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Discussion Starter #1
I have tried to reply to Joe 90's impact of lower UK car thread but without success.
I am trying a new post - if it works perhaps someone could move it to Joe's thread?

I was looking to improve the looks of the car without a drastic change in ride quality.
After much research of product suppliers and forum comments (including Miata forum) I have opted for
Eibach ProKit springs - EU spec.
These are slightly stiffer 17% front and 20% rear with a drop of 20-25 mm rear and 35mm front.

Install went well, just took my time. I have only done 100 milesso far so too soon for alignment, which most people say makes a major difference to how the car responds.

Has it worked?

I think the car looks better.
BEFORE

P1010189.jpg

P1010190.jpg

P1010191.jpg

AFTER

P1010206.jpg

P1010204.jpg

P1010205.jpg

The car is firmer - rates are now as per EU Abarth. It is lower - jack doesn't go under the front anymore, but this is solved with a set of miniramps, but it easily clears the speed bumps outside our local schools.
Just taken it to an empty carpark and driven hard for the first time - it is still a 'grand tourer' not a race car!

P1010204.jpg
 

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I have tried to reply to Joe 90's impact of lower UK car thread but without success.
I am trying a new post - if it works perhaps someone could move it to Joe's thread?

I was looking to improve the looks of the car without a drastic change in ride quality.
After much research of product suppliers and forum comments (including Miata forum) I have opted for
Eibach ProKit springs - EU spec.
These are slightly stiffer 17% front and 20% rear with a drop of 20-25 mm rear and 35mm front.

Install went well, just took my time. I have only done 100 milesso far so too soon for alignment, which most people say makes a major difference to how the car responds.

Has it worked?

I think the car looks better.
BEFORE

View attachment 21986

View attachment 21994

View attachment 22002

AFTER

View attachment 22010

View attachment 22018

View attachment 22026

The car is firmer - rates are now as per EU Abarth. It is lower - jack doesn't go under the front anymore, but this is solved with a set of miniramps, but it easily clears the speed bumps outside our local schools.
Just taken it to an empty carpark and driven hard for the first time - it is still a 'grand tourer' not a race car!

View attachment 22018
 

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Thanks! This is exactly what I want to do. It definitely looks far nicer in the "after pics", I doubt anyone would disagree.

Re. Alan's point, I also thought that the "before" pics look higher than my std. car, however, I shall go and take a look at mine again today, take a pic and see if it's photo vs reality perception thing, I suspect it is.

Agree also re. "where do you stop?". I'd also considered a shocks upgrade, but unless I notice anything untoward when driving on new springs, I won't touch them as I don't really push the car hard enough to see the benefit.
 

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I had mine lowered last week. Its on H&R springs with a 30mm drop all round. Handles much better and also sits nicer. It has been aligned but if anyone has a print out of their alignment results after lowering that would be most appreciated :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Alan, the photos are taken bending down so the camera is horizontal to the top of the wheel, this gives a different persective than normal.
The actual measurements after lowering are:
centre of wheel to wing (fender) lip: Front 324mm rear 335mm ( rule is at an angle therefore difficult to establish exact centre )

floor to wing lip on 29psi tyre pressure: Front 620mm rear 635mm

The main point is the rear is still higher than the front - it was as standard. I hope it will settle with a few more miles.

The wheel alignment might give more exact information.
Danny
 

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Hi Alan, the photos are taken bending down so the camera is horizontal to the top of the wheel, this gives a different persective than normal.
The actual measurements after lowering are:
centre of wheel to wing (fender) lip: Front 324mm rear 335mm ( rule is at an angle therefore difficult to establish exact centre )

floor to wing lip on 29psi tyre pressure: Front 620mm rear 635mm

The main point is the rear is still higher than the front - it was as standard. I hope it will settle with a few more miles.

