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Discussion Starter #1
My old Boge dampers went to "Monza in the sky" last month so I bought some new ones. I also saved up and bought some new genoooiine part springs and bushes, bump stops etc, as it seemed a shame to re-assemble a mix of new and old components for the sake of a few quid, now that I had the suspension apart (probably first time in 5 years).

Mr Romeo would have a tear in his eye as I did everything by the book with OE parts. :) Everything between the wishbone and the inner wing is new, so it all looks lovely in there now.

The trouble is (there's always a "the trouble is.." ;) ) the front end is MILES too high. :eek: The wheel arch is a good 5 or 6 cm higher above the wheel than it used to be. I understand "it will settle a bit" but anyone know if this is normal? It looks like a truck at the moment.

Unfortunately I didn't compare old and new springs side by side but they seemed "more or less" the same length when they were all lying around next to each other and the markings on the springs (colour coded paint marks) were also the same, so I'm fairly sure the springs are the "correct" ones, rather than supplied in error.

Tarquini is a v6 155 (Super) so there's no chance that the old springs were "Sport" (i.e shorter) etc. The wheel arch clearance just doesn't look right now - I don't think they would make any model (Super or not) look like that.

It drives okay and I'm sure I've assembled it right (not really much scope to get it wrong really).

Anyone got any top tips/reassurance/horror stories for me?


Ralf S.
 
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Oh dear Ralf!
Any chance that the springs all round had gradually got tired and that you have now actually restored the original height to the front with the new springs?
 

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Hhmm, well, you could always enter Tarquini into one of those Monster Truck competitions :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
VO2Max said:
Any chance that the springs all round had gradually got tired and that you have now actually restored the original height to the front with the new springs?
Possibly... but it looks borderline "un-natural", if that makes sense.


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gary Slegg said:
Hhmm, well, you could always enter Tarquini into one of those Monster Truck competitions :lol:
Speed humps are a bit easier than they used to be... :rolleyes: :lol:


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oooh I hate replying to my own post.. :lol:

I did 100 miles now... and it's not moved at all. Have I got the only speed-hump proof '55 in the universe?

Though it'll be handy for Jupiter's craters. I suppose... :rolleyes:



Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The beast has settled down a cm or two... the wheel-arch gap looks like it could just about have been the standard clearance :)eek:) though it's still miles too high (well.. about 3 or 4cm above where I want it).

I need to be lower. :cool:

Anyone know if Jamex springs are any good? There's a fella selling some reasonably cheap on Fleabay.

Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thought about surgically enhancing my springs with a hacksaw but after the bottom winding (that sits in the damper spring pan) the remaining windings are quite steep.

The springs must be about 18" long unwound but they only have 4 or 5 coils. If I chop off the bottom winding the spring wouldn't seat properly in the pan.

The tops are smaller diameter windings as they have to fit in the top mount recess (with a rubber pad/bearing sandwiched between the two) so there's no opportunity to trim at that end either.

Ralf S.
 

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What you will find Ralf is that not all springs with the same part number are exactly the same. I work in a place where I have to have springs made for Triumphs, Mgs etc. If I go to my warehouse now and look at a particular part number, I find that some are taller/shorter than others. The various manufacturers who make them for me say that this can't be helped and it is up to me to supply a matching pair to any customer. This is why you might see 2 brand new alfa 156s of exactly the same spec, which will have a cm or 2 difference in ride height. I have even sold some 1" lower springs to various customers and some say the car is too low and others say it has raised the car! I would suggest exchanging them at the place where you bought them for another set and try them. Failing that, Jamex springs are good enough and will lower the car 40mm approx, just don't fit Apex ones like me. They advertise a 40mm drop but lowered my car by 50mm on the back and 60mm on the front!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Good lad! I thought I was going mental... (or fitted them wrong somehow.. though that's virtually impossible).

I think you're right - the new springs may just be longer, though it's not impossible that the old ones may have sagged 3 or 4cm over the last 13 years.

I'll see about the Jamex springs, though shot-blasting and re-coating my old ones (£35 the pair) could also be a contender (have to see how rusty they are).

Ralf S.
 

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You would be surprised how long suspension springs last. Even though they look rusty they will probably have 10 years or more life left in them. It's very difficult to break a spring, even one that appears corroded. If you have no joy with new springs then shot blasting and powder coating will give your old (but probably ok) a fresh look. This way you will keep your desired ride height and have nice shiny items to match the rest of the new components.
 

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TEJ said:
You would be surprised how long suspension springs last. Even though they look rusty they will probably have 10 years or more life left in them. It's very difficult to break a spring, even one that appears corroded. If you have no joy with new springs then shot blasting and powder coating will give your old (but probably ok) a fresh look. This way you will keep your desired ride height and have nice shiny items to match the rest of the new components.
Apparently and ime the 156 ones are easy to snap!

They corrode at the bottom and the end snaps off (still driveable) but shouldn't pass an MOT.

My specialist replaced both front springs with OE and said he has seen loads with the same fault (and on the 166).
 

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I can only say I had a pair of coil springs 'powder' coated for a car I was restoring once.
Emulsion would have lasted longer but maybe I was unlucky. Actually I used Mammeri-rite on that car as well - it lasted no longer! Was I unlucky or .....????
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm shagged out with springs at the mo'!

I needed four spring compressors to swap the springs... two to shorten the inner coils enough and then two to reach the outer coils and shorten them too (my spring compressors are just too short to grab the whole spring in one go).

Anyway it took HOURS of winding (bearing in mind I had a pounding headache over New Year ;) ). The buggers are in there now and that'll do, at least till the MOT is out of the way and the weather improves!

My old springs will probably shot-blast reasonably clean and a firm I found to re-coat them says they'll zinc-primer them, so they could make a comeback and should last okay. As TEJ says, they're pretty okay.. they just looked 'orrible and tatty.

I'll see if I can get a photo of the "new look".. you can compare with the old springs below.


Ralf S.
 

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VO2Max said:
Ralf, your 155 looks immaculate, a credit to the marque! :cool:
Yes, I agree with VO2Max, it does look :cool:
 
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