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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 GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Fast Car's IFS

I promised the other day that I'd post a picture of the new IFS setup being offered now by Fast car's, Inc. I'm a little slow, but it is now up at:

http://members.aol.com/danmas/fastcars.jpg
Dan Masters

Another work of art by Ted Lathrop !

I can't wait to get one.

Cheers

Pete
69 302 V8
Pete Mantell

Holy cow, that's art!
Steve Simmons

DAN,
Any pictures of that fromt he backside?? I think you know why I want to see that......
Larry Embrey

Larry,

no, I didn't get a pic of the backside this time. Maybe the next time I'm up there I can get one.
Dan Masters

If I gotta ask, I probably can not afford; How much for the whole thing ready to bolt on? I assume it is taylored for the 302?

Pete
Pete

Pete,

Contact Ted directly at fastcars@chartermi.net

It is expensive, but well worth it, especially when you compare it to the cost of a complete stock front suspension rebuild, and considering that it includes a complete brake setup as well as a coil-over shock conversion.
Dan Masters

The shock tower seems a bit to tall to fit between the fender well. Has anyone install one on their car? Does it have camber adjustment? can the ride hight be adjusted?
It looks nice, I am interested if the above is possible.
Fast Larry

Larry,

Two cars are now on the road with this setup. It does fit, perfectly, and camber and ride height are adjustable.

The ride and handling are transformed. I've driven one of the cars with this setup, and I have ordered one for my GT.

Pete,

I didn't answer the last part of your question - yes, it is tailered for the Ford 302, as well as the BOP/R. The car I drove with it has a 302.
Dan Masters

Dan, Are the 302 mounts on the K-member or chassis based?
Larry Embrey

Larry,

Chassis based.
Dan Masters

That's a fine looking unit and should perform well on just about any MGB. I was particularly impressed with the level of suspension engineering studies undertaken by Ted prior to it's development, and his understanding of the sort of balance desired by the V8 MGB crowd. He has done a superb job on this and as I've stated before I believe it represents the pinnacle of front suspension development for this car at the present time. But more important than congratulations, we need to buy a few of them so that he is encouraged to continue to make them. After all, we wouldn't want Barney and (who was it that got the other one, Mike maybe?) to have an exclusive on this now would we?
Jim
Jim Blackwood

looks great, but err the steering column will go up the wrong side of the car...
actually real reason for post is - "for racing only"? err I take it this will be used on road, thats just there to avoid approvals etc for road cars??
Derek Watson

Yes Jim, its Mike and Barney that have the cross members. A chrome and rubber bumper car, clearence is not a problem on either. There is enough oil pan clearence to fit just about any engine that you want! The steering is percise and light (feels like power steering!) with the proper feed back. I know that both Mike and I have smiles from ear to ear :))

steve
Steve Carrick

Derek,

In the US, it is illegal to sell an important part such as a suspension setup for street use unless it has had extense government approved testing - read expen$ive! Expensive enough to put most small shops such as Ted's out of business. If you look through the aftermarket performance catalogs in this country, the vast majority of parts say "for off road use only."

The "police" are not likely to check an individual's car, but a vendor is another matter.

Ted can only sell it legally for racing only - what you do with it is up to you.

These are my comments only. I have not discussed this with Ted, just speaking from my own research into such matters.

RHD? I don't believe it would be difficult for Ted to offer a RHD version if there is enough demand for it.
Dan Masters

Thank you Dan! Examining the picture, it shows that the camber adjustment is done by moving the upper ball joint (ford?) Perhaps caster is done the by the same means.
My experience as an engineer, tells me that this is not a good method of achieving the goal of camber and caster adjustment due to loading and minor geometry changes. Ride high does not seem possible unless you want to go up. I have other questions but not important.

My experience as an engineer has been developing landing gears for the DOD.
I am just a critic, sorry!
Fast Larry

Upper ball joint mount is serrated (per converssation w/ Lanthrop.) There is minor (heavy emphasis on minor) castor adjustment by rotating the uper ball joint on it's serrations. He candidly admitted he did not design, nor intend to design, for adjustable castor.

I don't know what you mean, that this is not a good method of adjusting camber. Have you evidence that moving the ball joint is inherently inferior to moving the front and/or rear upper control arm pickup points? Any time you change camber, regardless of how you do it, there are minor geometry changes. You comment about about loading is meaningless without support.

Coilover springs are avialable in a number of lengths and rates. We've also used metal spacers to adjust height.

I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet that when you load that crossmember with 1000 lb, you're going to see the suspension sack some. and then you may want to adjust the height up to keep the car off it's knees.

My experience as an engineer in the automotive industry qualifies me to not make a judgement of a product based on a photograph.

I think, on refelction that one might want to rephrase a comment made earlier- the crossmember is not necessarily 'tailored' for a Ford, it is clearanced for a Ford. There is is no issue about conflicting use for the Ford or BOPR, unlike the stock crossmember that needs to be cut for pan clearance.


greg fast

and let me continue the last sentence to say cut for pan clearance for a Ford
greg fast

Hey guys, let's not nitpick here. No matter how you look at it this is a great leap in suspension design for the MG, which has NO caster adjustment and NO camber adjustment and NO ride height adjustment and NO provisions for an alternate engine, need I go on? Because I could for quite a long time. Yet despite that I have been a longtime fan of the stock suspension, because it does its job admirably well and up til recently there was really not much available that would give a truely significant improvement across the board. This one does, and that's good enough for me. Once you begin to look at it closely, which I did a year ago, and discuss the geometry with its builder, which I also did, the fine attention to detail stsrts adding up and that makes all the difference in the world.

Now as for RHD cars, the only difference would be the steering rack. Ted could tell you what would be required to get a suitable rack, as I believe the stock one will not work due to geometry changes, even if it would bolt up. However he has worked with at least two steering rack manufacturers and it might not be all that difficult.

