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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 156 1.9Jtd 16v Sportwagon 2004 and the suspension is sagging on the rear offside. Alfa Romeo at Chelmsford initially told me it had standard suspension. On jacking up the car I have found that it has sports suspension and unfortunately self levelling.

I have been quoted £509 for each strut!! I feel at that price its not worth repairing even though the car is in stunning order.

Is there anywhere I can get them cheaper? Can I convert the car back to either a standard or sports suspension from someone such as Monroe?

Is there anyone that has sound knowledge of this.
 

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You can put standard struts on it but you also have to change the shocks i think. Someone else will probably know more.
 

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If your car is in stunning order and you're keeping it for the time being then you should think about putting the original spec stuff on. I assume these are the Nivomats in the following link, but you'd best ring them first
Alfa Romeo Ersatzteile - Italia Ricambi - Nivoregulierung Alfa 156 SW (932) mit Sportfahrwerk 60668186

I think they work out at about £390 a side. I know that's a fair bit, but it'll be money well spent. Otherwise you can put any dampers on with new springs, but be aware that if you put Eibach pro kit springs on to keep the car at a lowered height, you may find the tyres rub on the arches when there's a bit of a load in the rear, I did. Also be aware that if your garage use the top mounts off your Self levellers with some new springs, you may have a large gap between tyre and arch. You'll prob want top mounts off a sportpack car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I dont want a huge gap at the rear arch but also don't want the arches to foul the tyre tread either. I was considering some Monroe Reflex Sport Shock absorbers with conventional springs are you saying that this will not work. Should I use shortened/sports springs or what about adjustable coil overs?
Iv'e had the car from new so the Nivomats have lasted 103,000 miles and nearly nine years. Its just the cost of spending a thousand pound on suspension on a car that's probably worth 2k??
 

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Do a search - the difference is in the top mount I think. You can buy standard struts and springs to replace the Nivomats, but you need the top mount from a non self leveling car as well. If money's tight the best option might be to buy a pair of second hand complete struts and bolt them in.

My sportwagon has bilsteins and lowering springs (no idea what brand) but there's no issue with ride height or rubbing arches. Rear springs are fairly stiff and even when fully loaded it's still riding at pretty much unladen height.
 

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Mate,
My sportwagon was only worth about £500 when I spent almost 3k on various stuff on it. You could be lucky and go out and buy a 156 for a grand or 2 and it's great or you could buy one like yours where it looks great, but a week later your shock dies or another mechanical. That's why I often think it's better keeping your car so you know where you are with it.

I had my wagon done with Eibach pro kit springs and Bilstein B8 dampers. That didn't work out for me, I was way too hard so I had the dampers changed to KYB excel G, unfortunately that didn't work out for me either as even with my 9 and 10 year olds in the back, the rear would bottom out and I ended up popping a damper after very few miles. So i had the rear springs changed for the ones I had laying around off my V6 GT. This lifted the back a bit, it looked a nice height and I was really happy with the ride and comfort. Unfortunately it aint particularly good anymore, it's back to being knocky/bangy around town, drives me mad and every day I regret not just getting Nivomats from day one:lol:

Again have a look through this Alfa Romeo Ersatzteile - Italia Ricambi - Fahrwerk Ersatzteile / Verschleiteile Hinterachse fr Alfa Romeo 156 (932)
maybe give them or another specialist a call and see what your options are. It looks like Alfisti do a spring and damper that is intended to replace the Nivomat unit, they're original equipment so maybe the standard ride height will be the same as with Nivomats. Conventional sportpack springs with Monroe would work, obviously unless someone you know has tried them, you don't know how good the combo would be.

Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out for you. Also this thread might be of interest to you.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/tuning-and-upgrades/361235-summary-of-suspension-overhaul-156-sportwagon-twinspark.html
 
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