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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 versus 1275 rear springs

Can anybody tell me what the difference is between 1500 and 1275 rear springs?

Are the 1500 springs longer than the 1275 springs, or thicker, or what?

I ask because, the 1500 has the much heavier triumph g/box, and I assume the rear suspension was uprated to handle that.

I have fitted a 5 speed ford type 9 sierra g/box, which is also quite a bit heavier than the 1275 leyland g/box originally in the car. My 1275 springs go flat very quickly as a result, (2 sets so far), and I am thinking of trying the 1500 springs as a solution.

Comments please. (sensible and friendly ones please) :)





Lawrence Slater

Hi
the 1500 rear springs added one leaf (from 5 to 6), so that the total spring rate was increased from 80 lb/in to 86.

The free camber was also increased from 4.72" to 5.58".


Hope this helps,

Norm
Norm Kerr

you seem to forget that behind the 'rubber bumpers' were heavy bits of metal regardless of engine and g/box weight

it might be the quality of the springs rather than their capacity, spring quality has been very poor at times according to reports from owners

how long did each set of springs last?
N Atkins

Agree with Nigel about the quality of some springs. I have a type 9 fitted to my MK3 Sprite and the springs which have been on for a long long time haven't changed in ride height. After all, when a car is sold, no one knows how heavy or light the occupants are going to be, so I don't think the weight of the 'box would make any difference.

Bernie.
b higginson

Thanks for the replies guys

b higginson,
I take your point about the weight of occupants. But I have had this car from 1977 and never had this problem until I put in the type 9. Its far heavier than the 1275 box.


N Atkins,
My springs, when it was 1275 g/box, lasted me about 20 years. No joke. And I drove it all over europe as far afield as casablanca in africa, and and the eastern tip of Crete. Up through the balkans and back home to the UK. I put the type 9 in around 2002 with new 1275 springs. I replaced them from Moss about 2006. They are flat again. So I figured it was the type 9 that was too heavy for them.

Norm Kerr,
Can you explain the "free camber"?

Does this refer to the curvature of the spring? If I understand you, this means that the car could be theoretically lifted by 5.58-4.72 = 0.86ins higher. Or have I misunderstood?
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence you put new springs in at the same time as the type 9 so it could have been those springs from 2002 (and the ones from 2006) at fault

I've got a type 9 fitted 20 months ago and at the same time standard rear springs (probably Moss supplied) were fitted (instead of better quality ones but that's another story) and those springs have not dropped despite regular daily use, tours and holidays with two very overwieght occupants
N Atkins

N Atkins

Just looked at your RWA pic. Nice. Have toyed of converting mine to RWA, better wheel clearance.

Anyway back to point.

Maybe your right about the poor quality then, but at 100 quid per pair plus vat I don't want to keep changing the springs, and I'm not as young as I was lol. It hurts my back to keep getting underneath it. So I want a oncce and for all fix. That's why i'm thinking of uprating the springs.

Used to be able to just get them re-tempered I seem to remember, but cant find anyone to do it these days. Or maybe I haven't looked hard enough.


Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, that photo makes my car way better than it actually is cosmetically, that's why I use it :)

there was a recent thread on decent springs/suppliers

I copied these two for my future use:-

Brost Forge Motorspring Service
149 Roman Way
Holloway
Islington
London N7 8XH
Telephone:
0207 6072311

decent springs, not cheap i'm afraid, got mine from Clive Berry c.berry@fsmail.net

cheers, Nigel (I keep forgetting only my initial shows)
N Atkins

Hi Lawrence,

the free camber is measured between a line drawn through the center of the eyes, to the axle mounting surface (it can only be properly measured when the spring is off of the car).

The fact that the spring rate and the free camber were both changed, it is really hard to estimate just how much it would raise the height of the car because they compress under the weight (at the noted spring rate), and the weight that they see is affected by the front springs (stiffer fronts will increase the weight transfer to the rears, when the car is sitting still).

Norm
Norm Kerr

We've been discussing springs in another thread, and have heard from reliable sources that Moss springs are now of better quality than before. Moss rep Kelvin Dodd reports that they've changed their supplier.

-:G:-
Gryf Ketcherside

measuring spring camber:

here is where life gets complicated. I have two sources, and each one describes a different method. The BMC manual only says, "free camber" when they cite their spring dimensions, but doesn't say which one they used.