Another note: With hood clearance being an issue on most swaps, take careful note of how low the crossmember dips and the low position of the steering rack. You can easily drop the engine down in the cradle an extra inch or two and get all the hood clearance you would ever need. To my mind, that alone should be worth something but it is just indicative of how this unit was designed. It is also built substantially enough to accept engine mounts.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

I'm an electrical engineer, not mechanical, but I have studied front suspensions setups in some detail, using the little bit of the mechanical engineering courses all EEs get as part of their degree (just as MEs get a little EE training).

Barring some sort of "Rube Goldberg" setup, I can't think of a better way to adjust camber. In support of my position, I notice that nearly all, if not all, of the aftermarket IFS makers that provide for camber adjustment use this method. In older cars (I don't know about newer cars) camber adjustment was made at the factory by using shims to space out the upper and/or lower control arms - a less satsifactory method than Ted's. Ideally, camber adjustment should not be necessary, and Ted could have built his without that adjustability, but if you want to fine tune your front suspension to get the highest track performance, you may want a different setting than you might use on the street.

The only minor geometry changes you will be making will be to camber, which is the reaons you're making the change - to adjust camber. Scrub radious will change a miniscule amount, but then scrub radious, within limits, is not a factor anyway. Otherwise, the geometry related to all the pivot points won't change.

Nor can I see any significant changes in loading anywhere either.

As Greg pointed out, the suspension is shown in the picture in it's "shelf" position; once the load of the car is on it, the springs will be compressed. The coilovers supplied by Ted are correct for an MGB, and do indeed allow both up and down adjustment.

Like I said, I'm not a mechanical engineer, let alone a suspension engineer, but if you can show where I'm wrong, I'm willing to listen.

Greg is correct in his "correction" of my previous comment - the IFS is tailored to "allow" the use of a Ford without any modifications to either the Ford or the IFS. It is not designed for any specific engine, but designed to take just about any.
Dan Masters

Dan- I don't view what I said as a correction, it's merely a clarification.
greg fast

Oh come on somebody, just tell us how much.
George Champion

I've been drooling over Ted's front crossmember ever since I saw his first "mock-up" at the Wheaton (IL) Swap Meet put on by the Chicagoland MGb Club a couple of years ago.

He has refined it to quite an aftermarket product.

It's not cheap ... good quality workmanship seldom is..you should really contact Ted for a price quote.

Regards


rick
rick ingram

Now really! Won't one of you guys who see Ted occasionally please just ask him what price he wants posted on the bulletin board? I don't have his number, or I'd do it myself! I think we all understand that any deviations would affect price, but what we really want to know is "How Much?"

Jim
Jim Blackwood

You'll have to call Ted 269-792-6632
Steve Carrick

To all of the investors. Just joking!!!

Manufactures use shims in the early days due to cost of manufacturin. Struts use the upper part of the strut plate to adjust camber etc. For the price it should have better design camber adjustment.
I am willing to bet that if you do a mock up on "all works software" you will see deflection on the top section that houses the upper a arm. But in a MGB you wont see that type of loading. I did not imply that it was not good. For my taste and cost I prefer a better type of camber adjustment and etc. I like to tailor my car and play, I am retired and like to tinker.
Lowering with that kit is not possible, there is no threads left to lower the suspension, but as you stated they come with different length coil over.
Nice looking suspension and great idea on the heim joints on the steering rods that would make bump steer easy to adjust.
And please, I am not implying that the suspension is not good and not need to be so defensive. I am merely expressing my point of view for what I see.
40 + years of experience, yes I am an old fart with lots of experience. Hey! The F14 landing gear works.

Making a jugment good or bad is dificult from a picture.
Looking at a drawing or picture is the begining of the process of questioning a design of specific areas of concern. This is done before failure is experience, in automotive or otherwise.

Now, I am not saying that the front end is going to fail nor I am making that judgment.

I am just looking at specific areas that are of my concern.
FYI, the Ford V8 loading on each front wheel is about 680 lb per wheel, this depends on how the engine is mounted, this is base on three different B's with Ford 5.0 crate engines. ---- an avg----
Fast Larry

re: Now really! Won't one of you guys who see Ted occasionally please just ask him what price he wants posted on the bulletin board? I don't have his number, or I'd do it myself! I think we all understand that any deviations would affect price, but what we really want to know is "How Much?"

Jim



Posted 22 August 2004 at 22:52:50 UK time
Dan Masters, Tennessee, USA, DANMAS@aol.com
Pete,

Contact Ted directly at fastcars@chartermi.net


rick
rick ingram

"Struts use the upper part of the strut plate to adjust camber etc. For the price it should have better design camber adjustment."

I assume you are talking about McPherson struts? There is no relationship whatever between McPherson struts and A-arm suspension systems. McPherson struts are an abomination, designed by trolls, encouraged to do so by bean counters, and should never be allowed to be used on a car.

"For my taste and cost I prefer a better type of camber adjustment and etc."

I. and others I'm sure, would like to see what you recommend.

"I am willing to bet that if you do a mock up on "all works software" you will see deflection on the top section that houses the upper a arm."

In theory, there is nothing you can build that won't have some "calculable" deflection. In practice, how much deflection there is depends on the strength of the material used. I know Ted took this into account when he designed the upper A-arm housing. How thick is the material he used for this? I don't know, do you? If you don't know, how can you imply that there will be excessive deflection? (no, you didn't say there would be, but the implication was clear)

"Lowering with that kit is not possible, there is no threads left to lower the suspension, but as you stated they come with different length coil over."

Oh, come now - this is a picture of a display model. In actual use, the adjuster will fall near midrange, allowing for both up and down adjustments.

"FYI, the Ford V8 loading on each front wheel is about 680 lb per wheel, this depends on how the engine is mounted, this is base on three different B's with Ford 5.0 crate engines. ---- an avg----"

This is in disagreement with the weight figures we got two weeks ago in Grand Rapids, using commercial scales. The heaviest of the samples we weighed had 616lbs per front wheel. Compare this to the stock MGB we also weighed which came in with 605lbs. That corresponds very well with the approximately 25 extra pounds we've been claiming for a Ford 302 (these claims have been based on actual weighing of the engines of concern).

