fiat 850 - Lowering Front Suspension?

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fiat 850 - Lowering Front Suspension?


New member
Jun 9, 2002
Hooray! First Fiat 850 post!
To get things started, I would like to know how to safely lower the front suspension of my 850 coupe by 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Looking at the front end, it looks like the car could be lowered by reversing the main leaf of the front spring so that the eyes at the end of the spring are higher, thus raising the stub axle (and lowering the car). It looks like this would lower the car by 3-4 cm, which is probably enough. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? Or does anyone know of a reason not to do this - does it cause alignment problems, am I risking damaging something?
My first car was a series 1 850 coupe.
I did infact flip just the lower leaf spring over to lower the car.
I did like the look. but it was a hard ride. and after several years the "bridge" that holds the spring into the car began to buckel.
(But to be fair I was 16 and VERY Hard on the car)

I just completed re-lowering my current 850 spider.
This car was lowered using the much better method of lowering the leaf bolt holes in the knuckle. However the camber angle was changed (for racing) and it was too agressive for the street.
Now Im low with correct camber.

Re-aligning is necessary with either change.

best way to lower front suspention is to bash the leafspring
I used to do that on my racing zastava 750 , with 1050 engine.Normal fica leafspring is 27cm , i lower it on 12cm :) and it was flat , i put 12inch rims , ET was -10 :) , but for 13 inch rims , 16-18 is best with no problems.Just take your leafspring to blacksmith and tell him to lower it to height as you want.
Or you can contact me direct.I bought 12 fiat 850 in 1 day and have owned over 30 850s.I competed for 14 years in an Abarth tuned version.Until recently i had an OT 1300/124 Abarth version and i still race an OTS Abarth version.Both have been fitted with lowering blocks that keep full travel and permit camber adjustment.The ultimate bolt on bolt off worked perfectly on my car in Targa Tas.
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There are out there kits that I have seen that do a coil-over conversion. This is done by an aluminium cross memeber bolted to the front chassis, replacing the leaf spring and coiled shocks are then put in place to provided the dampening. I have seen cars (albeit in the US) lowered by 1 1/2"-2" with adjustable camber angles.
hi guys, ive looked at the various ways of lowering the front, i think id like to go with the 1960's abarth approach using the straight as opposed to curved front cross member, before i send mine for surgery, does anyone have the dimensions or drawings to make a replica abarth one? ....i know there availible from FAZA in the USA but post and import duties here make a locally made unit preferable.

i intend to use the shorter rear shocks up front to match the lowered spring mount...any input on my ideas?
I was wondering the same thing i have a 850 sedan i want to lower in the front i already moved the leaf mounting point to the spindle about a inch lower. Is there any other way to get a 1" or 1.5". Without spending a ton of money on cross members and coil overs.
When I first lowered my 850 sedan I installed the lowering spring perch and reversed the eyes on the spring and that brought it down almost 3 inches in total.

It looked like this


I then made drop spindles by welding extension tabs to the kingpin housing for 2 and half inches of drop and used a stock spring with the lowering perch

And it looks like this
hey ditchdigger.
your 850 looks sweet as. nice ride hight.(y)
how did you determin the offset for the new spring bolt hole? (it is not in line with the old spring bolt hole and the top spindle mount hole).
also while i'm at it, do you have the sizes (dimensions) of your lowered spring perch.
thanks for all / any help.
The lowering block is the Faza unit

If it had not been included with the purchase of the car I would not have bought one. It is so simple as to be laughable. All it is is a piece of steel formed channel with 9 holes drilled into it. Were I to make my own I would probably use aluminum channel.

The offset for the bolt hole was approximated from pictures of 70's race cars and from what John Edwards did to his 850. It turned out to be far too much offset and I had over 5 degrees negative camber. I had to shim the upper control arm .25 inches to bring the camber back down to 2 degrees which is still too much and now my front track is so wide that the tyres rub the arches. I will redo the extensions soon and bring that hole closer to the factory location....just down a bit ;)
Fancy something to do of an evening?

How about lovingly restoring an 850 I have found listed for sale in Normandy in Surrey. :)

It is listed on Repairable Vehicles website.
www . repairable vehicles . co . uk


I have only done the spring eye reversal. Much the same as the jalopy link, including cutting the secondary leaf. While this had the beneficial affect of lowering, after several years it is still lowering itself, to the point where it is too low.

I'd consider the lowering platform (aluminum or steel per ditch diggers post) as stage 1.
Stage 2 would be adding ears to the kingpin housing.
Stage 3 would be spring eye reversal, if really not low enough yet.

Why? Over the years the leaf spring has probably settled, and will be much more consistent than a re-arched spring. The drawback of kingpin housing modification is that you need someone good on the welder to make it strong.

Cheers, John
Have you thought about having the spring reset. In NZ we have spring makers who will reset the spring to give the ride height you require.
Also you can buy a complete new front assembly for all those models with a transverse leaf that comes with adjustable lower arms and coil over shocks, or you could make your own.
I had a Fiat 850 Spider many years ago.

I bought a set of Abarth springs from a guy who did Pennsylvania Hillclimb Assocation with an 850 Coupe.

The Abarth front spring had reversed eyes.

I had tried to dearch the spring, but it just rode on the bump stops.