This first method is from an MGA website:
http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/suspensn/rs104a.htm

This second method is from a spring specialist in the USA:
http://www.eatonsprings.com/measuring.htm

The method described by the US spring manufacturer is the one that I've always used/known of.


Are things done differently, over in England? Seems like everything is the same, driving, beer pints, currency. Though, I could be mistaken, they talk differently!

Perhaps one of our suspension gurus could chime in.

Norm "too much information" Kerr

PS: I said in my earlier post that stiffer front springs will make the rear droop, standing still, but now I am not so sure about it and am filled with doubt.

P.P.S: I agree with Nigel, I think you've got duff springs and not a "too heavy" transmission, causing your problem.
Norm Kerr

Norm -
You will note that Eaton refers to this as "arch", measured from the eye centers. Barney does the same, but also notes "camber" as being from the spring leaf itself, less eye. The eye is taken as a superfluous addition to the leaf. Not all springs have eyes, and some have the ends bent to some other shape, hence "camber" is the more basic term = the curve of the active leaf itself. Early cars and wagons etc, typically had slipper ends that rode on a pad or bearing of some sort, and some trucks still do. Easy to remember if you think of camber in a road, which arises from the curve built in to give drainage - no eyes.

PS - You were in fact incorrect. As long as the support points in front are at the same height and longitudinal location, it doesn't matter if they are marshmallows or rocks.

PPS: Whatever the gearbox weight difference is, since it is about at the car CG in the horizontal plane, the rear will see half the difference, and each rear spring will see half of that. So, 80lb heavier will give a deflection of 20lb times the spring rate 1"/80lb (to use your figure), or 1/4".

PPPS: Barney's assertion: "Note that when fully laden (to average operational vehicle weight) the top leaf should be flat, straight, with the axle mount in center at same height as the end eyes." may be true for MGA, but it is not a universal by any means. Various suspension designs have positive, negative or zero camber in the laden static position, and it makes a great deal of difference in what the car does in roll in a turn or when one side goes over a bump. So, lowering a car by changing the spring camber is not the same as lowering it with blocks or changing shackle lengths or anchor points.

FRM
FR Millmore

2006 was definitely a time when there was a lot of useless spring steel around. On top of that the actual manufacturing was poor with inconsistent lengths and cambers - it was difficult to find 2 springs the same. As a result, Moss and others withdrew the springs from sale and for a while (about 18 months IIRC) there was nothing available.

The new batches since then, going by the stock we have had, seem to have overcome this problem; certainly they are made to the correct size & shape.

The problem had been there for some time so it's possible that 2002 was right at the beginning of it.
I do know that the springs in our K midget which were 2001 stock didn't have the problem as we have only just replaced them after a main leaf broke in one of them. This breakage I'm sure will be the result of a decade's hard work dealing with the torque of the K engine in autotests and track work.

Paul Walbran

That's a fair few replies for me to digest. Thanks I know about 100% more about leaf springs than I did before I asked my question. :)

Nigel.
You seem to be of the same mind as myself then. I am substance over style. Hence my old rostyle wheels need replacing, or at the very least painting, but I couldn't give a hoot. My sprite (its a late '66) is for driving so if it looks tatty (and it certainly does now), I like it that way. :) Keeps the theives away from what they perceive to be a wreck. LOL. And thanks I'll ring Brost Forge and enquire about their spring service.

All.
Is it really the case that poor springs were supplied in the US, NZ, and UK, all at the same time? Where do Moss get all their steel and or manufacture/source their springs?

Surely they don't make them all in one place, and ship them around the world do they? Is it really possible that all the springs supplied from 2002 to circa 2006+, were made in the same place and were poorly made? If they are made and supplied this way, it seems to be the economics of a mad house.

Anyway, I think I have my answer, if someone can confirm it.

First. The 1275 box is lighter than the Ford g/box by quite a bit. (I dont know how much, but a significant amount). So there must be more deflection in the spring with the ford box than with the 1275 box. I know this for a fact, as the first time I drove it after I fitted it, I could feel the difference in the ride, and SEE the difference at the wheel arch (rear). I toyed with the idea of longer spring hangers, but decided against this as the drive was still good. But as time passed the springs sagged prematurely more and more, until they were pretty much negative not just flat, all the time. I changed the Springs and same thing happened. Yup certainly could be poor springs from what you all say, but it seems to me that a stronger spring should be fitted anyway to compensate for the extra g/box weight. Isn't the different/"stiffer" 1500 spring fitted in the first place, because the 1500 midget is heavier than the 1275 midget?


