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Installing Rear Leaf Springs in an MGB

Posted by bbussler 
bbussler
USA   usa

Has anybody had a problem installing rear springs? I put in a new set they appear to be too short. The shackles are pulled all the way forward and the axle is so low that the straps can't be attached. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Bill
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applebj8 Avatar
Jon Appleby
Lake Wylie, SC, USA   usa
1971 MG MGB

Jack up the axle a little higher...
Bill MacTavish Avatar
Clayton, Ontario, Canada   can

I don't think there are different length springs for the B's, however the wiser ones among us will fill in more detail where needed.

Do you have the car supported on jack stands? Can you jack the axle up with the floor jack so that you can connect the rebound straps? Are the rebound straps the correct length for the car? (Rubber Bumper and Chrome Bumper straps were different lengths I believe.) The shackle(s) should then be in the proper position at this point as well.
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Montrose Avatar
Robert Carley
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada   can

You need to jack up the axle to get the springs to bolt up to the rear shackles, and to connect the rebound straps.



Imperial by choice; Metric by force.
Mike Sumner
Graham NC, USA   usa

Bill, I just installed the rear springs I bought from Moss. I have been reading that some folks were having your problem. I can't recall where they got the springs. I initially thought I was going to have the same deal. I put the car on it's wheels and put my floor jack under each spring mount, jacked up both sides individually. This allowed enough movement to connect the shock links and the rebound straps. I did have to pull the straps down about an inch. You can get more movement this way than trying to jack under the differential. Just be careful, it will raise the car off the jack stand on the side you are jacking. At first the rear of the car still looked way too high. I put the transmission and exhaust system in the boot and let it sit a few days and it settled down to where it should be.
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HobieTrax Avatar
David Cohen
Westport, CT, USA   usa
1972 MG MGB "Cliff"

I installed new springs this past spring and was having trouble installing the rebound straps too. Just don't do what I did. After jacking the axle up so I could attach the rebound straps I then lowered the axle. When the rebound strap broke I just stood there and asked myself what was I thinking.

David
Hobietrax
Mike Sumner
Graham NC, USA   usa

"When the rebound strap broke I just stood there and asked myself what was I thinking."

I'm not sure what I would have been thinking, but I'm pretty sure what I would have been saying!
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shughes Avatar
Scott Hughes
North Carolina, USA   usa

Bill, Rebuilt my rear suspension last fall with VB repro springs and have since determined that they are/were not to the same specs as original. Have heard others make similar comments regarding new repro springs. Mine were hard to install due the more curve of the spring. Mine settled out some over the past 6-8 months but still sit to high in my opinion. This past spring I installed Moss lowering block kit to get the rear end down some more; hopefully it will setlle out some more to where I can remove them. There have been other recent suggestions in other posts regarding rear springs for possible modifications to lower. Little searching here will give you some options if needed. Keepimg my eyes open for a good set of used springs to try later...if no luck may try another repro set from different source when I win the lottery. The rebound straps can be a pain to mount if you have springs like mine that are more curved that stock. I had to have my teenage son stand in rear of car to get enough weight to be able to attach straps even with jacking the axle. Good luck.



I haven't lost my mind.....I sold it on Ebay!


Little Blue Avatar
Ed Fairbanks
Jacksonville, FL, USA   usa
1974 MG MGB

Just installed the Brit-Tek front and rear suspension rebuild kit including the rear springs. When done it looked like a 4WD kit had been installed. I was horrified! To Brit-Tek's credit they offered to send a different set of rear springs that would lower the back end by an inch. As we used to say up north, an inch would have amounted to a p---hole in the snow!! The car was at least 2" too high!! (interesting to note: the new springs matched exactly what came off the car. Even the sticker on the springs was the same. It would seem they ARE spec stock springs for a '74 CB Roadster)
So, here's what we did: loosened the bolts on the springs and weighted the back of the car. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then tightened the bolts with the weight still on the car. The back end came down close to an inch. The right side of the car was a half inch higher that the left side. Weighted the right side of the car for 24 hours and now all wheels match the 14.5" center hub to chrome strip measurment except the right front which is 1/4" higher. Will take the weight off the car tonight and measure it again in the morning.
As I have mentioned before in a previous post, the car hit something in it's past...and I mean HIT something! We could see the crumple zone when we did the engine swap. The car is 1/2" shorter than it should be. (hence the name, "little" blue) and the body is twisted about 1/4". (this became painfully evident when we replaced the windshield and cracked 2 forcing it into the frame) You can't notice any of this by looking at the car. The suspension is absolutely level under the car at all points and the car tracks perfectly. I had it aligned over the weekend and the right rear Rostyle is slightly out of round. The new wires go on next week as I finally found a shop that will balance wire wheels. This whole suspension rebuild was quite nerve wracking but I think we've got it licked....and man, does it drive great!!!!



Ed

'74 MGB

"...it's not a hobby, it's an obsession."
Montrose Avatar
Robert Carley
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada   can

I just installed MOSS 1" lowering springs on a CB car. I was surprised to find that the new MOSS lowering springs had exactly the same arc and length, etc. as the springs I took off the car, and I believe they were the original springs.

My car sits too high at the back compared to the front (MOSS 1" lowering coils), so your technique of loosening the spring bolts and weighting the car sounds interesting.

