Alfa 4C geometry set up
John Kane, 15/2/2017, UK
Got all of my Christmas presents next day as promised. I have had them all fitted and I am very pleased with the results. I just the weather had been a bit kinder to me so I could have enjoyed it more.
My specific comments on each item are listed below:
Still sounds good at idle and when accelerating but the dreaded motorway drone has disappeared. My wife even said she forgot she was in the 4C and thought she was in a normal car and then fell asleep. So a big tick for that one, as long journeys with my wife were not on the cards and now they are.
Suspension Intermediate Spacers
The skittish behavior before on bumpy (Normal) UK roads has been totally eliminated. The car feels more able to flow with the road instead of fighting it. It feels the way I thought it would feel when I first got it from Alfa .Due to the icy weather I wasn't able to go for a proper drive just a long motorway run but when I am back in the K next I will give it a proper run out
The engine now just feels bigger and stronger, much more brawny in the mid range. It accelerates very strongly now from 80 to 100, not that it was sluggish before but now it is significantly stronger. It is just stronger across the full rev range, it feels like the engine has just been increased in capacity by 50%.
Overall very pleased, the only problem I have is the limited amount of time I can spend in the UK to enjoy it. Thanks for all the time and effort you put in developing all this stuff, just a pity Alfa didn't do the same.
Victor Lee, 8/10/2016
I have had my spacers fitted now. All I can say is "Wow!"
The car is now so much nicer to drive. What an improvement!
I had them installed at my Alfa dealer and the Service Manager was impressed with the results.
Cheers and keep up the great work!
Alfaworks 4C Press Reviews September 2016
Frankie De Cokere, 3/8/16, Belgium
"We are so happy with the road spacers for Alfa 4c, we installed them today, amazing approvement. Stable, safe, not so nervus on the road anymore, it's like powersteering. Many thanks, nice weekend, greets Frankie"
Richard Ozanne, 11/7/16, Guernsey
"I bought the front suspension spacer kit (road version) for my 4C. Changing the spacers was really simple. The hardest part of the job was finding the front jacking points! The difference is astonishing. The car is transformed and no longer leaps across the road at the merest sniff of a white line or road repairs.
A.C. 14/7/16 Canada
We got the race blocks installed today on the car and took it to the track it is absolutely amazing. Car feels so good.
We would like to order a set of the intermediate blocks to show our customer how they feel as a track ready car.
Please let me know the price and when we could get them shipped.
Thank you very much.
Paul Lundquist, 11/6/16, Norway
"Got the suspension blocks (road spacers) in place yesterday, and took the 4C for a 110 km test drive on typical 'not-so-good' norwegian roads. It was like having a new car. Felt much safer and it was almost to easy to go too fast... Couldn't get det camber quite right, however, so will put on some extra shims (ordered at local workshop). Looking forward to a 1200 km trip next weekend getting even more experience. I will recommend this upgrade to anyone driving a 4C. Thank you!"
Heelntoe, 10/6/12, Canada, 4C forum
First time on the track this weekend since the race blocks were installed and I'm having so much fun! The difference on track from "old with some added camber" is huge. The car feels significantly faster and more capable through corners, and as previously mentioned, much more confidence inspiring. I'd take this setup over the stock setup any day.
Mateus, 10/6/16, Alfa 4C Forum, Australia
I had my first decent drive today since installing Jamie's spacers and the difference is substantial. I agree with the feedback other's have reported after doing this mod. I highly recommend it. The car is much more stable and steerable now when the road gets a bit rough, and I always felt in control of the car instead of it sometimes being in control of me or the road sometimes being in control of the car. It's definitely worth the money if you drive on anything other than smooth roads.
Jamie has also been very helpful via email, so thanks Jamie.
Heelntoe, 4/6/12, Canada, 4C forum
Installed Jamie's race blocks today and all is right in the world.