FRM said that I could enjoy a theoretical 1/4" lift. ======= "So, 80lb heavier will give a deflection of 20lb times the spring rate 1"/80lb (to use your figure), or 1/4" === "

If so that's perfect. I don't really need the lift above standard, I just want the springs to deflect less. So if 1500 springs will deflect less than 1275 springs I can fit them and hopefully the car will not bottom out so often and the springs will last longer.

I have thought over the years of trying to fit a combo shock/coil spring unit from a small motorbike, but havent got around to doing it.




Lawrence Slater

Nigel,
How do you find your Chris Berry springs?

Guy
Guy

Guy.
I bet he just looks under the car and there they are :-)

Graeme
graeme jackson

Graeme,
I used top do that and it never worked for me. Then one day it began to happen. Something must have changed - some magic potion or other, gifts to the gods maybe.
Guy

Hi Lawrence,

In answer to your question about whether "all sources of springs" would have the same problem at the same time: since the volume of sales of large parts like springs is not all that much, worldwide, even for someone big like Moss, it probably makes more sense for them to have one source and price it accordingly for each market depending on shipping fees.

At any one time, there probably are more than one source for a lot of parts, but as the big houses (like Moss) make parts, theirs get spread around over time, and then a lot of little suppliers end up with them for sale. The issue occurred over some years, and as you found, it can take a while before the issue becomes clear, so it was slow to be found, and then solved.

A proper incoming inspection would have caught it before the customers, but that sort of thing is not easy when you've got small quantities of a very large variety of parts being made and sold (much harder than an OEM manufacturer focusing on a few models in each assembly plant).

In answer to your second question: yes, the 1500 is heavier, about 140lbs, overall. If I recall the weight of a Type 9 correctly, it is about 35lbs more than a ribcase. You can certainly try fitting some 1500 rear springs to your car, but I think that you'll find them too stiff, compared to a good pair of 1275s.


Norm
Norm Kerr

Guy,
sorry I meant to alter that Ė I didnít get my springs from Chris Berry I just cut and pasted the info from someone elseís post on another thread on this BBS

If I can find who posted this Iíll let you know but I canít work the Archives search

Lawrence,
springs first Ė if I remember correctly, someone put on another thread on here that the type 9 is 20kg(?) heavier than the 1500 box but you need to bear in mind that some weights are shown as wet and others dry so paper comparisons are not necessarily straight forward

as said the extra weight is over the four springs, normally itís accepted to have a softer rear to front on a Spridget and you need to have the correct balance front to rear (of the whole suspension)

Iíd guess, not sure, China needing steel may have effected the spring situations in 2002 and 2006(?)

substance over style Ė yes certainly, Iíve never worried about any of my classics getting nicked but having had my previous Spridget quite smart I did worry more about were I parked it and cleaning it so this time I wanted one not quite so smart, this one is still not washed from returning from the weekend tour where it got quite messy as we went off route on a very minor forest road

wheels Ė I only changed mine as I needed new tyres so swapped the lot as a package

(whoops, pressed wrong button) photo to follow - is from when I first bought the car note the raised looking rear and dipped nose
N Atkins

photo is from when I first bought the car note the raised looking rear and dipped nose

N Atkins

this photo shows the car about 11 months later when the front springs have been replaced (both before and after were standrard springs)

the rear springs would probably have settled with use of car during that year (and the weight of driver and passenger)

also during that 11 months the front lever dampers were replaced for uprated ones and all suspension bushes front and rear were replaced with (yellow) fast road urethane sets

since this photo the shocks, springs and all bushes have been replaced again but the rear springs could have remained but as I said that's another story

N Atkins

I've got a '74 and replaced springs around 2006 and they drooped badly. Then I replaced those with 1500 springs. Now it rides like a log wagon--although to be fair, I have lowering blocks. I bottom out constantly. I'm tempted to move back to the 1275 springs if the quality is truly better.
JM Morris

Not as simple as I thought then. :(

If the weight difference is only 35 to 40 lbs between a 1275box and a type 9, compared to the 140 lbs difference between a 1275 and 1500 midget overall, then as you say it could be too stiff with 1500 springs.

I hadn't realised that so much of the parts market for classics was supplied by Moss. I guess that does add up then, about so many duff springs ending up all around the world.

