although I swapped both spring and dampers at the same time on the Ti, the Eibach with B4's do appear to be a smoother/ softer ride (on normal roads) than the oEM spec (though they seem to stiffen up quicker at higher loads) though agree it's a tad lower.

Also remember the OEM Ti rear springs have a habit of snapping, so I'd try the Eibach/ bilstein combo first.



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Guys thanks for the suggestions. Al that sounds like a plan but as you say I don't have 21 days to work with.

I've ordered B4 dampers all round for 270 delivered. I came across a guy selling low mileage lusso springs and for the money it is worth the punt. All parts will be with me by Thursday. I also am getting a wheel bearing fitted at the same time. To top it all off my mechanic kindly informed me my tyres are down to the wire again on the front axle. I last bought front tyres less than 8k miles ago and can't afford to throw money down the pan like that. I've tried several alignment places with their fancy electronic alignment gear but all refused to use the settings on this forum as their machine is not wrong.. I could do better with a tape measure and ball of string. My friendly mechanic can do a basic job to get me away for now.

To be honest I'm looking forward to a more supple ride and longer spring travel. I'll know in a few days which I'd prefer.


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Don't automatically assume that the car will ride better with lusso springs than it does on the Eibachs. I know the G is a different beast but my one rides better on B4 and Eibachs than it did on a standard setup, and better than the B4 with standard lusso springs. For what it is worth your original dampers sound like they were worn out anyway if the ride was crashy.
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