What has or hasn't already been said? The car truly feels "just right." Depending on the home you grew up in it's become the middle bowl of porridge, borscht, or congee. Driving has become normal. Not in a bland way. More like I can simply focus on driving now and not worry as much about making it home alive.
I guess one might argue that some of the manliness has been engineered out of the car, but I would then argue that it's been replaced with a modicum of precision that the car's appearance would otherwise indicate it is suited to. It feels refined even. There's still some dartiness, enough to remind you what you're driving, but it's completely manageable.
Driving through rough city streets - which I do a lot of - is so much easier now. It's not so frightening to weave between the flowing traffic, bicyclists, pedestrians,and parked cars, whereas before I kind of felt relegated to the lane I had chosen and any desire to change that lane required careful consideration and planning.
Driving at low speeds through my parking garage at work and at home - heaven! It is a night and day difference. So much easier and confidence inspiring. This alone almost makes the blocks worth their price.
@JWA - there's a good deal of thread left on all the studs. No less than 1/4" showing. I even added extra shims on the bottom, and the bottom blocks are already considerably thicker than the stock ones. I also had no positive or irregular camber issues whatsoever.
Spacers: I actually feel that my 10mm spacers are not enough now. The top has tucked in more with the race blocks and he look is not as good. I may change to 16mm. Definitely need those chip guards now.
New camber settings with the race blocks for me are -2.1 front and -2.4 rear. Looks cool, drives awesome, doesn't feel excessive, and I can still go a little more aggressive if need be but elected to try this "out of the box" setting first.
As had been said before - the car loads up much more naturally on turn-in now. Previously the car felt more binary on turn-in and had a "hump" to push past. Now it's just "right." Can't wait to try it on track next weekend. Can't wait to drive again tomorrow!
And thanks very much Jamie for your phone support today. Thanks for a great product.
4Canada, 26/5/16, Canada, 4C forum
Two thumbs up on this mod.
As others have said, and I really didn't believe, it truly is all that and a bag of chips.
I had my first chance to drive the car today, after installing the Alfa Workshops suspension blocks myself on Monday.
Still have to get the toe set (decided to have it done by someone with an alignment rig), but the drive to work was already amazingly different.
I literally forgot which car I was driving for a moment - in a good way.
The steering is still nimble and alive, just not as hell-bent for self destruction.
I don't have a hyper terrier on the lead anymore - more like a well trained guide dog. You can still feel it is alive and breathing, but it isn't interested in chasing every squirrel or rabbit out of the ditch.
Want a good anecdote? I took my hands off the wheel going over a bumpy railroad crossing doing 55km/h this morning - AND LIVED! Try that in your uncorrected LE. I know this track was always an attention-getter for me before now.
Looking forward to trying the new setup on the track next week. I really wanted it fixed before then. as I can imagine I'd get pretty tired quickly with the stock blocks.
I'll have enough to learn and absorb, without also having to absorb every unevenness in the driving surface.
Thanks again, jamiealfa - Alfa Workshops. I'm impressed!
KennethN, 6/5/16, 4C forum
I got the blocks last week, installed the blocks and noticed a big difference on the first drive.
Today I went to a workshop for alignment and setting Toe as pr Jamies recommendations.
Now the car handles like it should have done in the first place.
Andrew Hilliard, 4/5/16, UK
Jamie, I would like to thank you and your brilliant team for the work carried out on my 4c.All of the Hype regarding the Geo setup are true. Was like driving a completely different car. The journey back home from your Garage was a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much. Regards Andy Hilliard
ilLupo, 4C Coupe, 3/5/16, Sweden
Ok, I have now tried Jamies ROAD blocks for some mileage (kilometerage...?)
The blocks increase your caster plus gives a tad more negative camber.
Made some "inspired driving" today and I'm ready for a final verdict:
This is exactly what Alfa Romeo should have done from the beginning!
I feel much more confident with the car and dares to push harder when accelerating through long bends. I "lean on" the front wheels i a way I didn't dare before. Maybe less understeering as well...?