I hate to get another set of crap 1275 springs. I think I will call moss technical if there is one, and ask about warranty if I buy them and they dont last. They seem to have increased in price a bit since I last bought them, so I really dont want another pile of wasted metal lying around.

Trouble is how do you tell unless you fit and run them for while.

Well washed or not nigel, that's a pretty little car.

PS. Nigel, as an aside, you have a type 9 box. What releas bearing do you have. My kit was from moor lane garage, and it came with a SAAB 900 concentric clutch slave, and roller bearing thrust. Its fantastic, I have to say.




Lawrence Slater

Here's a depressing update.

I was googling, and came across a mention about parabolic springs. So I called a maker, and asked about them. Can't get them for midgets, economics make it cost prohibitive.

In the converstaion I mentioned about standard 1275 springs being poorer than they used to be.

It turns out that they are being made in India from poor quality spring steel. They are imported to the Uk for about £7 ($11) each spring, and Moss sell them for £50 plus. I am told that there are loads on the market an so its not worth making good ones as they cant compete.

Views please.

Lawrence Slater

And here's another update.

I just rang Brost Forge, and it was confirmed to me that all springs are coming in from india, where they are using cheap steel, hence the springs on sale are not much good.:(

Brost can rework my own springs and get them back to the spec they should be. Better if they were originals, as they were british made steel, and far better quality. Unfortunately I haven't got my originals, dumped long ago.

So I will look for a local forge, to see if I can avoid postage costs, if not I will send them to brost for a rework I suppose.

But if all springs on sale in the Uk are india origin and crap, then no point wasting 50 plus quid, thats for sure.
Lawrence Slater

I have a set of Chris Berry springs fitted, and in-fact the car was the test bed for the first set, after two years the spring are the same shape and have the same spring rate as from new, had a number of sets of springs before Chris set were fitted and bent one set in a few hours!!!!

I'm running a 1.8 K vvc via type 9 with LSD with shock conversion, anti trap bars and RTL linkage and the springs were a great weak point until Chris Berry and Mark Boldry got the springs sorted, and if they can handle the 160bhp the K pumps out it shows the quality of the product.
Al Charles

Lawrence thanks for your compliment on the car photos, all are not recent and the car badly needs a respray and that was due to be done at the start of this year but I was let down (common thing with the motor trade Iím afraid)

The 20kg (if correct) difference is between 1500 and type 9 boxes

AFAIK Moss, MGOC and Rimmers commission the manufacture of parts and it is very true that Spridget owners would sooner have very cheap parts as they donít want to spend on the car and/or rarely use the car so the standards are set by the market and suppliers both Ė rear springs each - MGOC £50, Moss £56 Ė it may be that these springs are no longer made so badly because of complaints(?)

You werenít to know Lawrence but asking about the releasing bearing up a can of worms Ė those worms are a certain Ďspecialist expertí company that had trouble fitting rear springs to my car so had to go for standard ones and also done poor work on the components and installation of the type 9 box so much so that the release bearing and other work had to be redone, I choose to pay another to redo the work properly

Anyone that doesnít already know to avoid this company Iím happy to warn them just email me as unfortunately you canít name these companies on forums Ė or perhaps Iím a bad customer with sour grapes, just like others who have a similar story to me Ė I thought Iíd done enough research on this outfit but found to my cost I hadnít

A honest opinion of parts quality is always needed but it needs to be very current as things do move on so what was good can go bad and visa-versa

PS Lawrence did you visit Wales 2 years ago?

PPS Al, what price were your Chris Berry springs?
N Atkins

No never been to Wales.

I'm intruiged about the bad co that supplied/fitted 5 speed conversion. I read some time ago in a MG mag about a bad fit job. I could never work out who it was.

So anyway, is yours a carbon release or a roller release. Hope it's working properly now.
I asked as I was wondering if when my roller bearing needs replacing, if its easily available, and what the part number might be. It was just supplied as part of th kit and I just happen to remember that I was told it was from a SAAB.

I couldn't afford to have the g/box fitted, and preffered to do it myself anyway. i have a low trust threshold as far as the motor trade is concerned. not fair to all the good mechanics I know, but how can you tell a good one these days?

Al Charles
Where do you get the chris berry springs? I googled chris berry and not much came up. Where are they made?

Lawrence Slater

Guys, its Clive Berry.
When buying new ones I would defenetly recommend his.