Thanks



Imperial by choice; Metric by force.
tfisher7621 Avatar
Tom Fisher
Indiana, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB

There's a sticky at the top of the page that deals with this whole suspension height issue.



Tom Fisher
Purdue University (USA)
Email: fishertrin@gmail.com
http://www.nlci.com/users/fishers
http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~fishertr
http://tommyfisher.blogspot.com/
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Tom+Fisher/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/29/2006 02:57PM by tfisher7621.
DougN Avatar
Doug Nelson
Atlanta, GA, USA   usa

I just installed new rear springs from Brit Tek 3 weeks ago. Took 2 hours with the help of a friend, and we had no difficulties hooking up anything. Where did you get your springs? My previous set was from Moss and they were lopsided and too high overall and they never did settle down after 3 years of use. I really do believe that all springs are not created equal!



Cheers!

Doug
'66 MGB
'73 240Z
'10 BMW E93
"A real sports car chooses its owner because it has a soul."
Ken Lessig Avatar
Nevada, Tx., USA   usa

I had a bad time with VB springs a couple years ago. Installed them, and the car looked like some kid's jacked-up '69 Chevelle back in the seventies. I did it right; putting the car back on the ground before tightening all the bolts etc. but no joy. So I empied the trunk, drove it to Home Depot and bought six eighty-pound bags of Sakrete Redi-Mix concrete and drove (slowly!!) around for about a month.The weight lowered the car about an inch, but that was not nearly enough, and even with the concrete the ass end would hop around uncontollably on washboard pavement. When I finally took the concrete out, the back end shot right back up to its previous height. I took the springs off and put the originals back on. I've still got them, free to anyone who wants them!!!



Ken Lessig
bbussler
USA   usa

Ken,

I have access to an old pair of springs (I threw mine out because they were broken) and I think I'll just put those in. I have tried everything all of the other people have suggested and the results are always the same. The car is too high. Right now I have about 150 pounds in the trunk and was thinking about adding more. But that's just wrong.

I bought the springs from Brit-Tek and Bob told me I could return them any time I want. Nows the time.

Safety Fast!

Bill
txbrill Avatar
Allen Brill
West Houston TX, USA   usa

Must be all springs are not created equally I bought some from Bob at Brittek for my 71 they were Black with a little British flag sticker on them they went in easy and are the perfect height.



Allen
bbussler
USA   usa

Bob at Brit Tek is a great guy to work with. I suppose I'll give him another shot at providing new springs. In the meantime I will put in an old set just to prove the point.

I'm not new to this game. I have owned my MGA since 1968 and worked on many other MG's over the years. This is the second time in the past ten years I've run into this. The last time was on MG Midget. Never did correct that one.

This car has sit to low. It is 1970 with Sebring flares and we are running 15" wheels with 205/60 tires. Additional height just looks stupid.

Pictures will be posted when the car sets properly.

Bill
DB Wood Avatar
Daniel Wood
Bend, OR, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB GT "Clyde"
1970 MG MGB GT

All new leaf springs are created equal. They come from the same manufacturer in England and been a problem for awhile now. Besides leaving the butt end of the car too high they will probably sag in a year or so. The heat treating is wrong and the eyes on each end are not true so the rear end may not be lined up correctly. It is better to take your old ones to a reputable spring shop and have them rebuilt. Replace the second leaf while you're at it. I learned about this at John Twist and Carl Heideman's "tuning for speed" seminar.
I figured out a little trick that made installation of the springs easy. After putting the front bolt in and mounting the rear axle in place with the U-bolts a little loose, jack up the axle. When the rear spring eyes are almost up to the frame place a piece of 1x2 wood about 6" long between the frame and spring eye. Jack the rear end up so the eyes slide back on the wood until you can get the shackles installed and the nuts on them. Once the springs are tightened down then tighten the axle U- bolts.



Dan Wood
70BGT driver, OD, Pertronix, HS4's, Peco, .060 over, Elgin cam, Superlite wheels, poly bushings, panhard rod, rear tube shocks, 1" lowered front end, HD shock valves, etc, etc.
69BGT project (V-6?)
88 Saab SPG Turbo
86 Vanagon Westy (South African conversion engine 2.0 OHC 135HP)

Lucas= Loose
Unsoldered
Connections
And
Splices
Ken Lessig Avatar
Nevada, Tx., USA   usa

Dan, the ones I got from VB were of Asian origin; Malaysia, if I remember right. That should have been a red flag right from the start!!



Ken Lessig
Edward Avatar
Edward Whitlock
Georgia, USA   usa
1975 MG MGB "Baby Car"

I just did this to my B. I got the springs from Bob at Brittek. They were pretty much straight forward. I did have a problem getting the shackle bolt in, but just jacked up the axle higher, and presto! They went right in.

I still have the front tires on ramps for engine work, but I can say that the rear end is level now, with no sag, and is a little springier than it was. (Is that a word?)

I think I will be very happy with this upgrade.



Ed Whitlock
74.5 MGB

The only thing better than driving an MG is driving a Nuclear Powered submarine armed with 154 Tomahawk Missiles!
Montrose Avatar
Robert Carley
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada   can

"Replace the second leaf while you're at it. I learned about this at John Twist and Carl Heideman's "tuning for speed" seminar."

Replace it with what - a new leaf of the same dimensions, etc.?

Thanks.




Imperial by choice; Metric by force.
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