On highway cruising the car is at rest i a relaxed way. No bump steering and railing. But you can still feel it, without having to fight it. ;-) Perfect!
John Third, 4C Coupe, 25/4/16, UK
"The handling of my 4C has been transformed. The car no longer feels nervous and twitchy and now has balance and stability. There is still a tendency to tramline but this is easy to control. Summing up - a very good job by people who know what that are doing. John Third"
Rob Jones, 4C Coupe, 11/3/16, UK
Many thanks to all involved for sorting the 4C issues and your hospitality this morning. I had a good drive back which was much more enjoyable and somewhat quicker than the earlier drive to the workshop. Best regards Rob Jones"
Stuart Jenkins, 4C Coupe, 26/2/16, UK
The 4C now drives so much better , really gives confidence to push it and I now feel I can control the odd wobble, the fear factor has gone , the car is now safe and that's nice to admit after over 8000 miles of trepidation . It feels predictable, good for the experience , possibly added autographs on the licence if caught . Also found myself on the M25 with the window down playing. / learning tunes on your rather good exhaust. Thanks for great products , well delivered and excellent value for money .
Thank your team please , I know you couldn't do it without them, top fellas !!
Patrick Hurst, 4C Spider, 8/2/2016, UK
The eagle has landed and been driven home. Exhaust superb and steering absolutely lovely - our roads are very demanding and no kick back / tram-lining at all and that is with 18/19" wheels and race suspension.
I can not compliment you enough on the work done to make a great car even greater.
The driving experience is something else.
More than happy to recommend both upgrades.
Enziof, Alfa 4C forum, 31/1/2016, USA
Some things about the install of the blocks:
It seems like the front track is increased by about 14mm on each side and that the castor angle is significantly increased (x2.5). My car was set up for camber of -1 degree. This required 7 shims(!) and would not allow sufficient thread with Jamie's blue block. So I backed camber off to factory specifications and set the toe to Jamie's specification.
In theory increased castor would cause more steering effort at slow speed, but I did not find a noticeable difference.
I took the car out for a test drive on some of our more challenging country roads. In the past the car wanted to follow pavement irregularities and exhibited a tendency to lurch into road dips. I was amazed by the transformation with Jamie's blocks, the car now tracks like my Porsche and inspires more confidence when cornering. The drive is much more predictable, and I now have time to count the cows. I have to agree with Barth, that if you drive on less that perfect roads, Jamie's blocks are the most important upgrade you can make to your 4c.
Great work Jamie!
Barth Vader, Alfa 4C forum, 30/1/2016, USA
More details: My shop billed me 3 hours labor plus the alignment, which seems reasonable by Jamie's calculation. Cost was ~$400 (I had some other things on the bill not relevant to the topic). The job wasn't terribly complex and could have been done sooner but I asked the tech to take his time and double check all of the critical suspension bolts. I asked this because there are a number of missing and/or cross-threaded screws. One of my rattles is the result of the rocker moldings missing a total of six screws. After a thorough inspection it appears that I got all of the important bolts and they are properly tightened.
The blocks do push out the front wheels slightly. Jamie estimates 2mm. I'm terrible with estimating distance, but let's just say it's a big 2mm. I've got 12mm spacers up front and the tires now protrude more than I prefer. It doesn't look bad, but for the paint's sake I'll probably go a size down with the spacers. Definitely something to consider for those with spacers already.
When I finally picked up the car today, I had to haul ass from the dealership to go pick up my daughter from her after-school program. Unfortunately, I was in stop & go traffic and driving directly into the sunset for most of the trip so I can't give a review for performance driving yet.
I want to say that these blocks are a dramatic improvement, but that would entail an element of drama. These things eliminate drama with the effect of an automotive quaalude. I was in such a rush leaving the dealership and traffic was so bad that it was several miles before I realized that every rut in the road wasn't trying to break my wrists. Once I got out of traffic I did have one stretch of backroad that was conducive to a better evaluation.
