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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Composite springs with a v8?

I'm shopping for rear leaf springs; has anyone used Doug Jackson's composite springs with a mild v8? Seems that I've read of too much windup with these on a v8 car, but I'd like some other input as I look over the options on suppliers. I'm anticipating around 200 horsies with my BOP 215/300 engine with sticky 195 tires. Should I consider these, or forget it? Joe
Joe Ullman

I have been using these springs for nearly 5 years and they are brilliant if used with anti tramp, panhard rod and tube type shocks.
First with Rover 4.0L, piper 270 and ported heads @ 200hp at wheels. Over 4 yrs I must have done at least 35 track days with approx 2hrs flat out driving each day.
Last winter I upgraded the engine to 4.6 with a 285 cam with now probably 220hp at the wheels. Done 6 track days so far this year.
If you add to this another 20,000 road miles you will see that these springs are well up to the job.
Although very expensive here in the UK (399 from MG owners club) they are well worth the money.
A major contributing factor to excellent handling with a much smoother ride than steel springs.

I think there are 2 different profiles for ride height, my advice is go for the lower ones.



Thanks so much, Mark. I think I'm coming around to that point of view in spite of the price. Sounds like you're having great fun racing! Best, Joe
Joe Ullman


Have you seen the steel single leaf parabolic springs? They've been around a while now and have had favourable reviews whilst being a LOT cheaper than composite. Anyone got any first hand experience?
Stuart Robson


Tim at Frontline tested the various options before deciding what was currently available was not suitable, hence his own rear end set up. Parabolics were a complete failure.


Cheers Paul - That's good to know. Do you know why he didn't like them? Must admit Tim's new rear end is a masterpiece of packaging.
Stuart Robson


Not really for open discussion but they failed! although Tim's is a 5.0V8.

Tim also tests set up with
and specifies spring requirements to suit, downside is cost and use of Panhard rod rather than RTL.


Its a funny thing!
I remember talking to Tim Fenna some time ago and he was raving about how good the composite springs were.
I suppose he's bound to knock them in favour of his own setup which to my mind looks very heavy.
Would love to see how it performs on the limit.

M Rawlins


The bulk of Tim's system's weight is all sprung weight in those brackets. I'm sure the trailing arms are lighter than the leaf springs. There's nothing new in what he's done, merely packaged it very neatly so "man in the street" can fit it a price ;?)
Stuart Robson


In the hands of "The Stig"


I have Doug Jackson's complete setup in the rear of my V8 MGBGT. Engine is a very strong 308 CI Buick, over 300 HP, & no wrap up at the drag strip in Terre Haute a couple of weeks ago.

Composit springs, tube shocks, anti- tramp bars & panhard rod. The car launches very hard and very straight- it also has an Alston positraction unit in the 8" Ford rear.

Ride is much better than stock, as well. I now have 20,000 miles on the car & am very pleased with Doug's products.
Jim Stuart

<In the hands of "The Stig" >

Is this an "in" joke, I'm confused?
Stuart Robson

Looks to me like some hefty brackets bolted to the axle. I can lift a composite spring literally with my little finger!
For those that dont know the Stig is a test driver for the british motoring program Top Gear.

M Rawlins

Yeh "Top Gear" Stig but what's he got to do with the thread? Has he tested something?

As for the FL kit. I agree it's a bit bulky, but that's the nature of a "bolt-on" kit. I must admit I'm not a big fan of some of Tim's kit but it does bring some engineering improvements into the mainstream - (I have the midget front tele kit). There are some big compromises and some extra beefing up to compensate but it is progress over the oringinal. Sure there's scope to do a lot better but it's here and now and off the shelf.

BTW I'd go for composite rear springs if they did then for the Midge - But they don't :(
Stuart Robson

I installed Doug's complete rear kit to 77B Roadster with a Ford 8.8 rearend in April. I have a moderately tuned Rover 4.6L (approx 275hp) from Woody Cooper. I'm extremely pleased with the results! Much improved rear response under all road conditions. Doug's latest version includes reinforcing plates to stengthen points where leading edge of springs and traction bars mount to body and where panhard rod bolts to the trunk area. The other plus is the great customer service from Doug!!!!!
Steve LaGoy

Sounds like they work with a V8, then! If I can just forget about all that money and think of it as an investment....Joe
Joe Ullman


My reply on the "MBG General" board:

"State of the art" would be a properly designed 3-link with adjustable coil-overs. If you can't afford that or the composites, then call "Brittek Bob" as I refer to him. He has gone way above & beyond for me in the past. Last year, I installed their rear spring kit in my Dad's '63 B (41 years + 185,000 miles on the originals). It fit, it worked, & most importantly, sat right.

I once was told that Doug Jackson's composite spring manaufacturer is the same on that makes 'em for the present-day Corvette.

I resisted a panhard rod on a leaf spring rear for many years. It does make a BIG difference on an MG. You can make your own.
Carl Floyd

Yes, I've been in the process of building my own using as the basis the panhard kit from Summit, that includes two brackets and the bar itself. I feel confident that I can make a good bracket for the body end, but am still thinking about the axle end. I hate to weld a bracket to the axle for several reasons, and don't really like the axle bracket that you can get with the composite springs, except for the fact that it swivels. Still, I'll bet it's a good product. But, I would like to save the money on the panhard rod kit by the DIY method. This is a tough decision. Joe
Joe Ullman

Try pasting this link into the address bar and searching. Apparently doesn't work direct for some reason. It's from the thread further down.

I figure with a pair of antitramp bars and a pan hard rod you are most of the way to this set up any way and are still carrying heavy less resonsive leaf springs.
The thing is if you can't afford the price tag this set up could be easily adoped to home made I think

This thread was discussed between 29/06/2005 and 04/07/2005

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