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Author Topic: Coupe front suspension height  (Read 1247 times)
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tonylanciabeta
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« on: December 20, 2008, 11:46:34 PM »

From: Beta_Matt  (Original Message)   Sent: 22/08/2008

I have a 1980 Beta Coupe 2000, for some reason the gap between the top of the tyre and the bottom of the front wing seems way to big.

While at the London to Brighton run I checked a number of other Betas and they all had a much smaller gap.

I'm running 14" Cromadora alloys, 175/70/14 tyres, brand new front dampers, all bushes have been replaced throughout the car.

I have two sets of complete front suspension and I've tried them all and they all seem to have the large void.

The only thing I'm unsure of is the springs, under acceleration the front tends to rise up, but thats happened on most of my Beta Coupes.

Any ideas?




From: StuartHF1   Sent: 23/08/2008

That's a strange response - Matt checked his car against several others and you're suggesting they were all lowered or had sagging springs while his one car is OK ?
 
I was wrong about the HPE springs  - they're actaully the same as the Coupe / Spider.
 
I don't agree that the saloon springs are that much longer, they're about 50mm longer in free length and only 30mm under load. 1 1/4" extra ride height is not driving with an elephant in the trunk but it is enough to make the wheel to arch gap look wrong and the front sit too high.
 
By all means post a pic but I'd put money on it having the wrong springs on - what Mat described is EXACTLY what I saw on my Spyder when I got it.Gas dampers might have the same effect but that's more often seen on the back where there's less static load.
 
Matt by all means post a pic but it you want to check then take the springs off - the Berlina ones are supposed to have a free length of 443mm the Coupe / Spyder / HPE 391mm (thats euro spec  - the US ones are longer)
 
Stuart





From: hutch6610   Sent: 23/08/2008

Don't think my reply was strange!!!

I can only go by what information he has supplied in his post .

I mentioned the wheel arch alignment with the swage line because the car could have new wheel arches welded in - you never know, its 28 years old and even descent wings are becoming thin on the ground.

Maybe i was wrong about the overall length of a saloons springs - haven't touched/seen one for at least fifteen years.
But you were wrong about coupe/HPE/Spider springs.

Are you suggesting ALL of "his" springs are "wrong"

"The only thing I'm unsure of is the springs, under acceleration the front tends to rise up, but thats happened on most of my Beta Coupes".

His quote not mine! - and all front wheel drive cars rise up under acceleration (something he is not worried about).

Hes owned coupes "before" and did not notice a ride height problem.

"I have two sets of complete front suspension and I've tried them all and they all seem to have the large void."

Pretty sure saloon shocks are visibly longer - suppose he's just too stupid to notice!

He's got new correct shocks to compare with.

The last Beta's were last made 84 to 85 - difficult to then judge a cars correct ride hight from 20+ year old springs.

Are you positive they all sit correct as per fresh from the factory?
Would you bet your "Life" on it - no you wouldn't.

My Volumex HPE and my friends Spider do not sit like the photos in the Haynes manual - they sit lower because like all things, gravity has finally taken effect.
But strangely enough my Coupe sits higher - visibly higher, "must" be something wrong then!

He was blissfully unaware there was a problem (if he has a problem! ) with his car until he saw other Beta's in the flesh - if it looked alright before, why fix something that's not broken.




From: StuartHF1   Sent: 25/08/2008

<< But strangely enough my Coupe sits higher - visibly higher, "must" be something wrong then! >>

Very possibly yes ! If you’re happy with it great, but I'd want to know why.

<< The last Beta's were last made 84 to 85 - difficult to then judge a cars correct ride height from 20+ year old springs.>>

As he's owned coupes before and not noticed a problem then I'd say it's more likely that he might be right in thinking that there is a problem here. When I got my Sypder it too came with a spare front suspension - that was from a saloon as well as the ones that were fitted. There were more Berlinas made but a smaller percentage survive compared to Coupes & Spyders so it's not too surprising if a lot of the spares that come up are Berlina bits.

But as the factory manual (that's where my spring lengths came from) is available ( http://www.viva-lancia.com/ )  it's entirely possible to check then ride height and the spring length! He's taken the time to put on a post expressing his concern so that's what I suggest he does.
 
 

 

From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 30/08/2008

OK, I have owned several Betas over the past 20 years so I pretty sure I know what they "should" look like. The current front suspension has the following measurements:

Highest point of arch to top of tyre = 11.5cm

Highest point of arch to top of Cromadora 14" Alloy 22.5cm.

I have two brand new pairs of dampers not including the new set that are on the car. All are made by WA and are all identical.

I have a set of springs off a Spyder which measure 391mm uncompressed. These are not on the car but I took measurements between the set on the car and off the car without dismantling each and they were pretty much the same.

