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    Thread: Punto Suspension discussion - Old/New/Aftermarket?

    1. #1

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      Punto Suspension discussion - Old/New/Aftermarket?

      GHs,

      It is now common knowledge that after Fiat increased the GC in 2012, the suspension in both Punto and Linea is a little stiffer.
      I have driven several pre 2012 models and they have a softer suspension that absorbs all imperfections on the road. I gave mine to TASS a few months after delivery and they "Softened" it. Now, it rides like a water bed and swings from left to right/back and forth even on perfect roads. On bad roads, it makes me wonder if there is any suspension at all. Multiple discussions and multiple checks later, the following culprits and solutions have been shortlisted:

      1. GT3 tyres are bad for the stiff suspension and changing to Michellin may help (Will Cost me 15K out of pocket)
      2. Change to the older suspension of pre 2012 models out of pocket for about INR 15,000. The GC will get reduced.
      3. Go for Bilstein or other Sports suspension which costs upwards of 45K
      4. Give it to the upcoming Fiat Service Center in Chennai and let them diagnose it

      I want to try Option number 4 before anything else but need help in understand everything out there about suspension so that even if i decide to shell out, I should be able to make an informed decision.

      1. what are the components of "Suspension"
      2. Does a Car have two or four shock absorbers
      3. what is a "Strut"
      4. what is the role of Tires
      5. Anything else I should know so that the service Center guys can be told to check that as well
      Last edited by Supernaut; 31st Jan 2013 at 21:20.

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      Tagging experts to get some attention, beginning with mclaren1885

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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      1. what are the components of "Suspension"
      2. Does a Car have two or four shock absorbers
      3. what is a "Strut"
      4. what is the role of Tires
      5. Anything else I should know so that the service Center guys can be told to check that as well
      1. Basically the springs and dampers. Also, the anti-roll bar and the torsion bars are considered part of it.
      2. FOUR
      3. Strut is commonly used in a McPherson system - it is the coil spring base and the damper.
      4. Tyres are critical - remember your contact with the road is essentially four size 8-10 shoes which have to bear all the stresses, transmit the engine and braking forces etc. Tyres do have a role, esp. the sidewalls - height (aspect ratio) and sidewall hardness and height, but this for normal driving is nowhere as critical as it is made out to be. The tread width and aspect ratio are far more critical for the handling and steering.
      Last edited by sgiitk; 21st Feb 2013 at 07:20.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      I gave mine to TASS a few months after delivery and they "Softened" it. Now, it rides like a water bed and swings from left to right/back and forth even on perfect roads. On bad roads, it makes me wonder if there is any suspension at all.
      What did hey do to soften the suspension? I don't think its possible to soften the stock suspension without changing components. What did they change? I read somewhere that the anti-roll bars of the pre 2012 Puntos are different less stiffer. Is it that what they changed to in your car?

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      Re: Suspension 101

      Tagging the rest tadukuttan 007 megazoid Godfather shyam


      Shreyas also but don't remember his id on the phone
      Last edited by fordfan; 1st Feb 2013 at 08:31.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      Now, it rides like a water bed and swings from left to right/back and forth even on perfect roads.
      Quote Originally Posted by supaCrank View Post
      I read somewhere that the anti-roll bars of the pre 2012 Puntos are different less stiffer.
      ^ this.


      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      1. what are the components of "Suspension"
      dampers, springs, lower control arms, stabilizer bars, tires and the chassis itself.


      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      2. Does a Car have two or four shock absorbers
      four.


      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      3. what is a "Strut"
      combination of damper and spring.


      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      4. what is the role of Tires
      the first line of defense. any shock the vehicle experiences goes through the tires first. low profile tires with stiff sidewalls don't cushion as much as high profile tires with soft sidewalls.

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      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      low profile tires with stiff sidewalls don't cushion as much as high profile tires with soft sidewalls.
      I have Goodyear GT3, what kind are these? I have been advised to change to Michelin Primacy, are these different from GT3? Will changing the tyres make significant difference in ride quality?

      Quote Originally Posted by supaCrank View Post
      What did hey do to soften the suspension? I don't think its possible to soften the stock suspension without changing components. What did they change? I read somewhere that the anti-roll bars of the pre 2012 Puntos are different less stiffer. Is it that what they changed to in your car?
      The guy at TASS is very helpful but limited in his knowledge. He said he opened up the whole suspension and checked and one of the struts wasn't compressing properly so he loosened it. I don't believe how much of it is true. They didn't change anything.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      The guy at TASS is very helpful but limited in his knowledge. He said he opened up the whole suspension and checked and one of the struts wasn't compressing properly so he loosened it. I don't believe how much of it is true. They didn't change anything.
      On a stock Punto suspension AFAIK i don't think there is anything in there that can be loosened or tightened to change the behaviour of the suspension, maybe you should get it checked once again at the new service centre that you've been planning on.

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      Supernaut, things I can think of in addition to what others have mentioned -

      The service center guys really cannot open up a strut and fix it, or do anything with it? Maybe one of your struts is blown, check for oil leaks.

      Tires - Doubt you are going to see a stiffer setup as you wanted by just changing tires, if it is currently as bad as you say it is. Opting for low profile performance tires with stiff sidewalls will help stiffen up the ride, temporarily. But then, the low profile stiff sidewalls tires will accelerate suspension damage once on your car. And Michelin has a lot of very different tires, which one was the guy suggesting?

      Also, how old is the car, and how many kms has it done? Been on a lot of rough roads? The suspension does get softened up with use, and I usually feel it going soft around 50K, and by 80K it will really be out of spec.

      If you really like a stiffer setup, in the long term suggest you go for adjustable setups from the aftermarket. No idea about who makes them good for the Punto though.
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      How much air pressure do you maintain in the tyres?

      If you feel jerky ride then keep the air pressure between 28-30 and if you feel body roll than try keeping 32-35. It really matters a lot than we can imagine.
      Last edited by Jack Sparrow; 1st Feb 2013 at 11:50.

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