Experience with Intrax HDA coilovers - 156 - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Tuning & Upgrades Discuss performance enhancements for your Alfa Romeo

 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 9 Old 21-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: Interlagos Track day soon
AO Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 63
Experience with Intrax HDA coilovers - 156

I would like share my early experience with Intrax coilovers - I have a 156 2.0 TS cf 2, and was previously using the Eibach springs + Koni FSD shocks combination...
On the street, these dampers are surprisingly comfortable....at least in their softest setting. These dampers have an individual control valve at the top of the dampers, making softening or hardening of the dampers quite easy...
Compared to Koni FSD / Eibach, the difference is mainly of response to big bumps...The Koni/Eibach felt less rigid over big undulations than the coilovers....and in rutted and scarred roads, the Eibach / FSD are clearly superior...ride becomes quite lively in the coilovers...still comfortable, but lively. One interesting characteristic of the coilovers is they do not respond well to sharp intrusions, like catīs eyes - going over these there is quite a sharp intrusion with the coilovers and they are barely felt with the FSDs...
But I do not use this car as a daily driver....it is most a track car...and in trackdays they are imensely better than the Koni/Eibach combo...much more controlled in corners, and now the car has a lovely lift-off oversteer capability - Kony+Eibach combo glued the rear to the track, never had any hint of oversteer...now with some braces ( boot strut brace and lower strut brace) the car is very controllable and lovely at a racetrack - much more controllable and more enjoyable at the track!

So summarizing: if you want to use the car at a racetrack, these coilovers thee the way to go....really bloody marvellous... But if your car is 100% for the streets, Koni FSDs and Eibach pro-kit are a better choice. Yes, not a new conclusion but I always like to read these experiences, so thought to share mine!

Here some videos of the car with the new suspension


Here just some fast laps at the classic Interlagos F1 track - great place to run a trackday!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCnBS67ydhM

Here some moments with a sideways Focus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQj7DHSJBSI


http://s6.postimage.org/anh2bencx/IMG_2711.jpg
Rear strut brace

http://s6.postimage.org/m13lmlxvl/IMG_2712.jpg
Rear brace and the adjustable damper

http://s6.postimage.org/7yd2tw341/IMG_2703.jpg
Lower front brace
mesonauta1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Derbyshire
Posts: 1,613

Member car:

159 Ti

what spring rates/wheel rates are you running and with what tyres?
jasons is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 9 Old 21-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: Interlagos Track day soon
AO Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 63
This kit has adjustable spring rates... As you alter the height of the damper the spring rates change... The lower the damper stiffer it gets... At least that's what my mechanic told me...
As I do not cover many miles, the street tires are Yokohamas Advan Neova AD08, 205/55/16 and 17'' 225/625 slicks on OZ alegeritas for the track
mesonauta1 is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Derbyshire
Posts: 1,613

Member car:

159 Ti

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesonauta1 View Post
This kit has adjustable spring rates... As you alter the height of the damper the spring rates change... The lower the damper stiffer it gets... At least that's what my mechanic told me...
As I do not cover many miles, the street tires are Yokohamas Advan Neova AD08, 205/55/16 and 17'' 225/625 slicks on OZ alegeritas for the track
so they're progressive rather than linear? They will still have a rate. Do they have preload?

what brand are the slicks - they sound a bit pirrelli, are they full on slicks or cut slicks? I assume an 8j rim or 7.5j?
jasons is offline  
(Post Link) post #5 of 9 Old 24-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: Interlagos Track day soon
AO Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 63
I will see the preload of the springs....I do not know for sure!

I use full on slicks from Pirelli - They make a 225/625 R17 slick that is perfect for my 17 x 7.5'' wheels with ET35 ( OZ alleggerita - same size as GTAs but almost half the weight - 12,3Kg for the GTAs and 7,2Kg for the Alleggeritas).
I have another set of slicks made by Dunlop (215/45/17), but they are not as good as the Pirellis...

Here are two photos of the 156 on these wheels and slicks...

http://s6.postimage.org/5l4sdqke9/IMG_2720.jpg

http://s6.postimage.org/ndqclm1mp/IMG_2722.jpg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2720.jpg (5.5 KB, 221 views)
mesonauta1 is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Derbyshire
Posts: 1,613

Member car:

159 Ti

its amazing how heavy std wheels are.

I run the team dynamics pro race 1.2 - pretty much same as btcc wheels although on a 9j rim they are a tad over 9kg. (very cost effective rims)

I bet the pirelli's are a really soft compound? I have a set of 225/625's which are pirelli inters, with a few extra cuts to make them wets, they perform well as wets although I prefer the dunlop wets.

Dunlop slicks are usually really good, the 215 size - is that the old clio cup size from years back?
May be worth painting them up with grip softner a week before you use them next if they're old.

shame the btcc s2000 tyres are 18's now, as the 17's were great to use as long as you had 9j rims to put them on!

Just a tip on the suspension - try various spring rates, go up or down in 100lbs then you can fine tune from there.
Springs are pretty cheap, 30quid a pair.
Full on slicks need a really good stiff spring rate, I run upto 1200lb for slicks.

