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Discussion Starter #1
I have just imported a 2009 3.2 l V6 auto Spider from Japan and apart from the hood flap motors not working (I have spare ones), the suspension seems rather harsh. Comparing with a previous 2.2 selespeed Spider I owned, it seems to notice every bump on the tarmac of which there are many on NZ roads!

I doubt the car has had different shocks installed in its lifetime as it is in excellent original condition with only 31,000 verified km on the clock. Otherwise it drives beautifully and in my opinion is better than a manual 3.2 l V6 Spider, which I have also owned a few years back.

Any other Spider owners had this problem? Better or different shocks could help here? Thanks!
 

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When I bought my Spider Q4 two years ago I felt just the opposite than you: the original car suspension was softer than spected. Then I decided to install a B12 Bilstein set (Bilstein shocks+Eibach lowered springs) and now I’m absolutely satisfied with the behaviour of the car when driving normally or even driving hard.
 

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In MY 2008 159, Brera und Spider had to undergo some modifications.

One of them was a stiffer suspension. Could it be, that your previous Spider has been older than 2008?
 

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I'm not sure what you are chasing when you want it 'stiffer'. In a straight line, for a given bump, only one spring rate will keep the tyre in contact with the road. Too stiff, and the car gets launched; too soft, and the car dives into the tarmac on jounce. For corners, too stiff will lead to understeer.
The 159/Brera/Spider leaves the factory with the front end too stiff (in roll and spring rate). Like most manufacturers Alfa want it to understeer to help unsophisticated drivers understand when to lift off. If it goes straight on the driver will deaccelerate.
It can be cured. Soften the front and leave the rear alone and it will neutralise towards oversteering. The rear will control roll and leave both front tyres to grip and turn. Stiff at the front will lift the inside front wheel.
 

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When I bought my Spider Q4 two years ago I felt just the opposite than you: the original car suspension was softer than spected. Then I decided to install a B12 Bilstein set (Bilstein shocks+Eibach lowered springs) and now I’m absolutely satisfied with the behaviour of the car when driving normally or even driving hard.
Bilstein B12 is the best combo you can choose for our bellas. The guy who gives you such kind of advices must be really clever, btw.


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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure what you are chasing when you want it 'stiffer'. In a straight line, for a given bump, only one spring rate will keep the tyre in contact with the road. Too stiff, and the car gets launched; too soft, and the car dives into the tarmac on jounce. For corners, too stiff will lead to understeer.
The 159/Brera/Spider leaves the factory with the front end too stiff (in roll and spring rate). Like most manufacturers Alfa want it to understeer to help unsophisticated drivers understand when to lift off. If it goes straight on the driver will deaccelerate.
It can be cured. Soften the front and leave the rear alone and it will neutralise towards oversteering. The rear will control roll and leave both front tyres to grip and turn. Stiff at the front will lift the inside front wheel.
Great, thank you! I am not wanting the suspension stiffer but have found that it appears to notice every small road undulation, of which NZ roads have many. Apart from other suggestions given above, what would be your advice for front struts? I have a 2002 166 which rides very smoothly and maybe the same as these; need to have a look see.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maybe what you are describing is 'wandering'?
No, imagine a series of judder bars along a main road, and that typically describes some NZ roads! Just like the Spider to ride more smoothly over these undulations without me being almost bounced out through the roof if down! No major problem though, I'll put it with it for a while and try to choose the better roads...
 

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Your discomfort could be related to what tyres you have fitted on the car


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Agree; Tyres would be a major factor.
With the Spider I would expect it to have softer suspension than the Fixed Head (Brera). This is because when you remove some rigidity from the body the standard practise is to soften to help reduce scuttle shudder. Of course, the after market spring companies won't factor this in. Maybe you could explore fitting original Spider springs and get some better tyres with more height to the sidewall.
 
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