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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my GT 3.2 (Red with Tan leather) since October 06 and I am getting to the stage now where the initial buzz of just sitting in it with the engine running and lovin the deep engine note is starting to wear off and the imperfections of the car are starting to show through. I have decided that I can make this car almost perfect with a little help from you guys and without breaking the bank and making dodgy purchases along the way.

I am going to concentrate on what I consider to be the 'flaws' of the GT and see if I can iron them out resulting in a coupe that drives as well as it looks.

1) When driving to my home town of Manchester from Edinburgh where I now live I use the A70/A721/B7016 to Biggar which is a superbly fast and quiet route which avoids getting stuck behind slow lorries on the A702 through to the M74. My previous car was a Jag X-Type which loved this kind of road, fast, undulating, some tight bends some very fast long sweeping bends with good visibility to enable cutting corners and using the racing line. This road is, in a lot of areas quite bumpy with broken tarmac, and has a lot of crests and dips that really test the setup of the suspension. But I never realised how demanding a road this is until I switched to the GT. My first trip back to Manchester since getting the GT was over Christmas and I was really looking fwd to giving the GT a blast along the A70. It wasn't long before I was wishing I was back in the Jag as the GT was just not suited to this type of road at all. It certainly let me know where there was a pot hole in the road as the suspension sent great crashes through the chassis and hit the bump-stops on dips and felt floaty on the crests. This to me was a very big disappointment and made me appreciate how well set-up the suspension is on an X-type Sport, and, to add insult to injury, I had a Saab 1.8t convertible up my arse through the bends and could shake him off, although I did lose him on the fast straights I must add.

So without spending an arm and a leg on track biased suspension can anyone give me some advise on what is the best way to go about sorting the suspension for a bumpy but fast 'A' road like the A70? I have searched the forum and read as many threads on suspension mods as I can and there seems to be a lot of great things said about KW springs/dampers, also Bilsteins and of course Autodelta kits. I also checked on the Gazzella website and they list some 'Koni Sport Shock Absorbers Adjustable Rebound Rate (Front Pair)' Yellow line at £189+vat & dely. I have e-mailed them with my requirements but I am dubious as to whether just fitting improved front shockers is gonna give the results I’m looking for. Does anyone have any experience with the 'Yellow line' Koni dampers and would I need to fit rears as well, keeping the standard springs? Another option is from Autodelta that from reading some threads improve comfort but provide better body control, but the cheapest set I can find in the Autodelta ‘shop’ are adjustable damper/springs for £710. Is this what I'm gonna have to spend for an 'A' road thrasher?

2) Another thing is the brakes. When I bought the Alfa I was expecting great things from these 330mm Brembo brakes but they feel distinctively lacking in bite, and I have even come close to running in the back of the car in front, as final 'bite' just doesn't seem to be there. The car is only 12 months old so I wouldn’t expect to be changing brake fluid at this early stage so I assume from reading other threads that the pads are just not up to scratch. I had EBC green stuff pads on my Jag and I wasn't very impressed with them, and have found out that they are not really suited to medium/heavy cars and that Red stuff would be better, any thoughts anyone? Do any of the pads mentioned on this forum (Pagids, Ferodo DS2500 etc) give off lots of break dust? As this is bad news for the multi spoke 18's I have on my GT.

Well I'd better leave it there for now as that’s quite a long post, I'll come to Q2 LSD's and strut braces in another post at another time...
 

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DS2500's give off way way less brake dust that the standard pads, they should be your next choice I would suggest :)
Last well too, plus brake superbly of course - I need semi slick tyres on track to get to the limit of my brakes with these pads.

The 330mm setup is actually superb, but braided hoses might be something you look seriously at too unless you enjoy pressing a soggy sponge with your right foot:)

All Alfas should come with a voucher for coilovers, the standard dampers are rubbish.
At the moment you have to drive conservatively on bad roads to save the sump/avoid jarring.
Good coilover sets can definitely improve comfort and control - you will fall in love again with your car!

Cheers,
TB
 

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Ive just fitted the eibach kit of shocks and springs. only been on a couple of days but initial impressions are good. A slight drop in height was the only clue after picking the car up it didnt feel much different at all. but once I got to push it a little I could really feel the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your comments everyone.

I have been speaking to Chris at Gazzella Racing and he has the Koni Yellow line Adjustable dampers fitted to his GT 3.2 so I think I might go for these, they work out a lot less than going for a damper/spring set as the konis work with the standard dampers. He says the softest setting on these are equivalent to the standard GT dampers, so at least I know there is plenty of scope to make them stiffer if I need to, and I don’t think I will be needing them any softer. These dampers do not have any 'clicks' when you adjust them however, which I think might be a pain when trying to get left/right dampers setup identically, but I should manage with the help of a permanent marker.

