Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to soften the ride on our spider. Either that or force the council to resurface the roads in our village - fat chance!

My wife has trouble with her back but getting rid of the spider for a nice soft little run about is completely out of the question (obviously :) ).

I am contemplating some after-market shock absorbers (e.g. Koni) as I hear the standard fit are quite bad.

Would such a change improve the comfort without ruining the handling?

Would there be enough adjustment in them to go a step further and purposely trade handling for comfort?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Smaller wheels and 'taller' tyres will help, you could also do some research to see which tyres are more 'comfortable', as some have stiffer side walls than others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
yeah i must admit the ride can be jaw breaking on my GTV, some roads so bad its like having bad denistry carried out! i wouldnt mind a more forgiving suspension!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
The roads around north London where I live through to N1 where I work are horrific. People ask why I don't drive into work everyday, the answer is easy: traffic, speed humps and dodging potholes/craters/manhole covers – and of course sometimes not dodging them – make it a really unenjoyable drive.

We need some continental Europeans to take over highway maintenance.

The most painful thing is seeing a freshly laid road surface and then seeing a utility company come and dig it up for some reason... actually it really winds me up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Smaller wheels and 'taller' tyres will help, you could also do some research to see which tyres are more 'comfortable', as some have stiffer side walls than others.
That my help to some extent although the whole point of keeping the spider is minimising aesthetic changes!


Has anyone got any experience of after-market shocks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
If you keep to standard springs a change to better quality shocks should improve the ride and improve handling. I know the main choices are Koni or Bilstein. One is much firmer than the other, but I can't remember which.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,518 Posts
You may find it quite hard to find something that will soften up the ride. Most aftermarket shocks will either equal or stiffen the ride.

I would look at taller tyres/smaller wheel combo for starters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
That my help to some extent although the whole point of keeping the spider is minimising aesthetic changes!
I know, I would never put smaller wheels on over the standard size but it would soften things. Do look to see if some tyres at your standard 16" size are softer than others though.

I too reckon new shocks from anyone will be stiffer than what you have as they'll be brand new and 'tight'.

What about brand new OE springs; your old ones must have sagged a bit over time, so new springs would raise the height slightly so you wouldn't bottom-out on potholes etc so much? I'm just thinking aloud really. The harsh ride is the worst thing about my GTV. My friends Boxster goes over speed bumps at around twice the speed I am able to and does it without any fuss at all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
The ride in my Gtv is very harsh as well, but I'd put it down to a hard working 9 year old suspension. I've had a good month at work, so I'm replacing all the shox and springs with Eibach bits and powerflexing the rear, also replacing the rear spring pan arms. Any thoughts? Cost for all these bits comes to about £950 from Alternative Autos. Don't know what labour will be yet, but I sure can't be bothered to do it myself :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Let us know how you get on Rob, that should change the ride and handling quite drastically!

My suspension is 9 years old too, would love to try a GTV with a brand new standard set-up to see what the difference is.

Sticking with suspensions I need a new spring pan arm, so I now have to choose between PF and OE. Might cruise up to Royston and get Jamie Porters opinion at Alfaworkshop; I know Alfa Aid recommend PF, but not sure if that's just down to price?

Anyway, not going to turn this onto a PF/OE thread, plenty of those already!

Back to the original question, I'd be inclined to call the likes of Alfa Aid and put this question to them to see what they suggest, they've got stacks of knowledge...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,245 Posts
Get fully adjustable suspension, more expensive but you can set up the damping rate so should be able to make it more comfy as originals are quite harsh if what i have been told is true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Let us know how you get on Rob, that should change the ride and handling quite drastically!

My suspension is 9 years old too, would love to try a GTV with a brand new standard set-up to see what the difference is.

Sticking with suspensions I need a new spring pan arm, so I now have to choose between PF and OE. Might cruise up to Royston and get Jamie Porters opinion at Alfaworkshop; I know Alfa Aid recommend PF, but not sure if that's just down to price?

Anyway, not going to turn this onto a PF/OE thread, plenty of those already!