My initial impression is that the car feels a little more neutral/dead on center. In a good way. It no longer feels like I'm holding a handful of coked-out chihuahuas. Now it feels like I'm holding a handful of well-trained German Shepard. The turn in is very crisp as is the transition form side to side. I point, it goes.
There was one emergency lane change maneuver thanks to a butthole in a VW, and that is when I really took note of the improvement. To me, it was as if I was in an E36 Lightweight. I slung the car one direction, and it stuck. I slung it back in the other, and it stuck. There was no nervousness in the car at all. NONE. I feel much more confident in the car now.
I'm hoping to get to make a mountain run tomorrow, and if I notice anything different I'll be certain to mention it, but as of now these things are the bees knees.
Barth Vader, Alfa 4C forum, 29/1/2016, USA
I'm at the mercy of my daughter until she goes to bed, but here's the short version of my report.
Buy them. Now. Before Jamie realizes he could charge twice as much and still sell every batch.
Ullers, 4C Forum 23/1/2016, UK
All 4C owners take note - there is a way to make your car a super car!
I had a love hate relationship with my 4 C until now! Loved the concept and looks, hated the dangerous steering and race exhaust.
I ordered my car back in 2013 and took delivery exactly 1 year after I put my deposit down. When I drove it out of the show room I wondered why I had spent all that money without a test drive! The steering was nearly impossible to manage on anything but a perfectly smooth road and the exhaust drone and tone was diabolical!! To add insult to injury I paid extra for the exhaust. In my opinion the standard 4C is deeply flawed and no doubt why so many are on the market and not selling as prospective customers can now test drive them. I recognise some may like that adenolin rush trying to keep the car on the road, but not me!! However I can't see why anyone thinks the race exhaust is fit for purpose!
The pit stop programme helped the car to stay in a straight line when braking hard but still left the very twitchy, mind of its own steering and of course did nothing for the exhaust.
The really GOOD news is that I now have a truly awesome car courtesy of Alfa work shop. Jamie Porter and his team have developed and delivered a fix for these huge inadequacies and at a reasonable price. The steering is totally transformed and as good as gets for feedback, but without the wheel taking control. You can now actually hold the wheel with one hand! The exhaust was developed by Quicksilver in conjunction with Alfa Workshop and I believe mine is the first one to be fitted. Again this is truly awesome. A fantastic sound and absolutely no drone. Carbon tips and stainless construction - Brilliant. I can now actually drive the car without pussyfooting around and being worried about ending up in ditch.
I whole heartedly recommend every 4C owner to take a visit to Alfa work shop in Royston and see for themselves how their car can be transformed into real super car.
Jamie can also make it go a lot faster for not a lot of money, if you feel the need for even more speed!
Chris Rees, Journalist, 16th November 2015, UK
This is my favorite, we are barreling down a country road Chris is driving my car and we are accelerating through 85mph and he says "is the speedo accurate?" I informed him it was!
Review by Will, September 2015 on Alfa 4C Forum
To Jamie, Ben and the lads at the Alfa Workshop. I booked my 4C in for an alignment re-set after speaking with Jamie and being invited to try their car out. The changes made have transformed the way the car now feels and I can now push a lot harder which has revealed layers of performance that just wasn't accessible previously, within reason of course considering its mid November in the UK! Any UK owners with fidgety, over alert steering, there is a fix! Call Jamie, the man is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the 4C.
Review by J.G, 29th October 2015 on AROC owners forum, UK
Benefits of working from home: Jamie Porter dropped by just now with his 4C that's being modified (witness October club mag) - mainly so I could drive it to see what's what. He was after a general opinion to check he'd not dialed our too much 'Alfa-ness' with its geometry before looking at springs/dampers, and he was interested as I;ve had a spin in a few now with different manufacturer set-ups.
Engine-wise, he's tuned it to about plus 40bhp and about the same extra lbs/ft. 2 up, it makes a bonkers-quick car even more rabid... Overtaking is ridiculously effortless, though on slightly greasy roads too much throttle and it lights up the rears in various gears!
His custom exhaust has, at present, just one outlet connected, and effectively a straight pipe, so little silencing. (Look great with carbon trims). Tbh not much louder than normal - so just LOUD! He's added a Helmholz resonator like Brera S so it does make a nice sound, not massively different from standard, but definitely pleasant. He plans to hook up the second outlet too, though more for effect.
So, on the geometry, after much trial and error, driving fast on track and roads, he's added some camber but made toe parallel. Facts are facts, it's non-assisted steering, so you feel a LOT of what's going on at the front end and that always makes it feel different (especially when you are used to a ePAS set up!). There's still a fair bit of weight when you turn it even at speed, but it is confidence inspiring as any nervousness seems to have gone. You hold the wheel very lightly, indeed I took my hands off this time for a second or so travelling straight, not sure I'd have done that in the first one I drove! Jamie's always been honest about it - as standard if you were pushing on in bends on bumpy roads he says frankly it would have tried to kill you! Happily, that seems to have gone - completely.
It still understeers when pushed to extreme (he says), so is looking to attend to that with spring/shock changes - roads were too damp today for me to get anywhere near that far, but it was a pleasure to drive it on roads I know really well. I was still taking bends at 75 plus where it would have been say 65 in the Giulietta at same level of confidence - and I could easily have gone way, way, faster. It certainly gave that confidence to do so, which is what this is very much about.
Jamie will be offering all this 4C setup / tuning in due course either complete or in part. I think I'd be straight down just for those geometry settings alone. The general feeling is that Alfa originally set it up to be playful on track, meaning perhaps it could be a tad skittish. I remember old Monkey Harris's track vid on YouTube, VERY playful you could say! But when that converted to roads use, especially poor surfaces, that's when the journos picked fault. I chose a few very poor surfaces and didn't find it wanting to tramline - which is good.
Jamie's a a super bloke anyway - and what a 'flippin car!
Review by B.S, 26 November 2015 on AROC owners forum, UK
After a horrendous drive this morning down to Jamie Porter's at Royston (A14 congestion was terrible) I finally arrived at the 'Alfa Workshop' for Jamie Porter to work his magic on the steering geometry of my 4C Spider. Having already clocked up about 1200 miles I was really getting into the spirit of things with the car and beginning to push on a bit more than usual. The 4C really is a great car but needed this particular geometry tweak to make it brilliant. I have not been so happy with the behaviour of the car on some road surfaces and, having test driven Jamie's 4C which had had the geometry sorted, I was keen to get mine done.
There are still some local 'problem' roads around here that I still have to test the car on, but I'm confident that the new geometry settings have cured what can be an unsettling experience, certainly first impressions are great. On the journey home I found the car to be so much so much more pleasant and relaxing to drive than before. This vast improvement is down to a lot of deveolpment work by Jamie involving the addition of shims in the right places and a lot, and I mean a lot, of fine tuning on the toe in/out by Jamie and Ben who are perfectionists when it comes to doing the job. I am well pleased. :wave: :thumbup: :D
Update on the above
Well, it hasn't taken long to post an update on how the revised steering geometry, courtesy of Jamie Porter, has performed on the local roads/lanes I wanted to test it on. I really don't need an excuse to take the 4C out on the roads but in this instance I felt that a final report regarding the work that Jamie has done should be posted sooner rather than later.
I must have spent a good hour or so looking for every conceivable type of road surface that exists in N.W. Leics and I reckon I found them all. At NO time and at NO speed did I feel that the car was fighting me as it had done before, I felt in control all of the time even on those occasions when, with the previous set-up, you felt the car was looking for the nearest ditch. I can't thank Jamie enough for the work he has done on my 4C (although my pocket has ;) :wave: )
Anyone that is not 100% happy with the current set-up on their 4C should seriously consider this mod.
I've not had too many gripes about Alfas over the years but it has to be said that this is really the factory set-up that should have been on the car in the first place, certainly for UK roads.