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147 1.6 TS 2005
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new member here. This is my 1st post despite reading a lot of threads over the years.

So I've just bought my 1.6 TS and she's on std suspension. I want her lowered by 20mm or so and handling improved. I'm not very fussy about ride. Acceptable will do.

I've been looking at cheap options as she's only worth £1k. I've been looking at TA Technix. I know everyone will say how bad they are. But what are the cheap alternatives? The shocks are knacked already and so new springs plus cheap sport shocks will run much more than the £200 for the TA Technix.

If anyone has been using the TA Technix. What is the lowering range you can get out of them? I dont want mine slammed. Also has anyone run them for a few years or 50k miles? How was the reliability during this time?

For all the cheap coilover haters out there. What is the best cheap alternative?

Grazi everyone.
 

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It really depends on what you consider cheap, i bought standard shocks with eibach lowering springs with a 30mm drop, ride is great, back wheels rub a wee bit if you have 5 passengers, or take a corner too fast but in general is great.

The above set up all in was about £400
 

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What about just getting standard suspension for a 147 but for a sportier specification? Won't the Ti or something similar have lower suspension? Obviously make sure you match the engines as GTA suspension probably won't work on a 1.6!

Alternatively if you really want to go cheap then look for second hand shocks and springs off eBay but some might not recommend that!!
 

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147 1.6 TS 2005
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both, I reckon I'm going for a combination of your suggestions. New sport OE springs are shocking money. I got quoted 480 for all corners. Vogtland at 100 quid seems a bargain by comparison. Lol.

I picked up used rear Bilstein b6 dampers today for 65 quid with 15k miles on them. Bargain.

Just need to look out for front damper deals now.

My mechanic, Duncan from Alfanet, said almost all my sus bushings are gone. So I guess I'll have to get poly ones now if I'm going to the bother of replacing them anyway.
 

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Thanks both, I reckon I'm going for a combination of your suggestions. New sport OE springs are shocking money. I got quoted 480 for all corners. Vogtland at 100 quid seems a bargain by comparison. Lol.

I picked up used rear Bilstein b6 dampers today for 65 quid with 15k miles on them. Bargain.

Just need to look out for front damper deals now.

My mechanic, Duncan from Alfanet, said almost all my sus bushings are gone. So I guess I'll have to get poly ones now if I'm going to the bother of replacing them anyway.
Mixing and matching can be bad. I had an old 2.5 Veloce with with sports on the front and normal dampers on the back. It looked and handled fairly badly...

Got to balance up cost of the car and mods yes as brand new suspension would likely easily outlive the car. Some might argue breaker suspension might be unsafe and there's probably a chance yes but that's down to the individual.
 

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Mixing and matching can be bad. I had an old 2.5 Veloce with with sports on the front and normal dampers on the back. It looked and handled fairly badly...
If your 'Veloce' has mismatched front and rear ride heights, it's more than likely that the springs are mismatched for height, not the dampers.

My 147 TS is one of the best handling cars I've ever driven. It's fitted with Bilstein B6 front dampers and 'stock' rear dampers ('stock rated' TRW). With the 147 it is the stock front dampers that are way too soft, the rears are reasonably OK (though ideally I'd like them to be at least a bit stiffer).

Shortly after purchasing the car I replaced the front and rear dampers with brand new 'stock' TRWs. The new rear dampers were acceptable, and still are after four years of bumpy roads. I just had to bin the new 'stock' fronts. They were barely any better than the old ones that had come with the car, and which I had deemed 'worn out'. But they weren't worn out, they are just like that, way too soft. Even the front B6 Bilsteins are IMO at least a tad softer than I'd like, but much better than the stock rated front dampers.

But it isn't just the uprated front dampers that make my car handle as well as it does. It also has a massive rear anti roll bar (20mm diameter, custom made), that is very stiff and contributes hugely. And, it has custom made lateral control arms (x4) in the rear suspension. Each arm has a quite stiff rubber bush at one end and a spherical bearing at the other end. These arms also have a very positive effect on the handling (the stock rear control arms have very soft rubber bushes at both ends that do not enhance handling in the least, even when in 'as new' condition).

Aged and softened rubber bushes have a very bad affect on steering and handling. In particular I have found that the rear bushes in the lower control arms (front suspension) can look OK, and not seem degraded / softened when prodded, poked and levered with a pry bar (with control arm still on the car). Yet the bush can still be quite badly degraded / softened, this not being diagnosable until the arm is on the workbench (or more accurately with the bush clamped in a vise and the arm 'wobbled' on the bush).

Regards,
John.
 

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147 1.6 TS 2005
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Discussion Starter #7
If your 'Veloce' has mismatched front and rear ride heights, it's more than likely that the springs are mismatched for height, not the dampers.

My 147 TS is one of the best handling cars I've ever driven. It's fitted with Bilstein B6 front dampers and 'stock' rear dampers ('stock rated' TRW). With the 147 it is the stock front dampers that are way too soft, the rears are reasonably OK (though ideally I'd like them to be at least a bit stiffer).

Shortly after purchasing the car I replaced the front and rear dampers with brand new 'stock' TRWs. The new rear dampers were acceptable, and still are after four years of bumpy roads. I just had to bin the new 'stock' fronts. They were barely any better than the old ones that had come with the car, and which I had deemed 'worn out'. But they weren't worn out, they are just like that, way too soft. Even the front B6 Bilsteins are IMO at least a tad softer than I'd like, but much better than the stock rated front dampers.

