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Author Topic: Coupe steering rack & spring changes  (Read 6785 times)
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« on: February 25, 2009, 10:43:04 AM »

Just pulling apart my '75 Lancia Beta coupe (S1 1800) whilst I repaint the engine bay...
& I think it's front coils springs might have been rather badly modified.

I wonder if there's any way it could reasonably be used?

My other Beta coupe (2-months older) seems to have 5 1/2 winds of coil spring... This one has only 4 1/2 & seems to have been roughly modified in shape &/or perhaps badly reassembled, so that it was actually OVERHANGING it's mounting on one side! a 'bend' in the top coils to 'flatten' it out having positioned less than half-a-coil around so there doesn't seem to be much coil able to locate it properly.

For comparison here it is next to the strut from my parts donor '79 HPE (FL) (with Red Koni struts) which would also seem to have softer spings to judge from the fact it has 6 1/2 coils of the same wire diameter. But I will probably have to use its strut instead.
Can anyone confirm that the later '79 springs are softer?
Maybe the later springs would have been a better spring to modify?

A number of (Australian) period magazine road tests had also complained that the 1800 coupes were prone to bottoming-out their suspension in rough going & commented that they were assured changes were being made with the S2 (2litre) models due out soon... though looking at the struts from another '78 HPE  organ donor I can't spot any changes....
Anyone know anything about this?

I can understand the desire to bring the front end down since they're usually a bit high at the front but am already afraid of period magazine comments they were already prone to bottoming out their suspension & though there were claims of some changes somewhere to reduce that I haven't any information. The front structure of these cars is also prone to fatigue cracking outboard of the strut- towers!

While I am at it I am also replacing the steering rack gaiters & at some stage also picked up a '77 Coupe rack as I thought I had read somewhere that S2 coupes had a slightly quicker ratio than S1 (1800) both cars being RHD without power assist.
Can anyone confirm this for me also?....
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 12:41:44 AM »

Your spring sure does not look right.
One on the left photo is correct - checked all my Coupe/HPE springs tonight and they all match the one with the red shock.
Either it has been cut or its some sort of an aftermarket spring, it just looks like its pitch is different. 

Count the very beginning of the spring end as "0" then count each coil to the end - i get 6, that matches the Koni shock and the ones i checked.

Can't comment on softness/hardness on any model but i do know the colours denote the "poundage" of the springs.
Steering rack ratios - again not a clue but i do know they are hard to turn when parking!
Haynes manual gives some ratios.

Again never seen cracked shock towers or any sort of fatigue you describe on a Beta, rusty rear strut towers, yes  - i thought it was Ford who cornered that part of the market with their inner wing cracking XR3 / XR3i and that rotting battery tray/bulk head problem.
The Ford is remembered as "the pocket rocket" and the Beta as a "rust bucket" - funny old world.

If 1800 Beta's were also prone to bottoming out then your Coupe should have evidence of this.

Hey - nice green ...... very 70's!
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France France

Posts: 1830

« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 03:29:56 PM »

The Ford is remembered as "the pocket rocket" and the Beta as a "rust bucket" - funny old world./quote]

To me the Fords will always be the "Dagenham Dustbins" rather than a pocket rocket. Cheesy

Agree with the shock issue, the shorter one has likely been cut, I've seen this done on many Beta's, the tell tale is that the end coil does not flatten off, so that it sits in the spring seat correctly.  Further to this I have seen some springs that have been heated up with a gas axe and then hammered, in a vain attempt to flatten the end off so that it sits correctly. It didn't work, It's just a bodge job!

I'd steer well clear of putting anything like that back on the car, you end up with uneven coil springs which will lead to handling issues.  (From my Hawk Stratos building, standard Beta Coupe springs are 330 Kg springs.  One of my old Betas (ALH 555 Y) when I first bought it had cut down springs at the front and rear and it handled like a pig, really unpredictable when cornering at speed and had a tendency to lock up on the front very easily.  Plus if you jacked the car up, the rear springs just rattled around loose. Changed it to stock springs and it transformed the cars handling for the better.