Probably the best handling mod, is sorting out the camber, getting a few degrees of negative camber will really help the handling.
As for bushes, when these wear out and you change them, I personally wouldn't bother with poly bushes, just go straight for bearings, and spherical where you need to.
I have just had 2 front lower arms fitted with bearings, the cost to remove the old bushes (3 per side) and machine and fit bearings was 75quid per arm, you couldn't even buy 3 poly bushes for that.
No more deflection in the corners - and standard bushes deflect a lot!
jasons is offline  
(Post Link) post #7 of 9 Old 24-01-13 Thread Starter
Status: Interlagos Track day soon
AO Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 63
Jason:

First, thank you a LOT for the tips and hints!! It is really nice to have info from someone who has experience in these mods!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasons View Post
I bet the pirelli's are a really soft compound? I have a set of 225/625's which are pirelli inters, with a few extra cuts to make them wets, they perform well as wets although I prefer the dunlop wets.
The Pirellis are labelled as DH (dry, hard), but it seems to me they are softer than the Dunlops... The Dunlops are from the Mini Challenge, unfortunately this series is finished here in Brazil.
Never heard about grip softner - What is it? Where can I buy some?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasons View Post
Just a tip on the suspension - try various spring rates, go up or down in 100lbs then you can fine tune from there.
Springs are pretty cheap, 30quid a pair.
Full on slicks need a really good stiff spring rate, I run upto 1200lb for slicks.
Again, where I can get these springs? Do I search for springs for coilovers? Are the springs brand-specific or any brand of spring will suit my coilovers? And what must I look besides spring rates? Length? Height of the spring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jasons View Post
Probably the best handling mod, is sorting out the camber, getting a few degrees of negative camber will really help the handling.
As for bushes, when these wear out and you change them, I personally wouldn't bother with poly bushes, just go straight for bearings, and spherical where you need to.
I have just had 2 front lower arms fitted with bearings, the cost to remove the old bushes (3 per side) and machine and fit bearings was 75quid per arm, you couldn't even buy 3 poly bushes for that.
No more deflection in the corners - and standard bushes deflect a lot!

I run my car with aprox 2 - 2.5 degrees of negative camber at the front and back - I heard that as the 156 suspension is by double wishbones, negative camber can be achieved solely by lowering the car.... Have you used camber plates?
Do you have the size of the bearings that fits to lower arms? Again, where did you buy them? It is a really nice idea for a track car, I just do not know if I can put any type of bearing or must I select an heavy-duty one....as they will be sumbitted to a lot of pressure... I have poly bushes in my lower arms.....never heard before of bearings in the place of bushings in the suspension arms!

Again sorry for the lots of questions!! Thanks for the precious info!! Much appreciated!!
mesonauta1 is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Derbyshire
Posts: 1,613

Member car:

159 Ti

Never heard about grip softner - What is it? Where can I buy some?

GRIP TYRE SOFTENER - YOUR #1 CHOICE IN THE WORLD!! is the stuff, big in the states, would have thought its a worldwide product, I often buy it off ebay.

Again, where I can get these springs? Do I search for springs for coilovers? Are the springs brand-specific or any brand of spring will suit my coilovers? And what must I look besides spring rates? Length? Height of the spring?

Any brand, I use D Faulkner Springs Standard Springs in the UK, eibach do them also but at twice the price. Coilover springs are generally 2.25" or 2.5" inside diameter, you will just need to specify the spring length and rating in lbs or nm.
I also have helper springs which are squshed right down with the weight of the car but keep the main spring in its place. 8" or 9" springs are typical. I run a 6" main and 4" helper on the front.

I run my car with aprox 2 - 2.5 degrees of negative camber at the front and back - I heard that as the 156 suspension is by double wishbones, negative camber can be achieved solely by lowering the car.... Have you used camber plates?

My track car is not an alfa, but the suspension setup is very similar, double front wishbone.
The lower arm pivot points (mount vs ball joint) want to be parallel under load, sometimes people lower too much, some cars can start to go positive camber under load, I don't know if the alfa does or not.

I used adjustable top arms to deal with the camber, and then heavily modified them to get up to 5 degree negative camber.
The rears are adjustable top links as well - this will give you an idea, although not for an alfa http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nk...at=0&_from=R40
but somewhere like this with their hefty price tags may do something similar Suspension | Classic Alfa Romeo spare parts and accessories

Do you have the size of the bearings that fits to lower arms? Again, where did you buy them? It is a really nice idea for a track car, I just do not know if I can put any type of bearing or must I select an heavy-duty one....as they will be sumbitted to a lot of pressure... I have poly bushes in my lower arms.....never heard before of bearings in the place of bushings in the suspension arms!
FK Precision Wide Series Spherical Bearings - SummitRacing.com, in the UK people often import the sphericals from the states, I had to.
Sphericals are needed in certain places, but my front lower arms were just standard bearings that a local race machine shop made up, a standard bearing being a round tube turning inside another tube, no ball bearings or anything complicated, (a bit like these PCI 8 PIECE Bronze Bearing Kit 92-95 Civic / 94-01 Integra - Pro Car Innovations - Performance Parts ) if you can find a decent machine shop, it will be a walk in the park for them, I simply took down my existing front lower arms and they fitted the bearings for me.
jasons is offline  
(Post Link) post #9 of 9 Old 04-02-13 Thread Starter
Status: Interlagos Track day soon
AO Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 63
Thanks a lot for all the links and the tips, Jason!

Today I have noticed that I made a primary mistake in my evaluation of the Intrax HDA dampers - I had only used in the streed the hardest setting - today went out with the dampers 20 clicks softer....what a difference!!!
In this softer damper setting, the suspension is really supple..... bum absorption os very good with adequate body control....ir feels more confortable than the Koni FDS / Eibach pro-kit combo....

So my mistake in the first evaluation - these dampers can be really confortable in the right setting!
mesonauta1 is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Tuning & Upgrades

Tags
156 , coilovers , experience , hda , intrax

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome