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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Front Ends: Fast Cars Vs. Classic Conversions

I am ready to plop down the dough for an all new front end. I plan to do some spirited street driving, and the occasional open class autocross(302, T5 tranny)Which is better for me? The Classic Conversions unit is cheaper, but I have been told it is not quite up to the Fast Cars unit because it (C.C. Unit) is kingpin based as opposed to ball joints. Shouild this matter to me, a weekend warrior?

All thoughts appreciated

Look in the thread heading the thread Costello suspension

If you want to be able to do a range of adjustments at the wheel alignment shops, go with the ball joint suspension. A new fresh design. Consider the amount of sprung weight vs unsprung weight for ride quality. Also caster adjustment is a nice feature to have. Personally I think the old kingpin arrangement was used by British Leyland as the most cost effective (read cheap) way to solve the problem of providing their new roadster (MGB) with a front suspension. These guys were building their cars from parts bins that had common parts used on many British cars since oxcarts. The kingpins were adequate, but just. The main problem is the lower A arms where they connect to the kingpin. A large bolt goes through the lower part of the kingpin and both A arms. This design has no bushing, it is in shear, just the thickness of the material used for the a arm,takes the force, and as a result a lot of wear occurs there (slop) commonly known as "lower A arm ovalling at the kingpin".Now you will have the MGB knock. Go forward in the car, stop, and reverse, and as the power is applied, you will hear the knock as the suspension shifts. Also the amount of suspension travel was minimal. The coil spring is mounted almost vertically near the inner fulcrum point of the A arm. With the base of the spring repositioned outward towards the wheel you get a less jarring ride and the spring/shock unit can better control bounce/jounce. FWIW Alyn

Geoff, the Fast Cars unit is definitely the way to go for all the reasons above plus a few more. The engineering work that has gone into it is on par with modern major automobile manufacturing, the components selected are of the highest quality, and the geometry is of the most optimum design currently available for front suspensions. You simply cannot get any better without going to titanium components for the unsprung parts. The adjustability is there for whatever use your car will see, and you simply will not find a better combination for ride and handling. Ask the guys who are running one, you just can't go wrong.

Jim Blackwood


Come out to British V8 2005 and you'll see at least 3 examples of the Fast Cars Crossmember.

Steve Carrick's 302
Mike Moor's 300
Pete Mantell's 302

We all have this crossmember and sing its praises.
It's around 80 lbs lighter than stock too.



Pete Mantell

I have CCE front end, it has different geometry than the stock set up and it has easy camber adjustment.
I do Solo 2 and it has transform my car into a good handling B I am very happy with mine and the price is good plus the support from them is great.
The shocks are adjustable and the springs are easy to replace. I change mine for Solo 2.
Tim J

TimJ - forgive my ignorance, who are CCE?
Tony Bates

It’s not just about ball joints.
I am amaze at some people given advice solely on looks. Yes! Ball joints are good and are the latest. But… ball joints do not allow for extra adjustments in the front end, the ball joint came about to increase the travel of the wheel and minimize the camber change due to the travel needed for the big Detroit iron also economics was a big driver for the change. Ball joints are easy to replace than rebuilding king pins.
Fast Cars front end is a magnificent looking piece and am positive that improves the MGB’s ride.

Our design (Classic Conversions Eng)had a mission, first to improved the geometry of the king pin set-up to minimize camber change, this was done by using “All Works” software and that was achieved, second make it affordable, third easy install, fourth, adjustability. Then it was taken to the track, Willowsprings raceway was the testing track where we tested for shocks, spring rate that would work with the sway bar and durability. That was our goal and that is what we accomplish. We recently added an aluminum adjustable shock.

I am willing to bet that the people given advice have not driven both to compare.
I am also willing to bet that they would not be able to tell the difference between the two, very few people can tell small differences. One could change spring rate in one, making the other feel better base on spring rate alone.
I personally like Fast Cars front end it looks good and I am sure it makes the B feel better than it was.

My very close friend who worked for Monroe and now is working part time driving for a car manufacturer testing shocks and spring rates, NOW! he has that God’s gift to be able to tell small differences between shocks and spring combinations at low and high speed that almost match the computer data logging .

So given advice solely on the looks and ball joints is not accurate. Very few people in this board take their car to the envelope; you need to rip the envelope to know what you got and to know the limits of the car and yourself, we have done just that, remember my friend that I mention? He was a big help.
Again I think Fast Cars has done an excellent work in their suspension, and yes ball joints are the latest and do work well, Also a well design King ping works well in a sport car when everything is balance. Heim joints in the tie rode ends give the solid feel in the turn in mode, they also should be inspected due to their design, which they are open and collect dirt even with dust shields. This joints are great for a race car.

Please understand that I am not saying that one is better than the other, both improve the MGB. Ride can be tailor by spring change on the coil over. What is more critical is the Geometry and adjustment such as camber and toe, this is what makes the turn in characteristics of the car, spring rate is a compromise between ride and handling and it’s match to the sway bar or the sway bar matched to the spring rate for optimum performance.
Caster controls the stability at high speeds, anymore than 7, 8 degrees is a waste. The MGB came with 6 to 7 due in part to the narrow design of the wheel track. Most MGB’s rubber pads between the body and the cross member are old and flat this condition does reduce caster, this can be restore by placing a wedge or new pads between the cross member and the body.

At least now there is a choice that did not existed in the past.
And yes, we will have an affordable ball joint suspension in the future, we will carry both.

Tony, Tim is referring to Classic Conversions Eng (CCE)

Bill Guzman

for more info check out the most recent issue of enjoying mg from the MGOC, it has an article on the good and bad comparisons and the history of the suspension set up for a B. FWIW, jim
james madson

Bill Guzman is being very correct in not overly promoting his company and its products.

I anticipate that more than a handful of us would like to see more details of his products, which are listed on his website here:-

I would like someone to please post the URL where we can gather more information regarding the Fast Cars product.

As many of you know I have recently fitted the Frontline Costello suspension to my B GT V8, and am very happy with it, although Tim & I agree that there are still improvements to be made.

I have uploaded photographs and more at:-

as Frontline Costello are still working on putting everything on their website.

Nigel J S Steward

I think this is a great conversation, as long as it DOESN'T turn into product or person bashing...

I've seen and driven the FastCars setup and it's stinkin great. I'd love to drive the CCE setup and see what I think of that too. I like that we now have several options for uprating our front suspension.

I highly doubt either of them could be considered bad, just different.

Now, if only someone would make a 5 link on this side of the pond so it would not cost over 3 thousand! The frontline kit is nice, but with the excgange rate,shipping and import taxes it cost almost as much as the front end from fast cars!


This thread was discussed between 07/04/2005 and 10/04/2005

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