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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - HEY MIKE, how do you like the front end?

Hey Mike,
Now that you have one of the new "Fast Cars" front cross members with coil over and wilwood brakes, what do you think of it ????

74 302 (w/prototype front end)
Steve Carrick

What an amazing improvement! No more bump steer! No more heavy feel in the wheel! More than 80 pounds off the frontend! Even bad highways are a smooth ride.Ride height is easy to adjust.The workmanship is second to none.Camber and caster can be set where you like.I have about 200 miles on it so far.I had to take it back off to paint it.They come bare metal.Ted has 6 units coming to the V8 Meet for sale.More later,Mike
Mike Moor

Any info available on these units? I've never heard of them.
Steve Simmons


This is a VERY nice unit made by Ted Lathrop of Fast Cars, Inc., Wayland, MI

You can see a picture of one if you download the May 2003 issue of the British V8 newsletter, and turn to page 14. Download at:
It's a large file, so it takes a loooong time to download. The unit doesn't show up very well in the picture, but you can get a good idea of what it's about.

Ted has had this unit under development for a long time, and has put a LOT of engineering into it. I have driven Steve Carrick's Ford 302/MGB with one of them, and I was very impressed. Ted knows his stuff.

You can find contact info for Ted on the inside front cover of the newsletter.

NFI, but I do want one under my own MGBV8.
Dan Masters

Mike or ted going to be at the V8 convention in Micigan in August? Missed the last three years, and I'd like to catch up some on the latest technology
greg fast


Ted will definately be there. In fact, I'm sure a tour of his shop will be part of the agenda, as it has been in past events held in Grand Rapids. His shop is only a few miles from the host motel.

I haven't talked to Mike lately, but if he is not there, it will be a first for him. I don't think he has missed any of the previous events.

Steve Carrick is coordinating the show, so he will for sure be there with his Ford 302/MGB with one of Ted's front end assemblies installed.

I'm pretty sure Pete Mantell and Dale Spooner will both be there with their Ford 302/MGBs, lusting after one of Ted's front setups.

I'll be there, drooling over all the V8 conversions.

Who else is coming?
Dan Masters

Does anyone know what The price tag is on this setup without the brakes? From what I am hearing from you all, I need this on my MGB V8.
78 MGBV8 3.9l
Evan Amaya


Sue & I will be there from Wednesday night onwards.
I am especially looking forward to the track day on Thursday. A whole day of foot to the floor fun !

Can't wait

See you all there

1969 MGB 302
Pete Mantell

Hey Greg,

How about you doing a mini-tech session on suspension tuning tricks? You seem to have a lot up your sleeve in that dept. :)

Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Just hope I can get my car back together in time.


There are alot of people who have much more native knowledge of suspension design than I. If I have a problem, I sit down and think through the stuff I've read from authors I respect (Staniforth, Van Valkenberg, & Smith) and try to apply it.

Stuff for the B race car- I vintage race one of these, and everyone's doing exactly the same stuff and they do it because the fast guy does it. Everybody lowers cars using shorter springs and negative camber wishbones, rather than trying to understand what's happening. I modified a crossmember to stick up tighter in the car, and modified a set of MGA lower trunions to use a special one-off MGB kingpin machined to fit, along w/ B swivel axles.

All told I get a 2 1/4 drop and better negative camber gain in roll w/o compromising camber in straight and level flight. It took me about 18 months of thinking and sketching stuff on my lunch break and generating new iterations, but it's something I don't se anyones else doing. (When I finally get it together, there's a possibility I may find out WHY no one else is doing this.) Since the initial design I've refined my thinking even further, and the next iteration will/would cost a pile less to build than the last. But i needed to start somewhere

I only started getting serious about this (and I'm not that serious yet) a couple years ago, and the only reason I get so emphatic sometimes is that people often preach the 'conventional wisdom' with the fervor and rationality of the Spanish inquisition, wthout knowing what the hell they're talking about. They just parrot something a sales guy told them. Not meaning to offend any sales guys in the group, but... Anyway, how wise is that?

