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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2017 springs to install on my 2018 QV and I'm trying to determine if I can do the replacement myself. I've done springs on other (older) Alfas so I have a set of compressors. I took a look at the service manual procedure and for the rears it says to place a jack under the lower control arm, remove 3 link bolts and then lower the suspension to release tension on the spring. It also says that the three bolts need to be discarded and replaced with new since they are stretch torque type. I took a look and one of the bolts seems to be inaccessible (the toe link to crossmember). The head of the bolt backs right up to the gas tank. I don't see a way to get a ratchet in there.
I also tried to see if I could fit my compressors on the spring so I could avoid disconnecting the suspension arms and I don't think I can get them to be directly opposite each other. The axle is in the way.

Has anybody done this procedure themselves or know how the shop has done it?
 

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I haven't done this but just got the 2017 springs for mine so I am interested in the answer too.
Good luck with this.



I have 2017 springs to install on my 2018 QV and I'm trying to determine if I can do the replacement myself. I've done springs on other (older) Alfas so I have a set of compressors. I took a look at the service manual procedure and for the rears it says to place a jack under the lower control arm, remove 3 link bolts and then lower the suspension to release tension on the spring. It also says that the three bolts need to be discarded and replaced with new since they are stretch torque type. I took a look and one of the bolts seems to be inaccessible (the toe link to crossmember). The head of the bolt backs right up to the gas tank. I don't see a way to get a ratchet in there.
I also tried to see if I could fit my compressors on the spring so I could avoid disconnecting the suspension arms and I don't think I can get them to be directly opposite each other. The axle is in the way.

Has anybody done this procedure themselves or know how the shop has done it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
https://www.giuliaforums.com/forum/754-giulia-how-diy/11577-diy-lowering-springs-springs-guide.html



I followed this guys post to do mine.

While I felt his instructions were vague in some places they were a good enough kicking off point.



I’ll be honest, I didn’t have as much fun as I thought I would have. The rears straight up sucked.



Good luck.


Thanks for the link! Did you also just compress one side when doing the rear spring? That sounds dangerous and I’m surprised it worked. Do you or @Driven have any more details on this part? Also which control arm did you disconnect? The camber (rear upper) or the toe (front)?
One more question. Did you replace the bolts that you removed with new ones? The manual said that they are one time use only.


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https://www.giuliaforums.com/forum/754-giulia-how-diy/11577-diy-lowering-springs-springs-guide.html



I followed this guys post to do mine.

While I felt his instructions were vague in some places they were a good enough kicking off point.



I’ll be honest, I didn’t have as much fun as I thought I would have. The rears straight up sucked.



Good luck.
I tried to use that link and it isn't going to a thread. Can you please repost it as I'm trying to get some directions to my mechanic for my springs? Thanks.

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Thanks for the link! Did you also just compress one side when doing the rear spring? That sounds dangerous and I’m surprised it worked.
Just one side. You're not trying to fully compress the spring, just remove tension off the top hat so it doesn't kill you when you are removing the nut.


Did you replace the bolts that you removed with new ones? The manual said that they are one time use only.
Reused. I imagine Alfa is being overly cautious with those bolts -- but having put 14K on my car thus far (which includes autocrosses and a few track days) without any issue whatsoever, I would not be concerned.


In May, I plan on removing the suspension and reinstalling the stock springs, so I will revisit the original thread and take more photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Reused. I imagine Alfa is being overly cautious with those bolts -- but having put 14K on my car thus far (which includes autocrosses and a few track days) without any issue whatsoever, I would not be concerned.
I think that they say not to reuse the bolts because the torque specs say to tighten to X ft lb and then to rotate Y degrees beyond that point. Doing this will stretch the bolt. To be safe, I ordered new bolts.
 

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I think that they say not to reuse the bolts because the torque specs say to tighten to X ft lb and then to rotate Y degrees beyond that point. Doing this will stretch the bolt. To be safe, I ordered new bolts.
Yup, get new bolts.
 

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Thanks for the link! Did you also just compress one side when doing the rear spring? That sounds dangerous and I’m surprised it worked. Do you or @Driven have any more details on this part? Also which control arm did you disconnect? The camber (rear upper) or the toe (front)?
One more question. Did you replace the bolts that you removed with new ones? The manual said that they are one time use only.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I removed the upper control arm (camber) and the lower control arm (main). As well as the sway bar link. Also the shock. In retrospect I’m not sure I needed to remove the upper arm. But I did both sides the same way. Getting all these arms back together was very tough. Maybe because I didn’t need to remove the upper arm? Not sure.
Once apart, I still needed to compress the spring with one compressor. I positioned it on the aft side of the spring.

I reused the bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I removed the upper control arm (camber) and the lower control arm (main). As well as the sway bar link. Also the shock. In retrospect I’m not sure I needed to remove the upper arm. But I did both sides the same way. Getting all these arms back together was very tough. Maybe because I didn’t need to remove the upper arm? Not sure.
Once apart, I still needed to compress the spring with one compressor. I positioned it on the aft side of the spring.

