Nurburgring / rear-wheel steering travel - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Nurburgring / rear-wheel steering travel

Hey all,

Just a quick report as I'm knackered, but I just got back from my first weekend trip to the Nurburgring and have to say it's absolutely fantastic and more than a little bit scary! Great place to find out more about your car's handling on the edge though.

As was to be expected, several things dropped off my 14-year-old Spider across the journey there and the 8 laps I got in on Saturday, including the passenger-side visor mirror, a 7.5 amp fuse of unknown origin, and part of the centre console footwell wall.

However, more worrying, I've discovered that the rear-wheel steering travel is too great on my right-hand side (the same side as the 'dumbbell' weight, if it's relevant) - under maximum left-hand cornering the wheel backs into the rear of the wheel arch lining, causing a lot of banging. I didn't know what was causing it but after 6 laps it had become very bad, and I found melted wheel-arch plastic sprayed all over the inside of the arch. The ridge near the outside edge of the rear bumper was filed down to the metal bracket underneath, which was biting the tyre. I bent the sharp edge out the way but it didn't help a lot - I couldn't have risked a second day there.

I've had the rear polyflexed so I'm pretty sure my bushes are good - does anyone know how the rear-steer mechanism travel is 'limited' (e.g. bumpstops or something) or what could be causing it?

I recently had the anti-roll link replaced on that side, and although it seems fine and was secure the indie had trouble sourcing the part from the network and ended up using a link from another Alfa model (156 or 166 I think) that they'd determined was identical. I'll measure it up next weekend to see if I can determine if that's correct.

That aside though, get yourselves out there - it's an ultimate driving experience whether you do it in your own car or hire one (there were several hired new Swifts and Scirocco's doing well out there). Don't forget the breakdown cover!!

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Sounds like you are missing the rear bump stop. There should be a rubber cone inside the rear coil spring but they often become detached and just rattle around loose inside the coil. Very obviously visible. Common problem, don't think its much to fit and powerflex make ones that don't perish.

Last edited by SimonT; 10-05-10 at 21:42.
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If the bump stops are there, it could be your shocks. Last time I was at the Ring I got chatting to a chap in the carpark who was having the same issue as you in his M5. He had very expensive coilovers fitted, but had set them up too soft (or so he said).

Are you on OE shocks? if so, what kind of miles are on them? they will start to sag after 50K or so. Upgrade time perhaps?

Nothing like a good Ring session to plan budget performance upgrades
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Originally Posted by DRGTV View Post

Nothing like a good Ring session to plan budget performance upgrades

Theres joke in there somewhere
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Sounds like you are missing the rear bump stop. There should be a rubber cone inside the rear coil spring but they often become detached and just rattle around loose inside the coil. Very obviously visible.
Thanks Simon, I've been away since I started this thread but I read your reply and hoped this would be the problem.

I had a look tonight with the car sitting at normal height - unfortunately, the cones are both present and look (without prodding) symmetrical, intact and attached. However, the rubber disc that sits in the spring pan on the right-hand (problem) side isn't sitting centrally, it's slid rearwards and isn't flat in the pan... I'm not sure that this is a problem in itself as the front three-quarters of the disc appears to still be sitting under the cone, but there's something going on there. Any thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DRGTV View Post
If the bump stops are there, it could be your shocks. Last time I was at the Ring I got chatting to a chap in the carpark who was having the same issue as you in his M5. He had very expensive coilovers fitted, but had set them up too soft (or so he said).

Are you on OE shocks? if so, what kind of miles are on them?
I am on OE shocks, fitted last year to get through an MoT but they were off another car so unknown mileage. I forgot to check the shocks tonight but I was MoT's this year only recently so I assume they're not completely shot.


I need to get some spacers soon as my 147 wheels are 10mm too far inboard... although I assume as my problem isn't symmetrical that fact isn't related. Whilst I'm fitting them I'll take a good look around the suspension on both sides to try to work it out... looking at the bump stops, pans and shocks in particular... thanks for the cues!
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Aha - well, you are admitting that the wheels are wrong. Can't help thinking that's got a lot to do with it & perhaps the fact that the loading is assymetric - ie, you and the damping mass are both on one side - explains why it is only affecting one wheel (& OE shocks of course - probably degraded. Easy to change). If it should have spacers then I would just do that first & hopefully problem solved. Also consider that the wheelarch liner isn't the most precisely fitting item & could be loose.
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