I'm driving over from Auburn Hills either after work Friday night or (early) Saturday morning. Hope I don't miss too much
greg fast

Steve or Mike,

I'd like to hear what changes have been incorporated into Ted's front end since he built the one on Steve's car. I know he was looking for a vendor for the steering rack and I gave him a good early MGB crossmember for comparison testing of torsional stiffness last year.

I'm convinced that Ted's front end is currently at the pinnacle of development for MGB suspensions, and after I have my IRS system in place I expect to get one of them. Just too bad I have so many distractions slowing me down.

Jim Blackwood

Ted, Dan ET al.
I would like to get in touch with Ted about these units. I have some information that might be usefull, or maybe we could team up as I am looking to start working on a "bolt-in" kit to put a 5.0/302 into a RB B. This would be in the same position I use with minor firewall/tunnel mods and notching the K-member and fitting the 94/95 injection under the hood. It would be nice if we could work together to get the kit to work withhis K-member as well as a stock unit.
Larry Embrey

Larry - Ted's number at Fast Cars inc. is 269-792-6632. I now have headers DONE for the 302. 269-795-1148 steve
Steve Carrick

Bryan Heidtman

Are these units designed around a V8 installation? How would they perform on a stock car, or a lightweight V6? Would adjustments be necessary, or perhaps a different unit would perform better?
Steve Simmons


I should let Ted answer your questions, but I can make a few observations.

The units use coil over shocks, which can be had in a variety of rates and are adjustable. Just what rates are available and how much adjustment is available, I don't know.

Engine weights:

Stock MGB with OD tranny 495
Ford 302 with T5 520
BOP/Rover 215 with T5 440

Steve carrick has a Ford 302, while Mike Moor has a Buick 300. Both are using this setup with excellent results.

Physically, the units will accept any of the above engines with no modifications and are a one-to-one bolt in replacement for stock, I believe. If any mods are required, they are minor. These units are complete - just bolt it on, hook up the brake lines and the steering shaft, add wheels and tires, and drive off.

Price? I don't know what Ted's final price turned out to be, but from discussions I had with him earlier, they will be priced right. Similar units for street rods run from $2500 to $4500 or more.

I'm not authorized to speak for Ted, so if anything I've said is not true, it's my error, not Ted's. I'm sure he will be making an announcement about these soon.

Come to the V8 meet in Michigan next month and get the straight scoop directly from Ted.
Dan Masters

Jim,Ted did source a different rack.It is smaller and shorter than Steve's.This changed the Accerman dimension to what Ted was looking for.Also changed are the spindles.He has Bob Senecer making spindles to his specs.They are hollow and very light!Bob builds and sells similar units to the roundy round racers.These small changes have increased the difference in weight over the stock unit.Ted thinks it's around 90 to 95 pounds lighter than stock! I do know that I took the whole unit,hub to hub with brakes,and picked it up to put it on my bench alone!No problem.
These units will bolt up to any MGB perfectly.The steering shaft is easy on a rubber car.Not sure about chrome cars,but should be as easy.I had to heat and bend the block hugger out away from the block to make room for the shaft.RV8 headers would eliminate that.It's amazing how much room has opened up under the engine.The rack placement is about 5 inches back from stock.
Ted plans to sell these as unassembled units to avoid liability issues.Not to fear,they are very easy to put together.They are built on very accurate jigs and fixtures.All settings will be close.I plan on an alignment when I get it back under the car.We set it the first time on the floor of Ted's shop.We ended up with 1/2 degree neg. camber,2 1/2 degree caster and 0 toe.It drove sweet! See you in Grand Rapids,Mike
Mike Moor

Thanks Mike. I hope to be there. I'm getting close to finishing up the truck and I figure if I have a week to ghange the head gaskets on the B I should make it. I hope to get a chance to help Ted run those tests if he hasn't already done them. Love to get there Thursday, but we'll just have to see.

Jim Blackwood

This thread was discussed between 09/07/2004 and 16/07/2004

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