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MG MGB Technical - bad handling on motorways


i went for a spin yesterday on the A3 and at a "high" speed of 65mph, if the road is not completely flat, the car is shifted sideways. Even if i hold firmly the steering wheel, the car keeps shifting... if wind is added to this then i just need the whole motorway for myself ...

i'm going to make it checked by my mechanic but would like to get some feedbacks beforehand...
i would guess it's the steering rack which is maybe a bit loose... or ... ?!

thanks a lot


Might be the steering rack or the U-Bolts at the back axle. Have it chacked immediately!

Safety Fast!


Does it head in one direction only or wander from side to side? I've had low tyre pressures on a rear wheel which gave strange handling but usually only when changing direction (although the tyre did look slightly low I was surprised to find it down to 10psi!).

Let us know what you find.....

David Smith

There is something wrong. The car should be exemplary all the way up to go to jail. Is the tracking correct?
Stan Best

All the things mentioned can do it. Tire pressure check is free and fast! Stan's suggestion of tracking is most likely if there is nothing loose; Toe-out will do just that, and it will be even worse on braking.
FR Millmore

I once had a midget which wandered all over the road at speeds above 30MPH.

The file of receipts that came with it suggested that the previous owner had spent a lot of money trying to cure the problem - rear springs, front dampers, wishbones, etc., etc.

I had the tracking checked and it was absolutely spot-on.

I then noticed that the front tyres were steel-braced radials and the rears were textile-braced (it may have been the other way around). I swapped the wheels front to rear and the problem disappeared.
Dave O'Neill 2

Ya Dave, that's another one - and it can be lethal! Used to be a big issue with mixing bias and radial on the same car. I nearly killed myself and some other people in a new customer's just bought Healey 3000. Took it for a test drive on a twisty, went into a normally 60 mph corner at 35, because it felt funny. It had no oil on the front dampers, Michelin X old style cast-iron on the front, and recapped bias snow tires on the back, none of which had I looked at, since the guy just dropped the car off. A slight bump started the front end bouncing, the Michelins let go, then grabbed when it hit the ground, then the rears broke loose, then the front bounced and let go - etc & etc. I came out of the turn directly in the path of a large Ford wagon, full of mother and kids - no fun atall! !!Never mix tires of different construction!!
FR Millmore

thanks guys, yes one of my tyre was deflated but even with properly inflated tyres, the car was wandering so it may be a good timing for correcting the tracking and get new tyres!! am glad i have done a bit of drive on tracks as it's pretty uncomfy to drive like this on motorways ...

will let you know.
ps: reminder for the 24th MGB regency run on 13th of May !!

Once you have checked out the tyres, does it still weave from side to side?
Try relaxing your hold on the wheel a bit, and let it drive itself. (Obviously, don't let it crash!)
Too tight a hold can cause a weave. Try following a Landrover. They weave terribly if you try to keep them straight, if you just guide them they run straight by them selves.

Any play in the steering (how much does the wheel rim move before you see any movement in the tyres?) will make it worse.
Martin Layton

Have a look also at the rear spring button. This is the steel bar which goes through the spring pack to hold them all together.
It is inside the spring pack so invisible from the outside but can rust though.
The springs are then held only by the retainer clips and shackles which will give some very iffy handling.
You will need to remove and disassemble the rear springs to do it so it may be a last resort item.

Let us all know how you go.

Peter Thomas

Hi Alexia, During the time I had my MG workshop (25 years) I had 4 rubber bumper cars in on which the rack mountings had badly cracked & another that gave way completely when she was doing a U turn. ALL RUBBER BUMPER cars should have gussets welded onto the mounting brackets to stop them flexing & eventually cracking or breaking. Another cuase of a wandering car can be shot rear spring pads. When going on & off ther throttle the car will change direction - its called a bum steer!!!.,/
Garth Bagnall

Hi Alexia

I have had the same problem for the past few months. I have changed axles, steering rack, wheel bearings etc, etc trying to fix it and it turned out to be the tracking...

This was the first thing I got checked, unfortunately it was checked by a blind man and upon second checking turned out to have 1 degree too much tow-in

The car now drives fantastically, so go and have the tracking checked if there is nothing more sinister hanging off.....
Good luck
Ed Braclik

yes, that was the tracking, apparently it was pretty wrong (1 inch), one sign was that one of my front tyre was worn on the inside, showing a wrong alignment... my tyres were not at the right pressure neither .. (all wrong) but it's ok now... just the clutch i need to change ... never the end, but it keeps us busy ...

This thread was discussed between 02/05/2007 and 08/05/2007

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