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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 156 SW Veloce with 17" wheels. Had it for about 3 months without any problems (yet). The only thing is, whilst the handling is superb, the rear suspension seems absurdly hard - almost as if there isn't any. Any bump or rut in the road that I wouldn't even have noticed in my A4 or Focus has to be approached very carefully. Is this normal for my model and has anyone else experienced similar? Also, is there a not too expensive way of softening the rear suspension abit - just to make it bearable?
 

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The dampers contained within most sensible sets of coilovers will actually improve ride significantly, as well as remarkably improving body control and handling.


Theres a big difference when the dampers actually damp things, and don't just go "crash!" :)
The standard dampers are pretty poor, and overly harsh, and all this without actually preventing bottoming out!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Get yourself some coilovers - you don't know what hard is till you do!!!!! I'l be on my third set of fillings soon!!!
I don't think the rear could physically be any harder without being solid. I must admit it does look a bit low at the rear so maybe it has been lowered further or is broken! It handles too well to be broken though. Does anyone know if standard dampers, which I assume it has, can be adjusted in any way? Although I don't particularly mind the ride it can be a bit embarrassing when taking passengers, especially in the back.
 

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Glib response, but it'd probably be cheaper to put 16" wheels on it....

The 147 and 156 both struggle on 17s because the factory dampers aren't up to the job. If you want to keep your 17s, new improved dampers are the only real solution in my experience.
 

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Nearly bought a sportwagon with very similar characteristic.When I drove it I couldn't believe how hard it was at the rear.

Even when I opened the tailgate and jumped up and down on the back it hardly moved:eek:

Also noticed there was very little clearance between tyre and wheelarch.
(the boot was empty):confused:
When I quizzed the owner he said it was fitted with self levelling rear suspension from new.

Got home and looked on eper and found that the self levelling suspension is a self contained shock unit called Nivomat.

Maybe these can fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How can you tell if the car is fitted with self levelling suspension?
If it is, does anyone know how much they cost to replace/repair?
 

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Without knowing exact details of these self-levelling things it does seem possible that they could lock-up when failed, but is another possibility that someone from the Caravan or Pony Club has fitted it with some unspeakable aftermarket tosh thats entirely inappropriate??
Having said that, as a passenger in either of our Alfas I've been known to berate the ride badly, not so when in drivers seat though ?!?!
 

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My 20V JTD Sportwagon is loverly car but the suspension's performance on anything but a good road is very poor (Bottoming and jarring etc) for a manufacturer of Alfa's sporting credentials. What is needed is the Harvey-Bailey kit from Monza Sport. However to have to pay £800+ just to make it correct seems a bit thick to me.

Last time there was an Auo Italia do at brooklands I spoke Jano of Autodelta and he reckonmended stiffening up the front springs along with better dampers. I suppose that is in line with what most people are saying.

I know I would not replace my Nivomat dampers with same again. Lets face it the sportwagon is a "Lifestyle" vehicle and not a bloody Volvo. Thank heavens
If you bite the bullet and go for a new set of springs and dampers please let me know how it is.

Nick
 

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Unforunately this is typical of the Veloce setup on 17" wheels. If you hit a sequence of bumps it really can get horribly out of shape.
:rolleyes:
 
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