Lancia Motor Club

Model Technical and Interest => Flavia => Topic started by: LanciAlan on 15 January, 2010, 05:04:25 PM



Title: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 15 January, 2010, 05:04:25 PM
Flavia and 2000 models are prone to settling of the rear leaf springs and various remedies I have heard of include re-tempering of the springs or the fitting of auxiliary coil springs to help out the leaf springs.

Apparently the coil spring option was a period 1970s accessory that could be retro-fitted by the owner to a range of cars back in the daze when leaf springs were more the norm and when cars had to last longer - but didn't really.

As a distraction from the nearby Angola that is "When Two Clubs go to War", I found what looks like a set of these coil springs for relatively small money on eBay Italia - though I am open to correction as to what they may actually be!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180411262231&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180411262231&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

From the descriptions I've heard, they fit in place of the rubber bump-stop on the car body at the upper end and are seated at the lower end on a conveniently located flat plate on the beam axle.

My own preferred solution which, though not scientifically endorsed, has proven very satisfactory in practice in terms of improved ride height and firmer handling was to add an extra leaf to the leaf springs - I also expect to be better equipped for towing  ... when I get that far - I'll need to put the "propelling unit" back in first!

I am sure this is not novel and that others have done it before me but I got the idea when I read in the "Zagato Competizione" book that a firmer/lower ride for track use was achieved by removing the longest spring and doubling the shortest, or vice versa - I forget, so I applied similar and, at the time, clearer thinking to achieving a firmer/higher ride - obviously after consulting with the missus.

I have been meaning to write it up in more detail for the quarterly Flavia Consortium newsletter .... along with that article for V-L about the marvellous set of over 70 1/43 scale Lancia models I am receiving in exciting parcel instalments of 6 models from Italy every few months ... and maybe a piece on the Lancia wonders of the internet for non-computerati ... and of course all those unwritten complimentary letters to the Editor marvelling at how he does it month on month.

Anyhow someone else may be interested in trying out the Flavia coil spring thing as it is not for me - I am sure it is fine but for me it smacks a bit of the type of 1970s "car accessory" the only real effect of which was to make your car heavier and slower!


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: St Volumex on 15 January, 2010, 07:43:38 PM
Hi Alan,

Another leaf in the Flavia's front spring really does the trick.

Kindest regards,


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Richard Fridd on 15 January, 2010, 07:55:44 PM
which leaf is best added i wonder. is it the middle one?


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fensaddler on 15 January, 2010, 08:21:06 PM
I want to know how you've persuaded Hachette to send your models to a non-Italian address?  Please do tell, since I'd love to do the same...


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 15 January, 2010, 10:41:04 PM
Flavia and 2000 models are prone to settling of the rear leaf springs and various remedies I have heard of include re-tempering of the springs or the fitting of auxiliary coil springs to help out the leaf springs.

Apparently the coil spring option was a period 1970s accessory that could be retro-fitted by the owner to a range of cars back in the daze when leaf springs were more the norm and when cars had to last longer - but didn't really.

As a distraction from the nearby Angola that is "When Two Clubs go to War", I found what looks like a set of these coil springs for relatively small money on eBay Italia - though I am open to correction as to what they may actually be!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180411262231&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180411262231&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

From the descriptions I've heard, they fit in place of the rubber bump-stop on the car body at the upper end and are seated at the lower end on a conveniently located flat plate on the beam axle. at that price or anywhere near, they're a bargain. ;D

My own preferred solution which, though not scientifically endorsed, has proven very satisfactory in practice in terms of improved ride height and firmer handling was to add an extra leaf to the leaf springs - I also expect to be better equipped for towing  ... when I get that far - I'll need to put the "propelling unit" back in first!

I am sure this is not novel and that others have done it before me but I got the idea when I read in the "Zagato Competizione" book that a firmer/lower ride for track use was achieved by removing the longest spring and doubling the shortest, or vice versa - I forget, so I applied similar and, at the time, clearer thinking to achieving a firmer/higher ride - obviously after consulting with the missus.

