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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1275 Front Springs

I have now replaced the springs in the carb and the engine is much better (they are now both the same).
I now want to sort out the front suspension. The dampers are shot so I will be getting the frontline kit. I have replaced the anti roll bar, I have poly bushes ready to fit and I hope that the wishbone, king pin and stub axle are OK. If they are not I see that Barry King? does a very good replacement wishbone. It looks like they were all replaced fairly recently.
All I need to decide on is the springs. I would like uprated springs (about 340lb) but I am not bothered about lowering the car that much. Assuming the same poundage and ride height, are all uprated springs the same? Are any better than others? What should I avoid?

D Brown

Spring heights can be variable, even for same spec. For road, I'd avoid anything too stiff (340lb-in sounds about right to me) and too low (since you can't correct 'low' springs but can use spacers to lower 'too-high' springs by up to around 1" or so...)

BTW an uprated spring will have a shorter free length (ICYDK).

Anthony Cutler

Springs giving up to an inch too low in ride height are easy to sort with a spacer between the spring and top seat. Any more than that and the spring could lose its centre location due to the taper of the bump pedistal.

We have used 400 lb/in springs in all our midgets and are very happy with both ride and balance of the car. Moss do them in both std height and lowered.
Paul Walbran

As always I'd recommend that if you want a Frontline kit to get it from places like MGOC or Moss for warranty

I've got from Frontline 1" lower 340lb front springs with 11/16" arb plus their front suspension kit (and rear)

I was told the car would sit only 1/2" lower then later it would be 3//4"

Well it sat at least 3/4" lower at the front and with the change of tyres even lower so that now the bottom of the exhaust manifold pipe, which hangs too low from the body, often catches on the road

I was warned not to make the front too stiff by others and I'd agree as it makes the car less pleasant to drive on the road

I have the AVO dampers set to 3 out of 14 clicks (front and rear), 155X70 tyres at 22, 24 psi and a 16" steering wheel

If I could be bothered it would be better to have the dampers set at 1 click(out of 14) for the back roads I love (but then the exhaust might catch even more) and perhaps 4 or so for the super smooth A roads

The exhaust will be replaced asap now other spending on car has stopped
Nigel Atkins

Thanks for the replies. I think I will try to get standard height springs and then adjust the height with spacers/washers when I need to.

Thanks again.
D Brown

Oh and I've got polyurethane bushes around too

Edited for your post - don't let me put you off lower front springs they work well just not with an over low exhaust pipe

The 340lb spring are not too stiff (in case I gave the wrong impression below)
Nigel Atkins

I have gone for 340lb - in 1" lower springs and the frontline telescopic damper kit.
Along with existing poly bushes all round and 5/8ths arb
I hope that will sort out the front nicely.
Planning to fit them Sunday week.
D Brown

Yes sorry forgot to mention the very important bushes - uually the first thing I think of

I had the yellow urethane (road) bushes fitted to my car two years before changing to Frontline with the ployurethane (purple) bushes just in case the yellows had worn

Of course just my luck the yellows looked fine but I'm still glad I swapped as when the yellows were fitted all round along with then new standard springs I laughed as I (not the car) wobbled all the way home

So as I'd been told even the yellow (road) urethane bushes were a bit too stiff for daily use and the roads I like let alone the red (race) ones

Polyurethane (purple) for me and I'd suggest you swap unless your existing bushes are very new - bushes make a big difference on cars
Nigel Atkins

Forget the Frontline kit.....

Fit Peter May's 400lb std ride height front springs, 11/16" ARB and Peter May uprated lever arm shocks.

If you can out drive this set up, I'll be VERY surprised....!

Enjoy ;-)

M T Boldry

Each to their own, the lever arm dampers at the front to me seemed a dip in the design and the Frontline kit seem better but I've never experienced the Peter May kit as far as I know so can't comment on it

When I bought my car it was fitted with the rear Spax kit, I swapped to the more upright Frontline AVO kit which brought a noticible improvement

Get your Frontline kit from MGOC/Moss type places
Nigel Atkins

Nigel, in what way did the fitting of more upright AVO kit give you a noticable improvement....?

In my experiance, the softer the rear end on a Spridget the better it handles.

But like you say, each to their own.

M T Boldry

The problem I have found with the Spax kit is when the car is fully laden (2 people and a boot full of luggage) and on an undulating road. On big bumps, the damping drops right away (just when you need it!) due to the mounting angle - which gets greater as the axle approaches the bump stop, resulting in little damper movement compared with axle movement.
Paul Walbran

M T - sorry no technical details just it felt better to me, a bit tighter a bit better controlled, it perhaps suited me, my driving style and the roads I like

I had the damper set to 1 or 2 out of 14 at the time

As I said I only know standard, Spax and AVO on my cars

I'm happy with what I've got but I'm sure I could do even better but wont replace until necessary
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 16/07/2010 and 18/07/2010

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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