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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Cheap Ebay rear shock conversion

I was looking for some bits for my midget when I came across these on Ebay (item 300743909391). They look very cheap for what they supposedly are at half the price of the Frontline kit. Has anyone on here bought them? Are they any good?

I'm restoring mine at the minute but the rear LA shocks looked in a bad way so I was going to replace them but this is only a bit more and should in theory give a better ride.
W Turner

Two things strike me. First, 7 feedback. Second, is his/her space bar broken?

Malcolm Le Chevalier

upright position of dampers is better than angled I think

one kit to fit all is fair enough but I'd ask if the damper rating/effect is the same as LA in good condition, you don't want them too hard

my AVO dampers have 14 settings and are only on 2 or 3 from softest setting suggest they are more suitable for track use so you also need to ask about rating/effect if you consider the adjustable option

dampers adjustment can be tied in with tyre pressure adjustment (to 2-4psi perhaps) and adjusting or experiementing with tyre pressures is free

as for the 7 Feedbacks you could contact all 7 and ask them which kits they bought and how they found the fitting and handling after fitting - allowing for the fact that swapping from old worn out dampers to new would bring improvements anyway
Nigel Atkins

Isn't the general consensus that good leaver arms on the rear are pretty good anyway? I guess as they aren't taking the load that the fronts do that they don't suffer from the issues that make the front LAs infamous.

But I don't profess to have any actual practical knowledge of this.

Malcolm Le Chevalier

From what I've read in other threads on this subject, you can make your own for much less.
Lawrence Slater

with access to making the bottom brackets and going through the dampers available it could be a lot less expensive

I can't remember how good or not the rear LA dampers are in good condition but I do know I found the more upright adjustable AVO set up better than the more angled adjustable Spax set up

the problem with LA is the quality of the (probably many times) refurbed units so I'd buy brand new ones
Nigel Atkins

I haven't contacted any of the other buyers yet but the feedback is glowing even though its only 7 and all from high feedback ebayers too so unlikely to be just his mates.

I've gotta buy new dampers anyway and reconned LA ones don't have a good rep so thats halfway to the price of this kit anyway.

I'll ask him about what sort of damping rates they are and the answer will determine what I do. I could get some adjustable ones and do it myself which was my intention. Does anyone have any numbers for what a good damping rate is for a 'fast road' midget i.e. not track use just sporty road use.
W Turner

That seller has only been a member for a bit over 4 months so may explain the low current number of sales. They're also based in Bath so I wonder if an ex FL connection. How similar is it to the FL rear conversion.
David Billington

Why does it say 1500's. There's no difference in fitting is there?
Lawrence Slater

I only quickly looked at the Feedback but didn't notice any comments about the fitting or use but I might have missed those

compared to the Batheaston (now Steventon) lot the bottom brackets appeared to have more fixing holes and this kit has those additional thick spaces but both the extra holes and spaces may be as part of a multifit kit?

the damper look similar to AVO but I doubt they are as apart from being non-adjustable, without AVO label, off-set top link(?) and purple bushes AVO are quite careful about selling the dampers as it's a contract issue, however they may well have some of their standard dampers suitable

I've no idea of LA damper rate but it's soft by modern standards

for comparision (and this photo reminds me if you have adjustable damper protect the adjusting knob with duck grease if you want to adjust them months later!)

Nigel Atkins

doh ! - just seen this chap is in USA so probably definitely not AVOs

MGOC Spares list three 'AVO Rear Damper Kit' for quarter elliptical(?) 1098 & 1275 and 1500
Nigel Atkins


it is cheaper than other kits but there are other ways of achieving what you're after.
I bought these - 9.36 for each Sachs shocker and then got hold of some high tensile bolts and washers. Just remove the bottom spring plate, invert and use on the opposite side. Admittedly the damper won't be vertical but the whole thing cost less than 25 and if the ride isn't improved when I come to fit them, I can always sell the dampers and recoup some of the modest outlay.
I got the idea from 'Bob's MG Midget website'
Bob has used the chassis rail to mount the shocker, others have chosen to use the existing mounting points - suitably reinforced to take the additional load generated by the new shocker.