I eventualy stopped buying crap new ones and found a local company to restore the old ones and put strenght in the crap ones.
I now have one good set under my car and have 4 spare, im coverd when it comes to rearmidget springs for the rest of my life. :)

Li



ke Alex I too run a Kseries and this is what 160bhp does to the Moss springs in one week!!

Arie de Best

Thanks Arie

I'll google clive berry then.

Love the picture of your spring.:) amazed it didn't break.
Lawrence Slater

N Atkins, Northamptonshire


Had a little bit of a discount as the first set, all in with vat and delivery about £250, but have not looked at them since fitting, and spent more than that on cheap spring that had to be replaced yearly if lucky

You make a good point Spridget owners would sooner have very cheap parts (you always get less quality than you pay for) and would think it was 100% true in the 80s and 90s when Midgets were still being used as every day transport but as companies like Frontline have proved a market now does exist for expensive aftermarket parts, I know, i have them fitted to my car and it may be time for the likes of MGOC and Moss to better understand this market by offering a better product at a suitable higher price

Lawrence

You can get Clive on 01386 882997
Al Charles

Arie

Did the same to a set within minutes on the first test run of the K, than fitted anti-tramp bars

Any dates set for next years Dutch MG road rally?

Alex
Al Charles

Thanks Al, I'll give Clive a call then.

I agree, not worth saving a hundred quid if you have to replace them after a year or two, or a weekend if you have your setup it seems. :)

Apart from that, I want to enjoy driving the car as it should be, not be constantly trying to convince myself that it's ok because I saved a few quid. (Even though I do have the proverbial ducks tight ar*e LOL.)
Lawrence Slater

Email me at (all lower case) NigelAtkins at BT internet dot com for who to avoid info

After 8 months I had to have the standard Midget clutch bearing and bronze bush among other work

Yes, itís Clive, copy in my first post but I then followed the mistake

Al,
I personally have always spent thousands of pounds per year on all of my classics even the ones Iíve only kept for a year, hence our very humble home, but I can assure you that even now most Spridget owners still want very cheap parts, proof is often seen by posts on this BBS and I know from my visits and communications to and with MGOC spares and purchasing departments

Iím all for fit and forget I only enjoy driving a well set up reliable car and not doing any work on it or washing and polishing it, but I all as required
N Atkins

Lawrence:
Our K (see below) is running a Supra gearbox, which is even hevier than the type 9, on std rear springs. There have been absolutely no issues with the springs. Further, in the interests of traction off the line in autotests, we targeted and achieved a 47/53 front/rear split by shifting the battery to the back, (more effect than the heavier gearbox) lightening the front, and other means. All on the original springs.

I also note there are lots of Midgets running type 9 boxes that haven't had this issue. I really think the gearbox weight is a red herring here.

Furthermore, I would strongly advise against getting the 1500 ones, as without doing anything else to the suspension the stiffer springs at the rear will cause unhelpful oversteer when cornering and maybe sudden rear end breakaway at the limit.

All:

The rubbish spring steel situation was very much a result of the Chinese appetite for steel a few years back.

Yes, it did go on for years. It cost me a few warranty claims as I'd sold a few before the problem became evident.
No, it wasn't just Moss. Often it happens most of the retailers source their parts from the same manufacturer, or even each other. This is hardly surprising as the market volumes are small for our old cars - there are not really that many around.

And to repeat what I said above: The problem appears to be fixed going by those we have had in the last couple of years.

And ours lasted well despite given a lot of grief dealing with 185BHP of K engine used enthusiatically.


Paul Walbran

Well, I'm convinced that I shouldn't fit 1500 springs. The weight issue is not that significant it seems, and my sagging springs are in a fact a result of the crap springs I bought twice in the last 10 years.

(In my defence, I did wonder (fleetingly) about the quality of the springs I fitted, but confused the issue with the extra weight of the type 9, was pretty ignorant about the manufacture of springs, -- a spring is a spring is a spring I thought ---, and I relied on the fact that hitherto, I had always gotten good stuff from Moss.)

Furthermore, even if I did buy 1500 springs, it seems they might not be any better than standard 1275 springs, depending on where I source them, because the quality is still suspect. Add to that, that I might well make the car a pig to drive. Not what I want at all.

Paul Walbran,
From what you write, you are a dealer, and hence I hear and respect what you say. I don't know of course where you are getting your springs; yours may NOW be good quality in NZ, but how about in the UK?

