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MG MGA - Front Dampers

Here's one that's been discussed many times before, but since the market in spare parts does change occasionally I don't want to rely on the archives.

My front dampers are knackered. I've tried filling them, to no avail, which leaves me with three options:- (i) overhaul them with new parts, (ii) have them overhauled, (iii) get new ones.

Lots of questions there, including the all-important one - are good new ones available? Over on the Midget and Sprite board, people are pessimistic about good new lever-arm dampers.

Do we share these dampers with MGBs, by the way?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I had Peter at World Wide Auto Parts rebuild mine. He seems to have done a good job, and the turn around was quick.


D Rawlins

B dampers will fit, with the arms swapped.
Art Pearse

I bought a set a few years ago from Brown and Gammons, they usually have decent stuff. They have been fine.

If you want the dogs proverbial, then Worldwide Auto Parts have the best ones, better than new they say. But you need to ship the old ones to them or pay a surcharge of $160 for all four in addition to the $320 plus shipping to the UK....
dominic clancy

Dominic, is that $320 each?
Art Pearse

No Art, for all four

And it's $344 US for all four plus carriage and any core charges...

But he's been doing them for years, and unlike the other guys in NY, I have never heard anything but praise for their stuff. The owner contributes on here occasionally, and he did me a small favour a long time ago and refused any payment, so he's a diamond geezer in my book.

But with Brown & Gammons at 180 GBP a set exchange, the WW deal doesn't compare too badly (180 GBP is about $285) but then you have two sets of shipping UK- USA, which isn't going to be cheap
dominic clancy

So if I were to throw away the deposit, it would be $318 + shipping and import for the two fronts. Anybody had experience of import duty?
Nick and Cherry Scoop

I too need a set of exchange front Armstrong shock's
I have some reconditioned many years ago for 30 each in UK but can't find the name of the place now.

Moss UK have them for: AHH4004E 55.96 exchange

I've emailed this place to enquire.

Anyone know anywhere else in UK ?


Mark Hester

Yes, watch out for import taxes. It is based upon declared value, so if the refurbisher calls it "Exchange parts $0 value" you may get away with it, quite correctly.

If not, expect 20% VAT and 12% Import Duty to be added. Quite wrong for exchange parts where you are swapping, not importing.

I bought S/Steel brake hoses from Stevson years ago, but i don't know what their damper exchange actually offers. Many just swap out a seal and fill with new fluid. Perhaps get a spec from them first, and also Moss?


Colin Manley

Thanks, Colin. Not too bad actually - when compared with the cost of new dampers here, and it does seem as if Peter Caldwell's dampers are at least as good as new.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Mark and others from Oz,
S G Leslie & Sons, 19 Mologa Rd, Heidelberg West, Victoria supply service exchange units for MGAs. They are not cheap at $280 ea but their work is high quality - shafts sleeved and fitted with lip seals - without the proper tooling you cannot service these items. You get a bit of a discount if you buy a full set as a friend rebuilding a twin cam found out!
Mike Ellsmore

Graham Brown at Vintage & Classic Shock Absorbers Ltd, South Croydon, Surrey has a good reputation.
John Bray

Thanks John.

60 + Vat each by the looks:


Mark Hester

Peter Caldwell hasn't got any.

I'll try Graham Brown.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Mr Caldwell has a set or two for sale on eBay, so if he doesn't have any something doesn't add up!
dominic clancy

If he's committed them to ebay and won't sell them to me, I can bear it.
Nick and Cherry Scoop

Has anybody out there purchased new MGA dampers from Moss recently. I have to say I am a bit disappointed. They are B bodies with A arms which is no big deal. However the bolt holes in the body are oversize, the arms have less curvature than original thus the arms are a bit long therefore the holes in the arms for the kingpin trunion bolt are drilled off-centre, not concentric. When mounted on the car the arm ends are not centrally located over the trunion ends, apart from looking odd I am concerned about uneven wear on the interface of the trunion. see pic attached. Any comments appreciated

R A Prior

Just from that one picture I would send them back. More pictures please. I know what a MGB shock body looks like, but the asymmetric hole pattern is backward from MGA, which may explain why mounting holes would not match. I am most interested in shape of the arms and if the wheels stand upright.
Barney Gaylord

If you want to use WWW but you are overseas, it is cheaper to buy cores on ebay in the USA and have them shipped to WWW for repair. That way you only pay international shipping in one direction.

M Wellard

From my experience, Stevson Motors rebuild dampers properly.
Dave O'Neill 2

This thread was discussed between 22/06/2015 and 10/02/2016

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