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Old 04-04-2011   #1
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Question Suspension Overhaul

Hi guys, I have a squeaky rear suspension, which seems to be a common problem (most likely cause by bushes being worn out). I also have a bit of camber on the front right wheel after i crashed into the curb side on as a result of understeering round a corner. I am looking to fix both of these problems and to lower the car at the same time (im not sure how much by yet), and i would also like to replace any parts which are likely to be worn, if it is cheap and relatively easy to do so at the same time. Could someone with a bit of experience tell me what is the best way to go about all this and more specifically what kind-of springs/shockers i should get, how much to lower it by etc.
Any help is appreciated
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Old 04-04-2011   #2
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

Hi mate,

On the Mk1 you can replace the rear trailing arms. They are around £50 each and if your a donated member of FF you get a 10% discount at www.shop4parts.co.uk

As for the front, this is gong to require a bit more work. First you need to work out what is bent and causing the camber you have. Could be a bent lower arm, or bent shock etc. Either way you will need to replace what ever is bent/broken.

Once you have replaced the rear arms, and established whats bent/broken at the front, you can then look at lowering the car.

How much to lower it is personal prefernce really. It all depends if you want looks or handling or a combination of both. If your only lowering up to around 40 or 50mm you can keep the original shocks. Any lower and you will need to replace the original shocks or consider a coilover kit.

When lowering its also important to take into account what wheels/tyres you have or will WANT to fit.

Whilst at it, its also worth replacing anti-roll bar bushes

When all that is finished, the final (and very important stage) is to go to a garage and have a 4 wheel laser alignment done.

Hope that helps,
Alan
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Old 04-04-2011   #3
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

good post a1ant but i wouldnt waste my money on 4 wheel tracking
front wheels alone will be enough
unfortunately lowering the car causes issues though so best start at a slight toe out and see if car tramlines and slowly bring to parralel
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Old 04-04-2011   #4
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

If you are considering lowering it look at using coilovers as you can adjust the ride height. Just check with insurance some really are daft enough to not like them.
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Old 05-04-2011   #5
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

Thanks alot for the advice guys, i will definitely be replacing the rear arms, and if i am changing the springs i will be replacing shock absorbers aswell just for completeness. So any advice on the best shocks to get? I already have alloys on the punto and slightly larger than stock wheels, although i can't remember the exact size atm (ill look it up in the daylight). Ill probably be looking at no more than a 40mm drop as i dont want it to be slammed, just to ride a little lower for handling sake (and a for style ofc ), and i dont want the tyres to hit the wheel arches, especially as im planning to put spacers in too.
As for the camber on the front wheel, ill most probably take it to kwik fit, see what they say needs doing and then just do it myself get the pros to do the diagnostics hehe.
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Old 05-04-2011   #6
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

would not bother with Kwikfit; need someone experienced to check for damage to suspension; do you mean that since the bump the top of the wheel is further out than the bottom?
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Old 05-04-2011   #7
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

If you are replacing springs & dampers certainly look at fitting coilovers
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Old 05-04-2011   #8
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

I probably will be looking at coilovers, seems to be the far better choice. Can anyone recommend a decent set/make? bearing in mind i only want to drop it a little.

And tim, the camber is negative, so the bottom is further out than the top, causing it to pull to the left. It was a strange "bump" i oversteered on a right hand turn, mounted the pavement, then the car skidded to be more parallel to the curb which cause the curb to push the front right wheel out a bit. The camber is not so severe though. I just need to know how to properly diagnose what exactly has gone wrong, the first order of business i guess is to check the mounts and struts, look for anything bent.
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Old 05-04-2011   #9
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

Although, i have been hearing that coilovers are a waste of time and money on a road, does anyone know what the reasoning behind this is?
I am also assuming that coilovers can only be fitted at the front, so perhaps it would be better to get shocks and springs all round? has anyone tried these options, im looking for some reviews lol
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Old 05-04-2011   #10
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

Google "punto coilovers" and all sorts turn up. Also look ok ebay Sets from about £180 to £oads
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 05-04-2011 at 14:17.
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Old 05-04-2011   #11
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Re: Suspension Overhaul

Hi mate,

Generally if you just want a smallish drop (up to 40/50mm) and a bit of improved handling then lowering springs and shocks are the cheapest and easiest way to go.

Coilovers are GENERALLY more expensive, and take more fitting and require more setting up. Hence the reason why a lot of people say coilover kits are overkill for a standard road going car. They are more aimed at competition cars that require a variable set up, or for those who want to lower there car lots and "slam it" to the floor, which standard spring/shock kits are not able to do.

It comes down to personal choice at the end of the day. You have to weigh up the pros and cons and price vs what you want from them.

Have a look HERE in the classifieds, there are currently a few coilover set-ups for sale

Alan
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Last edited by a1ant; 05-04-2011 at 14:36.
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Old 05-04-2011   #12
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Thumbs up Re: Suspension Overhaul

Okay thanks alot Alan, and all you other guys. Ill see what i can find and ill be sure to post some updates when i eventually get round to it

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