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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - compressing rear suspension

Hi all,
I currently have my midget on a "spit" which has been a wonder during the welding phase of the restoration. I am now on the reassemble phase (wahey!). I have refitted the back axle minus diff (see last email) and am planning on the DIY telescopic shock conversion using the inverted shock mount place on the axle and the check strap mounting on the body (I have replaced these during the welding phase and have seam welded to increase the strength). Anyhow, I would like to trial fit the shocks and sort out any spacer issues while on the "spit". trouble is the suspension is on full drop as there is obviously no weight on the wheels. So... does anyone have any sensible suggestions on how to compress the suspension when the car is essentially upside down?
T Dafforn

I think you will find it is beyond full droop. Full droop is when the axle is restrained by the check straps which will require weight in the car to fit. Remember the exhaust goes beneath the axle!

Full UP is when the axle bumpstops hit the chassis plates not sure how this could be replicated on the spit but can easily be calculated and measured.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Bob is right about the bump stops.

But I don't understand why you actually have to replicate it as you can measure and do the sums. Let the axle sit where it will. Measure between the two mounting points that you intend using for the shock and deduct the clearance that you also measure between the bump stop platform and the rubber. That will give you the shortest length needed for the shock. i.e. when on full compression. The shock needs to be able to compress down to slightly shorter than this to avoid it bottoming out before the bump stop does its job.


My only reason for trying to compress the suspension is because it is sooo easy to work on the car in this orientation, so I want to fit as much as I can before I return it back onto it's wheels!
T Dafforn

to compress the spring use a long crow bar, or other suitable lever arm.

You first connect the front of the spring to the body, and then you stick the crowbar through the rear shackle (giving you essentially an extension on the end of the spring, that you can push with your hand strength to straighten the spring) to lever the spring "straight" until the shackle bracket holes line up with the holes in the boot floor.

it works a treat when doing a car standing upright, and the axle is being lifted up from below, so it might also work while the car is at some other angle too

Norm Kerr

Sorry Tim,
I saw the words "trial fit" and thought you were trying to work out the dimensions for your shocks. Misunderstanding on my part!


This thread was discussed between 08/03/2011 and 09/03/2011

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