Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World's stupidest Alfa owner

Well, that was a fast return to earth.

The great job I did adjusting the shocks turned out to be not so great after all. Following last night's drive, I had a nagging thought that the odd handling might be a result of me getting the rebound settings out of kilter on the back of the car, so tonight after work I grabbed the toolbox and jacked up the car to double check...

No doubt about it, the RR wasn't engaging the adjuster. It had felt odd at the time, but because the other side had worked well I assumed it must be ok. Doh! What I think is happening is that the shock must have a rubber bump stop in there, as some do according to the Koni website. I was pushing the dust cover down onto the rubber, and when I pushed hard enough it stopped turning - making me think I'd adjusted the shock and reached the end of the travel.

That was the first mistake. Mistake #2 was to have a go at getting the shock to extend far enough in situ to get the bump rubber out... End result, trailing arm at extreme angle and shock binding on shock tower. After a lot of jockeying with two jacks I managed to get the shock back into the tower without (I think) putting undue pressure on anything. Really wishing now that I'd started with the RR on Sunday and then given up before I did any damage...

Now to the LR - same issue there? If so, no real problem because both shocks would be the same, but I suspect that I did actually adjust the LR because of the odd handling. Which would mean that the LR doesn't have a bump rubber. That seems like it could be a problem in extreme bump situations. Well, this saga might turn out to be worth it to find that out. Maybe.

So, jack up the LR, undo the top mount, and... Yup, this feels like it's engaging the adjuster. Ok, according to my notes it was one half turn from full soft before, so let's put it back there. Out of curiousity, I try winding it further, and it stops. Seems like there's only 1/2 a turn of adjustment, which can't be right. Do some more fiddling, but that seems to be it.

That's very disconcerting - either the shock isn't what I thought it was, or it's broken, or I'm really not doing this right. Not much I can do from here without removing the shock from the car, and I don't have the tools with me for that. So, put everything back together and leave it for now.

I wonder what Hugh's hourly rate is for putting the car right after the owner's mucked it up? If I don't want to find out I'd better come back with a spring compressor to get the shocks out and do this properly.

No comments:

Post a Comment