Back to the original question, I'd be inclined to call the likes of Alfa Aid and put this question to them to see what they suggest, they've got stacks of knowledge...
You can have a go in mine when it's done. I'm in Tunbridge Wells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Get fully adjustable suspension, more expensive but you can set up the damping rate so should be able to make it more comfy as originals are quite harsh if what i have been told is true
This is my thinking. Its also possible for better quality components to deal with bumps without hurting the handling. I am just trying to figure out what is better quality than the standard items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,245 Posts
Well pretty much any fully adjustable shock is better than standard, it all depends on your budget chap
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,591 Posts
Yokohama C-Drive will definitely improve the ride comfort and the road noise and replacing the dampers with Koni FDS, f available, will definitely help as well. Poor damping gives a rougher and harsher ride than new quality ones and Alfa Romeos typically come from the factory with inadequate damping.
Other than that you will need 'softer' springs' but the lack of suspension travel will need to be considered as you are more likely to bottom out the suspension

NB My 147 car came with 215x45x17 Pirelli P Zero Nero tyres and they were really rough and over cobble stone type paving the car almost vibrated to pieces. Replacing the tyres with Yokohama C-drive made a dramatic improvement. I followed this with Koni Sport adjustable and this also made an improvement
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,213 Posts
That is exactly the question I have. I want to know what the car was like when it was brand new, was it that hard ?? My car is SO HARD over some roads Im basically the slowest car on the road with other cars passing me. Why would Alfa make a car like that ??

Also it feels so vague and the front gets thrown around over little bumbs and rough roads I think that there is something wrong with my car. I dont know weather i need new shocks or bushes or wat. Dont get me wrong as soon as I hit a bit of smooth fast road its like it just sits down correctly and sticks to the road like glue like there has never been a problem in the world. But not every road is flat smooth and perfect !

One way to get a smoother ride is to let the air pressures down 2-4 PSI below the recomended presures. Experiment with what u like but even 1-2 PSI makes a huge difference between comfort and handling.

In realation to shocks I got a pair of Bilsteins on my Alfetta GTV in the 90s and they basically transformed the car. The front was lowered also but the bilsteins were phenomenal. The steering and handling at the front was so tight and precise Ive never experienced anything like it or since, not even in my current GTV TS. I can imagine a Ferrari would be set up this way. The Bilsteins absorbed all the bumps and gave a very good ride with exceptional handling far better than the OE Alfa shocks with exceptional improvement in Comfort AND Handling together !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,287 Posts
I think I posted this before?:rolleyes: Some manufacturers are reputedly designing their suspension systems to accommodate the poor state of our roads. No point in designing for snooker table smooth Autobahnen and the like, when the expectancy is of having to encounter bomb craters regularly? I don't blame the local authorities entirely, seeing the continous non-stop flow of traffic on our secondary highways. In fact, living by the M25, M10, and M1, I think they do a pretty fair job, taking all things into account, with our motorways? Oh! for the Black Tops of the fifties once more?:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
GTVs were built for smoothly tarmacced European roads. Anything less results in a bit of a crashy ride.

The ride in my Gtv is very harsh as well, but I'd put it down to a hard working 9 year old suspension. I've had a good month at work, so I'm replacing all the shox and springs with Eibach bits and powerflexing the rear, also replacing the rear spring pan arms. Any thoughts? Cost for all these bits comes to about £950 from Alternative Autos. Don't know what labour will be yet, but I sure can't be bothered to do it myself :lol:
Rob, how did all your suspension work go, did you get it all done and if so how has it changed the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
I think I posted this before?:rolleyes: Some manufacturers are reputedly designing their suspension systems to accommodate the poor state of our roads. No point in designing for snooker table smooth Autobahnen and the like, when the expectancy is of having to encounter bomb craters regularly? I don't blame the local authorities entirely, seeing the continous non-stop flow of traffic on our secondary highways. In fact, living by the M25, M10, and M1, I think they do a pretty fair job, taking all things into account, with our motorways? Oh! for the Black Tops of the fifties once more?:D
I think I'd like to see a much greater effort to ensure manhole covers actually fit 'flush' with the road surface; even on a newly surfaced road near me the covers aren't flush and you feel them too much as you go over them. On the A406 North Circular road there are again some covers that are too low. Some are in the middle of the lane which is fine as the tyres don't make contact with them, but others are right in line of the nearside wheels which means you definitely notice them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
It winds me up that by me there are roads scattered with craters, then a few yards up the same road they have recently spent money on stupid, pointless street furniture which does nothing at all good for the flow of traffic (ie. stupid red tarmac strips which make the car bounce around and make the ABS go weird if you dare brake too hard going over them).

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top