The wheel alignment might give more exact information.
Danny
You need to be careful when measuring right height like this, we have a problem with the suspension kits we sell for the old Alfas caused by people fundamentally misunderstanding the way the cars are designed. Old Alfas have a radiused front wheel arch and a flat topped rear one which makes them look lower at the back than the front. The Fiat could have something similar going on!

I can tell people until I'm blue in the face that the car looks right but the only way to demonstrate this is by drawing lines on a picture like this-



Note how the gap from the top of wheel to the arch lip is totally different yet the bottom edge of the door is parallel to the ground exactly as it should be!

Try a side on shot of yours and draw lines on it like I did, could be that you're ok. The bottom edge of the door is generally a good datum point for measurements like this as most cars are designed so that this is parallel to the ground. Difficult to see on the one complete shot of yours as it's pointing slightly away from the camera so there's a perspective thing going on there too!

Of course, the other thing to bear in mind is that rear wheel drive cars run much softer rear springs than fronts so the car is likely to settle more at the rear than the front when you sit in it especially in a 124 Spider where you sit pretty much on top of the rear wheels and miles behind the front ones.

It's the way the car sits when you're driving it that's important for the handling!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jim for an excellent reply. You have confirmed my own thoughts:
1. Rear will settle more than front when I am sitting in the car, therefore reducing any difference.
2. Although the measurements are inaccurate, the relative postion of the wheel / wing has remained constant 15mm difference front to rear.

I will put another 100 miles on the car and then look again.

ps I sent you a PM re your open day - I think it must have got lost somewhere in 'transit'.
Thanks ...Danny
 

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Danny

I did get the pm but only on Sunday so it was too late to reply. I don't spend much time on Forums and was a bit busy with the open day and track day so didn't see it till then sorry!

On the Alfa forums I put my email address in my signature so people can mail me with work related stuff but I didn't bother here because I didn't think there would be any crossover. Doh!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Update.

I have done 400 miles on the new set-up. I have removed the rear springs and swopped them to the other side and I have re-torqued the suspension twice to try and improve the difference in height - front to rear. I took it for an alignment yesterday and learnt a lot.

1. The factory setting were all within tolerance but not matched side to side or front to rear.
2. We set the car with: 8 degrees of caster : before settings 7.5 degrees and 7.4 degrees
camber: Front -1.3 Rear -1.3 before settings ranged from zero to -2.5
toe in : Front 5 mins or 0.05 degrees each side - total 10 mins or 0.10 degrees. Rear same as front. Before settings ranged from + 10 mins to - 5 mins.

Results.
These settings have changed the heights for the better. There is still a difference F to R of 10mm , that difference is stated by Eibach. Sitting in the car the rear goes down - 5mm and the suspension settings change - only slightly but they do change. Sometimes too much information of very small measurements gets in the way!

It has been set as 'as a road car' with all 4 wheels set the same.

It is lower - just cleared the lift ramps.

Not tried it on my 'twisty road' yet but driving home it felt 'more planted'.

Overall - an improvement - slightly too low at the front by about 10mm but lets see what it is like after an other 400 miles.
Danny
 

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The problem is, that most suspensions and springs for the 124Spider are designed for the Mazda MX5 ND. You can compare the part numbers.
The Spider is heavier in the front, so the car settles more than it should.
Thats is the reason why I bought coilovers. I had to set different height on every corner to get the car in a right position.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
These spacers do improve the look - I have never used them before. In the 1970's spacers were the first mod on Minis etc and gained a bad press due to crazy widths some people used. I have looked at the Eibach site: do yours have additional studs ie new nuts onto existing studs and existing nuts onto new studs in the spacer.
Danny
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's the answer

The problem is, that most suspensions and springs for the 124Spider are designed for the Mazda MX5 ND. You can compare the part numbers.
The Spider is heavier in the front, so the car settles more than it should.
Thats is the reason why I bought coilovers. I had to set different height on every corner to get the car in a right position.
Thank you - front is lower due to extra weight of 124 compared to Mazda. Height adjustable shocks or coilovers can wait until I have done a few more miles.
Danny
 
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