MGB & GT Forum

Leaf Spring.. "clamps" loose, problem?

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Wiggy781 Avatar
Wiggy781 Gold Member Paul W
Perth, Western Australia, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGB
Today while maintaining the back end of my '68 Roadster with both rear wheels off, I noticed that the "clamps" on the drivers side spring were loose and free to move wherever they wished - looks like a rivet / weld originally held them in place, two clamps were free floating.

Is this a real problem, maybe an indication that it is time to replace the leaf springs? How does one know when it is time to refurb / replace the leaf springs?

See pics below - pic 1 : where the clamps should be, moved by hand! Pic 2 moved to the side, they are free floating up and down the spring!

As always, all info gratefully received.

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joron Avatar
joron Silver Member Michel Joron
Roxboro, QC, Canada   CAN
1977 MG MGB "Victoria"
Personally I will re-tack the clamps or change them. The clamps are only maintaining the leafs to not move sideways so the suspension works correctly. If the height of the car is okay there is not need to change the entire leaf suspension just for the clamps.

1977 MGB Red 'Victoria'
All Classics:
Married, 2 children, 2 dogs, MG MGB May to December.

sws615 Avatar
sws615 Stephen Struck
Grand Haven, MI, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT
1975 MG MGB "Commission # G23N124120"
2015 Acura MDX
2015 BMW 535xi
Hi Paul,

Those clamps are really a clip or band of sorts, a two piece affair IIRC. As you've seen, it surrounds the spring leaf package. The clip is fastened by two tabs and slots. You put the tab through the slot and bend it over. So they're not so much a clamping device as a locator. As long as the clip connection is intact and they remain on the locator peg, they can't really go anywhere even if they are a bit loose.

Your's look a bit different from mine, i.e. the weld appearance. And on the top photo to the right side, there seems to be a location where the locator peg used to be. So if several clips have departed their original location, that's not good and they should be replaced. These clips were N/A at Moss last time I looked, but John Twist at University Motors has had them tooled up and I bought a set from him a couple years ago.

As for the overall performance of the spring, that's a function of the condition of the leaves. If your car isn't sagging they're probably OK. Check the ride height at the rear. I forget the numbers, but you measure from the center of the hub to the bottom of the trim strip. I'm sure a search here will get you the proper numbers for a chrome bumper car.


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Michael74MGB Avatar
Michael74MGB Michael Austin
Odessa, TX, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB MkIII "Maggy"
I don't think it a problem. They fit loose around the spring "leafs" to keep them from potentially popping out sideways. It's strictly a retainer kind of thing and they indeed do float around as opposed to being bound tightly - which would cause the springs to not move as easily. Those look a bit different. I think on mine they are just "crimped" around the leaves, and I don't recall a spot weld. I suppose if a spotweld to the leaves "popped" one could just tack it back in place, or maybe even JB welt it up. There isn't a lot of stress involved in what they have to do, but they do live in a harsh environment...

74 MGB: APT VP11 cam, lifters, valve springs; 9:1; ported head; TT exhaust; vernier timing gear; wizard aluminum radiator; dizzy by Jeff S.; stock HIF4's; it goes on and on.....

Wiggy781 Avatar
Wiggy781 Gold Member Paul W
Perth, Western Australia, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGB
Thanks for the informative responses guys. I will see what I can do to "secure" them in place, the ride height checks out OK so I will not be replacing just yet. Cheers.

Esca69 Avatar
Esca69 Silver Member Dennis Link
Vallejo, CA, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB
Like everybody had said they are just to keep the springs in the stack. I replaced my springs on my 72 last month. If your B rides harsh or more like a truck replace them. The B would practically shake your teeth out. The difference was remarkable.