But it isn't just the uprated front dampers that make my car handle as well as it does. It also has a massive rear anti roll bar (20mm diameter, custom made), that is very stiff and contributes hugely. And, it has custom made lateral control arms (x4) in the rear suspension. Each arm has a quite stiff rubber bush at one end and a spherical bearing at the other end. These arms also have a very positive effect on the handling (the stock rear control arms have very soft rubber bushes at both ends that do not enhance handling in the least, even when in 'as new' condition).

Aged and softened rubber bushes have a very bad affect on steering and handling. In particular I have found that the rear bushes in the lower control arms (front suspension) can look OK, and not seem degraded / softened when prodded, poked and levered with a pry bar (with control arm still on the car). Yet the bush can still be quite badly degraded / softened, this not being diagnosable until the arm is on the workbench (or more accurately with the bush clamped in a vise and the arm 'wobbled' on the bush).

Regards,
John.
Great info John (I'm a born Kiwi BTW). I must say my last car was a lowered 159 2.4 with no other steering or suspension mods and it felt pretty sharp when handling. This 147 feels spongy by comparison. Sounds like I need to upgrade to poly bushes on the components you mentioned while I've got it all in pieces.

Question to you John. Given I'm trying to do much of this on a budget and anti roll bars are ridiculous money IMO. Could I get some of these benefits with poly bushes on the std anti roll bars?

I've found some cheap front Koni STR dampers at £110 for both. The rears Bilstein B6 for £65. I'm going with the Vogtland springs at £110 too.
 

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Great info John (I'm a born Kiwi BTW).
That's OK, I'm not racist...

I must say my last car was a lowered 159 2.4 with no other steering or suspension mods and it felt pretty sharp when handling. This 147 feels spongy by comparison. Sounds like I need to upgrade to poly bushes on the components you mentioned while I've got it all in pieces.
Personally I would avoid polyurethane bushes unless they were the only way I could stiffen an overly soft stock joint (especially if you drive on dirt roads, as I'm forced to). Having said that, the rear control arm bushes would probably be better in poly than rubber (but my solution is much better than that). I've been told that some aftermarket lateral control arms have bushes which are substantially softer than the stock Alfa bushes. Soft rear end lateral control arm bushes absolutely wreck the steering and handling...

Don't leap into swapping front suspension lower control arm bushes with poly bushes unless you research it carefully. I've never done it but know it is a bit of a minefield. Not all the different available arms have the same sized bushing shafts, and this is an issue which needs to be understood, some arms need different sized adaptor tubes from the bushing supplier (or if you have a lathe...).

My lateral control ams (rear suspension) are made from custom buggerised Toyota parts (Camry and Corolla). There is a write up here:


Question to you John. Given I'm trying to do much of this on a budget and anti roll bars are ridiculous money IMO. Could I get some of these benefits with poly bushes on the std anti roll bars?
Not as staightforward a question as it might first appear.

The stiffening effect of harder 'D' bushes will be more evident the stiffer the ARB itself is, but will only ever be minor relative to any increase in ARB stiffness.

The stock rear ARB is a pointless thing with a neglibible affect, and I don't think any stiffening effect (from stiffer D bushes) would even be noticable with it. Which is stiffer, a length of coat hanger wire mounted in putty bushes, or the same wire mounted in steel bushes? The stock rear ARB could not be much less effective if it were made from coathanger wire...

I certainly wouldn't go to the considerable trouble of taking out the front ARB just in order to change the D bushes (unless they were worn out of course). I don't think changing to poly front ARB bushes would have a significant affect because the stock front ARB D bushes are already relatively stiff (at least the seemingly stock front D bushes that I found on my spare parts 147, which I have not driven with).

Assuming these to be typical stock D bushes for these front ARBs, they are not simply shaped plain rubber blocks, but instead are rubber infused into a fabric matrix. The bushes don't seem to be vulcanised or in any way adhered to the ARB (other than possibly by physical tightness when new, my exaples are a bit old and not tight, but with no free play either).

The bush material (i.e. the rubber / fabric matrix) is fairly stiff and does not appear to have the flexibility that would be required to accommodate the rotation of the ARB if it were adhered to the ID of the bush bore. So, the ARB rotates in the stock D bushes in much the same way as it would in a poly D bush, but there seems to be no lubricant of any kind, instead the fabric in the matrix seems to have a 'slippery' quality.

My reccomendation is to fit the stiffest rear ARB you can buy or make (if you have the skills or know someone who does). Poly bushes will be more or less a waste of time and effort.

I've found some cheap front Koni STR dampers at £110 for both. The rears Bilstein B6 for £65. I'm going with the Vogtland springs at £110 too.
Used? New Bilstein B6 rear dampers are significantly more expensive than B6 front dampers. I haven't used the rear B6, but exprct they would be significantly better than 'stock' rate rear dampers. I have heard some people (wimps...) complain that the B6 rear dampers are too stiff...

I've had Koni 'Sports' on another car (Accord), and liked them more than my B6 Bilsteins. I have no experience with the Koni STR, but from what I understand they have no adjustment which is something I really did find useful with the 'Sports'.

I have no experience with fitting stiffer springs (on this platform). I would expect a significant increase in rear spring stiffness would probably be a good thing, especially if you don't have a substantial rear ARB (but stiffer springs may then demand a stiffer than stock dampers).

I'd avoid more than a very modest reduction in ride height, or you'll get too much negative camber (amongst other free bad side affects).

Regards,
John.
 
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