I have been meaning to write it up in more detail for the quarterly Flavia Consortium newsletter .... along with that article for V-L about the marvellous set of over 70 1/43 scale Lancia models I am receiving in exciting parcel instalments of 6 models from Italy every few months ... and maybe a piece on the Lancia wonders of the internet for non-computerati ... and of course all those unwritten complimentary letters to the Editor marvelling at how he does it month on month.

Anyhow someone else may be interested in trying out the Flavia coil spring thing as it is not for me - I am sure it is fine but for me it smacks a bit of the type of 1970s "car accessory" the only real effect of which was to make your car heavier and slower!
From the Garbled Translation from Altavistababelfish, it certainly seems that's what they are, I think they are still available, or something similar for caravan tow car to stiffen up the springs.

Just looked this up on Google.
LANCIA

MODEL YEAR RUBBER RINGS  AUX.COIL SPRING  
BETA 73-87 GE15 65S560
DELTA, PRISMA  80-93 GE15 65S760
DEDRA 90 -- GE15 19C02H
TREVI 80-85 GE15 65S560
THEMA 85-94 GE15 OR H/D SPRINGS 1901PRO
GAMMA 78-85 GE15 -
H.P.E 75-85 GE14 65S560

www.springassisters.co.uk  But not cheap

I'd also would like to know how you persuaded Harchette to supply you with the Lancia models and the accompanying history, I managed to get 5 of them from a friend in Holland, but I would certainly like to get hold of the complete set.

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fensaddler on 15 January, 2010, 11:32:07 PM
I've got various via e-bay at inflated prices from sellers in Italy, but I'd really rather have subscribed.  Perhaps its just saving me from myself...

BTW, whilst I'm in Flavia world - who should I contact in the consortium?  Its your 50th anniversary guys, and as your irrepressible Press Officer, I have plans, and you can't escape...  Primarily I need help, and some good pictures, so that I can put together a decent press release.

I'll need to do the same for the Thema 25th, but this isn't perhaps the right place - and I think I need to speak to Mr Angle Grinder.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: stuwilson128 on 16 January, 2010, 03:42:28 PM
BTW, whilst I'm in Flavia world - who should I contact in the consortium?  Its your 50th anniversary guys, and as your irrepressible Press Officer, I have plans, and you can't escape...  Primarily I need help, and some good pictures, so that I can put together a decent press release.

Chris, I have sent you a P.M. in relation to this!


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 17 January, 2010, 10:39:35 AM
With apologies for slight delay (I check in here as a reader most days but am unaccustomed to handling correspondence!):

Guy - surely you don't mean an extra front leaf can elevate the back? I did some excavations at this end too, compressing each end of the transverse spring in turn to replace the rubber bushes, remove wishbones etc. However on the way out I managed to fit one anti-roll bar mounting upside-down. It took me about a week of e-mails to Viva-Lancia.com and the like to figure out why one side of the car was 3 inches higher than the other as I thought I had strained the spring!

Chris and Brian, re Hachette, I approached some of the on-line vendors and found one who agreed to order and forward them to me at a reasonable markup. He has sent me all the Lancia models in the Auto Italiane Series and all of the Lancia Story Collection so far. I can put you in touch if you like as I have got a few for people here and he seems to be quite agreeable to do more business in this way. Some of the models are really fab and when I started collecting I never thought I would be able to fill my model cabinet with over 70 Lancias in 1/43. Weird thing is they have so far produced every Lancia variant I own - and in exactly the same colours as my cars too! I presume you've seen their website:

http://www.hachette-fascicoli.it/hachette-catalogo.asp (http://www.hachette-fascicoli.it/hachette-catalogo.asp)

And this chap has kindly put up pictures of the whole lot:http://www.sgurz.it/DieCast/In%20Edicola/In%20Edicola.htm (http://www.sgurz.it/DieCast/In%20Edicola/In%20Edicola.htm)

