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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Found: a very good bolt-on traction bar

I found a place that makes (to order, but to their basic design) really nice traction bars. Boy do they ever work. You don't need a "traction box" or other strengthening of the front spring mount. How they work is that as the spring starts to wind under acceleration, it pushes the the traction bar link forward. The fitting that goes onto the front spring eye is triangular. As the traction bar link is pushed forward, the rear of the triangle rotates downward against the spring, damping wind-up. You can easily adjust the pre-load; I keep it loose so that regular spring action is totally uninhibited. They will make, on request, a model that has greater ground clearance than the pictured item. I hope this is useful info. It is a bolt-on solution that, unlike other bolt-on solutions, actually seems to work with the V8.

Here's the link:

I am not sure whether they'll work with composite springs. They are rather expensive at $325 a set, but they seem worth it.

Good tip. Note, by the way, that if you have any reason to run a rear sway bar, some of them (e.g. the Hopkinson kit) do have some anti-tramp capability as a function of how they are mounted on the car. In other words, as the front of the spring perches try to move upward under acceleration, the two ends of the sway bar are loaded almost perfectly under compression ... and there's no where to go once the rubber bushes are suitably compressed. This is somewhat analogous to the good old bronze-age "pinion snubber" that lots of old Mopars had -- it was just a rubber bumper mounted over the pinion at the front of your pumpkin -- when you hit the gas, the pinion's upward movement would be stopped by the snubber, which was welded in place to the car's floor. Worked fairly well, too. Since we're not dealing with 426 Hemis, if your suspension plans include rear sway bars, you may not also need traction bars.
Mike T. Cooke


thanks for sharing this find with us.

Do you not find it to be rather noisy?--it seems that you have to replace the front spring eye bushes with ally replacements and the restricion cross bolt seems to contact he top of the spring with no cushioning at all.

My guess is that they would not be suitable for use with f/glass springs judging by the way in which the installation instructions warn against using 'trailer hitches'ie point loads.


John Bourke
John bourke

I found out they make a special plate so that you can get them to work with the 'glass springs.

Mark T,
I am curious as to where I can get a set (front/rear) of Ron Hopkinson sway bars here in the US. Or anywhere for that matter. Another kit I want for my B GT V8 project, if I can get it.
Thanks for the leads,
Wally Jonker

Jim...went to their site..they say their bar replaces the rear spring did you fit your shocks?
Tony Barnhill

Wally, call Hopkinson in the UK directly -- don't have the # here, but just do a web search. I just bought a set from them last month. Work great.

Harry....I'm talking w/Ron Hop right now about his sway bar kit...seems the front bar is larger than the factory one but the rear is smaller...did your car already have sway bars? Or, were Ron's a new thing for you?
Tony Barnhill

Tony, that's right, the front is 7/8 and the rear is far less -- don't recall the size. I use the set on a '74 CB GT (have approximated CB factory V8 ride height, i.e. about 1/2" higher than a regular CB) and I am very satisfied. I didn't have a rear bar; I was just running a front 3/4" bar in rubber bushes -- not enough for the V8. The ride certainly isn't unduly harsh. The second generation bars that Hopkinson is now selling are much less onerous than what they originally referred to as their "handling kit", which I believe has been sold for years. Also, one has a great deal of control over the rear's effect simply by adjusting the clamp tightness for the bar-end support bushings. Also, they have backed off to rubber bushes all around, to make things a little more supple. All in all, a very good product ... and with the UK pound sterling exchange rate quite inexpensive for what you get, even including shipping. You must locate the rear bar mounting holes with great precision -- do this well before swilling mechanic's beer -- for if they are slightly off, you can easily have it hitting the front of the gas tank.

I think Mike's observation is correct, the rear bar does indeed seem to dampen spring tramp.

I know John Bourke does not like these bars, and I greatly, greatly respect his opinion -- looking at the photos of his car it is obvious that I'm but a laughable ham-fisted ignoramus by comparison. But the bars do seem to work for me.

Tony: unrelated: I believe you wrote that you are putting a C hood on your V8. Are you going to try to mock up an upper rad surround sort of like they have on Cs? Otherwise, a lot of air will just go over the radiator I think. I'm about to stick a C hood on there (in order to be able to get a bigger air filter on there) and I am wondering how to cobble this -- hopefully neatly -- into shape. Any hints appreciated.

Harry: Yes, am using the MGB upper rad panel & am going to fit it to the MGB's side panels so I close off the top between MGC hood & rad....that's probably gonna be one of the minor problems...I'm trying to replicate Tom Bourke's ducting around my oil cooler behind my valance...have asked his some questions & am patiently awaiting his, am cutting the bottom of my inner fenders behind the shocks & turning them around so there's a concave space for air to flow freely between hugger headers & inner fenders. Also, trying to figure out how to vent hot air out through the upper rear of the inner fenders.
Tony Barnhill

Harry...meant to say that I'm using an MGC upper rad panel that I'm going to modify to fit onto the MGB side panels..
Tony Barnhill

This thread was discussed between 04/12/2000 and 06/12/2000

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