No, I have no financial interest at all in this project, but I have been discussing this with Ted for nearly three years now, and I know the engineering that has gone into it. Ted knows his stuff! No financial interest, that is, until I have to write Ted a check for mine! Which I AM going to do.
Dan Masters

Fast Larry, I have been involved with this project since its inception! I threw the money at Ted and said build me one! Over three years ago, the engineering that went into this project came from Ted and imput from "An expert Racer/Engineer" Who drove my 302 powered MG at Gratten during the V8 show, his comment was "your posi is shot, but don't change a thing with handling". I've put about 15,000 mile on this front end, and I drive HARD. I have yet to find fault with the handling, ride and quality. I believe that you're bringing up issues that don't exhist.
You've got me pissed! I find it interesting that you don't post your name or where your from. I don't believe that I met you at the show.

Steve Carrick
Steve Carrick

He doesn't really want every member of this board calling him with the same question, does he? Seems like a good idea for someone to just tell us the price! :)
Steve Simmons

UNCLE!!

The price Teds was talking about at the show was $3,700. I don't know if that is his final price or not.

Ted was VERY dissapointed to have to ask that much for it, but with the cost he has in each one, he had no choice. The crossmember itself and the steering rack are custom made for this application. He uses the top of the line Wilwood brake components and Carrera coil-overs. Hours and hours of engineering time have gone into it. I think you can see where the cost is coming from.

I'll have to save some more nickles and dimes (dollars, actually), but I intend to have one. After driving Steve's car, I HAVE to have one.
Dan Masters

I just got off the phone with Ted. His final price is $3,750.
Dan Masters

The one thing you can always count on is that everyone wants a Cadillac for the price of a Pinto. But not everyone drives Cadillacs and for good reason, as a limited percentage can afford to do so. This does not stop those who can however, and nearly any Caddy driver will tell you it's worth the money.

We have gentlemen telling us from every concievable perspective that this piece is worth the price and I agree, the quality is obvious, and such parts do not come cheap. Whether it is for you personally is something you must decide for yourself.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

Fast Larry-

Just joking? BS

Implying that those who object to your unsupported blue sky design objections must have a financial interest in the project is absolute crap.

If I was designing the suspension, I would look at what most of the potential customers would want to see. I would assume that not all potential customers would want exactly what I designed. If I was building them one at a time, I might consider using a threaded adjuster for camber and caster changes. These are things I would do or consider if i was designing a suspension system.

But I'm not (at least for sale. The front suspension I'm working on must retain the lever shocks and kingpin/swivel axle to comply with rules.)

Most people who have adjustable suspensions move it from a reasonably good setup to totally screwed up in a few sessions. After they sort it back out, it never changes again. Thus the fallacy of highly adjustable suspensions is revealed- once set, rarely changed. If it's not particularly easy to change a setup, the customer will be less disposed to absolutely screw it up, get PO'd and badmouth a good product due to his own inability to extract a good setup. After all, I the customer know WAAAAYYY more about suspensions than a suspension designer. Right? Right.

Now perhaps you are as good as you think you are. Propose changes to the design. The probably 5 minutes I've spoken to Lanthrop in the last 4 years, he seems reasonable. He may consider and implement your ideas on the suspension he builds for YOU. Or you can go ahead and design your own suspension- a coilover front end is hardly a patentable idea.
greg fast

*Puts on a flame suit*

Seriously, is this worth all the bad mouthing? Everyone has an opinion and we're all entitled to it. Larry has his, Greg has his, Jim has his... it's all good. Take everything with a grain of salt and no one should be getting bent out of shape.

Someone made a very good point at the V8 meet: Most people who own MG's do so because they can have a neat little sports car for cheap. Is that person going to invest $3700 into their front suspension? Probably not. The only people who (probably) will invest that kind of money are the people who have MG's as their main hobby or interest, and are not afraid to invest significant funds into their hobby.

If the volume were high enough, Ted could probably get the price dropped, but how much volume would have to be produced, and how much would the price be dropped? Too many variables for us to speculate on the answers to those questions.

No matter how you slice the pie it's a great piece of work, and handles incredibly well.

Justin
Justin

Justin...well said.

I'm really not sure why this thread deteriorated, if one wants to look at it that way.

It started out as enthusiasm for a product that previously was unavailable here in the States, designed by someone with a good amount of knowledge on the subject.

1) If one has to ask how much, one probably cannot afford to buy it.

2) Constructive criticism is generally invited and appreciated. Product bashing is not.

3) Perhaps some testimonials from those who own this suspension (come on, Steve and Mike!) could help put at ease some of the fears that I've read throughout this thread.

4) Would I buy one? Yes. Do I need one? Probably not.

rick



rick ingram

Aw, C'mon guys, I didn't even get to use the line about floating witchs before you burn them at the stake.
greg fast

"40 + years of experience, yes I am an old fart with lots of experience. Hey! The F14 landing gear works."

Deflection my ass! I can't recall the last time I slammed my MG into the deck of an aircraft carrier at a few hundred knots!

Chris

FYI I am not "Fast Larry" That is not me!! So don't go getting the wrong ideas.

Larry Embrey

1) If one has to ask how much, one probably cannot afford to buy it."

I can't disagree more with that one. Even if I were a billionaire, I would want to know the price before I bought it! :p

As far as the price of the unit, it's actually less than I would have expected judging by the obvious amount of work that has gone into developing and producing it. I would absolutely consider one if I were in the market (and if this MGC doesn't happen, it may be a BGT... hmmm...).

One thing I have always wondered... with such a high-peformance front end, it seems silly to not modify the rear as well. As good as you can make the front end respond, the rear will still suffer all the flaws of a solid axle. IRS comes to mind.
Steve Simmons

Steve,

You're in luck there too! Ted has two cars in line for a JAG IRS. He will not be just modifying the Jag to fit, but will be developing new components for it as well. Don't know if he intends to make this a product, but if enough interest, maybe?