As of yesterday, after speaking on the telephone to 4 different spring makers, I am given to understand that springs being sold in the UK for circa £50 plus VAT each, are manufactured from inferior quality spring steel. These are all currently being imported from India (very cheaply), where not only the labour is cheap, but so is the quality of the spring steel used in the manufacture of these springs.

I've been told that you simply can't make them for that price, with the quality of steel required to produce the specifications and longevity of the original springs.

What a situation. I remember being able to go to a breakers yard and get better parts LOL.

So where does that leave me?

Unless I can get an assurance on the quality of springs from moss et alia, then I will have to bite the expense bullet and pay more.

As Nigel said above, and I agree, I want to fit and forget. Apart from cheap poor quality spares not being cost effective, my back is too knackered to keep fixing my old wreck every year or so lol. I just want to drive it, before I am too old to even get in it. :)

You know I assumed that with the resurgence of interest in old brit cars, the spares availabilty issue was a sorted problem. I went from breakers yards, to inventive repairs, -- AKA bodge and make do :) -- when you couldn't get anything from BL, to the Sprite and Midget Center in Richmond, which was great, to where we are today. Its a bloody shame that spares are crap again, when they really shouldn't be. C'est la vie I suppose.

Since this discussion has raised issues for other spares I will need shortly, rather than go off on a tangent when this thread is about 1275 Vs 1500 springs, I am going to start another thread, on which I hope I will get the same sound advice.

Thanks to all, I will keep reading to see what else is said here.



Lawrence Slater

Lawrence,
I fitted replacement springs in the late 1990's to a 1500 midget and they flattened pretty quickly over the following couple of years. I just thought it was a one-off and subsequently bought replacements when rebuilding my 1275. They also didn't last long either!

A couple of years ago I replaced these with the Clive Berry ones. A good deal more expensive than "standard" ones but they seem to be lasting better. They ride well too, more compliant without actually been soft. Mostly I drive the car on my own, but from time to time it gets well laden with tools and building equipment in the boot far heavier than any gearbox modifications.

As for other poor quality replacement parts there are some well known specific items, but I don't think you should imagine that it applies to all replacement parts!

With the collective knowledge on the BBS it would be interesting to draw up a list of suspect parts:

Leaf springs (although this now may be historical)
Rotor arms (Black ones, late 1990s)
Brake light pressure switch
Stalk type column switches (poor contact springs/ rivets)
Poor quality chrome on some replacement items

There must be others!

Guy

Guy, I agree with you, and I bet that your list could get quite long if we all pitched in!

front wheel bearings that don't fit (incorrect radius on the inside of the inner bearing's outer race, resulting in front wheel wobble, and/or brake caliper clearance issues). Apparently these are STILL being sold by Moss.

Front wire wheel hubs that don't fit (incorrect radius machined where the outer bearing goes - I found bad ones from Victoria British in the US, and from Leacy in the UK, finally got good ones from Moss).


Last month some folks reported here about bad RED rotors too. It is good to know that the Distributor Doctor is a trustworthy source, and skip buying from any of the other places to avoid the bad black ones that are still floating around, and now the bad red ones that are perhaps around too.

Last year (or the year before?) there were reports of improper hardness of the upper trunion bolt, and the thread stripping during assembly.

Periodically, reports of too soft rocker arm shafts, and also of too soft lay gear shafts. Luckily, there are "race" versions of these available so you can pay a little bit more and be sure that they have been tested to the correct hardness, rather than play "rebuild roulette".

There was a rash of failed cam shafts in newly rebuilt engines a few years ago, but it turned out to be the oil, rather than the part, that was not right (insufficient zinc in the break-in oil).


Those are just off the top of my head...


Norm "litany of woe" Kerr

Norm Kerr

The useful list, would be one that only included current problem parts. (or at least so recent that the parts may still be in the supply chain) Otherwise we are just drawing up a list of myths and legends which, though interesting, doesn't help current buyers - or suppliers.

I include suppliers here as although when supplied parts are of poor quality one tends to blame the company you bought it from, if they don't get feedback on what they are sourcing, how are they to know? Few companies nowadays have their own product testing or even inspection facilities that were commonplace 40 years ago. Now they rely on the customer for quality control.

I suspect that the rear spring issue has now been largely sorted, although only time will tell.

Guy
Guy

All the above being said, I guess I'll avoid the $79.95 leaf springs listed by MiniMania and go with Moss, who, as mentioned earlier by a reliable source (Kelvin Dodd), are using a different supplier now and are getting a better product.

