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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really keen to address the standard suspension on my 147 GTA, I find it quite “wobbly” and almost “bouncy” over bumps at speed. It also seems to bottom out far to easily. I want something that will make it more planted, slightly lowered, but not shake the hell out of me!

Is there an answer?

Jim
 

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Koni FSD shocks would be the obvious solution, a great compromise between comfort and better stability/less (barely any!) grounding at speed.

You can add Eibach springs if you really must lower it.

And if you want to spend far more but have more adjustability, there are all sorts of coilover options though personally I'd steer wll clear of significantly lowering and/or stiffening the setup unless you plan to track the car a lot or live in an area with stunningly smooth roads (which you clearly don't!). The standard setup is not exactly blessed with excesses of travel or compliance...

If you tried a GTA with standard everything plus FSD's, I bet you'd be amazed. Though by "standard everything" I mean all the bushes etc in good order...
 

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just to add my mechanic put Bilstein shocks on his 156 gta and reckons no difference at all to the standard so scratch that. If I keep my gta, I will be taking jwyatt's advice and going for the koni. Sod the springs though.
 

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I've heard (from someone who's opinions I trust) that Bilstein B8's dramatically reduce grounding on all 156's including the heavy engined variants (the 2.4jtd being the heaviest). But I think the issue there would be a lack of comfort compared to the FSD, which really is the best of both worlds - I would guess from the blurb about it that the B8 is stiff the whole time. Would suit smooth roads.
 
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May I ask a very slighly OT question please? I asked this in another thread with no reply so I assumed nobody actually knows the proper answer!

People talk of "coilovers" with regard to the front suspension of a 147/156 in a way that implies that the standard units are not. However the standard items meet all the requirements for a coilover: a suspension coil mounted on a damper, just like you'd see on a Triumph Herald or on my kit car.

Pics attached.

Pic 1: I've labelled the front suspension really to indicate the similarity with the 147 - upper wishbone, upright, height extension, and what I've always taken to be a coilover (OK so the bottom doesn't have a wishbone, just a TCA and radius arm).

Pic 2: My rear suspension. Is this a coilover? At the bottom, covered by the wheel is a reversed wishbone and another radius arm.

So what's the story? Is the standard 156/147 (GTA) item a coilover or not and if not, then what is it and why?

Sorry to have laboured this a bit.
 

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So what's the story? Is the standard 156/147 (GTA) item a coilover or not and if not, then what is it and why?
I am no expert but from what I have read the standard GTA setup is not a coilover. A coilover not only has its coil above the strut but the spring and damper are one unit and when your dampers dead you replace the whole thing.

So what the GTA has is a standard strut with coil spring and shock absorber that can be changed independently.

A coilover is just a particular implementation of that concept which is popular in motorsport applications where control over suspension is premium.

An extract from this website:

A coilover shock is a high quality mono-tube shock that includes provisions to mount coil springs on the shock. The springs and shock are therefore combined in a single, compact package. There is nothing particularly magical about coilover shocks – their use requires strict attention to mounting geometry, spring rates, and shock valving the same as any other system. However, they do offer a number of advantages:

* High quality, long-travel, mono-tube shock.
* Completely rebuildable - parts are available separately at very reasonable cost.
* Easy to package - compact, easy to fit, frees room for link geometry and steering.
* Revalveable - easy to adjust or modify valving to suit needs.
* Tuneability - with a vast array of spring lengths and spring rates available, coilovers allow you to select spring rate for a specific target suspension frequency, and then use spring length and the built in adjuster to achieve a target ride height / suspension height.
* Multiple spring rate - easy to set up for use with a combination of springs, providing a soft initial spring rate that transitions to a firmer spring rate as the suspension compresses.
* Adjustability - built in adjustable top spring seat provides ability to adjust ride height, suspension height, & preload as well as accommodate different length springs with different amounts of spring travel. Adjustable stop ring provides ability to adjust position where spring rate transition occurs.
 

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Have you got the FSDs on your GTA JWyatt? I may go down this route aswell, leaving everything else as is. Shouldnt need to tell insurance company either, especially since not lowering the car in any way
 
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May I ask a very slighly OT question please? I asked this in another thread with no reply so I assumed nobody actually knows the proper answer!