Richard, I doubled up on the longest spring leaf (well the longest but for the uppermost one that connects to the body). I did this on the basis that, unlike the lower leafs (leaves?) this longest one runs almost the full length of the one above and would thus be more likely to provide the required "assistance" along its full length whereas reinforcing any shorter leaf would introduce an increased likelihood of failure in the leaf above at the point of overhang. Not terribly scientific I know. In any case its the upper ones that sag as I found out after my first attempt when I replaced all but the uppermost leaf because I did not have replacement bushes to hand at the time. The car sat higher overall but still sagged on one side as it had done before. After I pulled it all apart again and replaced the top leaves too, all was well. The ride height looks ok, I can take 4 passengers with luggage on touring trips and the handling over bumpy roads is firmer. At least it was when I had an engine/gearbox/subframe in the car until last Summer - but that's a different story!

Regarding the Flavia 50th in 2010, I understand the Flavia/2000 Consortium is considering whether to organise its AGM around a UK celebration of this event and/or whether to join in any wider European celebration. For my part I have signed up to the trip to Trieste in September being organised by the Dutch Club at www.flavia50.com (http://www.flavia50.com) and am just hoping I'll have a car ready to go in as this bit didn't happen for me in the 2006 Centenary!

Alan


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 17 January, 2010, 11:49:39 AM
Alan,
Thanks for all the information, can you please put me in touch with your seller of the Hatchette models please.

Where did you obtain your springs from as I'm looking at possibly changing them completely or perhaps a leaf as you did on my Fulvia Berlina.
We took at lot of luggage and tools on our drive to Portrugal and back in 2004 and ever since then she tends to squat a bit, although I really believe though it was down to all the Pizzas that Simon Davis my navigator eat  ;D

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Angle Grinder on 17 January, 2010, 05:35:42 PM
My Flavia had its rear springs replaced in 2007 by the previous owner. He told me that the springs were repaired by the same company that makes them for London Cabs, but I can't tell you any more than that.

I don't have any invoices that verify the manufacturer of the springs, but the work was done by Clarence Motors in London and their telephone is 020 7701 2594. A call to them might get you an answer on who they use for this type of work.

The repair work on the springs was invoiced at £260.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 17 January, 2010, 06:52:59 PM
Thanks for the information mike.

How's the Flavia PF Coupe coming alond?

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 17 January, 2010, 11:07:39 PM
Alan,
Thanks for all the information, can you please put me in touch with your seller of the Hatchette models please.

Where did you obtain your springs from as I'm looking at possibly changing them completely or perhaps a leaf as you did on my Fulvia Berlina.
We took at lot of luggage and tools on our drive to Portrugal and back in 2004 and ever since then she tends to squat a bit, although I really believe though it was down to all the Pizzas that Simon Davis my navigator eat  ;D

Brian
8227 8)

Brian

I'll pass you the details of the Hachette supplier in a pm after I've told him you're coming.

I got a spare set of s/h springs with my car and I basically just dismantled and reconditioned those by rotary wire-brushing and hammerite and then re-used the top leaves from the old springs to give the extra lift.

I had to improvise on the spring clamp thingys as the standard ones are only made to fit the normal number of leaves. For this I used stuff called "galvoband" which is galvanised metal strips with perforations all along. I found it worked very well. I have some pics somewhere.

Alan



Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 17 January, 2010, 11:14:19 PM
Alan,
Thanks for all the information, can you please put me in touch with your seller of the Hatchette models please.

Where did you obtain your springs from as I'm looking at possibly changing them completely or perhaps a leaf as you did on my Fulvia Berlina.
We took at lot of luggage and tools on our drive to Portrugal and back in 2004 and ever since then she tends to squat a bit, although I really believe though it was down to all the Pizzas that Simon Davis my navigator eat  ;D

Brian
8227 8)

Brian

I'll pass you the details of the Hachette supplier in a pm after I've told him you're coming.

I got a spare set of s/h springs with my car and I basically just dismantled and reconditioned those by rotary wire-brushing and hammerite and then re-used the top leaves from the old springs to give the extra lift.

