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Rear Leaf Springs?

Posted by John Morrison 
John Morrison Avatar
John B. Morrison
Collierville, TN, USA   usa

Hi All,

I've been concerened about my rear springs since our Gatlinburg roadtrip to MGFest last June. Along with some twitchy handeling, several people commented that they look like they may have settled too much.

Measured my ride height's a little differently from the suspension "sticky"; measured from ground to the bottom of the beltline trim strip (per John Twist's recommendation):

1971 MGB-GT, stock, on original springs and shocks:

LF: 25 1/16" RF: 25 3/8"

LR: 24 5/8" RR: 24 5/8"

So, are my springs settled to the point i should replace them? If so, I'd like your recommendations on where to get new springs? Universty Motors (John Twist) re-arches them and adds an 8th leaf; Britek? Moss (read bad things about those springs on this forum)?

Thanks in advance!

John Morrison
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Ralph Yingling Avatar
Monroe, WA, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB "Molly"

Britek kit worked fine on my 73! 3000 miles and no problems to date.



Ralph
'73, SUPERCHARGED! tubeless wire wheels, OD, Advaced Dist. recurved dist. w/Pertronix, de- smogged, ANSA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2007 09:43AM by Ralph Yingling.
JMoore Avatar
John Moore
Clifton Park, NY, USA   usa

The problem with measuring from the ground is that it doesn't take into consideration wheel/tire size differences. So based on your measurements it's hard to compare.

I have heard good feedback on Brit tek's springs but I have no personal experience with them.



John Moore

'70 MGB, '68 MGBGT, '99 Land Rover Discovery II, '61 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite
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PaulP Avatar
Paul Peterson
Seattle, WA, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB GT
1974 MG MGB

John - My '74 roadster has always sat low in the back w/ the classic MGB lean to the left. I rebuilt my ft suspension last spring and am getting ready to replace my rear springs. I took some before measurements and will post my 'after' results in John Moore's "Sticky" at the top of the page.

I bought the front and rear major kits from Brit-Tek.

Paul
Michael Fliegel Avatar
Michael M. Fliegel
Birmingham, Alabama, USA   usa

I like Brittek as well.
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Bill Young Avatar
Kansas City, MO, USA   usa
1952 MG TD
1959 MG MGA 1500
1973 Lotus Europa
1973 MG Midget "Half Asp Or Frank"
1998 Jaguar XK8 Convertible

I'm no expert on BGTs but it sounds like the springs are in pretty good condition. Your car sits basically level, only 3/4" difference front to rear. Some setteling, but I wouldn't think it's enought to notice in any handling issues. These might well come from other sources such as worn bushings, loose U-bolts, or incorrect toe. With all the bad press about springs these days I'd certainly check other areas first and then consider getting your original springs rearched before I'd buy new ones.
Andy Avatar
Andrew Russell
Way Out West CA, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB GT "None"

John,

When I got my 73 GT, it sat low in the back and the suspension was a bit of a mess.
Rear springs looked like the obvious culprit, but they were actually only a small part of it.

Things were real loose. It got interesting at speed during turns as the back end was mush and the front would want to go it's own way(it needed new bushings and kingpin work too) as the rears springs and rear suspension was just way too soft. However, for grocery getting the ride was "nice."

I replaced a bunch of suspension bushings, and tightened things up in the front and rear and that made a big difference.

I could have replaced the rear springs when I replaced their bushings, but they weren't too bad so I opted to keep them and the car was great after the quick refresh and tightening.

New springs would be great, but make sure thay are the source of your problem.

I'd go throught the whole suspension if I were you and look for old/cracked bushings, slop, old axle straps, worn shocks, etc and make sure that spring replacement will take care of the problem.
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Jerry Avatar
Jerry Harrington
north east, USA   usa

John here is what your car should look like with new springs....poly bushes front and rear. 7 leaf.

Attachments:
my mgb.JPG (39.7 KB) –
my mgb.JPG

Scott Reams
Citrus Heights, CA, USA   usa

Jerry Wrote:
Quote: John here is what your car should look like with new springs....poly bushes front and rear. 7 leaf.

Isn't it true that the CB roadsters use 6-leaf springs and the CB GTs use 7-leaf? In that case, I'd expect a GT with 7-leaf springs to sit a little lower than a roadster with 7-leaf springs (which is going to be higher than stock)... especially considering the weight difference.

-S
Ralph Yingling Avatar
Monroe, WA, USA   usa
1973 MG MGB "Molly"

One of my cars, a roadster, had the Gt springs and a lowering kit. It sat the same as a regular roadster.



Ralph
'73, SUPERCHARGED! tubeless wire wheels, OD, Advaced Dist. recurved dist. w/Pertronix, de- smogged, ANSA
John Morrison Avatar
John B. Morrison
Collierville, TN, USA   usa

Hmmm..., good points about replacing the bushings first. I did replace the front bushings (red poly) about 4 years ago as there was some noticible slop in them. I just hate the thought of doing all that work just to find out that the springs were the problem!

John



Attachments:
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1971 MGBGT.jpg (31.4 KB) –
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Scott Reams
Citrus Heights, CA, USA   usa

Ralph Yingling Wrote:
Quote: One of my cars, a roadster, had the Gt springs and a lowering kit. It sat the same as a regular roadster.

Exactly... so I'd guess that unless Jerry is using a lowering kit with those GT springs, his Roadster is probably sitting a bit high.

In any case, I've always preferred a slightly lowered stance on these cars. My GT is level front to back, the front tires look like they fit perfectly into the wheel wells (using heavier lowering springs from Moss), and the rears are slightly tucked in. Looks "right" to me. Besides, the front wheel wells are rounded and go all the way up to the chrome strip, while the rear wells have flat tops that stop a few inches below the strip, suggesting the rears -should- be tucked in. I prefer the look of Ralph's and even John Morrison's cars (assuming the rockers on John's car are parallel with the ground) over Jerry's, which looks high to me. But I do like those wheels! smiling smiley

-S
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