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Old 08-02-2019   #1
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My Barchetta rides rough

Hi all, new to this forum and looking for info for my 1998 Fiat Barchetta Spyder. I have had it for a year now and it rides very rough. I can feel every bump on the road and would like to know if that is the way they were manufactured or has the previous owner(s) modified the suspension?

I tried to find shocks in North America (I am in California) without any luck. Do I need to change both the springs and shocks (front and rear)? Any suggestions or parts source would be very much appreciated. Mike
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Old 09-02-2019   #2
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

From your image it does look as if it has lowering springs fitted, but it could be just the angle of the photo. You could take a look at the springs, usually they are painted s nice colour if they are after market items. Or take a measurement, on a level surface of the hight from the floor to the top of both the front and rear wheel arches. Post on here the measurement, someone will tell you if it's STD hight or lowered.
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Old 09-02-2019   #3
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Nice car.

This is a very difficult feel/experience to address. Even the basic stock Barchetta has a firm and sporty suspension. You are North American market and (no offence meant) 90% plus? of US drivers are used to a US soft, floaty drive.

The old Fiat 124 Spiders (1970s/1980s) in the US were known to be firm and lacking compliance compared to the usual other US sport cars.

From a personal/technical point of view a firm ride, knock free, straight line deviation free etc. does indicated that the suspension is working well. Might not be to your liking but all I would suggest is that your explore the overall envelope of the suspension system and the car's Italian get up and go DNA.

Barchettas were designed to be sporty fun cars begging to be driven!
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Old 10-02-2019   #4
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Thanks for the info guys but I do want to soften the ride of my car. It measures 61.7 mm from the rear wheel well to the ground and 59.5 mm at the front. It has orangey/red springs all around. Can anyone tell me if this is stock or if it has been modified. I would like to purchase springs and/or shocks if and am looking for info. I am currently in California so any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike
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Old 11-02-2019   #5
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Ah, a B in California!! You're living my dream! I'd love the chance to drive my B down the Hy 1, along the Big Sur, and stop off at Deetjens for brunch. Man alive, those pancakes...

I reckon yours is definitely modified - the painted springs give it away. The ride in mine is quite soft - so much so that I've been tempted to firm it up - but on the country roads around here (not to mention my bumpy farm track) that would spell misery in daily use. Now as an occasional track-day car, that's another story.
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Last edited by gar074; 11-02-2019 at 09:22.
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Old 11-02-2019   #6
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Mine is stock and measures 63.5 both front and back.
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Old 11-02-2019   #7
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoyz View Post
Thanks for the info guys but I do want to soften the ride of my car. It measures 61.7 mm from the rear wheel well to the ground and 59.5 mm at the front. It has orangey/red springs all around. Can anyone tell me if this is stock or if it has been modified. I would like to purchase springs and/or shocks if and am looking for info. I am currently in California so any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike
Original springs would be just a dull grey/black uniform colour. So it does look like someone has changed the springs. The may have also changed the shock absorbers/dampers as well. If they are uprated dampers then fitting original springs will reduce body roll and soften longer duration suspension travels BUT the short shock/bump performance is still doing to be firm/harsh with uprated dampers.

Suggest you look carefully at the damper casings for make and part numbers. The part numbers can be looked up on this site with the ePER facility and should show up if they are genuine Fiat original parts.
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Old 13-02-2019   #8
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Does anyone want to swap my aftermarket (stiff) springs for stock Springs (front and rear)? Alternativly does anyone have a source where I can purchase Springs (and possibly shocks) in the USA? Thanks Mike
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Old 26-02-2019   #9
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Re: My Barchetta rides rough

Anyone in North America that may be interested in trading for my heavy springs for stock Springs? I think the previous owner must have been into Rally Racing, but I want a softer ride for highway cruises. Mike 760 401 3034. Presently in California but returning to Canada in a month
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