Good Luck!

Jeremy 3


What made you say he was in the USA as his address in the contact details is in Bath, UK.
David Billington

probably because I'm getting less stable by the hour

previously I did notice a BA2(?) postcode but last time I looked I thought the price was in USD for some reason now I've got it in GBP and 'Approximately US $187.92' especially as it states 'Shipping: Not Available to United States'

I've got two lots of IE on this new computer now and updates for other programs wont download, computer tells me I need Window Silverlight(?) but when I download it I'm then told i already have that version

I've got a feeling Windows 7 isn't fully sorted

my wife's semi-tame computer guy can sort it out when we can get him round
Nigel Atkins

I emailed the guy before about this set and he offers the kit with different dampers, I ended up getting a new car already perfectly setup but these were the four options in addition to the standard dampers it usually comes with, each was progressively more expensive:

KYB Twin tube Gas Non adjustable - These are 25% uprated over standard damping rate and being gas instead of oil filled they react faster to impacts
Gaz 40 point adjustable - These have a shorter damping range than standard and so are only really suitable for Track/race use unless your vehicle is heavily lowered, but do offer the largest amount of damping adjustment
Spax Krypton Gas Adjustable - Spax is an industry standard performance damper, well built with a gas filled body with easy screwdriver adjustment
Evolution AGX Adjustable - These have the largest damping range of our performance dampers and come highly recommended as a premium performance damper
Ed Brown

Judging by his feedback, he's had two price increases since April.
Dave O'Neill2


Unless there has been some majour shift in technology I'm not aware of all dampers still use a fluid such as oil rather than gas as the working medium. When I was getting into this sort of thing 30 years ago a "gas" damper referred to a monotube damper which had a pressurised gas chamber or gas/oil mix to compensate for the damper rod displacement and a single working chamber. The advantage of this arrangement was that it could be run upside down so the lower unsprung mass of the piston and damper rod was attached to the suspension. The downside was that when the seals went the damper was buggered and it leaked.

The terminology seems to have morphed these days in that it seems that any twin tube damper, as opposed to monotube, with an esoteric gas above the oil can be called a "gas" damper. Being a twin tube design it can't be run upside down as the gas can get into the valving. I've seen Spax gas dampers which had a gas bladder and that allowed them to run closer to horizontal but IIRC below 45 degrees was not recommended.

I think like many things these days the facts have lost out to the terminology.
David Billington

After having a look over the underside of my 1500 while I was moving the shell yesterday the check-strap mounting points are VERY substantial so I'm just going to buy some mini front dampers and see how it goes, its cheaper than even recon LA ones.

I'll probably want to make changes once its back on the road but I think thats inevitable no matter what I do.

Do people put a separate check strap in to prevent the shock being over-extended or do the leaf springs limit it enough on droop?
W Turner

<<Why does it say 1500's. There's no difference in fitting is there?>>

Due to ride height, the 1500 would either need a longer damper or a different bracket.

Normally, the 1500 has a longer drop link.
Dave O'Neill2

Thanks Dave. Now I know.
Lawrence Slater

The thing I found with the Mini front shock setup is that the shocks don't have enough stroke. They either bottom out over bumps or the inside wheel tops out when conering. Mine were ok but I got fed up of the knocks and bangs and eventually they broke the check strap mounts. I have now converted it to Mini rear shocks which have a longer stroke. As for damping rates mine are the cheapest standard rubbish I could find (
John Payne

>>>>>>>>>Two things strike me. First, 7 feedback. Second, is his/her space bar broken?


"Posted by eBay app for Android" - explains the space bar problems perfectly! I've listed via my phone, typing isn't the strong point.
Max max-at-midgetmax-dot-com

New lever arms is the way to go, I haven't looked back.
Jeremy Cogman

I fitted a set of old second hand spax (still blue rather than yellow) to mine to replace the levers, and the rear end control was massively better, particularly mid corner. I admit that the levers may have been worn, but IMO there is no way that levers can be better than telescopics. :-)
Rob Armstrong

This thread was discussed between 09/08/2012 and 12/08/2012

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