One of the cars he's doing is mine! His IFS, his modified Jag IRS, a Ford 302 - wow!
Dan Masters

That'd be sweet. I think Justin's still got an IRS in the works, and I'm also working on an IRS for my car, both Ford 8.8 based I believe though the commercial availability of either is doubtful. However they both break new ground developmentally and may further the art. Mine probably won't be ready for another year or two though as it's that far down the priority list. I'm not sure how far along Justin is.
Jim
Jim Blackwood

Ok! My apologies, I was just expressing my concerns.
And perhaps sharing them with you all.
I canít understand why are you folks so.... defensive about some comments, instead of lashing try explaining, you may get more sales.
Again, SORRY! I did not know how sensitive you were darling!
Fast Larry

Dan, you're killing me! If I could buy the IFS and IRS setups right now I probably would not be able to resist it. Your 302 car sounds unbelievable! Can I buy it? :)
Steve Simmons

Steve,

If this is killing you, think what the wait is doing to me! I can hardly wait for my car to move up the queue and onto the shop floor. Soon, I'm told. when I took my car up to Ted, I left it under the condition that he would work on it when time permitted, so I'm not complaining, just eager!

In the meantime, I'm starting to make progress again on the TR6/Ford 302 conversion that I'm doing myself. Hopefully, I'll have that one done before I get too old. If I can just knock off some of the other stuff I'm into.

One of these two cars will be for sale when they are completed, but I won't know which one until they are. I think it might be like trying to decide which one of your children you want to sell.
Dan Masters

Perhaps I should not be on this thread for obvious reasons.

Fast Larry, please allowed me to make a small correction. All works software does not have the capability to create loading. If there is an upgrade please let me know. We use that software.

Lots of time went in that front end,engineering materials, time,time, more time, late for supper, upset wife and more.... I have been there.
That front end is a work of art, I am sure that it works as good as it looks. May I make a suggestion Larry, you should call ted, share with him your concerns, make an appointment and drive his car, then if you find something that you don't like share it with the designer, we appreciate feedback.

With 40+ years of experience you should be designing one for yourself, and then you can share with us your experiences, that is what this web page is all about.




Bill Guzman

Steve, send you an e-mail about the prizes.
Did you have an event T-shirts?
Bill Guzman

Jim, my IRS is ready to go in. I know it will fit, I know it will work, and I found someone who will weld it in for free, I just have to do the grunt work (clean, prep, remove old stuff, etc) I planned on waiting another month or two before I do it - I don't want to miss the last couple weeks of driving.

Here are the specs: Factory Five Racing IRS based on the 92-97 Ford Thunderbird SuperCoupe. Tubular frame and control arms using the Thunderbird center section, CV joins, spindles, and brakes. You have total control of wheel placement (I believe both Castor and Camber), AND ride height with this setup. The t-bird center section is a Ford 8.8" and there is an aluminum housing avaiable for those of you who get bent out of shape over adding 15 lbs here and there.

Downside: The IRS cage occupies the same real estate as the gas tank, so I had to switch to a fuel cell in the trunk.

I have pics if anyone wants to see.
Justin
Justin

Fast Larry The reason some are defensive in my opinion is that Ted is a friend and they have faith in his ability. Others have driven the cars with the new setup and just by the comparison to the old set up feel there is a great difference in the two to put in there own personal car. Its hard to be taken serious when you make comments like "you may get more sales" I thought Ted and only Ted owned and built the front ends. Who is the you you are talking about because Ted hasnt even posted here about this. I asume you know more about the ownership than your letting on. Also the people here are a bunch of old guys and a few kids who really injoy what they are doing. I could go on for ever darling but you either get it or you dont. Dennis Williams
DBW

I would like to make a correction to the post I made previously regarding the availablility of aftermarket front crossmembers in the States.

Bill Guzman also has a coil over suspension in the market for the MGB and is working on a 4-5 link rear suspension.

They have sold 10 front end kits and the new ones will be improved with Alden adjustable shock.

He can be contacted at bg.gtv6@verizon.net .

I had stated than Lathrup's front end was the only one available in this country.

Mea Culpa.....brain fart on my part.

rick
rick ingram

As Dennis stated, Ted is a friend and respected member of the British V8 Fraternity and all-around genuinely nice guy. He did an excellent suspension tech sesion at the Cleveland, OH V8 meet a few years ago where he first mentioned that he was working on improving the MGB's front suspension. Obviously, much effort and many hours have gone into this project with very positive results.

I have driven both Steve Carrick's & Mike Moor's cars quite a few times over the course of the last 4 or 5 or6 V8 meets. Thanks, guys! I have been able to experience the evolutionary changes as they worked to improve their cars. Steve's "Barney" has been transformed from a scary, overpowered, poor-handling beast with bad brakes to a well-balanced, seriously awesome street/track machine. What a ride, 323 rear-wheel horsepower with the handling & brakes to match.

Mike's car, well, Mike's car has always been a very sweet ride. Smooth torque & good power (308?) from his Buick 300, well-behaved handling, brakes that improve every year, immaculate show quality details everywhere you look. Ted's front end has taken the ride of this car to a new level. It's like driving a modern car.

Ted Lathrop's IFS/crossmember IS a work of art...... that works!

ANd that's my $.02 worth.
Carl Floyd

Rick- the only mistake you made was to think you made a mistake.

That is, if I understood Bill G correctly. Bill has a coil over front end conversion kit that I enquired about recently. Maybe I am not clear, but my understanding is that the original MGB crossmember is used, but may be modified.

This leaves Ted as the only one making a "new" crossmember, if that matters.



Jim Stuart

Dennis, if you're in Hamilton you are my close neighbor as I'm in Florence, Ky. Feel free to contact me to share a cold one. (859) 816-2187.

