Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB Technical - clunking rear shocks

For quite some time now, there has been a nice clunking sound coming from the rear shocks on my 1967 MGB - activated by nothing more than just a slightly rough road surface.

So, I had new rear shocks put on - adjustable Spax, but now I have the same knocking coming from both sides when driving! A theory has been suggested that it is air trapped in the shocks - has anyone else come across this problem?

I am pretty sure it is the shocks, as why else would I now have the noise on both sides after replacing them when before, it was only on one side?

Any help would be gratefully received!
Martin Port

Martin, this has come up a few times before and the bad news is that it's almost certainly the shockers. Slide them both off their mounting studs and take the car out to prove the point. Be careful and do NOT drive over 30 mph as the car will be very unstable but the noise should be gone. This is a completely unsatisfactory situation and seems to happen all to often. Spaxes are all to often noisy and not generally favoured by the owners on this BBS. Replace them with a pair of uprated lever arms which will be silent and also nicely balanced between firmness and comfort.
Iain MacKintosh

...and if you do replace them with lever arms, make sure you do the mounting bolts up to the right torque (40 lb/ft I think) or you will STILL have a klonk over every bump! (been there).
Again, if you do go for lever arms, check for smooth movement of the arms before you fit them. Probably best if you go and pick them up from the shop rather than mail order, as you can check them on the counter - it's fun to watch the blokes face when you reject the third one on the trot...
Dave Smith

I had this. After a while it sounded like somebody
was constantly beating a fry pan back there.

First, be sure that the bolts that secure the shocks
to the frame are really tight. Yes, they do have a
habit of sometimes working themselves loose.

Give each shock link (it connects the shock arm to
the spring plate) an eyeball inspection and a tug.
You're looking for decayed rubber cushioning
or any sort of looseness.

Check the nuts on each end of the shock link
by snugging them with a wrench. Pay particular
attention to the lower nut at the shock plate.
Here, the stud is prevented from spinning only
by molded rubber and it will sometimes spin in
place while the nut is being tightened.

If this is so: Try holding the stud stationary with a
pair of needle-nosed Vise-Grips while torquing
down the nut.
Daniel Wong

I've got the tube conversions and the clunks and squeeks are driving me nuts. They seem to work themselves loose quickly as well.

Can't wait to go back to proper lever arm shocks.

One thing that I should have said is to take the Spaxes back and ask for a refund. They are an expensive piece of kit compared the the lever arms and it seems more and more that people are unhappy with them and for various reasons. I had exactly the same problem and eventuarry binned them in favour of the lever arms. Another problem is that they are too hard even at the softest setting and additionally the adjuster soon seizes and becomes useless.
Iain MacKintosh

just to add my two penneth worth, i had an early set of adjustable Spax that suffered the same clonking, replaced under warranty but clunk returned after a few hundred miles..i did put the lever arms back on just to confirm....eventually switched to a set of Koni's which cured it, the koni's also had a better feel to them. The Spax always felt harsh.

I never fitted Koni's to an MG but have used them many times in the past. There is no doubt they are a quality unit however I would still question if the uprated lever arm damper can be much improved on for performance and certainly on price at about 16 each exchange.
Iain MacKintosh

Have read all comments associated with this post and recognize that the shocks may indeed be the source of your rear suspension noise. There is, however, another unpleasant possibility, that being that one or more of the holes in the body tabs to which your rear springs are mounted may have become elongated - allowing movement and noise upon acceleration and/or driving over rough surfaces.

My 67 GT suffers from this malady, and I must repair it soon. While I am at it, I am attempting to replace every conceivable additional source of drive train and suspension noise. Hopefully, when all is done, it will feel nice and tight, and be as silent as my first B back in 1968.

Good luck.
RM Moffit

I wouldn't worry about this Martin, the chances are very slim and the mountings would have to have been slack for years to cause this. It's easy to check but I'm pretty sure the mountings will be fine.
Iain MacKintosh

Iain,What do you think about getting my orginial lever shocks R&R'd.Thanks,Rich O
rich osterhout

Rich, I don't know what R & Rd means but I assume it means reconditioned and rebuilt. Now I can but exchange lever arms in the UK from BHive and they are of very good quality and only about 17 each exchange but I've read that you have problems on that side of the pond finding a reconditioner who can be relied upon. I personally would be very happy to go that route but I think we must rely on some of our American members to comment on this board. Bottom line is that if you can find a reliable reconditioner who will also uprate them then go for it as it provides the best overall compromise IMHO.
Iain MacKIntosh

Rich, I have heard mention of a place called Apple Hydraulics that seem to have a good reputation. Don't know exactly where they are. Maybe someone here has a line on them?

And that's just the company I had in mind. Someone on this board gave that company a bit of a ribbing only three or four weeks ago.
Iain MacKintosh

Iain,I had my waterpump(cast iron)rebuilt by Peter@"WORLDWIDE AUTO PARTS INC. in Madison,Wis.USA and they sell rebuilt Jag,midget,MGA,MGC,MGB rebuilt lever shocks,and will also rebuild your own.I'am very satified with their work that they done on the H2O pump.I have their address if anyone wants it. Thanks,Rich O
rich osterhout

Iain,Whats your take on Apple Hydraulics,Good or bad,I was not sure how to take your above email.Rich O
rich osterhout

Sorry if I was misleading. I can't really comment never having used them from this side of the pond but my take had been very positive indeed until someone had a go at them just a few weeks ago. There is always two sides to any story so check the archives carefully here but I think it seems that their plusses far outweigh the negatives.
Iain MacKintosh

And here you go, courtesy of the San Diego MG Club magazine "On The Mark".

Apple Hydraulics
1610 Middle Road
Calverton, NY 11933
Free Catalog

MGB fronts $125 rears $59.95 exchanged

As I've said never used them myself, but I intend to in the future. They also rebuild carbs, brake boosters, servos, calipers and clutch cylinders.

Iain,weighted the two sides,and iam gonna give my Business to "WORLDWIDE AUTO PARTS" OF MADISON.I had a great experience working with them and they were very "TIMELY" Good pricing and great quiality.Rich
rich osterhout


Even though you have already made your decision, I wanted to jump and voice my unqualified support of Worldwide as well. I had Peter rebuild a pair of MGA shocks and convert them to MGB-compatible swivel axle use by exchanging the arms. He and his organization did an outstanding job and I would not hesitate to recommend them for any of the services they offer. Their work and communication during the process was the simply best that one could hope for.

Steve Brandt

This thread was discussed between 30/01/2006 and 07/02/2006

MG MGB Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB Technical BBS is active now.