BWells Bill Wells
Austin, TX, USA   USA
I disassembled the leaf springs for my 1977 MGB. To get the springs apart I ground off the rivet heads and forced them out of the holes and clips / clamps. My preference would be to find find new clamps, rivets and the pads that the clamps were wrapped around. Does anyone know where these can be bought? I attempted to attach a photo of the clamp and the polyurethane pad. I had assumed the Leaf spring assembly was original but the reddish pad appears to be the polyurethane that most of the "upgrade" parts are made from, not the less expensive rubber. Any thoughts? Thanks

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BumbleB74 Avatar
BumbleB74 William Milholen
Tidewater, Tidewater VA, USA   USA
I don't know of a source, but I have heard folks on here taking their leaf springs to a local shop and having them rebuilt.....putting in new bits and new maybe you can do some more searching locally. Possibly call a machine shop that does work for classic cars or hot rods....they would probably know of shops in your area. Seems like the costs were "fair".

1974-1/2 Roadster, "Bumble Bee", Corvette Yellow - in shambles, wire wheels
1976 Roadster, "Virus", Sandglow - "driver" condition (stock + 32/36 Weber DGEV, cast iron header, 25D distributor), bolt on wheels, ON the road!

ClayJ Avatar
ClayJ Silver Member Clay Johnston
Mt. Olive, MS, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB
In an area with Austin's population you should be able to find a spring shop. There is still big business rebuilding springs for heavy trucks/trailers. Some heavy truck driveline shops also do springs.

Also, you might find something on the web for those:

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danthefitman Avatar
danthefitman Dan H
Portland, OR, USA   USA
1979 MG MGB MkIII "Simply, A Great B!"
On that note, I have a question within this question!?

To lower down either rear corner of the car, could a guy just tighten up the four large clamp nuts to flatten out the leaf a little bit more so that that corner of the car would match the other wheel on the rear end? Mine's off by approximately one quarter of an inch. I realize looking from the top of the car when you adjust one corner of the suspension, as the shape of an X, it'll (lowering or raising), affects - the opposite corner.

Hope my description makes sense. Like to know? Chime in!

1st Place Winner ABFM Portland Oregon 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016!
Email me for questions or needs, I'll respond promptly!
Life. Positively in order.

andy1965MGB Avatar
andy1965MGB Silver Member Andy Lincoln
San Diego, CA, USA   USA
1965 MG MGB "Blue Jay"
1967 MG MGB GT "Cardinal"
Gokart Avatar
Gokart Silver Member Rob Illingworth
Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand   NZL

I don't know about tightening the nuts curing the problem as I believe all things to be tightened down on a suspension should be as tight as the specs call for. If they are loose and movement is coming into play where it should not then a check of all nuts and bolts should be done.

On the matter of one side being lower than the other at the rear. Firstly 1/4 inch is not very much and secondly it sounds like a bit of bachelors lean coming into play.

Bachelors lean comes in if there is only one person in the car for the majority of driving time, the driver, the continued extra weight in only one side will wear the spring on that side causing it to sit a bit lower. As you do not say which side this is only a guess.

The cure can be as simple of swapping the springs side to side. Thus raising the drivers side again and once the driver gets in, the car rides without the lean. This of course may be a cure for your problem anyway and a good opportunity to check the suspension components while at it. If the bushes look worn take the opportunity to replace them.

It does not take long to swap out rear springs (if nothing is seized), I have done mine in a couple of hours without too much effort.

Cheers Rob

oleanderjoe Avatar
oleanderjoe Gold Member Joseph Baba
Fresno, CA, USA   USA
MICHAEL X2 PERZAFLEY Put them back were they belong, lightly sand the spring , either side of the clame and lay down a small thin bead of Silicone. That should keep them from floating around. Good to go. Cheers

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MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
@#7 - welcome. I responded in another topic around the time of the OP ie 3+ years ago that I thought John Twist was a source for the leaf spring saddle clamps. I can't find them but you could contact him.

Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell (with extensive bodywork to come). Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. And a whole lot more to yet to come. Stealth is the word.

Steve S. Stephen Strange
Harrisonburg, VA, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB MkII "The Mouse Trap"
You asked how one can tell if a leaf spring is worn out. If you can feel a notch in the surface of the leaf where the end of the leaf beneath it slides, then it's worn out for sure. Breakage is then a very real possibility.

Andy's recommendation (posting #11) of the Poly Slide Leaf Spring Liner is a very good idea. The liner will reduce inter-leaf stiction, making for a smoother ride.

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