The MGA With An Attitude
FRONT SUSPENSION REBUILD -- FS-202B
FS-202A - Disassembly
FS-202B - Inspection (you are here)
FS-202C - Swivel Links and Bushings
FS-202D - A-arm Bushings
FS-202E - Reassembly
Consider checking Swivel Pin and A-arm Pivot for cracks.
Check condition of A-arm Pivot shaft ends.
Check condition of A-arm holes for oval wear.
Check condition of trunnion bolts for wear.
A-arm brackets often have outer end holes worn oval from the trunnion bolt rotating in the arm when a trunnion bushing has been seized. These holes can be welded and re-drilled, but the parts may be readily available and cheap enough to replace. Any necking down of the trunnion bolts dictates replacement.
Check condition of the rubber rebound buffer and its spacer block.
Check condition of frame flange holding the rebound buffer.
Sometimes the frame flange may be bent up or cracked in this location due to some prior heavy impact of the tire on a curb or large pot hole. If so, then this is the time for straightening and/or welding repair if necessary. Check fit of threads between swivel links and swivel pins.
Replace any parts that are obviously worn.
Swivel pin threads should be clean and smooth, and the swivel link should be snug on threads of swivel pin. When new and greased there is no perceptible wiggle in these parts. If the swivel pin threads are rusted and rough it should be replaced. If the swivel link threads are worn to be a sloppy fit it should be replaced. The Workshop Manual states, "An appreciable amount of slack is permissible in these threaded bearings and they do not require renewal unless they are very slack". This is a judgment call, as the pieces will not actually fall apart unless the threads are worn enough to be completely stripped. However, excess slop in these threads may contribute to front end shimmy if a wheel is slightly out of balance or not perfectly straight running. Check condition of coil springs.
Bottom end of the swivel pin is more likely to be rusty due to water intrusion. Bottom swivel link is more likely to be worn because it carries the weight of the car. Top swivel link threads may last twice as long in service as the lower ones. My top swivel link threads are in good condition after 400,000 miles, while the lower links were changed once around a quarter million miles. Grease is your friend here.
Set the two coil springs side by side and compare the height. You can measure actual length of the coil spring (also wire diameter and number of active coils) and compare it with original front spring specifications. Used springs may be acceptable if they are matched within 1/4 inch on height. If one spring might be slightly longer (not more than 1/4 inch diffrence allowed), you might reinstall that one on the driver's side of the car (to offset the case of "bachelor lean".