I had to improvise on the spring clamp thingys as the standard ones are only made to fit the normal number of leaves. For this I used stuff called "galvoband" which is galvanised metal strips with perforations all along. I found it worked very well. I have some pics somewhere.

Alan


Thanks Alan,
So you actually added an extra spring rather than getting them reset if I understand correctly, some photos would be very welcome.

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: ColinMarr on 17 January, 2010, 11:39:16 PM
I know of the London based taxi-spring forge that Angle Grinder refers to. It used to be in Stock Orchard Street, Islington, but has moved nearby in recent years. Iíll get their details and post them later.

Colin


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: ColinMarr on 18 January, 2010, 10:15:35 AM
The London spring company referred to is almost certainly Brost Forge.

Brost now operate from Unit 7, 149 Roman Way, London N7 8XH. Tel: 020 7607 2311. They do taxi springs, but are also quite well known in the classic car world. Small and chaotic Ė donít expect a receptionist!

Colin


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 18 January, 2010, 10:48:31 AM
The London spring company referred to is almost certainly Brost Forge.

Brost now operate from Unit 7, 149 Roman Way, London N7 8XH. Tel: 020 7607 2311. They do taxi springs, but are also quite well known in the classic car world. Small and chaotic Ė donít expect a receptionist!

Colin


Thank you Colin

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 18 January, 2010, 01:24:04 PM
Glory be ... photos resized at last!

From this series that runs from original collection of the car from  Grimsby (with a boot full of stuff) in 2005 to a more recent Lancia Club Ireland rally in the Kerry Mountains (with a boot full of stuff) in 2008 you can see the improvement in ride height. A subsequent run in the Wicklow Mountains proved the improvement in firmness.

In the close-up you can also see the improvised spring clamp design - adequate in my view as these do not bear any load other than to keep all the leaves in alignment with each other.

I have also included a gratuitous shot of the whole back axle ready to re-fit with brakes, etc fully re-conditioned - all very satisfying and do-able indeed and probably the way to go if you have more than one job to do in this department.

The extra leaf means an extra sheet of interleaving which I salvaged from the spare set of springs. I also moved each sheet down one level as the ends of them tend to fray and moving them down to the lower leaf allows them to be trimmed. Then you only need a new bit for the top!


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Dilambdaman on 18 January, 2010, 04:43:48 PM
Brost Forge tempered and re-set the Dilambda springs a couple of years ago to good effect, speedily and cost effectively, although the rear end still sits lower than I would like.

Robin.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 18 January, 2010, 05:46:13 PM
There you go ... thats why I did it myself! I was less interested in originality than having a cheap solution to the low ride height, and one that gave me options within my own control ... like starting over again if I didn't like the result following the first attempt.

As these springs were prone to sagging from the start (and, I understand, were never great under full load anyhow) I reckoned that even if I got them re-tempered to give the static and deflected dimensions shown in the workshop manuals they would never perform any better than the originals.

I look forward to experimenting with other springing options on Flavia/Fulvias in the future - lowering, stiffening, etc.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 18 January, 2010, 07:42:55 PM
Thanks for the photos Alan, I now have a clearer idea of what you did, the perforated strip looks good as well.
I note your car came from Grimsby, it looks familiar, is it ex Alan Cooper by any chance?

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Dilambdaman on 18 January, 2010, 07:49:20 PM
Sorry, didn't think I'd given the impression that Brost were to blame for Modestine's ' saggy bottom'. They did a good job, quickly and for a very reasonable sum. In retrospect we should have fitted the body 2 or 3 inches higher on the chassis.

I do remember trying everything on a 2000 saloon I had a few years ago to try and lift the back end, eventually fitting extra leaves and a 1" metal block under each spring.

Robin.



Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 18 January, 2010, 11:56:00 PM
Thanks for the photos Alan, I now have a clearer idea of what you did, the perforated strip looks good as well.
I note your car came from Grimsby, it looks familiar, is it ex Alan Cooper by any chance?