One question though, on the GT the plastic side pouches that house the CD Changer and oddment bins and support the parcel shelf sit right over the top mounts for the rear dampers, so how do I get access to the adjusting knobs for the dampers? I need to speak to Chris at Gazzella again to find out, but I presume anyone fitting adjustable dampers on to a GT/147/156 will have had this problem, so any ideas? Will it involve extended spindles poking through the parcel shelf supports?

I am also thinking of going for Tarox 401 front pads which Gazzella sell for £117 in Vat which is a lot cheaper than DS2500's from ********* (£150), and by the way, I have noticed that *********’s website seems to be down, displaying a 'this account has expired' message, anyone know if they are still in business?

PS. The GT goes in for its first service (12k/1year) at Arnold Clark in Edinburgh tonight with the following items to be looked at along with the Clutch pin recall, so I will create a separate post to let you know how it all goes.

1) Front Passenger window sometimes does not auto-close after door is closed.

2) Drivers window will sometimes only close in increments after window has been opened.

3) Creaking noise coming from boot/hatch area/rear of inside of car whilst driving, this is worse when driving onto driveway when chassis twists.

4) Power steering makes clunking noises when maneuvering at low speed, something does not feel right with the left front wheel.

5) Internal boot light does not work most of the time, for example when I open the boot with the key fob whilst the car is locked, I have checked bulb.

6) Alarm 'Blip' sometimes doesn't sound when locking/unlocking car.

7) Brakes sometimes have no 'bite' when pressing pedal and have to press brake pedal extra hard to stop car.

8) Excessive wind noise coming from passenger door window seal.
 

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for the 156 at least the CD chager unit is towords the back of the boot at the side.
The suspension top mount is well forward of that point, pretty much at the inside corner of the boot, and is easily accessible for adjustment of my AD Sportline Corses.

Things could be slightly different with the GT I suppose, the real joy of these things is being able to quickly tweak them, although AFAIK some Koni models damper adjustments are primarily meant to offset perfromance in the Damper over time as opposed to being an offical suspension tuning option.
I don't know for example if bound and rebound are both controlled in a copled manner by the adjuster, worth enquiring about.
Possibly not something to get too hung up on , they are bound to be better than standard anyway :)


Nunber 7) just sounds like cold brakes!
The 3.2 discs and calipers are big, and need some heat in them before they work fully especially on cold days.
They are still fine but you have to press hard when they are cold, if you have been travelling without braking for 20 minutes and then suddenly apply the brakes hard you might have to press a bit harder the first time.

If you want an all round firmer and more consistant braking pedal get braided hoses fitted.

Cheers,
TB
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks TB

No.7 is on there for the dealer to double check the brakes (whether they actually do is another matter) and to give the all clear before I start modifying them. They will probably just say that's its normal for them to feel like that.

The top mounts are definitely not easily accessible from in the boot so may have to reconsider adjustables and go for Koni FSD.
 

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I can answer some of your niggles:
3. You may have a polystyrene former in the boot holding the tools and inflation kit, this creaked in mine against the paint. I now have a proper spare wheel and tools but I used to wedge it with a few clothes and it stopped the noise.
5. I had same problem with the light, one of the wires at the back was fitted incorrectly and not on the terminal.

I have had the same problem with the windows moving incrementally, they seem to have fixed this though.

All in all I am extremely pleased with my GT, I had a 320d before this with a chip, on paper the 1.9Jtdm was slower but in practice it is quicker and much more fun. I had similar niggles with BMW and it was nit as nice to drive or look at. The GT is a far superior car and my wife even agrees.

Fuel consumption can be heavy compared to the BMW above 70mph - but who ever exceeds this?
 

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Thanks for your comments everyone.


2) Drivers window will sometimes only close in increments after window has been opened.

3) Creaking noise coming from boot/hatch area/rear of inside of car whilst driving, this is worse when driving onto driveway when chassis twists.



7) Brakes sometimes have no 'bite' when pressing pedal and have to press brake pedal extra hard to stop car.
2) These along with most cars have a secure safe system built in to them, which means that if the window is obstructed whilst going up then it stops! ie; a child's head! Anyway, this means that it will not go up in 1 full go it will go up in increments. To reset this follow this:
With window closed. press and hold down window button until fully open, then do the same to close and it should reset itself. I have found mine does this quite often.. a gripe but not a major problem!

3) Creaking noise from rear on mine and I've heard a couple of cars have done this..
I had to relign the WHOLE hatch assembly on the mounts.. It was fouling on the roof when opening and scratching the roof and hatch where they caught eachother. The other problem with this was the creaking noise when closed.. as it wasn't sitting right in the car it was making a noise on the rear panel where the lock catch sits.
My car has never been involved in an accident so I pressume it was just not fitted correctly in Factory, which doesn't suprise me I'm afraid.

