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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Raised rear suspension

On another thread, there was an off-topic discussion of the higher ride height of my 1275 Midget. Lawrence requested photos of the arrangement, to see if he or someone could spot how the raising has been achieved (by a previous owner).

I attach one photo. Please let me know if another is needed.

Note: the white mark near the shock absorber attachment to the spring is not a crack or any other sort of nasty fault. It's a bit of PTFE tape that got caught in the suspension. I've now removed the offending tape.

Pete AC

I can't see anything obviouse. Is it not just 1500 springs?

To lower the body you need to add space below the axle. To raise the body you need to add space at the ends of the springs. Are there any blocks under the rear shackles?


Rob aka MG Moneypit

Id say its something to do with the tube shock conversion

It appears the tube shock is actually holding up the car and not the leaf spring...just my opinion

Try shortening the tube shock by a couple of inches and see what happens

Which tube shocks are they as in what car do they normally fit

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Maybe I got it wrong. But if thats the right rear spring, shoudn't the lower shock absorber attachment be on the left side and pointing downwards?
I don't have a tube shock conversion so better wait for other people's comment.

pjw Seezink

Unless the shock absorber is actually bottoming out then it won't have any effect on the ride height which is determined be the spring geometry and attachment. If the shock absorber IS bottoming out you would most definitely hear and feel it !

I think that the 1500 ride height is partly achieved with the spring curve and rating, and partly by a slight alteration of the front mounting plate which differs slightly from the earlier A series powered cars.

I presume that the rear spring mounting shackle is orientated correctly? I.e. pointing rearwards.
Guy W

the front mount plate is identical between 1275 and 1500, but the latter also has a 1/4 inch spacer plate added between the mount plate and the underside of the floor.
David Smith

Thanks David. I remembered from my 1500 days that there was a difference, - just couldn't remember exactly what it was!
Guy W

The shocks definitely are not holding the car up. If that were the case, I'd have no teeth left in my head, after 7000 miles in this car! The ride is comparable to, or maybe better than, the other couple of (admittedly slightly shonky) Spridgets I've driven.

I'm happy with the non-standard ride height, tyres and shocks, which seem to result in a nice drive with useful extra speed bump clearance. I was just interested to find out how it had been achieved, in case I need to do maintenance or replacement of parts. I wouldn't want to buy stock 1275 parts if they're not going to work with the non-stock other parts.
Pete AC

Do you know if the rear springs have been changed recently? When new springs are fitted they do take a while to settle and even with standard ones this could cause the ride height to be a bit high, at least for a while. If this is the case you could expect it to settle back to normal over a matter of weeks.
Guy W

What make is the telescopic shock conversion ? - Whilst it will not effect the ride height, Spax and I think some others reverse the mounting plates (upside down) by moving the plates from nearside to offside to increase stroke length available to the shocker.

(just noticed Pascals comment also)

If its not bottoming out them probably not an issue.

richard boobier

Im sorry I misunderstood the question

So your asking how to maintain exactly what you have ???

Take lots of photos, make a list of all the modifications and list part #s for everything you have ... but it in a binder and store in a lock box

When its time to service you will know exactly what you need to maintain the high ride height you enjoy.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Hi Pete.

I'm pretty certain those AREN'T 1500 springs. I think think the bottom leave on a 1500 spring is longer than on that spring.

In which case, if they are 1275 springs, they haven't settled yet. I would have thought after 7000 miles they would have done. Or they are 'stiffer' than the regular 1275 spring.

I like that ride height.

Where did you buy the Springs, or if not you, who did buy them, who supplied them?
Lawrence Slater

I didn't understand that Pete had done 7000 miles already. I thought it was a new acquisition. I would agree, any new springs would have settled to normal in that sort of mileage.

It can only be either the spring itself, or the mounting arrangements at either end of the spring.
Guy W

Yup you could be right Guy.

Could you show a picture of the font eye and mounting plate, and the rear hanger Pete?
Lawrence Slater

Looking at the front and rear arches in your vehicle profile pic, it looks like the height is gained by oversize tyres perhaps?
PW Dunne

Not that PW. Check the rear arch height relative to the tyre. It's higher than usual for settled springs.
Lawrence Slater

The rear hanger looks like the attached picture.

I had a chance to compare this to another Midget at the show I've just been to. That Midget's drop-link in its rear hanger was at a backward angle, at rest, whereas mine is almost upright. Also mine seems like it might be longer, though I was measuring in units of "knuckles", which is not very precise.

I attempted a shot of the front mounting of the rear springs, at the same time, but looking at it on the computer, it's a really poor photo, so I'll have to repeat that.

Pete AC

Well, it looks to me like you simply have firm springs then. No bad thing I personally feel, esp' if you are happy with the ride.

I have to replace my springs. I hope I get a set as stiff as those appear to be.
Lawrence Slater

Following on lawerance

They could be competition springs... esp considering there is a tube shock conversion

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

My 'Le Mans ' set up (ride height rise) are some 3/4 inch spacers that I put between the rear, rear spring hangar bracket and the body. Works well and like your photo doesn't alter the arrangement of the spring joining the axle. Maybe not what's been done to yours but it's a fairly quick to change way of raising the cat when it's going on a ferry loaded with ale and camping kit!
Robin Cohen

This thread was discussed between 28/07/2015 and 03/08/2015

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