Ride Height Leveled Out

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joelittel
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm
Your car is a: 1980 Spider 2000 FI
Location: Evanston, IL

Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby joelittel » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:41 am

My car had an obvious lean to it, every mechanic I've ever taken it to eventually commented on the lean so it was an obvious and noticeable lean.

Before my new Konis went on the car I measured the height of each fender, from directly above the center of the wheel to the garage floor.

Passenger front = 26 1/4"
Driver front = 25 7/8"
Driver rear = 24 3/4"
Passenger rear = 25 1/4"

My fingers were crossed that the Konis would not only be a better shock solution overall but would level out the car too.

Well.... it's true! They really do level out your car.

With Konis and Vicks lowering springs (uncut) I now sit at:

Passenger front = 25 1/2"
Driver front = 25 6/16"
Driver rear = 25 9/16"
Passenger rear = 25 11/16"

Just thought I'd mention it to you guys. When first installed the front end was much higher than the rear, but after a week it seems to have settled down nicely. I wish it would settle a bit lower, but for now I'm happier than I was before. I have retrofitted the early style bumpers to my '80 so I suspect with the heavy tube bumpers still on the car I would be really happy with the overall ride height, because I assume it would be even lower still, but as it stands right now I'm happy.

For what it's worth, my wife noticed the car felt very "solid" the other night on an evening cruise. I like to make changes to the car without her knowledge and then see if she comments on anything during the next drive. Sometimes she does, and sometimes she doesn't but with the Koni upgrade she said "Wow, the car feels really solid over these s#!%y roads, did you tighten it up?"

Success!

I should also mention that I replaced the rubber bushings on my stock front sway bar. Don't know if they were bad, they looked bad but who knows if they were actually bad or not. I can't help but to assume the new bushings contribute to the car's new found solid stance and ride.

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ClarkTheShark
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:35 am
Your car is a: 1979 Fiat Spider

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby ClarkTheShark » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:55 pm

Nice results man. always good to see some statistics. I've never heard of a spring going "bad." And I've worked on a hundred Fiats. Makes me want to go outside and make sure mine isn't lopsided. :P
1979 Fiat Spider
1986 Alfa Spider
1977 Fiat Spider

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lglade
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:05 am
Your car is a: 1984 Pininfarina
Location: Mukilteo, WA

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby lglade » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks for sharing! I've been trying to decide if I want to spend that $400-$500 and yours is one more vote in favor! Grazie mille!
Lloyd Glade- Mukilteo, WA
1984 Pininfarina Spider Azzurra
1962 Fiat 500D - wife's car
2015 Subaru Outback
2017 Ford Focus RS

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joelittel
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm
Your car is a: 1980 Spider 2000 FI
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby joelittel » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:22 am

I wish mine was an inch lower though. I knew going into it that if I didn't cut the springs it wasn't going to sit as low as I'd like it too, but I wasn't willing to cut brand new springs without trying them as is first. Plus, I'm sure that the extra height has saved my front air dam from certain destruction twice already this week. Road resurfacing has left a few manhole covers uncomfortably high and dangerously exposed around here, city traffic left me no choice but to roll over them and hope for the best.

It's been a couple weeks now since the konis, front sway bar bushings and Vicks springs went on and I'm very happy with how the car rides. We have some terrible roads around here and I was worried the konis would be too stiff, but so far so good.

We also have a couple (only 2) really nice twisty roads with fantastic turns near my house, which I like to take fast when I can. I'm very happy to report that the car handles these turns better than before the upgrades. It doesn't have the body roll it used to, and it must feel more safe than it did in the past because I haven't been asked to slow down and she (The Commander) hasn't felt the need to remind me that the FIAT is not a race car.

Success!

My only complaint so far would be that sometimes while driving fast over bumpy surfaces the rear wheels feel like they come off the ground. It usually feels like both lift up at the same time. It takes a sizable bump to cause this, like a root that has grown underneath the road and created a natural speed bump. Not really an issue, just something I wasn't expecting so it got my attention.

Fyi I went with full soft on the konis.

I'll measure the ride height again tomorrow and post results, i'm curious to see if it has settled even more.

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joelittel
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm
Your car is a: 1980 Spider 2000 FI
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby joelittel » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:45 am

I measured the height again yesterday and I'm happy to say that it did settle a little more. Measuring from the fender, directly above the center of the wheel, to the garage floor all four corners are 25 1/4" +/- 2/16"

Very happy

profcucchi
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:12 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Fiat 2000
Location: Toronto, On

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby profcucchi » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:51 pm

Hey guys,

here are my numbers for the ride height with KYBs and 14" rims.

Driver front: 24.25"
Passenger front: 25"

Driver rear: 24.75"
Passenger rear: 25"

From the front and back the car looks level. But looking at the Passenger side space between tire and fender, it looks terrible.

Any input is appreciated.
1979 Fiat 2000 "Luigi"

User avatar
joelittel
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm
Your car is a: 1980 Spider 2000 FI
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby joelittel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:08 pm

New shocks old springs?

Check to make sure the springs are correctly seated.

profcucchi
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:12 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Fiat 2000
Location: Toronto, On

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby profcucchi » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:05 pm

joelittel wrote:New shocks old springs?

Check to make sure the springs are correctly seated.


Front shocks are new, the rear are not - I was told the rear suspension looked good; no swollen bushings, and the shocks looked good. Springs are original, I would guess.

I'll look into the springs... Thanks!
1979 Fiat 2000 "Luigi"

KWL82
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:48 am
Your car is a: 1982 spider

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby KWL82 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:20 am

while on the subject, going to replace shocks with kyb's, just cant yet justify the konis $$, when I do the rears i was going to put in AR progressive springs as they come out then anyway. You see any problems if I only do rear springs at first then install the front springs when i redo the front suspension in springtime?

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joelittel
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm
Your car is a: 1980 Spider 2000 FI
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby joelittel » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:01 am

I don't see a problem with mixed matched front and rear springs, but these cars are old so I'd keep asking around until you feel 100% sure that the veteran members agree that it "should" be fine.

Some of these guys have decades of experience, so their perspective is invaluable.

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lglade
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:05 am
Your car is a: 1984 Pininfarina
Location: Mukilteo, WA

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby lglade » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:42 am

You'd be better off with new shocks at all four corners, but for everyday driving I'm sure it's safe. For what it's worth, the rear suspension is super-easy to replace, so I'd update the back end as soon as you have the budget/time to do it. With some creative jacking, you can do each of the rears in about an hour--no spring compressor needed.

I replaced my springs and put Konis on my car, and I really like the way it handles now. Manholes used to send a jolt and rattle through the entire car, and I'd take great pains to avoid them. Today the car takes them like a sports should with only a slight bump.
Lloyd Glade- Mukilteo, WA
1984 Pininfarina Spider Azzurra
1962 Fiat 500D - wife's car
2015 Subaru Outback
2017 Ford Focus RS

KWL82
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:48 am
Your car is a: 1982 spider

Re: Ride Height Leveled Out

Postby KWL82 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:05 am

Thanks for the advice. fwiw i am replacing all 4 shocks. i was just thinking that since i have to pull the springs from the rears to change the shocks I should replace springs as long as i'm there. just wanted to make sure mixed springs wouldn't be a problem until I can do the fronts.Thanks again


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