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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Rear End and Suspension Questions

So, if a guy was going to throw handling out the window and just drop a Ford 351 V8 in one of these cars, what would be the best thing for a rear end and suspension?

I am thinking that a narrowed Ford 8.8" would work. Is there room for a 4 link/4 bar suspension? Would a 3 link be better? Stock mounting points with uprated springs and tramp bars?

What about bigger tires? What are the widest tires that will fit a stock body? What about sebring fenders? I would think that with the new DOT drag tires, you could get some pretty sticky narrow tires to fit and give some grip.

Thoughts and ideas please.
JW Weight
Michael S. Domanowski

This site has gotten my attention about his 4-link.

Wayne Pearson

My sugestion would be a 5 link with longer fully trailing links for the lower and shorter fully trailing links for the upper slightly off set to allow for coil over shocks to sit ahead of the rear axle centre line with a Panhard rod mounted behind to provide lateral location.

My thoughts are to anchor the Panhard rod at a spot at the rear of the lower trailing link with a link length of about 3' or so.

The coil overs will need a sub frame to be added to the chassis to take the loads but there will be around 11" vertical space to fit them so it should be no real problem.

As to tyres I am not sure what the intended use will be but I would be cautious about getting the rear too sticky for the front or the handling will be really ...uummm... "entertaining"
A few starting points there FYI.

Cheers , Pete.
Peter Thomas


Have you looked at the Frontline/Costello setup, I'm very tempted, it looks well engineered and comparatively easy to fit.?....I would have prefered adjustable ride height to have been incorporated, as the instructions for assembly give a much higher ride height than I have at present, but it is relatively cheap compared with a fully independant system.

Several tests in the UK MG press have rated it very highly.

Michael barnfather

JW - I'm currently building a three link for my MGB, I should have it assembled and welding done this weekend. I had a 8.8" under my car with fiberglass springs, too soft, and it didn't matter how much I cut off the 8.8 pig it would still bottom and reconfigure the sheet metal in the trunk ! I'm doing a 9" with alum. center section, that created problems with fit also. I would suggest a Ford 8" with alum. center section, its way lighter and more compact than either the 9" or 8.8".(and able to handle over 400 hp) As far as "throwing the handling out the window" as long as you use alum. heads you'll only be marginally heavier than the stock four cylinder, I have a 302 w/alum heads, Fast cars front suspension, the handling is AWSOME!!!! My car weighed in at the last show at 2240 lbs. My target weight is 2150. Oh, you can fit the 302 with a small bubble in your hood, with the 351 I believe that bubble will be somewhat larger.

Steve Carrick
Coyote Engineering
74 mgb 302 Ford
Steve Carrick


I would love to see some pics of your 3 link. How/where are you locating the upper link?

I am more worried about the heads and exhaust on the 351 than the carb poking out of the hood. Any problems with the steering shaft running into the engine?

JW Weight

JW _ Theres two different routes to take on the steering shaft / motor mounts. I used early Ford LTD mounts, very sturdy! I did grind alot of the drivers side mount away for clearence of the shaft and the motor is still rock solid, no movement at all. Or you can contact Ted Lathrop at Fast Cars Inc (616 - 792 - 6632) He has a slick looking motor mount for the 302 / 352 conversion. As far as exhaust goes I have headers available for the 302/351 conversion. I have both 1 1/2" and 1 5/8", e-mail me for pricing. My center mount is right above the drive shaft, I added gusseting to the interrior at that joint. A three or four link set up is not an over night or easy project, but hopefully a rewarding one.

Steve Carrick

Michael, I have not see the conversions you mentioned but I certainly will take a look as soon as I can.
Thanks for the information.

Cheers , Pete.
Peter Thomas

Talk to the guys at Falla Classics regarding the IRS they did for their 330bhp Cosworth Turbo MGB.

Rick Haynes

I have a shortend 8.8 ford axle and a 4 link coil-over with adjustable shock dampering and ride height in my 1977B. With a A panhard rod installed I'm running 205x55x15 wheels. It has worked out great! The old leaf spring front position was used for the lower links. Sway bar was removed and the sway bar attachment points were reenforced(after they bent) and the upper links attached there. The shock/coils run from the front of the axle, where they are mounted, to a bracked made to fit into the old lever shock location. The bracket is bolted through the frame rail. The car is lowered to 13.5" (center of hub to bottom of chrome strip) in the front and 14" in the back. It corners very well and rides well too. The 8.8 is large but mine has never hit anywhere. If I was doing it again i'd look into a 7.5" ford. They are used in drag racing (I believe Larry Embry mentioned them) and gear selections are abundant. I assume they can be shortened.


Where does the front of the upper link run to? Did you remodel the shelf just behing the rear bulkhead to clear the upper link as it moves up?


factory sway bar mounts
greg fast

The factory sway bar brackets were reinforced and the upper links mounted to them. No shelf remodeling was necessary.

There was a recent thread in which the Costello Frontline 5 link rear suspension, and their coil over front suspension was discussed in some detail. I have searched but canít find it!

I have the full house Costello Frontline kit, front and rear, on my 220 bhp factory B GT V8, and am DELIGHTED with it.

A number of photographs of the rear suspension, and copies of Costell Frontlineís flyer and fitting instructions can be found on my website here:-

Whatever you do I would recommend the Costello Frontline castor adjusting wedge kit for the front end. It is a simple way in which to reduce the castor angle from about 7 to about 3.5 degrees - no MGB should be without this - the kit is only £68 + VAT.
Nigel Steward

Old age is affecting me!

As you can see the front suspension is NOT coil-over, that's what I replaced!

Nigel Steward

This thread was discussed between 20/04/2005 and 25/04/2005

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