I reused the bolts.
Thanks. The service manual says to remove the camber (upper rear) arm, the toe (upper front) arm and the sway bar link. No mention of having to remove the lower arm. But I didn't see an easy way to get to the bolt for the toe arm. It also says no need to use spring compressor - just use a jack, disconnect the arms and then lower the jack.
 

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...

I reused the bolts.
In the case of brake caliper bolts, they are not reusable because they have non-reusable pressure activated thread lock compound on them. Since replacement bolts are not readily available it seems that "everyone" just puts some fresh locktite (or similar) on the threads. Is that the case with the non reusable suspension bolts involved in this spring replacement work?

Better safe than sorry when it comes to suspension bolts...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another thing from the service manual for the rear suspension - it says that before tightening the toe and camber arm bolts, you have to align the suspension by measuring 366.5mm from the center of the hub directly vertically to the fender. There is a special tool to attach to the hub with a measuring point.
 

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I think that they say not to reuse the bolts because the torque specs say to tighten to X ft lb and then to rotate Y degrees beyond that point. Doing this will stretch the bolt.
Correct. My point is, your suspension isn't going to fall apart if you reuse the bolts and torque them -- however if you want that peace of mind, get new bolts. Or, measure the old bolts for stretch.
 

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Another thing from the service manual for the rear suspension - it says that before tightening the toe and camber arm bolts, you have to align the suspension by measuring 366.5mm from the center of the hub directly vertically to the fender. There is a special tool to attach to the hub with a measuring point.

Is this measurement the same for 2017 & 2018?
 

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Hehe, good question. That comes out to 14.42 inches in conversion.
 

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I took my car in for an alignment at the AR dealership right after I put in the springs. Hopefully they made everything right.
 

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Correct. My point is, your suspension isn't going to fall apart if you reuse the bolts and torque them -- however if you want that peace of mind, get new bolts. Or, measure the old bolts for stretch.
I do not think the caliper bolts are stretched by this strange procedure. This procedure is what you do to activate the dry set thread lock compound. The torque they specify is pretty small relative to the size of the caliper bolts even after the extra rotation.

Many suspension bolts cannot be tightened "hard" for various reasons. Instead crimped nuts are used to ensure that the nut cannot back off. These type nuts get looser each time they are removed and installed. Reusing them ONCE is PROBABLY not a problem; reusing them multiple times is likely to be a problem. For my work on my vehicles I notice how hard the nut is to thread on. It should take a wrench and non-trivial torque just to thread the nut on, otherwise it is done. Of course doing what it says in the service manual is the safe(r) approach.

Bolts or nuts which are stretched when they are installed, such as con-rod bolts and main bearing bolts are strictly one use only. Re-use of such bolts is asking for a broken bolt.

FWIW: To make the fasteners stay tight on a racing bicycle, everything starts spotless clean and smooth and then gets a generous helping of antiseize, threads and shoulders. The same should work for any system that allows the fasteners to be fully tightened, but be warned: antiseize makes a horrible mess that is really hard to clean up. Also, antiseize is not good on fasteners that are not tightened to the max, such as pinch bolts and low grade bolts and it just makes a mess if the threads or shoulders are imperfect or dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I completed the spring replacement today, going from the 2018 springs to the factory 2017 springs. Good news is that I was able to replace the rear springs without disassembling any of the suspension pieces. Not so good news is that it only lowered the car about 1/4". I'm hoping that after settling it will lower it another 1/4" - then I'll be happy.
Here are a few tips if anyone is trying this on their own.

Rears
- I removed a sensor wire and brake line bracket that were in the way
- I used spring compressors from Amazon. They allowed me to fit both of them onto the spring at about a 120 degree angle to each other. The nut head of the compressor goes at the top.
- Once the spring is compressed, I removed the bottom of the spring first, after separating the rubber pad
- Positioning the compressors onto the new spring is critical. I marked the bottom rubber pad to show me where the rods of the compressor should go.
- Fit the bottom rubber pad onto the base first and then put the spring in top first and then bottom. Get the tabs on the bottom pad in place before releasing tension.
- These take a while and require a lot of manual wrenching.
- No need to replace any bolts with new ones since no bolts were removed! This was fortunate since the bolts I ordered did not match the picture or description in the parts diagram. The diagram is very vague as it just shows pictures of the bolts floating in space and does not show where they go.

Fronts
- I followed the procedure in the manual removing the 3 upper strut bolts, the lower strut bolt, the stabilizer link nut and upper control arm to knuckle bolt.
- I also disconnected wires and brake line bracket that were in the way.
- Once the strut is out, and the spring is compressed on the bench, the tricky part is removing the upper bolt. There is a wire going through the center of the rod. I used a pass-through 5/8" socket on the outer nut along with a 9mm 1/4 socket that I drilled the center out of for the inner nut. I used small vise grips to hold the 9mm socket. This works until the very end of travel. Then I had to use a box end wrench on the outer nut.
- When installing, I used new bolts and nuts for the suspension pieces as indicated in the manual. The torques are given in the manual as XX ft lb + YY degrees of rotation.
- On the first side I did, I put the rubber shield on upside down which is a bummer since I didn't realize it until after I tightened all the 1-time use bolts. I'll have to order another set and re-do it.

Not a terrible job, but not too fun either. I'll report back in a couple weeks to let you know if the springs settle in at all.
 
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