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MG MGB Technical - 79B back wheels want to steer

'79 B, 73K miles, overdrive. Lately I've noticed that above about 35 mph, when I accelerate the rear wheels seem to push front of the car to the left, and when I decelerate it pushes back to the right. Any ideas about what's going on?

Chris Foleen

I would look at the U bolts spring to axle first, dont overtighten they can crush the axle case
Stan Best

Is your steering wheel centered? I once had the bolt that locates the axle to the springs sheer off level wiht the springs and one side of the rear end came forward and caused the steering wheel to become off center. Also allowed the left rear tire to contact the front of the left fender.

Chris, it sounds like one of your leaf springs is broken. Take a look from the side of the car and see if your rear wheels are centered on each side. You should be able to eyeball this to tell. The side that the leaf is broken will have the wheel slightly off center. One of the leaves in the leaf spring can snap in half and cause the axle to travel back and forth causing the car to "crab".
M Whitt

Sounds like a U-bolt or spring problem, as mentioned. Holding the brake while letting the clutch out (with an assistant watching) should tell you which side is moving. Either way, both sides deserve a look. There is an outside chance that the front alignment is out enough so that the weight transfer F-R makes it veer.

I test drove a midget one time that I'd planned to buy. It also had rear-steer like this. It was certainly an odd and fearful thrill-ride. Needless to say, I did not buy it.

Thanks all for your input. I believe the most likely cause is the U-bolts, since I recently installed the Moss lowering kit. I plan to check this out this weekend, and will post the results.
Thanks again!
Chris Foleen

Okay, I tightened the U-bolts, but no improvement noted. Does anyone know an approximate torque setting to use (don't want to crush anything...)?

Chris Foleen

25ft/lbs is fine for the U-bolts.
Iain MacKintosh

When I checked mine and they were loose I found them finger tight, the spanner just spun round! I just did them to what felt right, the B dates from an era when torque wrenches were not in general use.
There are some rubber pads for noise insulation and they "creep" under compression so may need nipping up a couple of times. However it does not sound like this was your problem.
Stan Best

Whether or not torque wrenches were in common use MGBs always had torque figures applied to those fixings where the figure to be used was other than the standard for that size of fastening and material used, and these are what are listed in the Workshop Manual. For the others you need to consult one of the generic works, but a) they should be 'tight' and b) it isn't critical.
Paul Hunt 2

This thread was discussed between 12/11/2006 and 24/11/2006

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