I think it's a wonderful thing to see this level of development for the MGB. They were very good cars to begin with as we all know but technology does move on. I've seen the photos of Justin's IRS from last year and am pretty excited about seeing it in his car at the next meet as it's probably the most viable alternative to the Jag unit presently available and he is certainly breaking new ground with it. Certainly not a bolt-in conversion, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that come around at some point. To my mind one worthy advantage of this unit is the fact that it has a top control arm, meaning that should you lose a u-joint everything still stays together and the car remains controllable. I'm also using the T-bird components, but moving the brakes inboard and replacing the outer bearing carrier in order to keep as much of the existing body intact as possible. I'm also willing to share the design with an enterprising fabricator such as Ted in order to make it available to other owners. But any way you look at it we're very fortunate to have people doing these sorts of things. When I first did my conversion nothing of the sort was available, just shock valves and such. Things have sure come a long ways.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

Yeah I agree Jim!!

When I started my 302/5.0 conversions 4 years (man it's been that long!!) ago, There was only one or two cars I knew of on the road, (Dan Graves, Dale Spooner, and my co-worker here in WA) including in this board and all the V8 sites at the time. NOW it seems they are getting to be a dime a dozen!
Larry Embrey

That Xmember is beautiful. I do wonder exactly what driving a B equipped with this thing will handle like. In my opinion, engineers and retired engineers are people who should note be allowed to own cars. Most of the vehicles that I have seen owned by these engineer types have been ridiculous. The other thing is that there will be no clear cut winner in an argument between two "engineers." I think that until you can design and build something superior to whats being offered, you should not publically criticize.

I think that a B with this member and some sort of IRS system might even lead me to reconsider my hotrod project.

It is a beauty and Im sure, in my most uneducated experience, that it works like it should.
Jarrod Hills

Jarrod- AMEN ! You've said it well. This cross member works and as with anything else in this world, it could be improved on (but i'm not sure how(personal note)) I have yet to see any engineer types agree about anything! Everyone has their own ideas, and in this country their free to speak out, so what if I don't agree with them. Ted has designed AND BUILT a front suspension that is a BIG improvement over stock, its pricie, but so is everything these days, try buying a car with the type of performance that a small block Ford gives you in a MG and it will be over $50,000. Enough said. Mike can you write a commentary on how the handling of your carhas changed since the installation of the crossmember. Mines been on so long I really don't remember, I do know that I wouldn't change back for any amount of money!

Steve Carrick
Steve Carrick

"In my opinion, engineers and retired engineers are people who should not be allowed to own cars."

As a retired engineer, I take extreme exception to such an expression of ignorance as this. I won't dignify such an idiotic statement by arguing about it.

"I have yet to see any engineer types agree about anything!"

It sure is disapointing, Steve, to see you make comments like that.

Without engineers, the world we live in today wouldn't be much different than it was in the middle ages. The same is true of a lot of other professions that little-minded people like to put down.

Ted is an engineer. No, he doesn't have an engineering degree, but he is an engineer none-the-less. That crossmember didn't come from back-yard tinkering, it was ENGINEERED!
Dan Masters

Well, now that I've almost finished my mechanical engineering degree, I guess I'll have to be selling my MG's, oh well I guess better luck next profession. Maybe if I just keep all of my modifications and other useful observations and solutions to problems a secret, the anti-engineers won't turn me in. Actually, to hell with the lot of you who have anything bad to say about engineers. No one is stopping you from moving to the middle of PA and driving a horse and buggy to the barn raising. You don't like engineers, don't buy their products and don't use their ideas. It makes you a hypocrite.
Jake

I am speaking from personal experience. I am not saying that engineers are a bad thing but, I must say that they can not leave well enough alone. I have seen one take a perfectly functioning voltage stabilizer and "engineer" one that was more complicated and did the job as good, not better, than the original (this was on a B). I appreciate everything that engineers do and knew I would light some fires with my previous comments, but the fact remains that until one of you designs and builds a better mouse trap, in this case a front suspension, one can not criticise. Perhaps its mouse trap envy.........
Jarrod

It's too bad that tone of voice cannot be heard in posts on this list.

I'm sure that Steve was only kidding with his engineering remarks.

rick

rick ingram

What does driving a train have to do with MGs?
Steve Simmons

Just to break up the fight!
My four pot caliper debate reached 68 posts back in March, keep it up your nearly there............
Dave Lowe

Ted is what you'd refer to as an Empirical Engineer I believe. He has developed the skill sets to be able to take the things that are known to work from different places and combine them into a new and improved whole that serves the intended functions, by relying heavily on what has been proven in the real world while reducing the level of the traditional research, design, and analysis cycle. This in comparison to the traditional engineering method which reverses those elements. Both approaches have equal merit and I challenge anyone to claim his crossmember is anything less than a fully engineered product. But like so many professions the engineer suffers from stereotypes which have only a limited relationship to reality. Sure, the pocket-protector and NIH syndrome equipped engineer does exist but they are far from the exclusive caste they might wish to be and in reality engineers are as varied as the rest of society, though they doo seem to be preoccupied with how things work.

Or was that another stereotype? ;-)

Jim
Jim Blackwood

what Jim Blackwood said.