People talk of "coilovers" with regard to the front suspension of a 147/156 in a way that implies that the standard units are not. However the standard items meet all the requirements for a coilover: a suspension coil mounted on a damper, just like you'd see on a Triumph Herald or on my kit car.

Pics attached.

Pic 1: I've labelled the front suspension really to indicate the similarity with the 147 - upper wishbone, upright, height extension, and what I've always taken to be a coilover (OK so the bottom doesn't have a wishbone, just a TCA and radius arm).

Pic 2: My rear suspension. Is this a coilover? At the bottom, covered by the wheel is a reversed wishbone and another radius arm.

So what's the story? Is the standard 156/147 (GTA) item a coilover or not and if not, then what is it and why?

Sorry to have laboured this a bit.
Coilovers have a spring platform that you can move up and down the length of the shock body by means of a thread cut into the shock. This allows you to alter the ride height on each corner independantly of any other corner.

The problem is its easy to tie yourself in knots with them. Running a lower ride height on the front compared with the rear can dramatically alter oversteer/understeer balance for a start....

GTA's as standard have a fixed spring platform and are not adjustable.

Some pics of the FK coilovers I fitted to mine:

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f112/monkeyrabit/156gtaengine009.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f112/monkeyrabit/IMGP1400.jpg
 
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Ah, I get it, thanks. :thumbs:

It has to be adjustable to be a coilover so in my pics, both the front Spax damper and the big Leda are both coilovers.

Seems a really trivial thing to warrant a different name just due to the adjustable spring base.
 

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Have you got the FSDs on your GTA JWyatt? I may go down this route aswell, leaving everything else as is. Shouldnt need to tell insurance company either, especially since not lowering the car in any way
Yep - see my review here, on this and the Q2 (though I will add another post to this thread - the Q2 is something that grows on you more over time - I'm loving it) :

The Motor Forum :: So, the upgrades...

Insurance-wise, my feeling on just changing the shocks but keeping standard springs/ride height etc is that Mondeo Man does it all the time at places like Kwik Fit without fitting the OE part - does he need to tell his insurer?

And my feeling on what is a "coilover" is that any shock with the spring mounted on the outside is indeed a "coilover" technically, the biggest difference between OEM and aftermarket is likely to be the quality of the shock and adjustable platform height and damping on most aftermarket ones. Plus obviously you can choose your spring rate and decide whether you want linear or fixed rate. The platform adjustability means you can tune the ride height and also cornerweight the car. If you don't know what the potential pitfalls of doing this are, and don't know what cornerweighting means, they may not be for you - just change the shock and if you want slight lowering add Eibach springs which won't overly lower or stiffen the car from what I hear - would love to try a 156GTA with the FSD's and Eibachs back to back with mine.

One factor in keeping my springs standard was that I was always happy with the spring rates and also am not sure if the SW ones are the same as the saloon... So would the Eibach's really suit? Who knows...
 

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what about if you want to just lower a 147 GTA just so it fits the wheel arches better? Especially at the back....just to make it look better??
 

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what about if you want to just lower a 147 GTA just so it fits the wheel arches better? Especially at the back....just to make it look better??
Shocks and springs, OR coilies will do that job mate.

You've got much more choice over exact ride height with coilies though. With a damper and spring kit, you get what you're given.

Although some do have a certain amount of adjustment.

Coilies can be set at almost any height you fancy.
 

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THanks for that JWyatt, Im very tempted to ge some Koni FSDs with the original springs. The price online seems to be around £460 for a set.
 

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Excellent write up JWyatt.
Can I ask - what make and where'd you get the strut brace from?
Thanks.
 

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seems there is a lot of interest in koni fsds. Group buy possible?

Whats the best price people have found for koni on fds for the 147 gta? Think they are more expensive than the 156 gta?
 

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Excellent write up JWyatt.
Can I ask - what make and where'd you get the strut brace from?
Thanks.
Thanks!

My strut brace is the Alfa one, supplied and fitted by them... By itself it took the edge off some crashiness over bumps, and stiffened up the front end perceptibly and added some weight to the steering - it felt just like a slightly thicker front ARB does.
 
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