From the Lancia Beta Technical Data book it indicates that green colour coded springs were only fitted to cars with air conditioning. Or a car described as the Beta Saloon/Berline Tropicale - how very exotic!

Heres the technical spec of the springs:   ( I know, I'll get me anorak! Wink )

Length released = 443.5mm
Length under load = 211mm
Charge load = 332kg (I think this is total vehicle weight divided by 4) Please correct me if I my assumption is wrong.

Colour codes:
Yellow = Greater than 211mm under load
Green = Less than or equal to 211mm under load

Length released = 391.5mm
Length under load = 183.5mm
Charge load = 330kg

Colour codes:
Yellow = Greater than 183.5mm under load
Green = Less than or equal to 183.5mm under load


1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1
2007 Ypsilon 1.3 Bi-Colori
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 08:39:55 PM »

Are 1800 coupes relatively common in Australia, I've been looking european wide for one but not many have survived?
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United States United States

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 08:30:31 AM »

They're still slightly common in the states.
Coupes were the most common and 1800 was the only engine offered here from '75 thru '78.

They also aren't too valuable at the moment here so many are falling into disrepair or becoming parts cars (or worse).

I have one that would be a decent restoration project (solid underneath, sunroof, rust at base of 1 A pillar and couple 2" surface spots below engine cover and bootlid), complete minus air con compressor unit and a couple odds and ends. Dark blue with brown leather and 5spd. LHD of course. I'd offer it to someone who was going to restore it (not part out) for $400 US. Or accept reasonable offer for same reason.

Send me an email if you're interested.

Dave Decker
a "couple Beta's"
Woodburn, OR.  USA

Wilds of the Pacific NW, USA
77 HPE 1.8L manual steering
77 Sedan 2L FI
84 HPE Vx
76 Scorpion (Montecarlo) 2L w/dual 40DCNF
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 10:56:06 AM »

Are 1800 coupes relatively common in Australia, I've been looking european wide for one but not many have survived?

Australia only seemed to get the S1 1800 for '75 before it was replaced by the S2 2000 with no other engines ever offered. Making the early style "flat" bonnet hard to find.
Not really sure how common the 1800 coupes are though. Seen at least another 3-4 come along to the local Lancia club events (often recently restored/repainted) but inevitably outnumbered by later models.
But somehow I have 3 '75s I'm working on/sheltering plus a spare stripped bodyshell I was given (some miss-shapen accident repairs to rear & 1/4 panel under nice paint);
 2 Maya giallo(yellow), 1 Nero(black) & the shell was also Maya giallo-repainted red. Both colours discontinued for the S2?

Seem SUBSTANTIALLY better rust wise that the '77,'78 & '79 HPE I have wound up being given/bought/collected for parts (makes me want to save a HPE), which almost seem to have sold here in greater numbers than any other Beta  !  (Don't think we ever officially received Montecarlo/scorpian, spyder or Trevi)
Or at least the most dumped over the last 5 years?

Oh and my parts donor '79 HPE (FL)  Red Koni struts & the 6 1/2 spring coils was AirConditioned. 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 11:43:07 AM by 79cord » Logged
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1975 Beta coupe 2L

« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 01:52:47 PM »


Not sure if this post is still active, but I have 2 '75 coupes, (both were 1800's one red , one yellow) and both had the same coils as the HPE. I broke a 79 HPE for parts and the springs were identical to the coupe, even had the same yellow and blue paint blobs on them. The spring you have looks like it has been cut down, the spacing looks different because there is one coil less, so is less compressed in the full droop position.

My 75 coupe also suffered the cracking problem in the box section under the wing adjacent to the front strut tower.

I've not had a problem with bottoming out and I drive on dirt roads where I live, so long as you have good shocks to control the spring. I'm just in the process of fitting a set of spax adjustables, will report on the results.


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