Jim Stuart

well
there you have it.
forget the "engineer" debate.
products looks great, sure it must also work great
but WHY?
Why what? - well why buy an MGB, rip everything out from underneath the car and replace it all... oh unless your into hot rods....
ok I too have a v8 roadster, but it still retains original suspension layout etc and still feels remotely like a standard B. I read in another thread about hi-grip tyres that need lots of suspension up grades since so much grip is generated things move and unplanned forces are put through everything.
Maybe there should be another section for those who want to build Q cars (looks standard on out side, totally modified every where else)

Think this thread has taken us away from v-8 conversions into hot rod territory

waiting for a post on how to french in lights and hide external door handles !
Derek Watson

Gentlemen, I stand corrected, I'm sorry. I should have explained my statement, Very few think in the same paradigm, where the discussions (arguements) come from is trying to get the other to see your paradigm, right or wrong.
Any way this mouse trap is better, and anyone who disagrees can come and drive my car. They WILL be convinced. I have to agree with Dan, Ted is an engineer
Steve Carrick

Evan shaved his door handles and has door latch solenoids...

http://rebornco.com/mgbv8/body/mgbv84.jpg

Justin
Justin

Tony has a semi-frenched license plate
http://www.theautoist.com/flare6.JPG
Jake

I've got one or two very minor hot rod mods:
http://www.mgbconversions.com/photoalbum/variousv8s/JimBlackwood.htm
Jim Blackwood

Derek,

That's an easy question to answer. We do it because we want to. It's as simple as that. Any "reasons" we may give are just justifications for what we WANT!

I'll confess, I have been reading some of the "Hot Rod" and "Custom Car" magazines for ideas on frenching the headlights. I think that would be pretty neat, and I just may do it. There is a company that has just come out with a kit to do this, and it looks pretty promising. Of course, I won't use the kit, I'll just steal their ideas.
Dan Masters

If you are going to french someone you should shave.
James Johanski

Hey Jim - Where have you been ????
Steve Carrick

I'm going to do that too. I'll be shaving a lot of the chrome trim off the car as well.
Dan Masters

"I am not saying that engineers are a bad thing but, I must say that they can not leave well enough alone."

This is absolutely true, and we're all much better off because of it. If man (not just engineers, but mankind in general)were content with "well enough," we'd still be living in caves and eating raw meat.

I like things better the way they are now; caves give me a cold.
Dan Masters

"I won't use the kit, I'll just steal their ideas. "
You GO Dan! :-)!!! ROTFLMAO!!

Steve, I had to miss the show due to stripped head bolt threads in the block. They all got heli-coils and there just wasn't time, in fact, with luck I may yet be able to bolt on the heads today. But I'll be there next time. I *really* wanted to see how that IFS handles and spend some more time talking with Ted so this was quite a disappointment even aside from the general good vibes of being there.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

Ya know Dan, when you steal the ideas instead of paying the engineer what he deserves for coming up with them, it prohibits his ability to keep coming up with new and innovative products. If he can't feed the family inventing new and cool things, he'll have to find another way to do it.

Imagine how much further ahead we would be without intellectual theft.

Justin


p.s. Sorry man, I couldn't resist it. :)
Justin

Justin,

Touche! You got me.

Actually, in this case, his ideas are not new, he's just putting together a kit incorporating ideas that have been around since the '40s. I have dozens of magazine articles on how to do this without his kit, some of them going all the way back to the late '50s.

Whew, I feel better now.

Good point. When does "inspiration" cross the line into theft? If I play a few licks from "Smoke on the Water" on my guitar, do I owe the composer royalties? If I make a copy of a book for a friend, that's stealing, I'm sure, but what if I loan it to him instead of letting him buy a copy? Is that stealing too?

Gosh, Justin, I can see another 75 posts on this thread generated from your comments!
Dan Masters

I think Teds IFS looks great, its a free world and a free market so if people want to update and improve their suspension on a car thats probably a lot quicker than it was originally, why not If you are a purist you can still keep it looking original and have the guy with the £60.000 Porche running back to his dealer saying it doesn't go quick enough!
One question I have is it available with a RHD rack because it appears you cant use a MGB rack oh and how much is it?

Kevin Jackson.
K.R Jackson

Dan - I didn't know that you played Guitar???? :)))
Steve Carrick

Steve,

You can't call what I do "playing" It's something I've tried to do, but never was able.

Carl Floyd is the guitar player in the group. Anyone else?
Dan Masters

Kevin,

The price, FOB, is $3,750. As of now, RHD is not available, but it would not be hard to make one if there is enough demand. The Steering rack and a small notch is the only thing (as far as I know) that would be different. The racks are cutom made for Ted, so it shouldn't be too hard to flop the dimensions and make it RHD. How much that would cost, I don't know. With enough demand, it shouldn't raise the cost at all over a LHD version.
Dan Masters

Gosh,

You darn engineers are too sensitive. I guess as an attorney I'm just used to people assuming that I'm lower form of life!

On the topic of Ted's IFS, my jaw dropped when I saw the picture. I'm no engineer, but I know quality when I see it. You think my wife would notice if I sold her car to buy one?

Seriously though, I DO commiserate with Dan's offense at the remarks regarding engineers. It stinks to have a large portion of your life invested in something only to have someone make a less than flattering stereotype remark about your profession. My policy is that there are a certain percentage of idiots per capita in the world and thus a certain amount of idiots in every profession. Unfortunately, those idiots usually are the basis for every stereotype. And NO, I'm not calling ANYONE on this board an idiot. This BBS is awesome. I can't imagine trying to build my 5.0 mgb without it.

Dan, we've never spoken or corresponded, but let me take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions to our hobby. It's easy to sit back and comment on stuff, which is what most of us do, me included. It's a heck of a lot harder to share your experiences and information for the use of others. You seem to do a lot of the latter - THANKS.

Ryan Reis
Ryan Reis

I cannot let the Engineer debate die without a couple comments.

Engineers work to a brief or criteria. If, at the end of the project, you don't have what you think you asked for, there are a couple possible reasons.

Maybe you weren't specific enough. The reason you you might have received a more complex voltage stabilizer is the engineer was asked to produce ONE. And so he did, using current parts and technology. He was probably not asked to develop a voltage stabilizer to be produced at a volume of 750,000 units per annum using mid-60's technology and manufacturable on readily available equipmet from that era at our favorite English car electrical component supplier. So he didn't. The design may be more complex, and may be difficult to manufacture more than a couple, but that's not the failing of the Engineer, it's the failure of the specification. IIRC the stabilizer noted did apparently meet that critera. How much effort are you going to invest in industrializing even a dozen parts? Not much, I'd reckon.

