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Old 6 Days Ago   #1
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Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

Hi Fellow Fiat 500ers!
I purchased from Mr. Fiat and installed a set of no-name rear coilover shocks to replace the stock setup on my '70 Fiat 500 F. I have seen these from lots of vendors so I assumed they would be a fairly quick plug-and-play as I work to get my wee beastie back on the road. NOTE: The big difference from modern coilovers is there is no pre-load adjustment, i.e. I can't lower the spring from the top to allow for a given ride height, you can only adjust up from the bottom.
After install, I had the desired ride height, but after a short spurt of driving and a good bump, the springs settled into the suspension "cup" at the top and I lost about 1 inch, so now I am getting some rubbing, so I need to raise the spring some more.
The issue is that when I turn the lower adjustment nut, the whole shock turns because the spring is still really tight.... and yes, the top and bottom nut are tight.
So, since there is no pre-load adjustment option, I am wondering if you think removing the shocks and using spring compressors is the best option? Has anyone installed these? I saw a few posts on intentions, but no success/failure stories (yet). Here are the pictures of the item and installed.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

You say that the spring settles into the suspension 'cup'--what exactly do you mean? I would have thought that you would dispense with the normal spring-top rubber and just fit the damper part of the coil-over as you would the standard damper. Does the top cone-shaped stop not fit, with side clearance, into where the spring-top rubber would normally sit?
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

The main concern I'd have about fitting these coil-over units is that the shock top and bottom mounting points were never designed to carry the spring loads - just look as how sturdy/reinforced the standard spring mounting platforms are.

I've seen shock mountings break away after just fitting stiffer adjustable shocks - some of the Fiat shock upper turrets are light gauge material held in place by a few spotwelds. So are you sure that nothing is collapsing/failing resulting in your suspension dropping by c. 1 inch?

As regards the shock body turning when attempting to adjust the spring preload, maybe just use a soft strap wrench on the bottom part of the shock to hold it stationary or wrap a strip of leather belt around it for protection and use a waterpump pliers or similar, being careful obviously not to squash it! Is there a hexagon or ring on the bottom of the shock body just above where the washer and rubber bushes are fitted (can't see this area clearly in your pic.) - if a hex. you can use a wrench, if a ring you could grind 2 flats and use a wrench.

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 6 Days Ago at 02:32.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #4
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

Quote Originally Posted by F123C View Post
The main concern I'd have about fitting these coil-over units is that the shock top and bottom mounting points were never designed to carry the spring loads - just look as how sturdy/reinforced the standard spring mounting platforms are.

I've seen shock mountings break away after just fitting stiffer adjustable shocks - some of the Fiat shock upper turrets are light gauge material held in place by a few spotwelds. So are you sure that nothing is collapsing/failing resulting in your suspension dropping by c. 1 inch?

As regards the shock body turning when attempting to adjust the spring preload, maybe just use a soft strap wrench on the bottom part of the shock to hold it stationary or wrap a strip of leather belt around it for protection and use a waterpump pliers or similar, being careful obviously not to squash it! Is there a hexagon or ring on the bottom of the shock body just above where the washer and rubber bushes are fitted (can't see this area clearly in your pic.) - if a hex. you can use a wrench, if a ring you could grind 2 flats and use a wrench.

Al.
Ive fitted these and you really need to strengthen the top mounts.
I cut away the spring mounts from the original setup - have you?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

Hi Andy,
Can you plz post pics of the mods you did to fit the coil overs. What spring rate are the springs.


Cheers rizzo
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

Hi Tom!
I think the metal cone shaped piece does fit into the spring well/cup (I can't see up there with the shock in the way), but I think either the cone shaped piece wasn't fully seated, or the spring wasn't fully seated upon initial drive. The scrapes on the spring edge now imply it was the spring that wasn't fully seated, but either way, the whole unit is still tight in terms of the nuts and no play, but when I try to tighten the adjustment nut just under the spring, it makes the whole unit turn.
I hope that clarifies. If not, I can take a short video.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

Hi AndrewHarvey and Rizzo360--to answer your questions:
1) I intend to reinforce the top mounts when I get some body work done, but as of yet, I have not done that (but read to do so). I don't intend to drive it hard until then, so I figured I had little risk in causing a failure in the mount...
2) I have no idea of the spring rates. These coil-overs didn't come with any documentation or manufacturer info... I know, not a great situation, but my originals had failed and were leaking.

I will pull the seats again to double check in good lighting that nothing has broken loose. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #8
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Re: Rear Coilover / Coil-over Suspension Install Issues --Any ideas?

I scrapped away all the old sealer around the top of rear shock tower and had a good look around there to me it's looks p#ss weak. I agree it's need to be reinforced. I have a 126 im cutting parts of i will cut the rear shock tower of nxt week and dissect it to see how weak it really is. I don't fancy fitting coil overs to the car without beefing up the towers and the lower suspension arm mount.
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Last edited by rizzo360; 1 Day Ago at 13:24.
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