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MG MGA - Australian 3/4' sway bar

I have just finished fitting the Heritage designed 3/4" sway bar (Aussie tough). This is a really simple way to fit a sway bar to your car. I will furnish Barney with all the details and see if it warrants inclusion on his web site!

Mike Ellsmore

Components supplied in the kit (yellow plates are the drilling templates)

Mike Ellsmore

Looks simple and neat. It also looks like the MGB bar?
Let us know how it is to drive, we might not all be "Aussie tough" enough to cope with 3/4"!

Neil McGurk

I installed an identical one about 4 months ago and concur with all of Mikes comments ..a really good design and a complete kit to make installation easy ( am I advertising?) and the car handling --in conjunction with new 72 spoke 15 by 5 wheels--- is a delight.
n ferguson

Guys isnt this the optional-extra anti roll bar kit as supplied for the 1500 when the front chassis extension is not suitable to take the factory fitted 1600 ARB.
We had a thread about this not long ago.

There are several after market sway bar assemblies that fit under the frame extension rather than on the top as fitted by the factory for the Mk 11, see Barney's site
but I believe these are first photos of the Heritage made sway bar installation on this BBS - subtle design differences to other installations.
Mike Ellsmore


Would like to know how the car performs post installation also where did you get the kit from?

Am interested to fitting one to my 1600.

You can just send the info to my home email

S P Rossetto

Thanks to Neil, I did post this one on my web site, plus the 2-page installation instructions with pictures, good for some additional detail. See here:
Barney Gaylord

Check out ebay Australia. $375.00
Mike let us know how it feels.
DJ Lake

You can save a bunch of money and do exactly the same thing yourself using stock MGB bits - in all the diameters they had available.
Bill Spohn

I acquired a couple sizes of "B" sway bars with the though of putting one on my "A." I've been advised by an old MGA racer that a heavy sway bar will improve the quickness of the handling at low speeds, i.e., autocross, but at the tradeoff of creating serious understeer at highway speeds unless you also add a rear bar. Anybody have any direct experience on that? Thanks.

k v morton

I have lots of experience and seat time with various sway bars on my MGA (and a house full of trophies to match). MGA with no sway bar has severe understeer in tight corners and significant understeer at high speed, so you really cannot compete without a front sway bar. In short, factory optional 5/8" front bar is okay for original type bias ply tires, 3/4" front bar is just the berries for modern street radial tires, 7/8" front bar is needed to hold a rear wheel down when running on sticky racing tires.

I drive my 7/8" front bar on the street with street radial tires and no problems whatsoever. It might cause some issue with low-grip bias ply tires, but I have no experience with that, and I have no idea why anyone would want to do it. Some less experienced people might think the 7/8" bar is just a little harsh or slightly twitchy (slight overkill in stiffness for street tires). It does NOT increase understeer at high speed.

Racer types will demand at least 7/8" bar in front (maybe more), also stiffen the front springs (400 psi spring rate or slightly more) and lower the nose a little. It is difficult to over do front roll stiffness in the MGA with stock suspension height. Reason is because the rear springs are too stiff as original, tending to lift a rear tire off the pavement in a fast turn (causing oversteer in a high speed turn if you lift off the throttle). It might be desirable to reduce spring rate in the rear, but that would require more travel in the rear suspension, and there is not sufficient space to allow more travel there.

If you went to 1" front roll bar, 480-psi front spring rate, and lowered the nose an inch, you might finally get to the point of some advantage for a small rear sway bar. Otherwise installing a rear sway bar is a big mistake for a stock MGA or chrome bumper MGB).

The other problem plaguing MGA in recent years is replacement rear springs that are to tall, causing rebound straps to run out of travel and lift a rear wheel (resulting in severe oversteer at any speed).

For photos and video of too little stiffness, too much body roll, and getting it just right, see here:
Barney Gaylord


Thanks for sharing your insights. The nice thing about using the "B" bar is it looks like it will be pretty easy to try both a skinny one and a fat one. I'm planning to lower the front a little, too, and install "B" front brakes. But it will be awhile before I get this done; I'm still spending most of my free time building my garage addition.

k v morton


In your use of the MGB sway bar did you also use MGB front A-arms with a sway bar hole? Or did you use the pan mount hole or drill a new one?

It is my project for the winter months.

Jim Ferguson

When fitting sway bars to early MGA's you should remember that the factory reinforced the lower control arm (which holds the spring pan) for fitting the sway bar at the factory. I am not sure, but I assume all control arms were reinforced after the sway bar became an option, whether the sway bar was fitted or not.
On the Twin Cam all control arms were reinforced after the sway bar became available.
It might be wise for people who fit a sway bar to an early MGA to watch this control arm for any problems.


M F Anderson

This thread was discussed between 17/08/2009 and 21/08/2009

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