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Alfa 156 2.5 V6 - Camber Sensitivity??

5016 Views 35 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kendr
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Calling all 156 2.5 V6 owners....!

Heeeelpp!

I bought my Alfa 156 V6 from Westover Motors in Bournemouth in October last year. Have been absolutely delighted with the car except for one thing....the fact that the car always seems to want to pull to the left!

I have been told by the dealer (after investigating tracking and certifying in spec) that the 156 V6 Veloce (with sport suspension and 16" wheels) is very sensitive to camber i.e. in pulling to the left, the car is actually just following the natural camber toward the nearside on most UK roads.

In most situations I can put up with this, but on a straight and level Motorway, I only have to let go of the wheel for a second or two and I'm heading for the hard shoulder. This gets very wearing on a long drive.

Had the tracking investigated by a third party and they concur that all looks OK.

Do any other 156 V6 owners have the same experience?

Please comment, it's driving me mad!!
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My 145 follows the road too...
Especially under heavy braking.
You could try playing with the tyre pressures on the left hand side but you'll need to get an accurate pressure gauge to do this, the ones in garage forecourts are rubbish & woefully inaccurate
 

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My 155 does the same even on straight roads. Why i dont know as a friend of mine with the same car has no trouble... I think its a lame excuse for a dealer to tell you that... Bet they didnt mention that to you when you bought it. I have heard also that worn tyres can have that affect too.

Please let us know how you got on and can anyone else help this guy out?
 

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Maybe it's an Alfa Character trait


Miine was ok after I had it tracked & wheels balanced but with the roads over here it all goes off after a few thousand miles
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a million for the feedback, folks.

Like yourselves, I'm starting to believe that this really is a 156 trait which everyone else just puts up with.

It really does spoil my enjoyment of the car, though...such a shame when everything else about it is fantastic. Had a 155 V6 in the past and don't recall that pulling to the left all the time.

Will try adjusting the tyre pressures as you suggest and get back.

Thanks again,
 

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Okay, re the car pulling to the left, there are several things you need to get checked as follows (the figures are for a 155 - you will need to check out the equivalents for a 156):

Front camber: between -0.4 deg & 0.0 deg
Front caster: between 3.4 deg & 2.4 deg
Toe : between -0.1 deg & 0.0 deg
Steer ahead : between -0.03 deg & 0.03 deg

If any of these are significantly outside the above figures, the car can pull to one side. I had the same problem before getting the above set up, and now the car drives dead straight.

The rear settings (these should also be checked as they can affect the way the car drives):

Camber: between -0.45 deg and -1.15 deg
Toe : between -0.07 deg & 0.12 deg

Hope that all helps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Many thanks, Vish.

Will get the equivalent data for the 156 from the dealer and ask my local ATS branch to set it up!

Good to know that you have solved the problem for your 155 - gives me some encouragement.

Cheers,
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Out of interest, who did you get to setup your 155 - an Alfa specialist, local garage KwikFit type operation?

And where did you get the setup data - the dealer, a manual, where?

Thanks,
 

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I was led to believe even if your rear settings do not fall between the above, they are fixed and cannot be changed in any way.

Have you had the car from new? Has it been involved in a motor incident?

Hope not!

Keep in touch
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No motor incidents at all!

The car is exactly as supplied from new in October 2000.

11500 miles later, I still have the problem....but will try to address using the information supplied by Vish.

Cheers,
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi I am afraid to tell you that 156 2.5V6 should not be affected by camber as much as you describe. What wheels have you got fitted as some alfas had incorrect wheels fitted by dealers when a technical bulletin did not state NOT to fit certain wheels to 2.5s. I strongly recommend you return to the dealer and ask them to check this. Goodluck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've had a number of cars which have seemed to pull to the left.

Have you tried, on a clear road, to drive on the wrong side, ie. to the right of the crown, to see if it the pulls to the right? If it does it is reasonable to think that there is not a fault with the car.

Regards.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All,

Thanks for the new responses from NumanRacing, Vish and 145Rob.

The 156 in question has 16" Alfa alloys (5-hole variety standard on the 156 2.5 V6 Veloce)with Goodyear Eagle F1 205/55ZR15 tyres.

I have had the car from new, it's never been pranged or treated badly.

I now have 12000 miles on the clock.

Generally, if I drive to the right side of the crown of the road i.e. with a moderate RIGHT camber, the car will STILL tend to the left.

If I try to drive it on a very marked right camber then sure enough I can get to the point where the car is actually pulling right (i.e. tending to tighten the turn to the right).

In other words, in most situations I go around holding in some right steering wheel to avoid ending up in the nearside hedge.

I just don't believe this is right...so here's my plan.

Taking the car into the original dealer next week for 12000 service. Will make a real nuisance of myself with service management and ask them to re-evaluate the car (bear in mind that they have already declared the car "in spec" on two different occasions, and have no interest at all in pursuing the matter).

As further background, after complaining to the salesman, I was recently invited to drive another almost identical 156 V6 - and that TOO showed a similar (though slightly less marked) tendency to go left.

This latter point gives credence to the service organisations claim that the car has no fault.

But surely to God, a brand new car with a formidable reputation like the 156 shouldn't have this annoying tendency. I've driven lots of performance cars in my time (I'm 39, by the way) and feel that I know what to expect in my Alfa. But I really feel like chopping it in for something else at the moment.....!
 

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Jon,

The place I had my 155 checked out is part of the Merit Tyre chain, which I believe is pretty much nationwide. I think it would help you a lot if you went along and got them to check out the various measurements that I listed. They will have the correct ones on their computer.

That way, if something is out of shape, you will have a computer printout of it, and that should give you some ammunition when you next go to your supplying dealer.

If you want me to email you a copy of the readout for my car so you know what it looks like, let me have your email address, and I will scan it in and attach it

Cheers
Vish
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well....just picked up the car today after its 12000 service.

Wrote a very detailed report on the problem for the service manager, and begged them to help me out. Also gave details of the suspension setup that had cured the problem on Vish's 155.

The result...they swapped the wheels from front to back, confirmed that the tracking and suspension geometry is all in limits, and told their receptionist to tell me that these 156s are indeed very sensitive to camber and....wait for it....YOU NEED TO HOLD ON TO THE STEERING WHEEL AT ALL TIMES TO AVOID THIS!!!

I #$%@&!ing give up.

I have one other idea - another Alfa dealer in Dorchester. Going to take it to them now.

Cheers all.
 
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