7) My brakes are Crap. plain and simple. I'm actually quite appalled at their quality.
I drive my car quickly sometimes and when I do I can induce Severe Brake Fade within a few minutes! and this on a car which has 9k Miles on it in my opinion is Not Acceptable.
Why should I have to pay for braided hoses or upgrade Discs/Pads/Calipers when I paid £21k for this car??:wow:
 

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Either

a) your brake fluid needs to be replaced, or just change your brake fluid to something better (AP racing 600 or similar).

or

b) If you are just standing completely 100% on the brakes every few seconds on a winding road, with no straights to cool them - that would sound like "user error" to me..
Many sports cars (I'm not considering the GT one) brakes will fry if they don't have sufficient cooling due to low speed windy roads and you just cumulatively increase the thermal soakage with max braking on a windy road.
The 330mm brakes performance even on standard pads/discs is better than many faster/more expensive cars, they certainly seem to brake faster than an E46 M3's in my experience (albeit the M3 is a fair bit heavier).

I have only tried braided hoses 330mm setups, but with OEM pads the car can pull 0.98g under braking reliably on track without fade in a 15min session (0.98g being the tyres limits). I would expect the same with standard hoses, just less pedal feel.
On type-R tyres with DS2500 pads, it would go up to 1.14g - which is excellent braking by any standard for a road car.

cheers,
TB


7) My brakes are Crap. plain and simple. I'm actually quite appalled at their quality.
I drive my car quickly sometimes and when I do I can induce Severe Brake Fade within a few minutes! and this on a car which has 9k Miles on it in my opinion is Not Acceptable.
Why should I have to pay for braided hoses or upgrade Discs/Pads/Calipers when I paid £21k for this car??:wow:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Repsolblade

2) I've learned to live with this as well, but very rarely occurs now.

3) Have had the 'official' fix done by Arnold Clarke but there are still adjustments to be made to the boot lid as this now catches on the roof when opening as yours did. Waiting for Western Alfa Romeo to open in Edinburgh before pursuing this as Arnold Clarke are a waste of space.

7) Have replaced pads with Tarox pads (1/3 cheaper than DS2500) and they are now superb, will fit braided hoses from either AD or Novitec in the future to firm up the pedal.
 

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Thanks Repsolblade

2) I've learned to live with this as well, but very rarely occurs now.

3) Have had the 'official' fix done by Arnold Clarke but there are still adjustments to be made to the boot lid as this now catches on the roof when opening as yours did. Waiting for Western Alfa Romeo to open in Edinburgh before pursuing this as Arnold Clarke are a waste of space.

7) Have replaced pads with Tarox pads (1/3 cheaper than DS2500) and they are now superb, will fit braided hoses from either AD or Novitec in the future to firm up the pedal.
No problem:)

Either

a) your brake fluid needs to be replaced, or just change your brake fluid to something better (AP racing 600 or similar).

or

b) If you are just standing completely 100% on the brakes every few seconds on a winding road, with no straights to cool them - that would sound like "user error" to me..
Many sports cars (I'm not considering the GT one) brakes will fry if they don't have sufficient cooling due to low speed windy roads and you just cumulatively increase the thermal soakage with max braking on a windy road.
The 330mm brakes performance even on standard pads/discs is better than many faster/more expensive cars, they certainly seem to brake faster than an E46 M3's in my experience (albeit the M3 is a fair bit heavier).

I have only tried braided hoses 330mm setups, but with OEM pads the car can pull 0.98g under braking reliably on track without fade in a 15min session (0.98g being the tyres limits). I would expect the same with standard hoses, just less pedal feel.
On type-R tyres with DS2500 pads, it would go up to 1.14g - which is excellent braking by any standard for a road car.

cheers,
TB
Might try the Brake fluid change when in this week! Thanks,
But in my experience with Fast Cars, some heavy some not, I have Never Experienced Fade like it. The initial bite is great in fact fantastic, but I nearly hit a Truck up the Arse when he crossed lanes without indicating.. I was doing about 120 and I hit the pedal so hard I thought My feet were doing a Fred Flinstone and even the ABS didn't register.
Now my Last car although lighter. An 05 Civic Type R, had crap initial feel but would allow me to hammer them when warmed up if and when needed with very little fade..
I have had some track experience in Cars and on bikes, and I kinda know when something is not right.
Hence why I posted reply here....and from what I've heard and read I'm not the only one who feels the same, because If I compare say an SLK to the GT, then the SLK destroy's it on the brakes.
I have had no experience with M3's so can't comment.
Basically I'm just annoyed at the poor performance and it grudges me having to shell out more money to make things better when in my opinion they should be Top of Alfa's List when slapping them on a car that will do 155mph... IMHO:confused:
 
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