Old sagging springs would make the front droop and would result in a lower ride height, plus when you accelerate hard the front of the car would rise up very quickly.

While at L2B last year I studied all of the Beta Coupes present, I checked all the tyre sizes and all had the front sitting much lower, all these cars were in standard spec, as is mine.



 
From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 30/08/2008

BTW - I did discuss ride heights and front suspension with two of the owners while at L2B





From: hutch6610   Sent: 30/08/2008

So this is getting interesting - does sit higher alright.
You have the right springs - Thought so!
Never implied you were an idiot because you mentioned you have owned them before.
When you stand back, does the car look like it sits in a slight nose up attitude?

It should do looking the way it does from your photo.
What sort of suspension bushes did you use?
You tightened the bolts up in a loaded state after you let the suspension settle right?
One more question - whats the measurement from the highest point of the wheel arch to the swage line on the wing.

Measure from the bottom to the top of the swage.
I get 75mm approx on a brand new unpainted wing 76mm maybe painted/ filler etc.
From the Cromadora up to the top of the arch i get 165mm approx on an HPE.
So yours has 40mm more.



 

From: StuartHF1   Sent: 31/08/2008

I have a set of springs off a Spyder which measure 391mm uncompressed. These are not on the car but I took measurements between the set on the car and off the car without dismantling each and they were pretty much the same,
 
I'm not sure how you can compare springs on and off the car and get a valid comparisom. What did  you measure ? The coil diameter is near identical and even on full droop the springs are still significantly compressed.
 
Hutch makes some valid points on the setup and installation  but I don't agree that you can assume you've got the right springs on the car. The only way I can see of knowing for sure is to take them off. If if read your posts correctly though you've not tried your set of Spyder spings yet so it's an option you haven't eliminated. It's only about 3/4 hour a side to do and if your going to be looking at the bushes etc then you'll have it half stripped already.
 
Stuart
 
 


From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 31/08/2008

Stuart, Sorry I didn't mention that when I did the comparisons between the two sets of springs both sets were complete sets (front dampers, springs & top mounts all assembled).

I had to use the top mounts on another project of mine, I had intended to sell the new pair of WA dampers and keep a complete set of front suspension for my Beta, as spare but I've ended up cannibalizing the top mounts and when I get back from holiday I'll punt the two pairs of new dampers on Fleabay.




From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 31/08/2008 21:51
From to of wheel arch to swage line I get 75 / 76mm.

The car does not look right sat there, I too had worked out roughly that it was about 1.5 inches too high at the front. Not sure if its sat level or slightly up at the front (maybe because I know something isn't right and I'm looking for it)

While the car was having some welding work carried out I had every bush replaced, all poly bushes. By someone who has huge experience with Lancias.

I have to roll the car out the garage and change the cam belt when I get back from holiday so I'll swap the springs over and see what difference that makes.

I thought I was going mental but I knew something was wrong - just a case of tracking down which part is at fault.

I know its not bushes, dampers, wheels, tyres, I have the right wing etc etc. So need to rule out springs 100%

Thanks for input so far... when I'm back from hols I'll let you know how I got on. (with the car)





From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 31/08/2008
BTW - if anyone has a Series 1 wooden gear knob - please let me know - I need one for my other project (its the last bit too!)




From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 16/09/2008

So, I have returned from Holiday and have set about changing the springs over to see what happens.

First thing I notice is that the spring i removed from the car was 450mm uncompressed, so that was obviously wrong to start with.

The spring that went back on is the Spyder spring that was 391mm uncompressed.

So, re-assembled everything and it has made a small difference.

From top of alloy to top of the wheel arch I now get 215mm.

I have only changed one side so far, but will do the other side then take it for a quick drive so that things settle in place. But I'm still thinking that 50 mm is a lot. I agree cars will tend to sag over the years and appear lower, with everything virtually new it may accentuate the look that its sitting too high.

But TBH I ain't convinced at the mo!

Thoughts anyone?




From: hutch6610   Sent: 16/09/2008

Looks like StuartHF1 was right.

Don't judge too early though - you have to change both and then it will settle down in a short time - 59mm difference is a hell of a lot.

You have managed to dropped it to 215mm - 10mm on one side which is a start.
You also have all those nice new bushes!




From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 24/09/2008

Have changed both sides now, have allowed time to settle and have run car back & forth several times to ensure that the suspension has settled into the proper place.

Tightened everything up and measured again, both sides are now 195mm, but the most important thing now is that the wheels do not look lost in the huge void that was my front wheel arches. I put the 30 mm down to having brand new poly bushes throughout.

Now onto the last few remaining jobs!

Thanks to all for their input and advice.





From: Beta_Matt   Sent: 28/09/2008

Drove the car about yesterday and then parked on my drive for a wash and polish. Checked the suspension height and she sits at 165mm now. Yaaaaaay!!


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