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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - rear end conversion

I'm working on mounting my narrowed 8.8 rearend to my shell right now. I'm using stock leaf springs, but I'll be using tube shocks in place of my worn out levers. I don't have anything against the stock shocks, just going with the tube shocks as a more affordable replacement for now. Question: since I'm using tube shocks, do I still need to use rebound straps? No problem making a mounting on the 8.8, just didn't want to do it if I don't need to. I'm guessing I still need them!

Ryan Reis

If the tube shocks you are using do not extend further than the brake hose can accomodate, or the emergency brake cables, then you do not need the rebound straps. Tube shocks are designed to absorb full extension loads.

Wayne Pearson

Wayne is correct about the tube shocks being able to absorb the loads, but I like to keep the original straps to support the axle off the exhaust when jacked up and to limit the axle drop in the event of a need to change a tire.
Bill Young

What rating tube shocks are you using?
Thinging of coil over's and trailing arms.

I don't know the rating of the tube shocks, they are the ones for a mid-'80's Dodge Colt that I've seen recommended. Cheap. I'd like to go with coil overs and four-link someday.

Ryan Reis

An easy and cheap one to use is the early VW Beetle.I figured the Beetle weighs close to the B,so valving is close.I like the way they handle. Mike
Mike Moor


I liked your idea so much I went and bought a set of VW shocks last night. $13.99 each at Autozone!

Ryan Reis

sounds great! what year and front or rear on beetle to ask for? no one knows at parts house, except what they can enter on computer. when i need a generic part, i just tell them they wouldn't recognize the brand, MG, if i told them.
Example- the BOP distributer is Old Type GM with window, get cap,rotor, point & condenser for 58-74? chev V8. same thing, tell them Rover in a rural town in Tn and they go bananas. SAFETY FASTER!
Rear Diff.. had to fab two 3/4" spacers to raise the sway bar over the 8.8 hsg hump. this mod, along with the removal of the 2" X 2" metal at rt. side of pinion and centering the rt. side sway bar brkt over the axle tube vent are all i see that is needed to mount the hsgs we have, since yours is same as mine.
kelly stevenson


I asked for rear shocks for a '70 Beetle. The shocks I got are Gabriel's. I held them up to the car last night and they look like they'll fit perfect, just like Mike says.
Ryan Reis

purchased 2 shocks at Advance Auto Parts for the 69 VW Beetle Rear @ $11.88 ea. these are Monroe Gas Charged. they did not bolt up w/o mods. the mounting holes were 7/16" and the shock mounting bolts were 1/2". required reaming out the bolt holes in the shocks. i would probably just purchase front shocks for a 79-80 chev 1/2 ton van if i did this over. they are same extended length and appear to be valved similar. my shock kit came with Monroe's and this van shock was included. live and learn. will try to get the 8.8 bolted in early next week.
kelly stevenson

Kelly said:
"i would probably just purchase front shocks for a 79-80 chev 1/2 ton van if i did this over."

IMHO, the Dodge Colt shocks Ryan mentioned are dramatically better suited. I started with the van shocks. They were horribly rough-riding!

For the lower shock mounting bolt, you may want to consider welding the bolt permanently into the MG's bracket. (It's bad enough that the bolt is in single shear, but it also tends to swim in the bracket's hole.) You can always buy new brackets if you decide to retrofit levers.

Kelly,I found the Chevy truck shocks way too stiff.I also tried '67 Corvette rears.They were too stiff as well.A 1/2 drill bit will ream the sleeve right out on the VWs.They seem to be the right choice for me.I like the softer valving.I put a tie strap on the lower shock body to check the amount they travel.If you compress them first and draw a line with a marker,you can see where they are bottoming.On my rear set-up,they stay about an inch from the line.Can't wait for spring! Mike
Mike Moor

thanks for update and additional info. guess i missed the part about reaming the holes to fit the VW shocks. my 1/2" bit was less than razor sharp, it spun the metal tubes. just measured with a tape at full extention on my old Gabriel HD Gas Charged that had 25k miles on them. pushed and pulled both types and appears similar. nothing scientific other than subjective "feel"
Mike's application seems to work great as evidenced by his performance plus his car is well engineered.
hope to see many of you at Townsend in June! Perhaps I will able to "DO THE DRAGON ". it is as much a challenge accending as decending.
Have a Mery Xmas & Happy Holiday Season ALL
kelly stevenson

I'm using the Monroe Sensa-Trac #5877 ST. Probably close to the Dodge Colt shocks. They git-er done.
Carl Floyd

This thread was discussed between 06/12/2005 and 20/12/2005

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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