Brian
8227 8)

'tis


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Angle Grinder on 19 January, 2010, 03:22:54 PM
Quote
Thanks for the information mike.

How's the Flavia PF Coupe coming alond?

Brian
8227

Well Brian... since you asked!

The Flavia sailed through its MoT after I had:
  • bled the brake fluid (very much needed and I flushed it through twice for good measure).
  • Cleaned up the contacts on the pull-up switch for the lights.
  • Sorted out the contacts for the horn in the steering wheel boss
  • Did some welding to the floorpan.

I spent the summer months on steadily stripping off the trim so that the car could get a full and thorough paint job (hopefully around April this year). I restored the crash pad below the dashboard myself and achieved some pretty good results I think (see pic). I also had the heater matrix re-cored and fitted not one, but 2 electric fans to give me some extra boost on the cabin ventilation.  The heater is now pretty good and was very appreciated when I last drove the car in November.

Currently she is in storage in a shed at the home of the chap who is going to restore the body shell. She is in good company as she is sharing the shed with a Flaminia Coupe Touring (in need of much more restoration, but complete).

I hope to have the bodyshell repairs done by early April and then I'll take her to my local paint shop for the full respray. I'd appreciate guidance from anyone regarding the best paint to use for a 1967 Lancia Blue. I'd prefer it to be a proper dark blue, rather than the navy blue that seemed to be the original colour behind the dashboard.

Other small success stories are the purchase of a pretty good rear bumper on ebay, the purchase of some almost new rear lenses for £70 for the pair (I got Jensen Interceptor parts as I think you suggested Brian), and I've had a new wooden dash made up by a friend, but I need to get it polished to match the instrument panel wood.

Mechanically, the car is in good useable condition after a basic servicing and change of all fluids. I'll be getting the valve clearances checked at the same time as the body repairs, and then I intend to tackle the front spring to wishbone bush as well as the top ball joints (one has a torn boot so might as well replace both when I'm in there). Does anyone know where the front spring compressor tool is?

I'd write a restoration feature, but there isn't much rebuild to report.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: fay66 on 19 January, 2010, 04:47:58 PM
Thanks Mike,
Please keep us posted as and when you do any more work.
Looking good.
although I suggested the Jensen rear lights, the tip actually came from Alan Cooper.

Brian
8227 8)


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Angle Grinder on 19 January, 2010, 05:25:40 PM
By the way, I know that almost every Flavia has long since lost the foam stuffing out of their black plastic door cappings, but does anyone have a passenger side door cap that is in decent condition that they'd care to sell to me.

Mine has been cracked open below the quarter light and is crudely patched with black tape.


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: LanciAlan on 19 January, 2010, 06:23:50 PM
By the way, I know that almost every Flavia has long since lost the foam stuffing out of their black plastic door cappings, but does anyone have a passenger side door cap that is in decent condition that they'd care to sell to me.

Mine has been cracked open below the quarter light and is crudely patched with black tape.

From your photo, my later series door cappings look to be quite different items with embedded fake wood bits. But perhaps you have the advantage of being able to re-cover yours as it appears to be uniformly covered in black vinyl?

Your coupe looks very viable indeed and definitely in the rolling restoration category - of the various examples I have seen for sale I would vote it the "project most likely to reach completion"!

Does anyone know the fire damaged car advertised for parts or restoration in V-L this month?


Title: Re: Saggy Bottom?
Post by: Angle Grinder on 19 January, 2010, 07:23:05 PM
I noticed that ad too. It saddened me deeply to think that anyone could be so callous as to vandalise such a rare car!  :'(

My Flavia lived on the streets of London for ~9 years before I got it. Despite such a dangerous life exposed to city traffic and the general public, it only suffered a few dents in the rear bumper, a coin along the driver's door, a ding in the rear O/S wing and a wing mirror pulled off on the night before I collected it!

Rest assured, this Flavia will be back on the roads and looking good!