If engineers drive vehicles that are "ridiculous", perhaps you don't have a grasp of what the individual is trying to accomplish.

These guys out there with rock crawlers, for instance- I don't get it. But these ridiculous vehicles have contributed to the dissemination to nonengineers the advantages and general knowledge of fuel injection- since not many carburetors can be rotated off axis 80 degrees and still keep fueling correctly. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Meet the criteria that establsihed the design? Equally, absolutely. Well, at least some of them.

Engineers can't agree? of couse we can, on matters of fact. But lets compare our disagreements of OPINION to those in other professions- say politicians. Can't get two of them to agree, so they must all be brain dead- er, well, OK, maybe not the best example, but I hope the point is communicated.

How this relates to the thread? Hell, I don't know. But IF one wanted easily and infinitly adjustable caster and camber, it's as easy as changing the upper control arms. This is a statement of fact. Should that option be provided? By virtue of his design, Ted has expressed, that for infinite camber and easy infinite caster adjustment, he thinks not. Others may have a different, and in their criteria set, equally valid reasons for disagreeing.

If one were to run this crossmember on an oval race course with alot of banking in the corners, you may want to set some caster stagger to help the car turn. Don't know many of us that run our MGB's at Daytona or Talledega, but if one were to run a B at a place like Ascot (as a couple of friends did in the late 70's), this is what you may want.

Does that difference of opinion provide evidence of a compromised design? No, it proves that you like blondes and I like redheads (apologies to any of the other gender [and you know who you are] who might take offense. And that's the 'Murkin way of spelling offence.)

And so concludes the rearwardooking portion of this letter.




Since the pinion shaft appears normal to the rack, I'm inclined to agree a RH drive version is a fairly easy conversion. There may be a need to bore the LH side of the pinion bearing carrier to accept the rack housing, bit it looks like the rack was originally set up for a center steer car.

And thus concludes the Forward looking portion of this tome
greg fast

re: Dan, we've never spoken or corresponded, but let me take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions to our hobby. It's easy to sit back and comment on stuff, which is what most of us do, me included. It's a heck of a lot harder to share your experiences and information for the use of others. You seem to do a lot of the latter - THANKS.


Spoken like a true politi....attorn....er.....

hey...GREAT wording in any case!

Thanks! I concur!

rick
rick ingram

Well, I try and not stick my foot in my mouth, but I've managed to do it again. I DID NOT POINT MY COMMENT AT ENGINEERS!!!! My comment was at all of us! Myself included. I said "Engineering types", we're all engineering types or we wouldn't enjoy designing, building,engineering these cars. And not one of our cars are identicle to another, it shows our differences in choice, it doesn't mean that we disagree, only that we didn't agree on how to do it, or we'd all be driving clones. I'm not trying to stir things up, only explain my statement, if I have offended anyone, I'm truly sorry.
Steve Carrick

Personally, I think most of this "discussion" is pretty hilarious, which is a good thing. We take ourselves too seriously most of the time. But like Steve I have no desire to ride roughshod over other folks' legitimate concerns. But look at it this way, at the very least it's been an invigorating discussion and Ted's gotten some good press out of it.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

The IFS looks very good to me , but my concern is, it does not have "a seal of approval" as explained by Dan Masters. If you had to make a serious claim to an insurance co., they could wash their hands of the claim by saying "the car was not roadworthy because a major part of the car did not have proof of compliance" The law in Australia is similar to that of the US. Every manufactorer has to provide proof that their product complies with the current design rules. Apparently ,the beaurocrats never get to see the product,regardless of how good it is. They just want the documented proof. Barrie E
Barrie Egerton

So Barrie, you going to tell them? Paint it black and nobody but an MG owner is going to know it's not original equipment.

Jim
Jim Blackwood

Back to Derek's comments about hot rods- there are 2 basic groups of V8 converters. the first, a very small group trying to duplicate the factory V8- more in England I assume than in the States, and a second group trying to improve the MGB or other car, & by my definition, they are Hot Rodders just like the MG Car Co founder who swapped in other engines to acheive more performance as far back as the '30's.

I have built traditional looking conversions as well as some re-styled & re-powered. I respect the efforts of both groups, repros, originals restored, wild things, and all in betweeen. What I appreciate & admire is quality workmanship, attention to detail & performance improvements. I love some of the styling changes I have seen, & think a few are horrible, but I can still admire the quality & craftmanship.

Hot rods are an American tradition, a tradition shared by many Englishmen & Aussies, & others. For the handling enthusiast, Ted's front end kit is a real step forward. For the guy who just putts around in a neat car, it would be a waste of money. For the builder who wants the most up to date car tech wise, he has to have Ted's front end as well as IRS, rear disc brakes & other goodies. Some would like a complete interior from Mike Satur with the billet door handles & more. Mike is, of course, one of your countrymen, as is Ken Costello who started all this.
Jim Stuart

Barrie-

I think you may be confusing law with liability in the US.

The crossmember is so tagged because Lanthrop wants to try protect himself from nuisance lawsuits- you know the ones that caused us to now have covers of coffe cups warning us that hot coffee is hot, the type of lawsuit like those who are suing McDonalds because they are fat.

General disclaimers like that the plate on the crossmember will not prevent a lawsuit from some simpleton and his shyster lawyer (and no, you're not all evil), but it will provide some degree of protection with regards to fitness for use.

The vehicle registration and licensing systems in the states I've lived in have no interest in this type of modification. Others states have a saftey inspection that may fail a car if the workmanship is junk or the piece is rusted through- I can't comment intelligently there (some ask if I can comment intelligently anywhere). I doubt the inspectors in those states would judge a well constructed part as being unfit for use.

