Frequently asked questions about FIAT Tipo 16V

Do strut braces really make that much difference?

Mike Jukes asks whether strut braces really make that much difference on a road car? Alex Neagu says that they are worth every penny. He gave his to Moshe Tevet for a while and the difference was amazing. He had totally forgotten what body roll meant until that day. The bar just holds everything together and really improves the car's cornering ability. Omp, Sparco and Fly Motors make strut braces for the Tipo 16v. Sparco only appear tomake a brace for the non-abs Tipo 16V however OMP do.

Can I cut my existing springs to lower the car?

No, no, no, please don't do this. Yes you will lower the car but the ride will be terrible. There will now be less travel on the springs but at the existing spring rate, thus the car will have a tendency to hit the bump stops. The only way to lower the car is to buy a set of uprated lowered springs. These will have a higher spring rate and so the ride will be firmer but more importantly will not hit the bump stops. Hitting the bump stops is a bad thing as you end up with effectively no suspension and run the risk damaging the chassis of the car.

What is the best suspension set up?

Nareman Virk says that people tend to recommend Eibach springs with Koni shocks. Koni do however also make springs to go with their shocks and sell them as a complete package. Avanti Motorsport also say the best springs to fit to the car are Eibach. Nobody has done a back to back test of various spring/damper combinations. However those who have fitted Koni shock absorbers with Elbach springs say the handling of the car is very good.

Will lowering my car effect the tyre wear?

Mike Jukes asks whether lowering his car will effect the wear on the tyres. The normal amount to lower the car by is 30-35mm. This centralises the wheels in the arches quite nicely. Anymore and you will find the tyres founling the arches on large steering locks. If you stick to this amount of drop then you will have no problems. The camber (how much the wheels tilt in at the top) is uneffected and the toe in (how much the wheels point towards one another) is easily corrected at most garages by adjusting the tracking rods. I've had lowering springs on the car for many years and provided the tyre pressure is kept in check the wear is perfectly even.

What tyre pressure should I use?

Rogerio Ferrari from Brazil says he's changed his standard 14" wheels to 6½×15" wheels and wants to know what pressure he should be using. The standard pressure for the Brazilian Tipo 16V is 31psi in the front and 29psi in the rear.

In the UK I've used 36psi in the front and 32psi in the rear ever since I've had the car. I've used various wheel/tyre combinations including 6½×15 (185/55 and 195/50) and 7×16 with 205/45 and had prefectly even tyre wear.

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