It's a pain... expenses this month have pushed off any car parts purchases until next month, and I'm missing the Midget keenly. :-(

Wish those spring clips were more readily available.

-:G:-
Gryf Ketcherside

Oh, another one.
The £12 "reconditioned" dampers. If they have been degreased, refilled with fresh oil and painted at that price, then you are lucky and no-one is making much profit!.
Guy

to Gryf Ketcherside, Missouri, USA
Hi Gryf. who is Kelvin Dodd? Is he Moss UK? Are the Moss springs you mention also supplied from the UK? (AKA India by all accounts)
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence

We source our springs from the UK. I'll try and find the current origin. The dodgy Indian ones sound more like the situation when the springs were a problem.
Paul Walbran

Hi Paul.

I spoke to another midget spares supplier in sussex today, and he confirmend that his too come in from abroad. (outside of UK). But he said as far as he was aware there were no issues with them.

The trouble with this is, you have to fit them to test them, and the problem may not be apparent for while. If most owners are summer drivers with these cars then the springs may seem to last for years, at only 2 or 3000 miles a year.

I wonder what, if any, testing is done on these springs, in India or wherever they are made?

Apart from looking at them, covered nicely in black shiny paint and a code number, how can you tell a duff spring from a good one?

Lawrence Slater

Isn't the source country of manufacture supposed to be on the product?
JM Morris

Guy, dont forgetthe crappy wheel bearings... a nightmare!
Arie de Best

I wouldn't write-off an item simply because it's made outside the UK, if we did that there would be precious little we could buy for the cars now as most items are being sourced from cheap labour/low currency exchange rate countries. (The cheap labour/currency rate is exactly why it might be possible to produce OK parts for seemingly impossibly small cost)

That said, there is certainly a quality issue and with a significant amount of rubbish around, and sorting the wheat from the chaff drives me nuts (and costs me money).

Add to the black list the carbon release bearings with "the pin". And the quality of radiator hoses is very variable - beats me how good rubber hoses which fitted properly and would last a decade easily could be made for years yet now that is hard to find. I don't see why we should be forced into spending a fortune on silicone hoses as being the only way of addressing this.

Back to the springs: Lawrence has a good point: how can you tell? You can't from the appearance - to an extent. What the appearance of the current springs does reveal that they are free from some of the issues of the problem springs in that they are consitent in length and shape, and free of winding left ot right in the individual leaves. This is the case for all the springs which were rubbish before Vatous B as well as Midget) and indicates clearly that something has been done. If a spring has any of these features don't accept it.

The quality of the spring steel of course can't be deduced from appearance. What I do know from discussing with supplier sources who call a spade a spade and give me a straight answer it that they are confident they have it sorted. I wanted to be sure that I wan't going to spend good money from my own pocket on re-stocking rubbish. Since supplies resumed I've had no problems reported, and with the bad springs they would have shown up by now.

While it's a good point regarding much lower levels of use now, they way some of use these cars still provides a good accelerated testing ground. Lots of power, the torque reversals of autotests and more rugged terrain (especially in NZ back country roads) all provide a good testing for longevity of a number of components!
Paul Walbran

Hi Paul,

I agree with you, its a long time since, that one could say made in Britain is a sign of quality. There's plenty of crap made here these days. But I'd be happier if the springs were made in Germany though, rather than india. (hmm, maybe that's unfair).

Anyway that said, there is no reason that quality can't be produced anywhere in the world, if the inspection and testing is there to ensure it.

Can I read into your answer that if I bought springs from Moss UK, I would get decent springs now? Are these the "spade a spade" suppliers you refer to?



Lawrence Slater

Hi Lawrence

Like you I'd feel more comforatble with German steel! The problem was as much where the steel was made as who made the springs. The problem steel was Chinese, and caught out manufacturers in the UK as well as other countries. You can't make strawberry jam out of pig s**t as the saying goes!

Yes I do think you could get the springs from Moss with confidence now. If you are of that mind, email me at paulatmgpartsdotcodotnz and I will see what I can sort for you. (I'm not looking to clip the ticket, just to see if I can help you get to buy with the confidence you want)

I am in the UK at the moment, about to head off home. I'll be back in the office there Tuesday pm, a bit jet lagged, so won't be able to follow up till then.
Paul Walbran

This thread was discussed between 21/06/2011 and 26/06/2011

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