Insurance is also pretty much a moot issue. If the car wasnt running a baltently illegal setup, I doubt the insurance compay would have any issues. We do not, unlike the English, need to report modifications to our insurers, unless it is for collision coverage and the changes increase the value of the car dramatically above market value.
greg fast

Austin Morris made such delights as the Austin Cambridge
Along came Sid & the boys and chopped it about

ta da entre the HOT ROD Austin cambridge :

MGB

hee hee,

you is right . 2 schools of thoughts here
maybe we semi-luddites should have our own forum

anyway it still looks great bit kit.
but I'm sticking to my heavy black lumpy cross member instead of the road....

Derek


Derek Watson

Can this set up adjust for any bump steer when lowering.

Although this is quality engineering the competition for $900 is the Hoyle set up (rear IRS also available in UK)

http://www.mgbmga.com/tech/mgb14aa.htm

Is the additional $2,800 really worth it?

Paul
Paul

Most regular insurers limit aftermarket equipment to $1,000 above and beyond the replacement cost of a bone stock vehicle.

This regulation didn't exist until only recently when kids started adding $4,000 wheels to their cars that keep spinning when the car is stopped. Insurance companies were collecting premiums on a car they estimated to be worth say... $10,000 and all of a sudden they have a loss worth $14,000 that they have to pay out on. That's bad math, so they fixed the loop hole.

The only real time this comes into play is: A) a total loss. B) a loss that damages a part that is considered to be aftermarket.

Here's how they do it: If you have a wrecked front suspension setup that costs $3750.00 and to replace the bonestock suspension with all new parts (which is your right) would cost $1900.00, they will give you the $1900.00 for the stock suspension plus the $1,000 for your aftermarket equipment giving you $2900 to work with.

Basically, they give you the difference between bonestock and aftermarket up to $1,000. If the difference between bonestock and aftermarket is only $400, then that's what you're getting. If the difference is $5,000 then you're up a creek and you need to fork out the remaining $4,000 on your own.

Stated value policies don't face these kinds of restrictions because you set the value before the policy begins. Stated value policies are usually classic car policies i.e. grundy, hagerty, etc...

Don't be fooled. Your State Farm guy will say "Yeah I can insure it under the regular policy." and he's right, you can, but there are usually some major limitations in the fine print that probably didn't occur to him.

Caveat Emptor.

Justin
(former insurance agent for 5 years)
Justin

"Is the additional $2,800 really worth it?"

Paul,

If you can come up with some method of calculating this, we'd love to hear it! How do you determine the worth of any modification to these cars? They're fun cars the way they are, without any modifications.

In the Street Rod crowd, there are those who can and do spend upwards of $500,000 to have a hand-made, scratch-build car. Others are happy to be able to afford a new set of tires. Most of us fall somewhere in between (much closer to the latter than the former in most cases).

The stock set-up is OK, the Hoyle (and Bill Guzman's) set-up is better, but the Fast Cars kit is the best yet.

These cars are our toys, "worth" has nothing to do with it. It's just how much money we have available to play. If money were no object, I think just about every one of us would have one, without a second thought to whether or not it's worth it. The only criteria would be "is it better?" And it is.

Come to think of it, scratch my first sentence. I don't think we'd really like to know whether anything we do is worth it or not - it'd spoil the fun. Especially if our wifes learned the calculation!

I want one, worth be damned! If I can sell a few more wiring kits, I think I can afford one.
Dan Masters

Dan,

What are the additional features over Hoyle and Bill's for extra bucks for non street rodders?

Paul
Paul

I saw the IFS at Ted's, I want one, I want one, I want one. Pete's getting one. Maybe by the time 2005 V8 Convention gets here, I'll have one.
D Kirkman

Yeah, I want one too! But I have to finish the IRS first. :-(
Jim
Jim Blackwood

Paul,

I haven't driven cars with either of the other two, so I can't make a comparison of the overall ride/handling improvements. Nor have I made a critical examination of the others.

I don't think it would be appropriate, therefore, for me to try to make comparisons between the three. The best thing for anyone to do would be to look at each of them and make their own determination. I have, and I am going with Ted's unit, even at the extra cost.
Dan Masters

Dan,

I admire anyone for bringing performance mods to these old cars and it comes at a price.

I agree driver experience is key.

I thought Rodders would want air suspension!

However I'm looking for tech specs and maybe its early days for comments on this.

For example re Hoyle I don't like use of king pin and not redesigning steering arm to make adjustable for bump steer.

Perhaps this set up is lower in weight to offset slightly heavier Ford compared to Rover block.

What is brake spec - rotors pistons etc

Paul
Paul

100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave

101!!!!!
Derek Watson

Dalmations
DBW

Looks as though it's time for this thread to retire....or go to the Horizon thread!

IMHO

rick
rick ingram

Refresh my memory, how much for the IFS? And does it fit an MGB? I forgot.
David

Come on, someone tell us the price! ;)
Steve Simmons

Its 3700 and rock crawlers arent really engineers, theyre more fabricators. They dont start a brief and a cad program; they start with a parts list of stuff stout enough to withstand the abuse of 4 wheelin and make the approriate changes to their vehicle to make it work. I know this because Ive done it. I dont have an engineering degree but nonetheless was able to build a vehicle that withstood the rigors of trail riding, but unfortunately, not a minivan. But oh well. They are more fabricators than engineers. And as for stealing someones ideas, thats the way things get done. If it were left to just one person to make something, nothing would ever change. There'd be one style of lamp, one type of motor, most likely a 4 banger, because we couldnt create something like a V8 because that would be stealing someones idea of what a motor is.
By the way, I dig the deleted door handles on that B. I think all cars can benefit from a bit of a hot rodders touch.
Jarrod Hills

Steve,

I posted the price earlier. It's $3,750.
Dan Masters

I know. That was just a feeble attempt to continue David's post. Of course I'm assuming he was joking. :)

You know what happens when you assume something? You make an A** of U and ME. :D
Steve Simmons

Steve,

I thought so, but I thought I should correct the price error in Jarrod's post, and responded to your post as an opportunity to do so.
Dan Masters

This thread was discussed between 22/08/2004 and 04/09/2004

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