I'm sure you're not talking to the sheep Harry!
I think if you do a search in this lounge re suspension you will find a 'mountain' of advice with regard to suspension improvements. I agree with the V6 models if all is working ok (i.e. the shocks/springs/bushes are new or relatively new) the set-up from the factory is reasonably ok. This is because the springs on the V6 are different to the TS (slightly lower and are a little stiffer) and the front shocks are beefed up compared to the TS. I'll have a look at eper but I think the rear shocks on the TS/V6 are the same?
So if you want to cruise about in your 916 Alfa and treat the suspension the way it was designed (and compromised) by the factory then sure keep everything standard. However if you want to take a little more advantage of the performance of these Alfas without risking a visit to the hedge or ditch (and I'm not talking about tearing around at illegal speeds, just driving it the way it should be driven), or that dreadful feeling you get in the stomach when you turn in a bend on a country lane and your stomach is not following with the rest of you (and the Alfa), you could take the following 'conservative' approach:
1) On the 916 TS cars the springs are rated differently from the V6 and make the Alfa sit a little higher (too high) compared to the V6. The best springs to use here are the Eibach Prokit
springs, these only drop the car by 20mm
. This is a modest drop compared to other after-market springs (such as Vogtland, which drop the car by 40mm, others drop by 30mm). However the very effective progression rate of these springs means that body control is vastly inproved and they do eliminate a great deal of the annoying 'body roll' from these Alfas if you fit these springs. Because the drop is only 20mm the space between wheel and wheel arch is perfect, and because of the excellent quality of these springs you will 'bottom out' far less on these springs than the standard OE ones. In summary they provide a vastly improved ride and degree of body control over the OE springs.
2) On the 916 V6 Alfas different springs are used and deliver better body control than the TS cars. If in good condition you could retain these and replace the shocks. However if worn (which doesn't take long) you could consider the Eibachs. Again only a 20mm drop and vastly improved body control without compromising comfort.
The real weak part of the suspension system. Cheap, ghastly rubbish manufactured by Boge, and are oil-filled, not gas operating dampers. ok they may be fine when new, but won't last long on any 916 Alfa, TS or V6. The best choice of dampers on the market are Bilsteins and Koni Sports adjustables. You could also consider KYB as they seem to have a good (growing) reputation, and are relative 'cheap', but I haven't tried them. The Bilsteins are excellent but are a little unforgiving on public roads, and will not take kindly to rough surfaces. The Konis though have excellent absorbing properties whilst delivering a very comfortable and assured ride. The trick with the Konis is either to keep them on the softest setting front and rear, or possibly one half turn at the fronts for the GTV. Bit more difficult to adjust the rears once fitted as you need to take them off to re-adjust! So always keep the rears on the softest setting, and experiment on the fronts with the key provided. Koni themselves suggest one half turn at the front for the GTV, others on here have tried this and agree with the results.
But whatever you do, DO NOT
fit lowered springs to standard dampers
This takes the OE outside it's narrow operating range, will deliver a less than assured ride, and they will wear out even more quicky.
Again a weak component of the OE set-up, bushes both front and rear have a short life, resulting in squeaks, knocks, and in the case of the rear ali-based subframe, wear to the links which will cause big expense. Best advice I think here is to do the following:
1) Fronts TS and V6. Keep the wishbones standard. You can polybush these (Powerflex do the kit) but the balljoint will wear out anyway at some stage, so it's waste of money. Just keep the wishbones/ARB links/ARB bushes in good condition, you can keep them lubricated with lithium grease which some say heps.
2) The rear. The Achilles Heel of these Alfas. Designed to provide additional road-holding abilities and even a little bit of passive rear wheel steer, the rear suspension assembly was the most costly R&D component to go into these Alfas (nothing else cost very much, apart perhaps from the initial design, as most bits are cobbled together from the Fiat Group parts bin). When working correctly the rear suspension is excellent and is the trump card for these Alfas. Forget the front, which is bog-standard McPherson strut and bog-standard lower wishbones only (not even the double lower wishbone found on the RZ/SZ - wouldn't that be nice?). But for it to work well all needs to be 100% otherwise problems begin to emerge. Again differences between the TS and V6 cars are:
a) TS Alfas up to about 2001. The rear springpan arms had the solid bush each end, which has a short shelf-life. You can either replace these with the V6 type with the rose-jointed bush, or powerflex. Powerflexing these arms is a tricky job (the most difficult arm to powerflex) so the easy route is to go for the V6 arms. Expensive though, about £200 each, the choice is yours.
b) TS Alfas from about 2001 and all V6 cars. These have the rose jointed arms so a choice whether to replace with new or go the powerflex route. If powerflex get it done by a specialist who know what they're doing - not an easy operation.
c) Transverse arms all 916 Alfas. The best ones to powerflex (especially the outer bush next to the damper), fairly easy to fit, excellent results and much cheaper to powerflex than buying OE arms.
d) Upper wishbone all 916 Alfas. Again marginal as the balljoint tends to go 'sloppy' first. Not worth it imho.
D) FRONT UPPER STRUTBRACE.
The easiest mod to do on these Alfas, and cheap. Firms up the front on both GTV and Spider.
E) BUMP STOPS
Do make sure they're not worn (or even fallen off). If in doubt when replacing springs etc, replace with new. They do serve a purpose!
Work fine on the TS, which has a good ARB set-up. Failure of the bushes on these seem to be a fairly rare occurence. V6 front ARB though not as good as the TS, so this could be another consideration for upgrade (but no doubt not cheap).
On my TS Spider I have Eibach Prokit springs (20mm drop), Koni Sports adjustables on the softest setting, all front suspension arms as standard, rear powerflexed, and a front upper strutbrace. It provides a very comfortable, assured and pleasant ride, without being hard or harsh or ott. It is a combination that many others on here have tried and have found to be a vast improvement over the standard OE set-up. I have tried Bilsteins, Vogtland springs, strut brace with and without, and tuning to the front shocks, and have found the current set-up to be the best in all driving conditions. I have been experimenting with these adjustments on this 916 TS Spider over the past eight years, and find the current set-up to be the best in terms of ride comfort and safety, and delivering the degree of roadholding these Alfas should have been blessed with in the first place.
Hope that helps.