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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, after spending some time in a 166, driving over all sorts of roads, and driven in different 'modes', the only real let down of the car, i thought, was the suspension set-up. Not the design, no sir-ee, the design is great, easy to rebuild, easy to diagnose worn components etc..and more importantly, works beautifully hand in hand (on smooth roads anyway), with that glorious steering, with its to die for rack ratio, and perfect weight, (and feedback like its a giant sud..), etc...but....alfa made there only real blunder with this beautiful car, buy getting the spring rates/ shock valving combination so wrong. oh dear.
Its seemingly minor things like this that make people end up going and buying a german car, purely because they can be driven over most conditions, without the complete personality change of the car, just because the road surface changed from billiard smooth, to less than perfect.
Me and my father both own a 166, and when we get together , and get talkin about our cars, all we do is gush over how beautiful a 166 is, in so many ways, and then the inevitable part of the conversation where we get back to how poor the suspension set up is. the pitching, and diving, the 'crash/bang' thing, the in ability to be driven hard over roads that you should be able to, like the alfas of yester year, for example, a 75, or a sud,say, can be driven flat out over any surface......
We put a set of bilsteins in the old boys car, but it really didnt make much difference to be honest, to our disapointment, I was ready to reside to the fact that they are a flawed diamond, great car, bad suspension. Then i thought, no, alfa couldn't blow it this bad, its gota be wrong springs, or shocks or something, so i decided to chuck some koni sports in mine, because of there greaty reputation for aggressive valving, and unique shock designs......well....it is everything i expected a 166 to be now, just transformed the car from a bad riding, sloppy, vague, crashy, nervous, borderline tedious drive, to a firm, beautifully controlled, confidence inspiring, sports sedan. thankyou Koni for doing the R&D that alfa should have done at the factory!!
now when i have to duck out to grab some bread and milk, i take the 166 over my 75..not always though........kind of depends on my mood.........
 

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yeah I dont know what Alfa did in their suspension department but they must have been having an off day when they designed the dampers, the V6 156 is also totally transformed with a decent set of dampers
 

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Just Yellow Koni Sport Springs that are adjustable!

Great thread just made my mind up to also get the front ones done as well. Nice one for this review!

What springs are you using?
 

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I have to disagree with the Op my 166 is pretty good on all roads, especially compared to my 146, only real complaint I would have is doing a left/right switch or vice-versa then she can show what a lardy **** she is.
Other than that although it feels slower (or maybe just more controlled) than my 146 through corners the speedo tells me otherwise.
Could be my 146 is worn out :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hehe nice to read this, i'm waiting for koni sport for my gtv :)

@ potenziata

How did you set them? Did you adjust them at all or just mounted them as they came.
ok, normally, i always get a bit exited, and screw em right up, but this time, i didnt. because the valving is so firm, borderline radical!!! like way harder than any koni sport out of the box ive ever felt! so i just set them in the middle, which is like one turn, (its two turns from soft to firm, your two extremes of adjustment..), now, the only problem that ive just dicovered, is that the car sits about 20mm lower than it used to with the O.E.M shocks in it...mmmm..strange. its obviously to do with the positioning of the spring plate on the shock body, and/or the length of the shock rod, problem now is, early 166's are 'undersprung' from the factory, and are prone to sag, (not sure if all the other front drive v6's suffer the same problem..), so you get bottoming out when hammering on bad roads, giving a thumping sound when you hit minor holes and undulations etc..

Now im going to do originally what i decided i was going to do, and that is, have some springs made up for it, going to start with the front (where all the weight is), ive had the poundage measured, spring dimensions etc, the fronts are 200lbs springs, which sounds laim to me, and they almost compress to half there size when the car is on the deck..also laim. so im guessin that if i come up about 20mm, and increase the poundage to say 300-350lbs, i reckon the spring/shock valving combo should be more like how an alfa should be set up, not like a garden variety cruiser like the factory set up!! long story short, if your going to put konis in, get some springs made up by sus guru, and do it right, and dont lower it, they are already way low enough, ive tried the eibach spring kit, too low. the rates arent bad, just too low..the rate is where the problem is , not the height.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just Yellow Koni Sport Springs that are adjustable!

Great thread just made my mind up to also get the front ones done as well. Nice one for this review!

What springs are you using?
at the moment, im using the standard springs. which is wrong really. putting the koni shocks in has lowered it, (about 20mm i think..), funnily enough. which is not what you want on a 166. the early cars are prone to spring sag, and were undersprung from the factory, so the result is that its a smidgen too low for hard punting on bad roads, they are just bottoming out. bumma. the valving of the shocks are just awsome. definitely the right ones for the car, but the shocks are now doing all the work, and out gun the springs. im going to have a set of springs made up for it, cause the off the shelf eibach kit are too low, (about 40mm..), which is a joke really, they are low enough already, they just need a heavier rate to cope with all the weight up the front...standard spring is 200lbs...im guna go about 300lbs + , and come up if anything, bout 10-20mm..then i reckon it will be somewhere where the suspension can really work for the car, not aganst it, when driven hard and fast over less than perfect roads..all alfas should be really firm, althoiugh not harsh, thats where its at, setting it up at the factory all mushy just cause its got an auto tranmission is just silly!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just Yellow Koni Sport Springs that are adjustable!

Great thread just made my mind up to also get the front ones done as well. Nice one for this review!

What springs are you using?
I agree. with everything you've said. Although I wonder if its not that it was a bad set-up by Alfa rather than the 166 is just prone to wear? If the 166 was rebuilt using completely standard parts I wonder what it would handle like?

Stuart
mmmm..ive pondered on that theory alot!!! obviously i reckon it would feel better than it would if its done some miles, to just replace everything in it, but i drove a 166 when it was new, and i felt the same way about it, as i do with one that has 150k on it...just too consevative with the set up, under valved/undersprung i reckon....but thats just my opinion!!!! They should have brought out a GTA vesrion of the 166 i think, that would be more a piece of me than the standard car...
 

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Agree completely - I have them on my 166 and they're great. I am just using the standard springs and I want to stay with them. Different car - much more sure footed, flatter cornering but still a much better, quieter ride.
 
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